Interview with author Jennifer M Eaton

fire-in-the-woods-revised-cover (1)I’ve been a huge fan of Fire in the Woods for quite a while now and I was lucky enough to be able to interview Jennifer! So here’s the questions I hope you enjoy reading the answers just as much as I did.

What gave you the idea for Fire in the Woods

I wrote the original story a few years ago. I was in the middle of writing a very long, sweeping space opera when a friend told me about an open call for an anthology. I’d never written anything short, but decided to give it a go. I needed something that could fit inside a short time span of 10,000 words, so I decided to write a story about a spaceship crashing in a girl’s backyard, and having her help the alien get home (within seven days). 70,000 words later, I had Fire in the Woods (And I had to write something different for that anthology).

Is there any book in particular that made you want to start writing?

I can’t really think of a particular book, but I’ve always had a very over-active imagination. Even when I was really young I had all these really elaborate stories in my head. It wasn’t until I was a teenager and I discovered I loved English and language arts when I realized I could put all those crazy ideas to work for me. I wrote my fist book in high school, one chapter a night and my friends read and passed it around in the morning. It was kind of like Wattpad on paper passed around the school.

In Fire in the Woods we see Jess’s love for photography. Is that something you love to do?

I do love to take pictures. My husband finds it terribly annoying. “Oh there she is taking a picture of a butterfly again. Is there anything wrong with the dozen pictures you already have?” But I do like to squeeze into small places and find the beauty in things that others may not see. I guess that is why it was easy for me to slip into Jess’s shoes. We are a lot alike.

What would you have done if you’d found David in the woods? 

This is where Jess and I differ. I have always been overly cautious. Yes, I would have helped him, but it would have been more like: “Stay right here. I will call an ambulance. No, sorry I don’t care that you are an alien. You are an alien I’ve never met, and I can’t trust you.” Sad to say, I wouldn’t have had the grand adventure that she had.

What was the funniest part of the series to write?

Hands-down, the first kiss scene. That was one of the few scenes that got very little editing. I had a crystal clear image of David’s reaction, and the look on his face, and how embarrassed Jess would be, and how David would react to her reaction. I imagined being stuck inside a pinball machine and having things just get worse and worse. That scene still brings a smile to my face, and so many people call it out in reviews and commentary. It will probably always be a favourite.

Did writing a sequel feel different to writing the first book? 

Writing a sequel was unbelievably different! First of all, the problem was that I never intended to write a second book. In my mind, the story was over, and ended really the only way it could end (without being cheesy.) I had to think of how to get these characters back together again, and what could possibly happen to them to make them have to run for their lives one more time. In the end, I am thrilled with the story that developed, and I think in many ways it is even better than Fire in the Woods.

What advice do you have for anyone who is writing their own story?

Keep writing. It doesn’t really matter what you write, but as long as you write a little bit every day, you will become a better writer. I read stuff I’ve written only a year ago, and I am stunned by how much I can improve that writing in a few simple edits. Now, I am writing my first drafts with techniques that encompass all the tricks that I used to do while editing. In effect, my first draft now equals what used to be my fifth draft. The trick is to just keep writing, and hold on to your dream. There is no greater joy that putting your heart into a book for a year, and then seeing people rave about your story on social media. Knowing you could make someone else smile is worth all the effort.

That’s all the questions! I hope you enjoyed reading. If you haven’t read Fire in the Woods and are wondering what it’s about here’s the synopsis and where you can purchase a copy is below.

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Jess’s dream is to graduate High School and get away from her dull military-brat existence. But racing for her life across New Jersey with a boy she hardly knows is not quite what she had in mind. David is alone, injured, and lost in the woods. When a young girl stumbles across him, he places his trust, and his life, in her hands.  Will she lead him to safety, or right into the hands of the men he is hiding from?

 

Need a copy of Fire in the Woods now? Here are the links!

 Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | IndiBound |

Jennifer M Eaton

jennifer m eaton author headshotJennifer M. Eaton hails from the eastern shore of the North American Continent on planet Earth. Yes, regrettably, she is human, but please don’t hold that against her. 

While not traipsing through the galaxy looking for specimens for her space moth collection, she lives with her wonderfully supportive husband and three energetic offspring. (And a poodle who runs the spaceport when she’s not around.)

During infrequent excursions to her home planet of Earth, Jennifer enjoys long hikes in the woods, bicycling, swimming, snorkeling, and snuggling up by the fire with a great book; but great adventures are only a short shuttle ride away.

Who knows where we’ll end up next?

Interview with Lauren Bird Horowitz author of Shattered Blue

Shattered Blue banner

Shattered Blue is the first book in the Light trilogy which is released today. It’s an amazing fantasy read filled with beautiful poetry and an awesome heroine.

I was luckily enough to be able to interview the author so here are the questions and answers!

What inspired you to start writing Shattered Blue?

I’ve been writing poetry since middle school (yes, I was that nerdy!), and I had the idea for Noa first—a YA female protagonist who explores the world through language and metaphor. That led me instantly to want to introduce a magical world as well, because wouldn’t it be amazing if you could actually discover a realm like the ones you’ve imagined in your poems, your songs, your paintings, or whatever form your art takes? I know I wish I could discover a portal to a place like Aurora—even with all the havoc this particular one causes—because for me, the creative spirit seems like it must be birthed from somewhere Else. I’m really excited for Noa to delve deeper into that world in the next two books.

Shattered Blue is the first book in The Light Trilogy. Did you plan to write three books from the start?

Absolutely! I am a huge believer in careful planning before you write, and so I plotted the entire saga before I began the first manuscript. Not only does this allow you to keep in your mind the overall journeys you want your characters to take, but it lets you plan and execute interesting plot twists with lots of foreshadowing and hints along the way. As a reader, I love it when plots twist and turn (hopefully in ways I haven’t predicted)—and given how sophisticated readers are these days, that takes very careful forethought!

What advice/tips would you give anyone aspiring to write a book?

The most important, most essential advice I could give any aspiring writer is don’t give up. It’s such a strangely wonderful and strangely difficult thing to try to make a career out of something as personal and intimate as your creative voice, and you need to have utmost belief in the value of what you have to say despite the fact that you will hear “no” or “not for us” many, many, many times before you hear “yes.” It is so easy to get discouraged, or believe that maybe your voice isn’t special enough to be heard—but it is. You have to fight for it, you have to believe when no one else does. I cannot stress that enough: it is all about perseverance. In terms of concrete advice, the most useful tip I could give is when revising, try to take one or two words out of every sentence. What’s left is usually stronger, and it will help you meet tough word count limits.

In Shattered Blue, the Fae have different abilities, like the Red Fae who can manipulate the mind. Which ability would you choose if you could?

Wow, that is a tough one. I think, intrinsically, I would probably be a Green Fae because very often, my emotions overpower everything else: reason, logic, planning, even reality!I think it is part of why I like to write poetry, which seems to me a more emotional presentation of language and words (hence my….innovative…use of punctuation rules which leaves my copyeditors annoyed, I am sure.) If I could pick, though, I suppose I’d choose Red because it would be so interesting to read people’s minds…. well, actually, no. I’d pick Blue. Then I could give myself some wings and fly!

Is there a book in particular that inspired you to be a writer?

SO MANY. I am such a reader, and always have been. Books are my manna. As of right now I can’t help but name Fall on your Knees by Ann-Marie Macdonald. The woman is a genius and an artist with words I can only aspire to. I read that book over and over, and am always discovering new things to love in her language.

So that’s all the questions! I hope you enjoyed reading them as much as I did. Don’t forget to pick your copy of Shattered Blue which is out today. It’s available on Amazon, The Book Depository and other retailers.

If you want to find out more about the book and my thoughts on it here’s the review I wrote for it last month Shattered Blue review

Interview with YA authors Abi and Missy

Branded-CoverAbi and Missy interview picture  Hunted book cover

Abi and Missy are the authors of The Sinners Series which is published by Month9Books. The first book in the series Branded which was released last year received hundreds of amazing reviews. The second book Hunted was released this year and was just as successful as the first. They are currently working on the final book in the trilogy Liberated which will end Cole and Lexi’s journey.

We asked fans on Instagram what questions they would love answered and here are some of them as well as few commonly asked questions.

Q: Where did you get the initial idea/inspiration for Branded?

Our inspiration evolved over time. Branded started as a standalone, with Abi brainstorming the idea of branding people with their sins. So we began writing Branded based off that idea, and through both of us, it came alive. We were so thrilled by the response we received, we decided to start the second book. Hunted became the book that really forced us to think about the world we created and how we wanted to develop it. Our inspiration came from a variety of music, other books, and people.

Q: How did you come up with the idea of writing a book together and how did you get your writing and point of view to stay consistent between the two of you?

We’ve always discussed what books we’re reading, whether we liked or disliked them. We said we’d only truly love a book (joking) if we wrote it, so it was only natural that we did it together. Keeping it consistent was fairly easy, because from the first chapter, we both had a lot of input. There was no pressure, just the enjoyment of writing. We discussed what we wanted in our characters and their future goals. We infused a lot of ourselves and our experiences in them.

Q: What was the plotting and outlining process like?

There really wasn’t a lot of plotting at first and there was definitely no outline. We wrote the first manuscript in 3 months, and didn’t originally intend to publish it. After we decided to self-pub, we went back and changed and added a lot. That being said, we are still very character driven writers, so we plot as we write, letting our story create itself naturally. It works for us.

Q: How did you get traditionally published and do you think being self published first helped?

Well, we self-pubbed first and made a lot of great contacts and friends who supported us and still support us even now. Through self-publishing, we learned a lot about the industry. We had freedom to choose our storyline, covers, marketing materials and etc. We made some mistakes but we learned from them. The self-publishing crowd is very, very supportive. Then we decided we’d like to try getting traditionally published. We queried agents and got a ton of rejections which was daunting. We stayed with it though and Stacey Donaghy at Donaghy Literary Agency snatched us up. We knew she was our perfect fit from the first conversation we had with her. Once we signed with her, she pitched us and Month9 Publications picked up our series immediately. I think self-pubbing our book first and gaining an audience and reviews really helped us get to where we are now because our publisher saw we had a growing market with the potential for more. Overall, it’s been an incredible journey!

Q: How much say did you get in the book covers and the format?

Well, when we self-published BRANDED, we chose our cover ourselves. Thankfully, when Month9 picked us up, they kept our cover because so many fans adored it. With HUNTED, our publisher was awesome enough to allow some input from both of us.

Q: If you could be any of the characters in the series who would you be and why?

Probably Lexi. Her character is based off both of us, so it’s only natural. She has curly hair and light eyes. She’s got a tight relationship with her Dad and she’s vulnerable, but grows stronger throughout the series. We like to think the same of ourselves in the last fifteen years as well.

Q: What was the funniest part of the series to write and why?

Writing Zeus is always a joy. We’re both dog lovers and have 2 dogs each, so Zeus provides a fun character to write. Plus, he’s a pleasant distraction from the violence & sadness in BRANDED’s world.  Aside from Zeus, it was just crazy to write a book with my best friend! Writing together brought about some funny incidents (like choosing the same names for a particular character without talking about it) and etc that showed me just how much Abi and I were on the same wavelength. Sometimes it was almost creepy! LOL.

Q: After Liberated are you planning on writing any more books?

Of course! Stay tuned for more good news!

So that’s all the questions! I hope you found the answer to yours. Branded and Hunted are available on Amazon, the bookdepo and other places. Make sure you pick up your copies before the final book is released next year. You can order signed copies through the authors check their Instagram for the info. You can follow the authors on Instagram @abiandmissy for all the latest news about their books and other exciting things.