Q: Jenna...what made you become a writer?
A: I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since I was six years old, and I’ve thusly spent most of my life pursuing this goal with spunk, gusto, and an unjustifiable level of confidence. The first book I ever wrote was about a kitten funeral, so naturally it was clear early on that I was destined for greatness.
Q: What is your typical writing day like?
A: I wake up at , drown myself in coffee, respond to fan mail, then handle all of my marketing tasks. Once that’s complete, I write for hours and hours until I eventually realize that it’s the evening and I’m literally starving. At this point, I gorge on whatever sustenance I can rummage up, then continue writing until the wee hours of the morning. Finally, I go to sleep for a handful of minutes, and then the cycle repeats itself.
Q: Do you outline? If so, how extensive are your outlines?
A: I enjoy outlining just as much as I enjoy writing. I don’t understand why outlines have such a negative reputation. My outline and I are buddies. If I could fist bump my outline, I would, but I’m not too sure that’s good for the laptop screen. Oh, and my current outline is 27 pages long—so pretty extensive.
Q: How many revisions will you typically do on a novel?
A: I revise as I go, so it’s really hard to say. Maybe three?
Q: What is your best tip for editing a manuscript?
A: Hire. An. Editor. Don’t get me wrong, you should clean it up yourself as well—but for the love of God, hire a professional!
Q: Which writing habits and/or tricks of the trade have made you a better writer?
A: Outlining, trusting my intuition, and sticking to a strict schedule have worked pretty well for me. You could also try a blood sacrifice or dark sorcery, but the results are mediocre from my experience.
Q: Do you ever suffer through writer’s block? If so, how do you fight it?
A: I very rarely deal with writer’s block these days, but on the off chance it bites me in the ass, I just force myself to write anyway. The only way out is through. And if that doesn’t work, I recommend fighting it off with a katana. Nunchucks work, too.
Q: What drew you to write your preferred genre(s)?
A: While most girls grew up watching Disney princess movies, I spent my childhood enjoying old-school adventure movies: Jason and the Argonauts, Clash of the Titans, The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, etc. Ever since then, I’ve always wanted to write adventure stories; the genre is insignificant, so long as my characters are on a thrilling adventure—and falling in love along the way, of course.
Q: Do you utilize beta readers?
A: Yes. And if you don’t, what is wrong with you?!
Q: In your most recently published novel, what’s one scene you really enjoyed writing—and why?
A: I really enjoyed writing the first kiss between Eve and her love interest (no spoilers, but he’s pretty delicious), because who doesn’t want to instigate a love connection? Go on with your bad self, Eve! You kiss that boy right on his mouth hole!
Q: What makes the main character of your most recent novel so special?
Kingston is a bad mama jama. She’s a
great blend of strength, snarky humor, and relatable vulnerability. But most
importantly, she’s smart, which is something I think is lacking in new adult
fiction: intelligent protagonists. I’m tired of reading about characters who
make me facepalm over each and every one of their stupid decisions. I wanted to
write someone who, while certainly imperfect, at least has a few brain cells at
Q: What is your best advice for author self-promotion?
A: Talk to people. Yes, sometimes people are mean. Yes, sometimes people are stupid. Talk to them anyway. Guess what? Mean, stupid people buy books, too—and if you talk to them, maybe they’ll buy yours.
Q: How do you deal with negative reviews?
A: Voodoo magic is a completely underrated form of revenge. Just sayin’.
Q: What is your favorite aspect of being an indie author?
A: The complete control and accountability of everything that I do. I am my own boss, and I set my own rules. I am not at the mercy of someone else’s bottom line.
Q: What is your least favorite aspect of being an indie author?
A: Maybe the word “indie” itself. It makes me think of a young man at a coffee shop with a half-assed beard, vacuum-sealed pants, and a thrift store ukulele. Now, pair this image with “author,” and I still imagine this man, but now he’s writing a book that, “like, you’ve probably never heard of.” Can I call myself something else, please? How about a goddess author? I’m going with goddess author.
Q: What is your current writing project?
A: My current project is a new adult fantasy. The story takes place in a peaceful realm governed under the rule of a holy queen, known respectfully as The Savior. Upon The Savior’s eighteenth birthday, a tournament is held in Her honor where the finest bachelors compete to be Her husband. The story follows twenty-year-old Tobias, who enters the tournament due to extenuating circumstances—and he’s not too excited about it. The tournament is incredibly dangerous and ripe with political corruption. Even worse, Tobias realizes he has stronger feelings for a woman in The Savior’s court versus The Savior Herself. Romance happens. Shenanigans ensue. And lots of people die. Enjoy!
Q: What are three of your favorite novels?
A: Dante’s Inferno (though if we’re getting technical, that’s actually just a really long poem), A Clockwork Orange, and for the sake of nostalgia, Ella Enchanted.
Q: If you could have lunch with any novelist, living or dead, who would it be? What would talk to them about?
A: I would most certainly choose a dead novelist, and I’d probably spend the entire lunch asking them what it’s like being dead and subsequently resurrected. To hell with writing, I could be solving life’s greatest mysteries in a single conversation! If I had to choose a living novelist, I’d probably go with E.L. James, simply so I could teach her about the birds and the bees. I mean, someone has to eventually.
Q: What is your best piece of advice for budding authors?
A: It’s not too late to seek therapy. But if you insist on being a masochist, I’ve got tons of actual writing advice on my YouTube channel.
Q: What is your favorite inspirational quote?
A: “To put yourself forward as someone good enough to do interesting things is, by definition, to expose yourself to all kinds of negative judgments, and as far as I can tell, the fact that other people get to decide what they think of your behavior leaves only two strategies for not suffering from those judgments: not doing anything, or not caring about the reaction.” — Clay Shirky
No witches, warlocks or vampires...
just a sexy tale about trying to live the Hollywood dream...
Luigi's Chinese Delicatessen by Jim Vines
Follow Jim Vines on Twitter!