Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Jenna Johnson Interview

1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?
Well, that all depends on when inspiration strikes or how many hours I have to spare.  Sometimes, an idea for a new scene or story will come to me when I’m trying to go to sleep, and I must crawl out of bed and write it down.  At other times, I like to get up early and write before the world has a chance to distract me. 

2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?
Even though my first book was born through paper and pen, I like to keep separate files on my computer for my different stories, and I normally keep it all there (for example, I’ll have a file for my Oescienne series and in that file I’ll have a document set aside for the book, the characters, the world and random ideas or thoughts).  If my computer isn’t handy, however, I’ll jot down lines of dialogue or action scenes on one of several notebooks lying around my bed and desk.

3: What do you draw inspiration from?
Most of my inspiration is drawn from reading other books.  A good number of my newer projects have stemmed from an idea formulated while reading.  Other times, the most random things will bring inspiration.  One night I happened to look out my window while the full moon was out and I thought it would be neat if there was a type of mythical creature living in one of my worlds that could only enter our world through a shadow cast by a stone with the light of a full moon.

4: Do you set goals for yourself when you sit down to write such as word count?
I will do this on occasion.  When I wrote my first book, I actually wrote down my word count goal on my calendar.  Now, when I get a chance to dedicate more than an hour to writing, I will aim to add 1,000 or more words for each session.  Sometimes I reach this goal, sometimes I don’t. 

5: Are you a published or a self published author and how do you come up with your cover art?
I am a self published author.  I tried traditional publishing, but I was unable to find an agent and in the end I just wanted to share my story with others.  Currently I design my own cover art, but I am considering commissioning work for the covers of my future works (those not in the Oescienne series), just for a change of scene.

6: What drives you to choose the career of being a writer?
I think if you ask any writer, they’ll tell you the same thing: it is a passion; something that I must do, something that chooses me.  I didn’t realize this was what I wanted to do until I graduated from college.  I had always invented stories in my head, and it never occurred to me that I should put them in book format.  Once I took that first frightening and exhilarating step, I was hooked and I haven’t stopped since.  If I could, I would make writing my only occupation, but since I’m independent and haven’t garnered a large enough following yet, I have to keep my day job.

7: Do you own an ebook reading device?
I do not own an ebook reading device, but I do have the Kindle application downloaded onto my computer.  I use it all the time and have discovered several excellent independent ebooks since downloading it.

8: Who are some of your favorite authors and What are you reading now?
Oh boy, I have several favorite authors.  Among those traditionally published I enjoy Sherwood Smith, Sharon Shinn, Kristen Britain, Maria V. Snyder, Megan Whalen Turner, Moira J. Moore, Elizabeth Vaughan and Emily Rodda (I’m sure there are several more, but I can’t think of any at the moment). 
Some of the indie authors I enjoy include C.S. Marks, Susan Trombley, Melody Tink, Nicole Zoltack, Elizabeth K. Burton and Teresa McCullough.  Currently I’m reading ‘Elfhunter’ by C.S. Marks, ‘Wysard’ by Carolyn Kephart and ‘Visions of Power’ by Jeffery Quyle to name a few (I read several books at a time, jumping from one to the other depending on my mood).  I’m most definitely a reader as well as a writer.

9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any?
Book trailers are a new concept to me, but I find them intriguing.  I’ve only seen a few of them myself, and I’m not too sure about their popularity.  I have, however, considered making some for my own books; I’m just not sure how to go about it or how to design them yet.

10: What are you working on now that you can talk about?
I’m currently ‘actively’ working on three books: the third novel in ‘The Legend of Oescienne’ series, another YA fantasy and also an adult fantasy.  The third book in the Oescienne series is currently titled ‘The Awakening’ (this may change) and will pick up from the end of ‘The Beginning’.  This book will follow my main characters, Jahrra and Jaax, as they journey from Oescienne to escape their common enemy while Jahrra continues to unravel who exactly she is.
The other YA book I’m working on is a step away from the Oescienne series.  It takes place in a world called Renorah where a spoiled princess and a humble farmer’s son are thrown together as they are forced to flee the royal city in order to escape an invasion of the kingdom’s enemy. 
The third book I’m working on is an unnamed fantasy for an older audience.  It’s currently in the infancy stage, and all I can tell you, right now, is that the world that it takes place in was inspired by Yosemite Valley.

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