1. Tell us about your book/books?
I have two series currently available. The Legend of Oescienne series (The Finding, The Beginning, The Awakening and Tales of Oescienne, a short story collection). The Oescienne books are a middle-grade, high fantasy series about Jahrra, a human infant found and raised by dragons in a world where her kind no longer exist. The Otherworld series (Faelorehn, Dolmarehn and Luathara in the original trilogy, and Ehriad, Ghalien and soon to be released Lorehnin, all companion books) is a young adult, paranormal romance collection. The trilogy tells the story of Meghan Elam, a junior in high school who learns she’s immortal only after a young man from the Celtic Otherworld rescues her from a pack of monsters. The other books in the Otherworld series are told from the secondary characters’ points of view.
2. How did you get started as a writer?
While in grade school I wrote poetry, but I didn’t seriously get into writing until my final year in college. My entire life, I’d spun stories around in my head, sketching characters and maps and creatures in my sketch books, but never writing anything substantial. Then, at the end of my college career, it dawned upon me that I wanted to write these stories down. Maybe it had something to do with finally being done with school. I love learning and loved my Celtic Studies classes, so writing might have been my way of continuing with that scholastic way of life.
3. What’s a typical day like for you?
When I’m on a writing rampage, my typical day consists of getting up around 4-4:15 so that I can get to Starbucks by 5 am or so and write. I hang out at Starbucks for two hours, then I go on to my day job. I work there until 3:30, then I get home and take care of all my pets and get ready for the next day before relaxing for a bit. I often check my email, check my Facebook page, that sort of thing, before going to bed and getting up to do it all over again. I also try to squeeze in some time for reading. On the weekends I try to sleep in J. Of course, I don’t do this every week. Eventually I burn out and let my mind recharge before diving into another project.
4. Describe your workspace.
There is a room in the house that I use for writing and my other art projects. I call it the Renaissance Room and it is often cluttered (I’m a bit of a pack rat) with books and fabric and many other things related to my creative side. Sometimes, I like to get up early and simply go into the Renaissance Room, with my tea and instrumental music, and write until it’s time to go to work (or time for a break on my days off). The walls are decorated with some paintings I did in college, and some banners I sewed for my books. My grandparents’ old piano stands against one wall and my long bow hangs above the closet on the other side. An old metal desk stands in front of window that faces west, and looks out into my front yard.
5. Favorite books?
Pretty much anything by Sharon Shinn (The Thirteen Houses series, the Archangel series etc.) and Ilona Andrews (the Kate Daniels books and the Edge series). I also love Crown and Court Duel by Sherwood Smith and the Study books by Maria V. Snyder. And of course, I loved the Harry Potter books and still count them among my favorites.
6. Tell us 3 interesting things about you.
Honeybees are my favorite insect and I have hive in my backyard, I threw the shot put and discus for the University of California at Berkeley, and I’ve never ventured outside of the United States (though I’d love to go to Ireland, Scotland and England).
7. Favorite quote:
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited, but imagination encircles the world. – Albert Einstein
8. Best and worst part of being a writer?
Best part: the birth of a new story or series idea.
Worst part: not having enough time to write and daydream (daydreaming is important to us authors).
9. Advice to writers?
Write down everything. An idea can come to you and you might think it’s brilliant, then in the next second, stupid, so it gets thrown to the wayside. Write it down anyway. Many authors fluctuate between loving their books and hating them, so don’t give up so soon on a new idea. Perhaps it just isn’t ready to be cultivated yet. Jot it down, put it away for a day or a month or a year or more, then revisit it.
Jenna Elizabeth Johnson
Fantasy and Paranormal Romance Author