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Dienstag, 8. März 2016

Interview with Jennifer K. Wilson! - Original language [English]





Hello to all my readers and welcome to my blog to those who are new on here!


Ever heard about the "New World-Series"? No? - Well then you should definitely read the following interview, because here are some facts you don't want to miss! 
The New World-Series is written by Jennifer Wilson, who I recently contacted on Instagram. First we were talking about books, but then I figured it would be quite intersting if I asked some questions about the great author's life. I mean, how cool is it to talk to someone, who is the creator of a world you get lost in! However, I told her my question where I asked if I could post an interview with her on my blog and fortunately she said yes! - So yea, what are we waiting for? Here we go!

Short note: We were mailing each other because I, Chantal [Peanut], am from Germany and she is from the USA.


Chantal: Where were you born?/Where do you live currently?

Jennifer: I was born and raised in Illinois, USA. Then, in my early twenties, I moved to Denver, Colorado, USA where I currently reside.

Chantal: Do you have a job besides writing? - Which one is it?

Jennifer: For the past five years I worked as an Interior Designer for IKEA, designing their stores. This past spring, I hung up my designer hat to start focusing more on writing and web design. I also work part time with a fabulous video, animation and production studio here in Denver called, Studio Hippo.

Chantal: Do you have a family? (children, husband, pet…)

Jennifer: I have a wonderful husband, who also happens to be my best friend and biggest fan, and a four-legged sidekick—my golden retriever, Duke. He actually makes an appearance in another book series I am working on.

Chantal: Who's your favorite author?

Jennifer: I am sure this is cliché, but the Harry Potter series definitely helped inspire me to write. Not because of the fame or money, but this was the first series I fell in love with and because of how many lives J.K. Rowling touched with her books. To reach that many people and inspire them to dream and read… that is a true gift. So obviously, J.K. Rowling is at the top of that list, but there are many other authors I look up to: J.R.R. Tolkien, Rick Yancey, Dan Brown, Suzanne Collins, Cassandra Clare and Diana Gabaldon, to name a few. Alexandra Bracken and Marie Lu are also recently added to my author crush list—I love that they too write about strong female leads, who are imperfect and vulnerable at times.

Chantal: Do you have some favorite books? - Which ones?

Jennifer: Favorite books: obviously Harry Potter (are you sick of me saying that yet), The Mortal Instruments, The Lord of the Rings series, I’m currently in love with The Lunar Chronicles, The Darkest Minds was another recent find that totally consumed me, and pretty much everything by Marie Lu these days.    

Chantal: Who supports you with your author-career?

Jennifer: I am super fortunate to be surrounded by amazingly supportive people. My husband and my parents are my biggest supporters. My books would never have come to fruition without my husband's generosity and help. He lets me be anti-social and get lost in my writing, usually cooking dinner while I type away. My parents are my most constant sounding-boards, especially my mom. I can’t even count how many hours we have spent editing together. And my friends have been my biggest advocates in spreading the word about my books. None of this would be possible without any of them.

Chantal: Where is your favorite place to write? (Coffee shop, library…)

Jennifer: My favorite places are on my couch with Duke curled up next to me and at this great little coffee shop down the street. It is a little easier to focus there. I just pop in my earbuds and go.

Chantal: What is your biggest dream?

Jennifer: Professionally—to write a best seller.

Chantal: Were there some people, who didn't believe that you could get a serious writer?

Jennifer: There are always haters, but fortunately, not any of the people who truly matter in my life. There is something key in life to surround yourself with people you love and support and who do the same for you.

Chantal: Do you like traveling?

Jennifer: Love it! I would travel all the time if I could.

Chantal: Have you ever been to Germany? If no, would you like to? If yes, how was it?

Jennifer: Unfortunately, I have not been to Germany yet. But it is most certainly on my list! Half of my ancestry is German, so I would love to see where my family came from and spend some time immersed in the culture.

Chantal: How is it to meet fans?

Jennifer: The absolute best. The book community is filled with some of the most amazing people. Every fan I meet is like a long-lost soulmate. My books, my writing, would mean nothing without my fans, they mean the world to me.


Chantal: What do you mean with "self published"? - How is that possible? 

Jennifer: Thanks to the growth of technology, some companies have started to offer book printing and distribution on a small scale. These printers are not publishers however, they do not offer promotional help, cover design or editing, they simply print the books and get a percentage of the sales money. When an author chooses to use one of these companies to produce their books it is called self-publishing. An author retains all rights to their work and signs no contact with any agencies or publishing house. 

Chantal: How long did it take you to write the book? 

Jennifer: New World: Rising was written in about six months, not including all of the editing. Once the story came into my mind it flowed easily. New World: Ashes took me a little longer, about nine months. It was a challenge to decide where to end that book and how much I wanted to give away. Plus, an entirely new city and cast had to be developed and take on a life of their own. I found the second book more challenging.


Chantal: How long did the publishing progress take? 

Jennifer: If you are looking to find an agent and a publisher, the process generally takes anywhere from 3 months to a year. If you self-publish, you can control your own timeline- after editing and the cover design in complete it usually takes about three days to a week to set up. 


Chantal: How do people create a cover? / Where do the ideas come from? 

Jennifer: The cover should always be a representation of the book itself. So naturally a lot of the inspiration comes from there. Personally, I also like to look at other covers, art work and photography to get inspiration. There are companies that provide cover designing services for a fee as well. For my books, I did the original cover set and the fabulous Kim-G did the Oftomes covers. 


Chantal: I'm not sure if I'm allowed to ask this or if this is impolite, so if you don't wanna answer then just leave it out: How much does an author earn? - Is it a good payed job?

Jennifer: Truthfully… No not really. Some of the best advice you can get as a writer is “Don’t quite your day job.” Most books take between 2 to 4 years before they reach their max popularity. And even then, an author generally only makes about 15% of their book’s sales. If you write a best seller you can certainly pick up writing full time, but even then, to keep your career a going you generally must keep writing other books.


Chantal: Was it always fun to write or did you have times where you thought "This is so exhausting and I am running out of ideas, I should just quit”?

Jennifer: I think everyone has those moments. I am fortunate enough to have made some really great friends in the writing world and we all suffer from Writer’s Doubt sometimes. But the good thing is we talk about it and generally help lift each other back up. You can’t be awesome all the time, it’s okay to crash and have a pity-party once and a while. Just don’t unpack and live there. 


Chantal: Where did you get your inspiration and motivation from? 

Jennifer: I have always had a bit of an overactive imagination. My mind tends to wander and being a very visual person, I generally get these flashes of scenes­—a girl on a rooftop, an action-packed fight sequence or an impassioned kiss.  From there, my mind melds around these moments and a basic plot begins to develop. As the plot matures, so do my characters. I tend to have a really loose technique when it comes to writing.  I always have an idea of where my story is going, but often the journey getting there is just as unexpected for me as it is for my readers. I jot notes on everything and anything within reach when inspiration strikes, old receipts, paper bags, or on my hand. I find these moments of epiphany are where some of my best ideas originate—not forced but inspired.

"New World: Rising" was born out of an epiphany moment for Phoenix. I could see this girl racing on rooftops, hiding in the shadows, being kind of a badass. The opening scene in the first book is the moment Phoenix was born in my mind, a dark shadowed figure standing on the ledge of a building as her hair whipped around her face in the wind, the city below her in ruin. The world just spiraled out from there, shaping around her.

Chantal: Since when do you write your own stories? 
Jennifer: I used to make stories up in my head all the time as a child, but I didn’t really start writing until my mid twenties. 

Chantal: How does it feel to have your own story, your own book, published? 

Jennifer: Stupendous! There is nothing more amazing than holding a finished copy of your own book in your hands for the first time. That is, until someone asks you to sign a copy. :)


Chantal: Are you planning on writing more books?

Jennifer: "New World: Ashes", the sequel to Rising, will be have more release information soon—Oftomes will make a big announcement on April 1st! :) Then, as to not leave my readers hanging, the final book in the New World Series is under way—New World: Inferno is expected out in winter 2017. So that’s at least one more book.

There is also an entirely different series currently collecting digital dust on my hard drive. The first book was completed almost three years ago, but I set it aside to write Phoenix’s story. The book is called The Chosen. It has a much different feel and is based in a supernatural world. The main character, Grace, is a child prodigy whose musical gifts mask more formidable powers bubbling just beneath the surface. Powers others will kill to acquire. I am hoping to complete this series once the New World Series is finished.

Aside from those books, I also have a series based on witches in the works, as well a futuristic, semi-syfy series in the mix. Honestly, there are too many ideas and not enough time!


Chantal: What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of being a self-published author?

Jennifer: Having done both—self-publishing first and now being published under Oftomes—I can honestly say there can be benefits and downfalls to both. I am very lucky that I happen to click really well with the Oftomes team and couldn’t be happier under their name. But I do know not every published author is happy with his/her publishing agency. Finding the right publisher for you is extremely important, as you are essentially trusting them with your baby. I have learned so much about the literary world as a self-published author and adored getting to know my fans on such a personal level, but now that I am with Oftomes, I also get to focus more on writing which is that part I love most. Honestly there is no right or wrong when it comes to how you publish, it just needs to be what suits you best. Here’s the most basic break down I can give you:

Self-Publishing Pros:

·       Your profit is not cut to pay an agent or publisher, so you earn more money from each individual sale
·       You have total freedom with what you write, your timelines and graphics
·       You get to know your fans on a more personal level
·       You have more control over your book
·       Your book will definitely be published, trends be damned
                 
Self-Publishing Cons:

·       You have to front all of the money for things like review copies, editing, cover design,    ISBN numbers and advertising
·       You have to handle all of the marketing
·       It is harder to get your name out there
·       Sales are generally lower than that of a professionally published book
·       You must wear many hats other than just a writer— you must be your own marketing director,  agent, publisher and editor.
·       Spelling errors are more common 


s   So that's it with the interview with the amazing Jennifer Kay Wilson! Do you guys have any other questions I should definitely ask her? What do you think about the interview? Are you curious about her books? (Because I am!) Anyways, a BIG BIG thank you to you, Jennifer, it was an honor to interview you. I loved and enjoyed it! Hopefully everything is in your pleasure and furthermore good luck to you and your books in the future!

      Yours, Peanut xx







           










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