Blogs by L.T. Suzuki
Jen Wylie Interview
2/7/2011 10:15:47 PM
LTS: Usually, each Tuesday I feature authors, mostly traditionally published debut authors or indie authors for whom the reviews for their stories have been wonderful. In this case, my featured author has a new story that will be published this March, but I’ve invited this author for a guest blog because I’ve heard rave reviews for her debut ebook entitled ‘Jump’.
I’d like to introduce you to Canadian author Jennifer Wylie. I’d like to begin by having you share a little information about yourself with our readers, Jennifer. I know you call the province of Ontario home, but what else would you like to share?
JW: I'm at stay at home mom of two darling boys, 6 and 8. They keep me very busy! We also have a hyper Australian shepherd and too many birds. When I'm not cleaning something I'm usually at my computer, reading, editing or writing. (Okay, or tweeting too!)
LTS: Has writing stories always been a part of your life and becoming a published author a life long dream?
JW: I've always been writing, since I was in public school. I used to think it would be great to be published, but never really looked into it until a few years ago. Big thanks to my parents for kicking my butt in that regard!
LTS: I understand your debut story ‘Jump’ features a female main character with an extreme case of inappropriate clothing. What was the inspiration behind this story and can you tell us a little bit about your protagonist?
JW: I wrote Jump after talking to my parents on the phone. Dad likes to give out lectures. LOL Though he's never done the “If someone asked to you jump off of a bridge would you?” one, for some reason it popped into my head. I wrote in just a few days and had a lot of fun. A lot of my quirky humor pops out in this one.
LTS: Without giving away too much, can you reveal what’s in store for the reader when they crack open ‘Jump’?
JW: It's a fast moving story which will also leave you smiling (if not outright giggling) at times. I've had complaints it's too short. Well, it's a short story. I have written a sequel and submitted it to the publisher. Should it be accepted I'll be sure to post the news on my website!
LTS: What can you tell us about your newest publication, ‘The Forgotten Echo’ that is due out this March?
JW: The Forgotten Echo is one of my longer short stories. I created a world much like ours, however Immortals live hidden amongst us. They will sometimes create Echoes, as servants, sources or power, etc. Echoes are much like ghosts, but more. This story is about Cassie, who is turned into an Echo when she dies and then is abandoned. It follows her struggle to discover what she is, and to find out what happened to her Immortal.
LTS: The road to publication is difficult at the best of times. Was it difficult for you to land an agent? Do you have any advice you’d like to share with the author struggling to find representation?
JW: I spent at least a year and half searching for an agent. After collecting many, many rejections I actually ended up going straight to the publisher myself. Still no agent, but I'm not really concerned about that now.
LTS: Can you share that moment when you sold your story to Echelon Press?
JW: I got contracts for my two short stories first. Karen actually tweeted, saying she had a contract for the one for me, and wondering if I wanted it. When I read that I did a bit of screaming and bouncing. (Just a bit LOL) The next day she emailed she'd take my second short I'd submitted as well. Two weeks later I got one for my novel, Sweet Light. THAT bought on the tears. I think I bounced around for at least a month I was so happy!
LTS: Will these books be available in print any time soon?
JW: My short stories will only be available in eBook form. However my novel Sweet Light which comes out in May is to be in print as well. I'm not sure on an exact date yet.
LTS: I’m curious about your writing style. Are you one of those disciplined writers who must dedicate a certain time each day to producing so many words, or are you more relaxed and tend to write when it strikes your fancy?
JW: Hahaha I write when I have uninterrupted time. As a mom this isn't too often. Usually in the evenings is when I write the most, though if something strikes me during the day I'll sometimes write a page or two down quick if I have the time.
LTS: Still on the subject of writing styles, are you a plotter or pantser? The readers would like to know if you tend to plot out your story line in great detail or if your writing is more organic with the characters and events unfolding as you write.
JW: My stories appear in my head, like a movie. When it's just right, then I write down what I see. If that makes sense? Mostly I just write and try to keep up with my brain. If I'm writing a full book, I'll sometimes make notes of things I need to have happen so I don't forget, but that's about it.
LTS: Some authors meditate, others need to fuel up on coffee or listen to music. Do you have any rituals, ones that can be shared with the readers, that you must do before you hunker down for a writing session?
JW: I like to write with a rum and coke. :D My desk also includes a large stash of candy. For some reason I'm addicted to gumballs when I'm writing too. Music plays an important role, but not while I'm actually writing. Songs will often give me a mood, or an idea during the day...that's how many of my stories are born.
LTS: At one time or another, most writers hit the wall and their work stalls because of the dreaded writer’s block. What do you do to get around or over this mental wall to resume writing?
JW: Writers block is rarely an issue. My head is soo full of stuff. When I do get stuck on a story it's usually a scene giving me problems. I'll either skip over it and come back later, or even work on another project for a while.
LTS: Who is your favourite author and how has he/she inspired you to write or influenced your writing style or choice of genre?
JW: I grew up reading all sorts of fantasy and science fiction, from Anne McCaffrey to Mercedes Lackey to Theodore Sturgeon and Isaac Asimov. I've too many favorites and really can't say any have influenced my style, maybe all of them have. They all helped my choose my genre, I'm in love with fantasy!
LTS: What is the most profound discovery you’ve made in terms of your writing and how it has touched the lives of others?
JW: For myself, I never knew I could write so many different ways. I've learnt so much the last few months it's pretty crazy. Knowing others like my work gives me a nice warm fuzzy feeling too. It's different when it's not your mother telling you the story is good! I love to hear how my stories make others feel. I'm a very emotional person, and writer, I hope people with laugh or cry when they read my stories (and at the right times!)
LTS: What is the most important lesson you’ve learned on the road to publication?
JW: Don't give up and you're never done learning! I'm still learning everything I can from every author, editor, publisher who will talk to me. I continue to surf the web reading up on anything writing related. The more you know the better the story is and also you need to know how to promote it so people will buy and read it!
LTS: What are you reading now, and how did this particular book make it onto your to-read list?
JW: The last book I read was Origins by Sean Hayden. It comes out Feb 15 also through Echelon Press. Sean asked me to do a review and since he's pretty darn awesome I agreed. (It's an amazing book by the way)
LTS: What do you foresee in your future over the next five years and do you hope to branch out into other genres?
JW: My writing is really going well right now and I'm hoping to see many more short stories and novels published! I love fantasy, but am hoping to dip my fingers more into some crossovers as well. My latest book I've submitted, Broken Aro, is a YA fantasy, which was fun to write!
LTS: Thank you so much for taking the time to share in your stories and your writing experiences, Jen! I’ll catch you on Twitter!
JW: Thanks so much for having me Lorna!
For more information about Jennifer Wylie and her ebooks, check out:
Follow Jennifer on Twitter: .jen_wylie
Where to buy the book:
Barnes & Noble http://search.barnesandnoble.com/books/product.aspx?ean=9781590807354
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