Starting this month, I am excited to bring Author Features every Friday (while supplies last) to spotlight authors, their work, and support the author community. Our first guinea pig- I mean author is Jennings Wright who has stopped by for an author interview.
RF: Tell us about yourself.
JW: I’m a wife, mom, business owner, and I founded a non-profit to Uganda (and recently Andros, Bahamas) four years ago. I’m a 5th generation Floridian who is living in NC, so I try to get to the water as much as I can!
RF: When did you start writing and what made you start?
JW: I have always been “a writer” in that I journaled, taught classes for kids, did a lot of editing, and played around with words. I didn’t start writing novels until November 2011, when I did my first NaNoWriMo. That novel became Solomon’s Throne.
RF: What is the most embarrassing mistake you’ve made as a writer?
JW: When I first published Solomon’s Throne, it was full of typos and grammatical errors. I had edited until my eyes felt like they were going to pop out, but I had never edited a 90k+ book before, and my patience gave out before it should have. I have since republished it, but that was embarrassing! Now I spend a lot more time on editing.
RF: If you had to pick one trait that makes you a better writer, what would it be?
JW: I think stick-to-it-iveness, as my first boss used to call it. I write quickly, which is great, and I just keep going. A lot of great writers never become authors because they can’t finish their novel.
RF: When you are not writing, what are you doing?
JW: I’m almost always editing something, and I have a writing related blog. As a long-time homeschool mom, summers are pretty sacred to me for family and beach time, so besides my daughter’s wedding in June, I’m taking it a bit easy. I’ve got 2 international work trips coming up in August and September, though, so I have to work some!
RF: What is the one thing that seems to always get in the way of writing time?
JW: Life! There’s always something going on, and I have to be creative sometimes to work around it. I did well from January until mid-February this year, when I went to Uganda for my non-profit. Since getting back, we’ve had 2 graduations, a milestone birthday, a wedding, remodeling, putting our house on the market, more remodeling, and the rest of life happen. I’ve learned to go with the flow, though. If I’ve had a long day, my creativity isn’t good, and I try never to write after dinner (I can’t sleep if I do!). I don’t beat myself up over a missed day.
RF: Tell us a little bit about your the IXEOS Series.
JW: The IXEOS Trilogy is a YA sci-fi dystopian adventure, with an alternate earth and humanoid aliens. I know, that’s quite a mouthful! In the story, teens from our Earth find themselves in the alternate earth, Ixeos, and enlisted in a rebellion to free the planet and its people from alien domination. The main theme of the story is that everyone has a purpose, and can choose whether or not to fulfill it.
RF: Where did you come up with this idea?
JW: It was a combination of an article in National Geographic magazine about the two hundred miles of tunnels under Paris, and a kayaking adventure I had with my daughter where a flock of ducks disappeared. For a few weeks, we’d text each other silly stories about “where the ducks went.” One day I texted that they went to the tunnels in Paris… And that was the beginning of the story!
RF: Who did the cover art for your book?
JW: Glendon Haddix at Streetlight Graphics. They’ve done all my covers, and are amazing to work with.
RF: Did you learn anything about yourself or your writing while working on this book?
JW: This book was different than my other novels, since I was thinking YA from the start. I enjoyed writing a little more casually, and have had fun with the dialogue. I didn’t start out to have a theme, really, but I really believe that everyone DOES have a purpose, so it was a natural expression of that belief.
RF: Which one of your characters would be the best to meet in real life?
JW: Oh, that’s hard! As far as the most mysterious and interesting, that would be Landon, who brought the outsiders to Ixeos. But if you want a fun time, probably Marty is your best bet.
RF: Are there any more projects you are currently working on? Do you know when we might get to see those?
JW: I’m currently working on the final book in the IXEOS Trilogy, Darian’s War. It should be out in November.
RF: What secrets would you share with aspiring authors?
JW: My favorite writing motto is stolen from Nike: Just do it! So many people ask me how to be a writer, and an astonishing number haven’t actually written. Just write!
Thank you so much to Jennings for stopping by to do an author interview with me. If you want to connect with Jennings Wright you can do so on Facebook, Twitter, at her blog, or on her website. Don’t forget to check out all her books on Amazon.com.
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