Author Interview, Beautiful People, Books, Linkups, My Books, Tags, Writing

Beautiful People: Author Edition

Hello lovelies! I hope this Monday morn finds you hale, hearty, and happy! ❤

I for one have been feeling ethereally ecstatic over The King’s Daughters’ Writing Camp reaching 100 members this past Saturday! I am just so thrilled we’ve grown so much as we celebrate KDWC’s 1 year anniversary. We even have over 30 new girls this camp! (Signups are open all month long, so if you want to join, you can join anytime! ^_^) We also ended up having a dunking party Saturday night which was just a whole lot of crazy that I (sort of) accidentally started… XD >.> What’s really cool is we have members ranging from upper 40’s to girls not even in their teens, it’s so awesome seeing everyone interacting together and age isn’t a factor in our friendships. ^_^ <333

Alright, now onto today’s post! I’m digging out yet another tag from Beautiful People’s archives, the Author Edition! You get to hear all about little ol’ me.

Yay, right?


The Questions

1) How many years have you been writing? When did you officially consider yourself a ‘writer’?

I have been officially/seriously writing since the summer of 2015 but I have always dabbled in writing my whole life, I just never felt competent enough to really pursue it until that summer (not that I actually felt competent, more that I quickly realized how much I loved writing). I always had this feeling that if the words didn’t come out just right on the first try that meant I wasn’t supposed to be a writer. Yeah, I laugh and shake my head at my past self’s innocence. She thought authors wrote their books in one go, sent them off to the publishers, and viola! they are now the owner of a published book. Now I realize it takes a ton of work to even get to sending your story out to beta-readers. And then if you go Indie you have to do all the work of self-publishing. Hehe, getting off tangent now, back to the question. As for when I considered myself a ‘writer’, well within the first two years I found a few writer’s blogs like K.M Weiland’s blog where I learned you are a writer the moment you pick up your pen or start typing on your keyboard and begin to tell a story. It doesn’t matter if it’s fiction or non-fiction, no matter the genre, and it doesn’t even matter if your first draft genuinely sucks (mine did <.< *shudders*), you are a writer as long as you are writing. You don’t even have to write every day to be a writer, as long as the story lives in your mind and you keep coming back you are a writer. So, I considered myself a writer probably by the end of the first or the second year.

2) How/why did you start writing?

Ooh, this is one of my favorites to answer. I started writing when my little brother asked me to write my own story while we worked on his fanfic sequel to a book series we both loved. So I thought I’d just write a little something and show it to him and not do it anymore. Ha! That story kept growing and growing and I realized that hey, I like doing this, I really, really like doing this. I have always been a storyteller, my mom loves to tell the story of how before I could even talk I would tell stories with my cheerios, babbling for each piece of cereal on my finger and bobbing the one ‘talking’. After that I moved into the world of pretend where I lived in whatever show, movie, or book I wanted to, even some video games once I was old enough to play them. I’d always told my own stories within someone else’s storyworld, so when I realized that I could create my own storyworlds with characters of my own I fell in love and never looked back. Sad thing is, little bro has yet to read that story because I’ve yet to wrangle it into something readable…

3) What’s your favorite part of writing?

Characters. I love my characters and they are one of the easiest parts of writing for me. More than half the time they just show up and start telling me their story. Sometimes the plot comes first, but 9/10 times the characters come first and then reveal what their story is about. Though, now that I think about it, I think I generally get both at the same time, or at least one follows the other pretty quickly. My stories are usually very character driven and orientated, they create the plot. My characters are like my kids, my inky kids (or pixel kids). Even my villains, I created them and on some level, some far more hidden than others, they each have a part of me. Some of them hate me for what I put them through, others wish I would just leave them to their nefarious deeds, but there are a few that actually like me, though one in particular generally gets on my nerves when he insists on having me do something or informing me that changes are coming even though I’ve just spent the past few months trying to fix a plot element only to have it become obsolete now. *sigh* Characters, a writer’s unruly children, but still, we love them.

4) What’s your biggest writing struggle?

Ehehe, finishing a story. I tend to wind up in endless drafting because I’m still figuring out the story my WIP is trying to tell, even when I plot! You remember that story I started because of my little brother? I’m still trying to edit and revise that thing, it has changed several times over on what it wants to be. First it was some sort of Arabian fantasy, then it was a dark medieval story, and now, now I’m not exactly sure because some steampunk elements seem to be creeping in? The funny thing is though, pretty much all the characters have remained the same or at least kept their name and general personality. There have been a few changes to the characters though, two supposed villains have now switched sides leaving me to figure out how to fix the holes they left. So, um, summing that up, my biggest struggle is figuring out my process so I can finish a book and people can finally read my stories.

5) Do you write best at night or day?

Um, either? I prefer late night or early morning where I have the least amount of people awake and zero interruptions but I can generally write whenever I have spare time.

6) What does your writing space look like? (Feel free to show us pictures!)

I have three different workspaces, my desk in our living room, my standing desk in my bedroom, and my bed. ;p Oh, and sometimes I’ll write on the couch. Uh, yeah, I’ll just share a picture of my standing desk because my other desk is also my crafting station and is just a tad cluttered at the moment… *hides* And apparently my laptop no longer has the picture, so here’s my Instagram picture of it. XD

7) How long does it typically take you to write a complete draft?

Hahaha! I think by now y’all have picked up on the fact that I haven’t really ‘finished’ anything yet. The one short story I have finished now needs redoing after I learned something new in it’s sequel. But I did finish that short story in a month but it was barely 20,000 words so… *shrugs* I am hoping to finish the first draft of a short story I’m writing for KDWC’s hope-themed anthology really soon, but it’s only 5,000 words max, so yeah… XD What’s fun is that this short story is a sort of prequel to my very first story. It’s been so fun being back in this storyworld! I didn’t realize just how much I’ve missed it and my characters. (Don’t worry! I’m not abandoning Roses, Thorns, and Curses, I still plan on finishing that. But the deadline for this anthology is in August and time’s a ticking! Also, if you’d like to write a story for the anthology all you have to do is sign up for camp. 😉 )

8) How many projects do you work on at once?

Four? Five? I’ve lost track. But I’m now just focusing on the one and then after I’ve finished that one I’ll go back to RTC.

9) Do you prefer writing happy endings, sad ones, or somewhere in between?

I prefer writing hopeful endings. Where no matter if they are happy, sad, bittersweet, or something else, there is always hope to be found showing that there’s some good in the world, and it’s worth fighting for. The stories that really matter.

10) List a few authors who’ve influenced your writing journey.

*rolls up sleeves* Here we go!

~ C.S. Lewis.
~ J.R.R. Tolkien
~ Gail Carson Levine
~ Madeleine L’Engle
~ Jenelle Leanne Schmidt
~ Kathryn Lasky
~ Christopher Paolini

11) Do you let people read your writing? Why or why not?

Yeah, um no. My first drafts (second, third, fourth, etc.) are for my eyes only. I shudder at the thought of letting someone read my plot-hole riddled, typo infested, M E S S Y drafts. It’s safer for all involved if people only read a thoroughly revised and edited draft.

Or… at least, that’s what I would have answered just a few months ago, but recently I sent a few chapters as a birthday present to a dear friend and I also had some fellow students at YWW read a piece of my work for feedback. And you know what? The world didn’t end! XD Okay, dramatic much? Yes. But seriously, I wasn’t as bad as I thought. Not to say my writing still doesn’t need work, but my writing does have merit. I struggle with self-worth, so that worked itself into my writing. I knew I had the potential for good writing, but I didn’t think others would think my writing was good. I’m only sharing this to say that if you feel that your writing isn’t good enough to share, find some safe people who will be gentle in their critiques and you may be surprised just how much they’ll fangirl/boy over your work. ❤

12) What’s your ultimate writing goal or dream?

Yipe! DEEP question. Hmm… My ultimate goal is to one day be published, and I’m leaning more and more to Indie publishing. My ultimate dream is that people will love my stories as much as I do and that my stories will be used by God in whatever way He deems fit. If even just one person is touched by my stories, then I will be happy. (But I’ll be honest I do hope it reaches more than one, come on, don’t we all?)

13) If you didn’t write, what would you want to do?

Not write? What is this nonsense? Oh, hypothetical, cool. I’d want to be an actress. BD

14) Do you have a book you’d like to write one day but don’t feel you’re ready to attempt it yet?

Yes. I have a sprawling fantasy/space opera/sci-fi series that stays safe tucked in my head and within it’s equally sprawling Pinterest board that I hope eventually makes sense. XD It’s not just that I don’t feel ready to attempt it yet, but that I already have three (possibly four if Dylan has his way) series that I’m alternately working on more or less at the same time. My main focus right now is my short story and then RTC and its subsequent books before I write something else. Or at least, that’s the plan. And we all know how plans can go… XD

15) Which story has your heart and won’t let go?

Almost all of them?? XD There are a few ideas I’ve had where I’ve even written down a few chapters before they sadly peter out. </3 I’m sad when that happens because I always fall in love with my original idea and it feels like it died. Maybe one day I can come back to these and revive them. But back to the question at hand, the story of my heart would be the very first WIP I ever stuck with and the one that started my writing journey, The Quest for the Cure. It’s undergone several title changes, but that was its original title and the one I always use when thinking of it. Right now, it’s sitting in the back of my laptop’s storage unit until I’m ready to begin rewriting it again for the upteenth time. I may even write its sequel before I return to rewrite it, but this story definitely has my heart and not only will it not let go but I can’t bear to let it go even when I was ready to chunk the durn thing out the window in frustration over how many times it’s changed and needed rewriting… I spent the first five years of my writing journey working almost exclusively on this story, it’s my first book-baby and not only have I watched my characters change between drafts, but I’ve also watched them grow through the changes too. Some of that growth will probably never be shown in the actual book, but, I don’t know, there’s just something so special about being with this story so long.

Well, I hope you enjoyed that! XD

Do you let people read your writing? Do you write better at night or in the morning? Or in the afternoon? How/Why did you start writing? Any other questions you feel inclined to answer? ;p Do you remember your first WIP?

Tell me in the comments! 😀


8 thoughts on “Beautiful People: Author Edition”

  1. “Sort of accidentally” started the dunking party. Suuurrree, Jen. Sure. So accidental. 😉 And half of the thirty new girls are probably thanks to you!

    Ooh, I’ve been writing since 2015, too, though mine is a much sadder reason. Well, super late 2015. My writing origins probably don’t technically begin ’til 2016, but eh. I love how your brother was so instrumental! Siblings can be both blessings and curses when it comes to us writing. My sister is my alpha reader – after I’ve written and rewritten and edited and reedited. She’s had valuable insight when she’d not bemoaning how awful I am to my characters. XD I don’t even let my parents read my work until Lil’ Sis has gone through it. KDWC was the first time anyone outside my family has read anything I wrote.

    Ugh. Placing our babies before the eyes of others is so nerve-wracking. You read how reticent I was putting up the beginning of my Hope story. But, girl, you shouldn’t be nervous at all! Your writing is awesome and your worlds, characters, and their adventures sound equally awesome! I want more. I demand more.

    My first WIP is a nightmare. The basis for a good series, I think, but not one I’m ready to tackle yet. It’s frightening in every way. Yours sounds coherent, at least!

    Loved this, Jen! Keep writing, keep feeding us snippets (aren’t I a demanding reader), and when you do get to that publishing point, I’ll help spread the word any way I can.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. *is finally back to answer more comments after 2 months* >.> *hides*

      Haha! Um yeah, it was totally accidental. All I told them was someone was bored and needed camp livened up. *shrugs* I don’t recall telling them to start a dunking party. *angel face* Aww, I was just so happy to get more people to come. ^_^ Here’s hoping we can get even more next camp!!

      Awesome! *highfives* But aw, a sad reason? *hugs* Thank you! And yes, they can very much be a blessing or an annoyance when writing. XD That’s so sweet! I’m so glad she’s such a help to you. ❤ That's so awesome you felt comfortable sharing with people outside your family in KDWC! I'm so proud of you for sharing it! And I loved the piece you shared!!

      Oh my word, yes!! Awwww! Okay, you're gonna make me cry!! ^_^ Hopefully I can deliver more soon. 😀

      Oy vey, actually, I'm the same way. XD My only sounds coherent now because it's already been through roughly 5 or 10 rewrites before even reaching the end of a first completed rough draft. Eheh… there's actually several plotholes I need to fix now that I think of it… XD

      Thank you so much, Madi! Yeah, I didn't do so good on sharing more snippets over the past 2 months but hopefully that can change soon! Awww, I am speechless, thank you so much!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I still think it’s the SWEETEST that you first started writing because your brother asked you to write your own story. Such a precious writing origin! ❤ But, oh man, baby writing Christine also was SO unaware of how publishing actually works. It was definitely a wake up call discovering the ins and outs of publishing, but I think the fact that we're still at it, no matter the obstacles, is proof we're doing something we really, truly love and are meant to do!

    YES TO CHARACTERS. Definitely the most delightful aspect of writing. And frustrating. It's like having dozens of children who all want to do their own thing and won't just COOPERATE. but we love them anyway. XD Yep, yep!

    OOOOoooOOhhhh. What is this about KDWC creating an anthology? :O AAAHHHHH! SO COOL!!! I can't wait to hear more!

    It is so, so hard to share your work with others. But I've also discovered it can be really encouraging. There are ALWAYS people out there who will love your stories. Even when we get rejected, that doesn't mean our work is bad. It just means, well, art is subjective! Some people won't like it. But, again, many, many people will. And that is a true comfort. ❤ (And pst. I ADORE WHAT I'VE READ FROM YOU AND YOUR STORY IDEAS. <3333)

    I love your dedication to A Quest for a Cure! That's really beautiful that you're still giving it the attention it deserves and continuing to find just the right way to write it. It's wonderful finding those true story's of our heart, and it's always worth pushing through to get them to where we want them to be. ^_^

    This was such a delight to read! Keep writing those epic words, Jen. The world needs your stories!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I really liked your answer on the endings. I prefer bittersweet endings myself. When I was younger, I wanted nothing but a happy ending, but I think bittersweet appeals more to me now because I’ve learned that’s how life really is. *realizing I may sound a bit depressing* XD I’m not trying to be, I promise. I think you’re absolutely right that the best endings are hopeful! That’s definitely what I want to convey in my stories.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ooh, wonderful post! I thoroughly enjoyed it. 🙂 I don’t like to let people read my writing either, but sometimes you just have to take the leap. It has turned out okay in 90% of the cases. xD I write much better at night because there are fewer distractions, too! My brain gets strangely active at nighttime too…don’t know what that’s about. x)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Awwww, I LOVED this post!!!! And GIRL, that’s SOOO sweet how you started writing because of your brother!! (Being someone who’s always wanted a brother, I get *slightly* emotional when I hear stories like that!) XD Oooh, YES!! I love letting people read my work and getting feedback (even though it can be pretty nerve wracking…) XD As for what time I write best? Hehehehehe, how ’bout whenever I get the chance??? XD I usually write at anytime in the summer, but when school starts I’m usually only able to write in the afternoon or evenings (or just on the weekends). I’ve always kinda been dabbling with writing, but I only got more serious about it late last year. (You can ask Issabelle for the whole story…she jokes that she’s the one who started it all.) XPP Aaaand, I honestly can’t remember my first WIP… *racks brain* A few years ago I wrote a couple short stories (*shudders* which, trust me, the world is better off with them tucked away never to be seen) XD and stuff just for fun, so I guess that would be it. (Although, I like to think the novel I’m writing right now is my first “official” WIP.) XD

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I loved your writing story Jen! And I’m sure I would love your other stories too if I was given the chance to read them 😉 I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was in first grade, when I obsessed with this book series called Magic Treehouse and I basically decided that one day I would write something amazing as the book I was reading. I would also get this really happy feeling whenever I read a book, and I wanted to give other people that feeling. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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