This week’s author interview is with fellow NBP author Jennifer Brown!
SJ: Every writer has some sort of process. Give us a glimpse into yours. Do you meticulously outline? Do you write depending on what calls are out there?
JB: School made me detest outlines. When I get an idea I just start writing, to see where it takes me. Things in the storyline usually end up changing even from the direction I see it going, but I always try to follow it through. It’s always fun to see where the characters end up taking you.
SJ: Are you a meticulous planner or do you believe in the muse? Where do your ideas come from? Do they filter in through your dreams? Do they show up at inopportune times and whap you upside the head? Do they result in a shady deal with a dark power?
JB: Ideas seem to come to me out of nowhere. At least the best ones do. I am always looking for new ideas but sometimes it seems like they like to come to you when they are ready and when you aren’t even looking.
SJ: What’s the book/story that’s closest to your heart? Is there a piece that you clearly feel is a piece of you? Do you play favorites?
JB: I really love All She Ever Wanted by Barb Freethy. It contains every aspect of a storyline I love, a mysterious death, lost memories, and a book written by an elusive author that mirrors a troubling past.
SJ: What’s your biggest frustration as a writer? What do you consider the downside, or is there one? Is there any cliché that makes you want to wring people’s necks?
JB: I love just about every aspect of writing, especially when the ideas are coming at a smooth flow. My biggest frustration is feeling like I am in an unpopular genre. Suspense seems to have taken a major backseat to every other genre. It seems like unless a book has a zombie, vampire, or witch in it, no one is interested.
SJ: If you had to be stuck in one of your own books/stories for the rest of your life, what would it be and why? If you had to stick a loved one in one of your own books, what would it be and why? An enemy?
JB: I think it would be cool to be stuck in Springwood, where In Jen’s Words takes place. I’ve enjoyed writing about the city and the characters so much, I can only imagine how much fun it would be to live there. I’d also love to see how I get along with Jacob Barnes, the oldest Barnes sibling who runs for mayor.
SJ: Do you think it’s possible to develop a sure-fire recipe/formula for success as a writer? Would you want to, or does that compromise the art or the fun of it?
JB: The only sure fire formula is to keep hard at work with promoting it. There is no guarantee of success but without the drive and determination, you’ll definitely go nowhere.
SJ: Everyone has words of wisdom for young writers, so I’m not going to ask you about that. With a few unknown writers becoming success stories, a lot of people seem to think it’s an easy career choice. What would your words of wisdom be to these people?
JB: There is a lot of work involved in becoming a successful writer. It’s not easy at all, but when it is a heart consuming passion it is worth it to stick with it in the long run.
SJ: It seems like everyone likes to gang up on certain genres as being inferior, less meaningful, or cheap entertainment (especially if it’s speculative in nature). Make a case for the genre you write.
JB: I like to write realistic fiction. With my work, I try to be different, engaging, and shock the reader. A storyline in my genre will also keep you thinking, leaving you in anticipation until the very last page. Suspense is the genre for you if you like being kept on the edge of your seat, as well as being shocked by unique twists.
- What do you want people to instantly think of when they hear your name or your work mentioned?
- JB: Hopefully in time they will remember the character who drives my suspense series, Tammy. She is the alter-personality of Jen Barnes who introduces herself to the world via Jacob Barnes’s campaign website. She has so many secrets that are yet to be revealed to the world, and I can’t wait to write about them.
- Please tell us about your latest/favorite work or a little bit about what you’re working on right now. It’s plug time, so go for it!
- JB: Right now I am working on the third book in my suspense series, as well as a story for an anthology my publisher is putting out near Christmas. The second In Jen’s Words book is also due out this year.
In Jen’s Words blurb
Jennifer and Justin Barnes have been raised by their older brother Jacob since they were teenagers…little did Jacob know, he was raising a third personality as well.
The Barnes have been through it all. The loss of their parents in a car crash, rape, and incarceration. But nothing could prepare them for what they are about to deal with.
When Jacob decides to run for mayor of Springwood, Ohio someone else decides to haunt him and his family, using his younger sister’s alter personality as leverage in their game.
After Jen’s mental disorder is made public, the first of many shocking revelations are made, including who her biological father really is. She is ordered into custody in the mental health wing of Springwood Memorial as a case is built against her for the murder of Davis Cauley, a former local news anchor.
Jacob gets his sister released in time for the holidays, only for another murder to occur. The body of Brenda Sowers, Davis Cauley’s sister is found in MercyPark, the same area where her brother was found—in a storage shed, with hedge clippers in his back, and Jen across from him with no memory of what happened.
More incriminating evidence links Jen to Brenda’s murder, as Black Friday looms. The big weekend draws Jacob to the mall, where he’s in for another surprise. A photo of his brother sent to his phone reveals another huge secret, involving all of Springwood.
As the Barnes recover from what has been a very turbulent Fall, other secrets are lurking and waiting to be revealed as a family faces a trial of issues to come.
To learn more about Jennifer Brown and her work, please check out her website: www.jenniferbrownauthor.weebly.com