Today I welcome Jennifer Malone Wright to the blog! She is here to promote her new book and share her publishing and editing wisdom with all of you. She's also raffling off one of her books! (see bottom of post for details)
About the Author:
Jennifer resides in the beautiful mountains of northern Idaho with her husband and five children. Between the craziness of taking care of her children, whose ages range from fifteen all the way down to one year, and being a homemaker, Jennifer has little time left for herself. The time she does have left, usually leading far into the night, is spent working on freelance work or her beloved fiction. When she grew up, Jennifer always had her nose in a book. She has been writing stories and poems since grade school. This love of the written word and her strong interest in the paranormal is what has led to her first novel "The Birth of Jaiden," and her new series "The Vampire Hunter's Daughter."
I always like to start with a little background, where were you born?
I was born in Napa, California! The wine country! I now live in Northern Idaho, but I miss CA sometimes, but not often. Mostly just during the winter.
How old were you when you realized you wanted to be a writer?
I was young, in grade school. I began writing poetry and stories in grade school. I loved to read and I pretty much knew all along that was what I wanted to do with my life.
How long does it take you to write a book? What is the average word count?
It actually takes me a while to write. Which is why I started the short story series. I have five kids, a hubby, a house, and tons of other crap to do, so it takes me a long time to write a full-length novel. But, the short story series compiled took about a year and it’s about 72,000 words, my other novel is about 80,000 words and it took me several years to finish.
Do you have a critique partner(s)?
I do have a select few people who I trust to do critique for me.
Do you ever use beta readers?
I do, I am a big believer in beta readers. They can really help catch editing mistakes, grammar, and story development as well as character development. I love having beta readers.
Did you hire a professional freelance editor before submitting to agents or editors (or self-publishing)?
I am a huge, HUGE, supporter of the “Don’t self-edit” rule. I use Accentuate Author Services for my editing. I find it risky to hire a freelance editor now. I did this and ended up 900 dollars shorter with a book full of mistakes and typos. If you want to hire freelance editor, there are tons of them out there. Just make sure to actually read something they have edited before you decide to go with them for sure. And always, always, read it after you get it back, and have the beta readers give it a read for a final once over.
What was one of the most shocking things you learned during on your journey to self-publication?
One of the most shocking things I learned was just how many other authors are actually out there trying to do the same thing. I knew there was a lot, but there is really A LOT.
Tell us about your book. How was your story birthed?
This story came along simply from this idea that I had for a story about a woman who was a teacher by day and a vampire hunter by night. Well, I started writing it and realized she needed a backstory. I got so into writing the backstory that The Vampire Hunter’s Daughter was born.
Who came up with your book title? Was it the original title or did it change along the way?
The title took a few times to come up with. We tried to think of something fitting for the book, but nothing was right. Then, my friend Rose and I decided we liked “The Vampire Hunter’s Daughter” the most, and now, I couldn’t ever see it with a different title.
What's your secret to crafting characters?
My characters begin as a person in my head who won’t stop bugging me. Then, I do character profiles to help round them out. But, normally as I write, the characters show me parts of themselves I didn’t know about, so really, they sort of tell me about themselves.
How do you come up with your character's names?
Names for me are very important. I like them to mean something. Like, Chloe means ‘green shoot’ in ancient Greek and Chloe is descended from the people of Greece. At the same time, I named Alice, that particular name because to me, it sounds like an innocent name, a naive name and Alice is those things.
Names are a big deal in my writing.
Which is more difficult to write: dialogue or action (or a love scene)?
I think the love scenes are harder to write, even though I don’t really have any in The Vampire Hunter’s Daughter, I have written them for other stuff. For me dialogue and action come a lot easier. I think this is because I write it like I would see a movie.
How do your family and/or friends feel about your book or writing venture in general?
My husband has always been supportive. Even when we never really thought I would ever do anything with my books, he was just as supportive as now. Everyone else just assumed it would always be a hobby, I think. LOL But now, they are all very proud of me.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in any of your books?
Yes, and I’m changing it now. We are re-editing The Birth of Jaiden, adding a little bit of content and changing the cover. It was my first book published and I admit to being in a hurry and not realizing that there were a lot of things I should have changed, fixed or done with the book before letting it out into the world. It is with the editor as we speak.
Who is your favorite author and what really excites you about their work?
I have a lot of favorite authors…a lot, but if I had to choose just one for this question, I’m going to go with the older stuff, Anne Rice. Anne Rice always makes me feel a certain way when I read her books. It isn’t really something I can describe, but I feel…away, when I read her work. That is something that excites me about her books.
Tell us a little about your next book.
Right now, I am working on several different things. I am working on The Arcadia Falls Chronicles, which is the continuation of The Vampire Hunter’s Daughter. Also, I am working on The Rise of Jaiden, which is the second book in that series.
Fun Bonus Questions
What are you currently reading?
The Black Dagger Brother Brotherhood
What’s your favorite movie or TV show?
Once upon a Time, Grimm, Game of Thrones, True Blood, The Walking Dead and so many more.
Rejection letters – save ‘em or toss ‘em?
Don’t have any but I say toss em.
Laptop or desktop?
Who is your fictional character crush? (movie, TV show, fiction)
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
The ability to heal other people.
Fourteen-year-old Chloe witnesses her mother’s murder at the hands of a vampire. Before the vampire can kidnap her, there is an unexpected rescue by a group of vampire hunters. Overwhelmed by the feeling of safety, Chloe passes out and they whisk her away to their small community.
When Chloe wakes, she comes face to face with the only other living relative, besides her mother, whom she has ever met: her grandfather. Chloe’s mother kept her hidden from the family; now, Chloe tries to unveil the family secrets.
Through her grandfather, she learns her mother was a vampire hunter. In fact, her entire family is descended from the powerful bloodlines of vampire hunters. Chloe agrees to join the family she has never known for one reason only: Chloe vows to kill the vampire responsible for her mother’s murder.
With vengeance in her soul, Chloe is even more determined to follow through on her vow when she discovers the true identity of her enemy and how he is connected to her...
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