What led you into the writing life? Were
you always a storyteller?
is long story, but I’ll keep it brief. I loved books as a kid even before I
could read. If you’d have asked me at eight years old what I wanted to be I
would have told you an author. I had written and illustrated and stapled
together my very first story about a missing cat who finds a home. I even had
an author’s portrait drawn on the back. But life happened and the dream was
swept under a rug and forgotten for many years. I continued to write in my
journal to express myself, and in a way writing became my lifeline. Then in 2003,
I was reading through the parable of the talents, and God asked me: What are
you doing with what I gave you? And I was like: What did you give me? And the
word writing formed in my mind’s eye. So I started putting one foot in front of
the other, and my dream was rebirthed.
Tell us a
little about your new short story, Desert Rose. How long have you been working on it? Is it part of a bigger project?
Jennette: Desert Rose is a story of a young woman who lives
in the shadow of her beautiful sister until a foreign king notices her, but in
her haste to prove herself worthy of affection she finds herself compromised
and on a difficult journey to make things right. Her story is set in the world
of Nälu thirty years before the first book of my fantasy trilogy. I’ve been
working on it for about three months: writing, exchanging critiques, polishing
it, submitting it, and then polishing it some more.
Can you pick
a favorite character from this new story?
She is naïve and makes mistakes, but she is determined to do what she thinks is
your work? Where do you turn when you need a renewal of inspiration?
Jenntte: Life. Anything and everything. I’ll see or hear
something, and an idea will spark. Movies and books inspire me too. I love
going outside and letting my thoughts to wander, but often times it’s while I’m
washing dishes or folding laundry. Ha! Not sure about the renewing my
inspiration yet. At the root of everything, my writing, my life, parenting,
etc, is my philosophy: seek God first, and everything else will fall into
place. So, I think my “renewal of inspiration” flows from that as well. I’m
are your favorite and least favorite parts of the writing process?
love almost every aspect of the writing process from the birth of an idea, to
brainstorming, to writing it, to editing it. I think the least favorite part
would be the battles I have to fight in my mind that hinder me from being
productive. Sometimes the alone aspect comes into a close second as a least
favorite. When I’ve stumble upon a problem in my story, I wish I had a clone,
so I could bounce ideas off and discuss the possible solutions.
If you were
forced to pick a single favorite author, who would it be?
this isn’t a fair question. Would it be improper to say Anne Elisabeth Stengl?
I love the Harry Potter novels. J. K. Rowling’s creativity, red herrings, the
interwoven plots amaze me and challenge me to think outside the box. Nothing
really topped them, until I discovered the Tales of Goldstone Wood with the
creativity, the interwoven plots, the allegory. And I was like: this is
published by Bethany House?! Awesome! (*grin* Thank you, Jennette!)
what is next on your publishing horizons? Can we look forward to more fiction
from you soon
I am so excited to announce that Secrets Kept, book one of the Hidden Dagger
Trilogy has been contracted. Eek! There will be other short stories coming as
well between now and when the book is published.
(Huge round of applause for Jennette, everybody!!!)
are you actively writing right now?
now, I am writing another short story set in the world of Nälu, but this time it
has to do with the merpeople and dragons.
share a short snippet from Desert Rose?
I hope you all enjoy it.
Shades of night slipped between the trees. Her
knees ached, and her feet began to tingle, so she repositioned herself and sat
cross-legged. The hair on the back of her neck stood up, and she shivered. She
wrapped her arms around her belly. She should return to the keep, yet she
Johari’s abdomen tightened. She exhaled
through her nose. She couldn’t leave now. It was too late. She opened her eyes,
but her vision darkened. The trees beyond her disappeared into a black abyss.
Branches like grey spider webs stretched above her, crisscrossing against the
starlit sky. Had it grown so dark so quickly? She blinked her eyes. Why
couldn’t she see?
A shadow broke from the abyss and slid
Johari focused on the gliding form, but
it wavered like a mirage. An icy chill encompassed her; her breath slipped
through her lips in a fog. Johari shivered.
“No moon tonight, but the stars are
bright,” the woman said.
Johari sniffed the air, but the woman had no
scent. “Who are you?”
“I am nothing to you, but everything. I
am a priestess of the Nuja.” She came closer, cloaked in tattered shadows,
weaving on her feet.
“Are you drunk?”
“Nay.” She pointed to the heavens.
Ribbons of blood dribbled down her pale arm. “The stars are bright tonight.”
“Yes, so you have said.” Johari glanced
around. Why had she run out here beyond the protection of the king? She eyed
the woman’s arm. “Are you hurt?”
“Death is written in the stars.” She
lowered her arm.
“Death is a constant. I do not need a
star to tell me that.”
“Silence.” She lurched forward. “The
underworld groans as a woman in labor. It hungers for the death of this child.
The queen will have her way.”
contraction seized Johari. She grasped the tree roots. Not now. Not here.
What a thrilling excerpt!!! I hope all of you readers are as excited to read this story as I am now.
And guess what? Jennette's publishers are also excited for you to read it, and they are offering such a generous deal. Anyone who leaves a comment on this post can email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and receive a coupon to download Desert Rose FOR FREE! That's right! Just leave a comment, email me, and I will send you the coupon and link you need in order to claim your free copy of this exciting new fantasy!
There is also a fun Grand Prize giveaeway for one lucky winner. Be sure to enter your name below for a chance to win goody prize packet, including the beautiful metal bookmark pictured below, a signed copy of The Clockwork Dragon anthology, and other exciting novels from AltWit Press.
And to you bloggers out there: Share this bookcover and description, and consider inviting Jennette to come do an interview on your blog!