Today we're talking with YA author, J. F. Jenkins. Check out her new release: Legend of the Touched.
1. What do you do when you are not writing?
When I'm not writing, I'm either reading, sleeping, playing a game, or working. Those are the staples of my life. Sometimes I'm going on a random adventure when I can find one in town. Or sometimes I make up my own random adventures!
2. When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I started writing in middle school. Basically it was a bunch of silly but teenage angst ridden fanfic. Over dramatic, but still very entertaining to read when I'm bored. I don't have as many of them as I used to sadly. My first book I wrote around then, and it's sitting and collecting dust until I feel brave enough to work on it again and make it good.
3. Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I do a little bit of both. I have to know at least a little of where I'm going otherwise I get frustrated, then stuck, then quit.
4. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
My books all have a little bit of real life experiences in them. One of my series is set in a town much like the one I grew up in. Some of the teachers even have the same names which I promise was on accident. A few of my characters relationship experiences are based loosely on my own as well. A college professor of mine once said that the best stories are the ones that are already true and the ones that you can't make up. I tend to agree with him there.
5. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
In my latest book that I just finished (and I won't say which because it's a huge spoiler), my main character discovers that one of his future children has come back to the past to help him. Talk about a rather interesting plot twist to have thrown at you.
6. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
I think the hardest ones, are the ones that are the most ridiculous. Like telling people that the only good reviews I have are from my friends and other silly accusations. As for the best compliment? Just anything good is the best to me. It's great to hear that people appreciate and look forward to all of your hard work.
7. How does your writing process look? Consistent with regular amounts of word counts daily/weekly… or more sporadic with a gush of words all at once and then a dry bed for a while?
I like to try and write during the day time, in the afternoon, because that's when I'm most awake and coherent. I also try to write every day and just do a bit at a time. More often than not I can get a draft of my novel written within a month, then I can edit, and figure out my next step from there. If I take too long on writing a book, I lose drive and motivation pretty fast.
8. What sort of Starbuck’s coffee would your characters order? Simple coffee, complicated soy-non-fat-extra-espresso-half-caff-nightmare?
My rich sarcastic boy likes frapacino's. The kind with lots and lots of sugar and whipped cream. Kind of strange but he enjoys the rush. Though most of my characters would say they're too good for Starbucks. They prefer the mom and pop coffee over the corporate sludge. ;)
9. I always like hearing about books other authors read. Or, what books they read when they were kids? What were some inspiring books?
I'm not sure any particular book is one that I would call inspiring. They all are in their own unique way. Each book has something a writer can draw off of and that's why I read everything I can get my hands on. Books I read growing up though were: Animorphs, Sweet Valley High, and anything by Tamora Pierce.
10. When was that point in your life that you realized that being an author was no longer going to be just a dream but a career you were going to turn into reality?
When I had my acceptance letter for my manuscript being taken by a publisher. That was it right there. Once that happened,my dream had been realized.
BIO: J.F. Jenkins lives in Minneapolis Minnesota with her husband, son, and two cats. She graduated from Bethel University in 2006 with a degree in Media Communication with minors in both writing and film. When she is not busy writing, she spends her free time playing games, reading, and spending time with her family.