Interview with author Jenni James
We have a winner in the house! Some authors can not just write very well but also have the originality and the personality to leave their mark on the world (of books). Without doubt, Jenni James ranks in this category. With all she is and stands for, Jenni pours her exuberant, happy self out on the pages and you simply have to smile along with her. What a fun, tongue-in-cheek read Pride and Popularity is but don’t be mistaken by its light and bubbly tone! Here’s a terribly hard-working writer at work, who sets herself very high standards.
Like Jenni, I’m a great admirer of Jane Austen’s books and love to visit her tomb in Winchester Cathedral, UK in the hope that her spirit will rub off on little me as well. Jenni has taken it upon herself to retell Jane’s classic stories for today’s teens in such a way that the age group will simply lap up each and every volume of them.
Watch Jenni’s star rising fast. And oh, how she deserves it. What a talented writer she is!
Where do you live (town, country)? I live in beautiful little town nestled in the mountains, overlooking a sparkling lake near Provo, Utah in the USA. Were you born and bred there? I was born in Phoenix, AZ and lived there for most of my life.
What kind of food do you like? Mexican!! And Portuguese (Azorean!) Are you a good
cook? Yes! I love to cook. How important is food to you? I think cooking is like a science, it’s chemistry—and I love to learn, so I’m constantly experimenting and finding new ways to cook. I prefer as healthy and from scratch as possible.
Do you do any sports? I love to dance and chase my kids around the house. How often? Every single day! What does exercise mean to you? It’s something I should do more of, but never find the time. Any other hobbies? I love to paint, act, sing too.
Do you have kids? Yep 10 kids! If so, please tell us a little about them? 7 are mine and 3 are fostered. My house is brimming with giddy children.
Do you like travelling? Oh, yes! Where do you go then? When I lived in England I toured a lot of Europe and I’ve always wanted to go down under heading to New Zealand and Australia… but, now that I’m closer to home and actually living in the US, we spend all of our travel time visiting family. The kids couldn’t be happier!
Do you have another job apart from writing? Uh, I’m a full time mom! Lol! I have 5 who go to school and 5 babies who are too young and stay here with me. For how many hours? Lol! 24/7 How do you feel about the ‘other’ job? I LOVELOVELOVE it! (Before I started writing I was a professional portrait painter and professional children’s theatre director.—I loved those jobs too. Now I have just enough time for writing, marketing and kids!)
How do your family/friends react to you being a writer? I lost a lot of really good friends through this process, and I guess it’s something all writers have happen to them. It’s sad really. Have their opinions changed since you became a published author? My family has been just happy every step of the way, each new hurdle I overcome they’ve basked in it with me. Which remark from your surroundings has
stuck most with you? Never give up, never surrender!
Would you call yourself a social human being? LOL! YES! I’m much more social than your typical writer… actually, it’s getting me to shut up that’s the hard part! Do you have time for going out and spending time away from the writing desk? Yes. I have to make time, but I do.
Which character trait do you like best about yourself and why? I’m friendly and adapt well to any situation. My positive and I LOVE people! Which trait would you rather do without? I wish I was more organized and remembered everything I need to!
Can you describe the place where you write + the view? When I wrote most my novels I was living in England… I loved to write in my conservatory and listen to the rain hit the roof. *sigh* Now, I write in my upstairs living room on a small couch next to a window where I can see the mountains around me.
Is there something you always need to have near you when you work (beverage, cigarette, mascot, music, quote, etc)? WATER!!! And the phone. Nothing is more annoying than having to go find the phone when I’m in the middle of something. Lol!
What genre(s) do you write in? I’ve written mostly YA romance. I prefer clean, sparkly happy books. But I’ve also written adult romance, Middle Grade and children’s books. How did that develop? Since I never planned on being a writer, I’ve just let each book come to me naturally. When the story comes and doesn’t stop, I know I’m meant to write it and I do.
When was your first book released and how did that make you feel?
Have you published more than one book? Pride & Popularity was originally a self-published ebook, but it was only on the market three weeks before my publisher snatched it up. I have another book that was co-authored, Eternity, it was also briefly put up
for self-published ebook.
Can you tell us some background information on the book? (How did you get the idea, how long did it take you to write and edit it, is it part of a sequel, how does the published book make you feel now?) I’m rewriting and modernizing all the Jane Austen novels for teens in a series. There will be six books altogether. One story is about one sister, one story about a BFF… that sort of thing, there are recurring characters, but all of them are stand-alone books, just as Jane intended. My second book, Northanger Alibi, comes out this fall and the third, Persuaded, will be out next Spring. I started writing the series in 2008, it’s been a long road to get here, but I finally am!
What are your writing habits? (every day, number of words, etc.?) I don’t have any set goals other than finish what I start. Period. I refuse to waste hours of my life on something that I won’t perfect enough to be completed.
Who’s been your biggest inspiration and why? Since when? My biggest writing inspiration is the author Judith A. Lansdowne (My favourite author!) She completely edited the first chapter of Pride & Popularity for me, teaching me how to write! And she encouraged me when I never thought to believe this talent existed in myself.
Who is your agent and/or publishing company? What do they mean to you? I’ve
had an agent, who I LOVED, but has since had twins so is no longer working at
this time. My publishers are honest, amazing people. I find it such a relief to
work with them and I’m really happy they’re the ones to pick up the series! My
publisher is Inkberry Press a division of Walnut Springs.
Where do you see yourself in 5-years’ time? I see myself with older children, maybe a couple more!, still writing. Lol! But the same me. :-)
THANK YOU SO MUCH Awesome Jenni!
Want to get in touch with Jenni or read her books:
http://authorjennijames.com basically has a list of it all, so you can just go there.