Monday, January 19, 2015

Feature: J.F. Jenkins, author of Displaced


Chevelle Donahue thought going into work would be just like any other boring day at the mall. Sure, there was her annoying co-worker Wicken Sanders, and a promotional visit from teen heartthrob Timber Hudson, to watch and keep her entertained. But who was she kidding? Working retail was lame no matter what happened. 

A terrorist attack changes everything - an attack from aliens of all things. The patrons are given two options: comply or else. Complying means giving in to a new set of rules and changing her entire life. "Or else" means she has no chance of going home again. 

She must figure out the truth behind why the aliens are holding everyone hostage. In doing so, she risks her chance at freedom - but by the time she learns what's really happening, she might not want it.



What inspired you to write this book?

So one day, a certain hunky teen heartthrob actor came to my local mall for an appearance. There were 7000 some screaming fans there to greet him, and I can say that he and I made eye contact for three glorious seconds and he waved at ME (and I know it was me because I was up on the top floor, looking down. He looked up. I waved. He waved back. Everyone else around me was hyperventilating).
As I looked back on the experience, I took my time of working at the mall, remembered that moment in time, and thought about what would have happened if SOMETHING happened during that event. Terrorist attack, mega storm, so on so forth. The terrorist attack seemed the most interesting to me, but since my brain doesn't work like a normal person's, it decided to make the terrorist attack and alien invasion.
And that was the start of “Displaced”.
How did you choose your title?

I'm not sure how it came about. It just kind of happened. My titles just seem to magically appear over time.
Did you self-publish or publish traditionally and why?

At the moment it is self published, has been pitched to be traditionally published, and I'm just playing the wait and see game. I self published because I wanted to try something different than what I usually do, and to have more control over my story.
What do you consider the most important part of a good story?

Engaging character relationships, whether romantic or otherwise. It's the characters we root for more so than anything that actually happens in the plot. And how they relate to each other is important. If it doesn't feel natural, it's far from an enjoyable reading experience.
What is your writing process?

I get an idea, I work on it for a few months. If it is finished, then I move on to the next step and start editing and rereading. If it's not finished, then I set it aside and come back to it later.
How long have you been writing?

I'd say since I was 13ish. A long time. :)
How did you get started writing?

Fanfic. I've never tried to publish any of it, but I enjoyed dabbling in other worlds.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Pantser, definitely. When I try to plot too much it comes out clunky.
What part of the writing process is the hardest for you?

Trying to stay focused.
What tips can you give on how to get through writers block?

Just keep writing. If you wait for inspiration to come back, it's never going to come. It'll come back once you are free from the scene/thing blocking you and the best way to do that is push through it. You can fix it later.
Who is your favorite author?

Stephen King. I don't read horror, but I enjoy his style all the same from what I have read. But I just love him in general because of his attitude.
What is your favorite book?

The Stand. The only 1000 page novel I've been able to read in like a week because it was so gripping.
Read anything good lately?

The Night Circus. Check it out. It's incredible.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I play a lot of video games. They're incredibly engaging and inspiring and give me the same kind of creative satisfaction as reading does. Stories unfold as you progress.
What advice would you give an author just starting out?

Just keep doing it and don't worry about how your story feels. It'll get better with editing and everything else. Just write.
Have you had anything else published?

I've got about 20 some books published. Most are Sci-fi, fantasy, urban fantasy, or some kind of combination of those kinds of genres.
What's your next project?

Currently, I'm working on a science fiction story that is about clones. The first novel in this series should be releasing August of this year, and there's a short of it coming out in February (assuming everything is on schedule of course). If you like “Orphan Black” then you'll enjoy this.

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