Monday, July 4, 2016

Author Interview: Jenna Whittaker, author of Watership

My name is Jenna Whittaker and I am an Australian author who has been writing fantasy, science fiction, and horror novels for as long as I can remember! I have self-published 2 novels--1 science fiction and 1 fantasy, have finished the first draft of a 3rd, a dystopian fantasy (to edit and then publish later this year) and finally am currently writing the first draft of a 4th, another fantasy, about half-way done.

Check out my author blog:

1.                   Tell me about your fantasy books and where did you get the ideas for the books?
I have two novels that are published--one is fantasy, and one is science fiction. Both of these novels’ inspiration came from my dreams! I have a word document of everything that inspires me, and collect up a bunch of ideas that seem to fit together…put it in another word document and start the story!
My fantasy novel is the first one I ever wrote and finished, and is a tale of a world with a dimension of the gods, a man who is born in that dimension and sent to earth, a genetically engineered machine from the future that wishes to destroy his world, and more!
My science fiction novel is my second one, and tells of the last survivors of the human race, hiding inside the hollow earth, watched over by Crawlers--and eventually sent out into space to find a new world.

2.                   Did you have any goals for this collection when you wrote it — to get published, or just to finish, etc.?
I have always written because I love it, and because I think my brain would explode with ideas if I didn’t get them down! The feeling of accomplishment of having finished a novel was all that my goal ever was, but being published--even self-published--is even better.

3.                   What authors do you like to read? What book or books have had a strong influence on you or your writing?
I have a huge collection of fantasy (and some sci fi) novels, and I have always read them ever since I was young. I think that is what influenced me to start writing; first with cliché fantasy, and finally developing my own author’s voice and style into something unique!

4.                   Could you describe the mundane details of writing: How many hours a day to you devote to writing? Do you write a draft on paper or at a keyboard (typewriter or computer)?
I use my laptop and Microsoft Word--I don’t use anything fancy. Doing it by hand would probably kill me, though printing out a completed first draft and editing it in hard copy--heck, seeing the pages there, in real life, of what I’ve written is amazing enough--is useful. I have a goal of about 600-800 words per day on a draft, and that usually takes me about 30-60 minutes. It’s not long, but I find if I push myself to keep going, it slowly gets less fun and more like toil, with the words coming with more difficulty and eventually not really looking forward to it at all. I’m not writing as a job, I’m writing because I enjoy it!

5.                   What’s more important: characters or plot?
Both. I start with a plot and I fill it with characters that fit, but others do it the other way around. Honestly, a unique and fascinating plot goes hand-in-hand with well-written characters. If one of those aspects falls flat, so does the novel.

6.                   If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it?
Probably: ‘Why the Hell are You Reading This? Lady Didn’t Do Much Interesting’ with a subtitle of ‘You nosy bastard’. Yup, I think that’s perfect!

7.                   Have you ever jumped out of a plane? If not, would you?
I have! I wanted to for years, but I finally did it for my 18th birthday. It was amazing. I’ve always been a bit of a thrill seeker in some ways, and the complete opposite in others! I’ll go skydiving or abseiling off a cliff, but I’ll balk at doing something new in front of people, or public speaking…

8.                   Sing in the rain or dance in the streets?
How about dance in the rain? :D

9.                   Do you scream on roller coasters? Do you lift up your hands?
Nope. I’ve been on a rollercoaster, but I prefer to enjoy the ride, instead of spending the time shrieking! Each to their own.

10.               Tell me about your next project?

Currently I have 2 work-in-progress novels, another fantasy (kind-of sequel to my first fantasy, Dreamscape--same world, set 100 years in the future) and a dystopian fantasy (in an entirely unrelated universe). I finished the first draft of both, have their blurbs and covers ready…just waiting on beta reader feedback, doing my final edits…then I’m publishing them too!

Jenna's latest book is Watership. 

The world was dying, so scientists worked to create a safe haven in the centre of the earth; hollowing it out for the future generations to live safely.

When the creatures created to watch over the people detected the failsafe program had activated, and that their hollow world was about to collapse, they took them to a sentient, biological spaceship, set with the coordinates to take them to a new world.

But with the aliens who helped the scientists in the past having come back to change the course of the ship, things soon spiral out of control.

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