Authors Asking Authors – Jennifer Estep
Authors Asking Authors starts today! This week, the talented Jennifer Estep is answering the questions asked by other authors…and herself 🙂
Do you have an old writing routine that you used to consider essential (ex: “I can only write if ——-“), that you now don’t need at all? – ML Brennan
Not really. I don’t listen to music or anything when I write, so the only thing I need is some quiet time to myself. That is what seems to work best for me.
Do you have critique partners, beta readers, or even people you run early ideas by? What is your system for that? – Carolyn Crane
I have several folks that I run ideas by, including my significant other and my local book group. Usually, when I get an idea, I’ll start writing a rough draft, or at least a few chapters. Then, as I go along and try to figure things out, I’ll talk to my significant other and book group about it. Sometimes, just talking with them helps me work out a plot point, something in the world building, a character trait, etc.
In reading reviews, have you ever stumbled on any useful insight about your work (punctuation quirks, plot holes, beloved/hated characters, story direction, errors your publisher missed) that changed the way you wrote future books? – Jenn Bennett
Yes and no. By the time reviews come out for a book, I’m usually working on the next book or even two ahead in the series. So it can be hard to go back and change things, especially if you know the plot needs to go in a certain direction.
But it’s always interesting to see what people point out, the characters that they like/dislike, etc. I like writing about food, and I’ve seen a lot of reviews and gotten a lot of reader comments telling me how much they enjoy the food descriptions in my books and how the descriptions can make folks hungry. So whenever I’m writing a new book, I always think about how I can incorporate food into the book in some way. It’s something that’s fun for me to do.
If there was one thing about being an author or about the publishing industry that you’d want readers to know/understand, what would it be? – Kate SeRine
That everything takes time, from writing the book, to working on the copy edits, to reading through the page proofs, etc. Folks can read a book in a few hours, but it takes authors and everyone else involved in the process a lot longer to write and create a book in the first place. Most authors are writing as fast as they can, so please be patient with us. We want readers to have the best books that we can create, and that takes time.
So I think most people will ask about process or inspiration, but I’m a shopping girl at heart. What was the first ‘present’ you bought yourself to celebrate a contract, a big cheque, or a great advance? – Sierra Dean
I haven’t really bought anything big. Usually, when I finish writing a book, I’ll reward myself by buying a couple of books to read for fun. But when my first book came out, my significant other gave me a necklace shaped like a book. So that’s really special to me.
If you could go back and rewrite/change any aspect of your main character, would you? – Amanda Bonilla
I don’t think that there’s anything major that I would change about any of my main characters. But I was at a conference recently, and one author mentioned that she sometimes wishes she could go back and change the names of some of her characters, especially the secondary characters. I agreed with her.
Sometimes, you write a secondary character, and for some reason, that character really resonates with readers, so much so that you might eventually write a story or book about that character. But if that character has an odd name or one that maybe you don’t like all that much, you’re sort of stuck with it. LOL. So I do wish that I could go back and change some of my characters’ names for that and some other reasons too.
What book do you wish that you had written? – Jennifer Estep
Beauty by Robin McKinley, which is a retelling of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale. The writing is so lovely and elegant, and Beauty and the Beast are such great characters.
Have you ever wished you could visit the world your characters live in and, if so, what do you envision yourself doing in that world? Bartender listening to character woes? Valued friend? Frenemy? – Adrian Phoenix
I think it would be cool to visit my characters’ worlds. In all my worlds, I’d probably hang out, eat, and chat with my characters.
In my Elemental Assassin series, I’d go have lunch at the Pork Pit with Gin, Finn, and the rest of the gang. In my Mythos Academy series, I’d go over to Grandma Frost’s house and have dessert with her, Gwen, Vic, and everyone else. In my Bigtime series, I’d head over to Quicke’s restaurant and see if I could guess who all the superheroes and ubervillains really were behind their masks.
Bonus Question! What’s the most unusual place you’ve ever been recognized as an author or talked with someone about your books?
A few years ago, I was in an office supply store, and the clerk saw my name on the receipt. She asked me if I was Jennifer Estep the author. I told her yes. It turned out that she used to work in a bookstore and that she remembered my books. So it was really cool to be recognized like that, especially in a time and place when I least expected it.
Giveaway time! Jennifer is offering a print copy of Heart of Venom, the ninth (and awesome) book in her Elemental Assassin series, to one lucky commenter! Leave your comment below by Monday, September 9th 11:59pm est. Giveaway open Canada / US. Thank you SO much Jennifer for taking part in my feature/event/thingy and for offering this wonderful giveaway prize!
And be sure to check back next Thursday for next week’s featured author!