Oct 3, 2013

Posted by in Interviews | 23 Comments

Authors Asking Authors – Jenn Bennett

This week’s author always makes me giggle.  Not only in her books but on twitter and via email too.  She has the best sense of humor and I just adore her snark!  And not only is she a very talented author but she is also a talented visual artist.  This week let’s welcome Jenn Bennett as she answers the Authors Asking Authors questions.

jennbennettDo 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

For a while, I couldn’t write unless I’d plotted an entire book from beginning to end. It took me couple books to realize that most of my original plotting never made it to the page. Because until I’d written some Word Meat* (*technical term) on the manuscript, I didn’t know the hero would be motivated by X, or I didn’t see X twist coming, etc. Now I plot the first few chapters at the beginning, have a general idea about how I want it to end, and the rest is discovery.

Do you have critique partners, beta readers, or even people you run early ideas by? What is your system for that?  –  Carolyn Crane

I run all my early (and late) ideas by my husband. I know, I know. The Writer’s Rulebook (which isn’t in print, exactly, but rather was brought to life by the sage and sometimes misguided collective advice of Writers Who Came Before You) says your spouse can’t be truly critical, and that only another writer can be a proper critique partner. But my husband is a copy writer, well read, and pretty smart, so there you go. Betas: I’ve used them on occasion.

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

Who submitted this question? It’s “stumbled upon,” not “stumbled on.” What a loser.

bindingtheshadowssmallerIf 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

When I divide how much I money I average a year by how many hours I year I put into writing, I make less than minimum wage. I imagine most midlist writers do. So stop saying that we wrote that cliff-hanger to stretch out the series for more cash. It’s like accusing a McDonald’s manager of being a greedy pig for collecting an extra twenty bucks because she worked overtime on Thanksgiving when one of her drive-thru employees didn’t show.

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 rarely spend money on myself. I think my husband took me out for sushi when I sold Arcadia Bell—and again when I sold the Roaring Twenties series. I keep telling myself that the next advance I get, I’m buying a new desk, a computer that wasn’t manufactured in 2005, and a comfortable desk chair. Maybe after the next book…

If you could go back and rewrite/change any aspect of your main character, would you?  –  Amanda Bonilla

I would’ve given Cady more agency in the first book, and I would’ve allowed her to be more romantic with Lon in the second book. I don’t think I hit my stride with Cady until book three.

bitterspiritsWhat book do you wish that you had written?  –  Jennifer Estep

THE NIGHT CIRCUS (Erin Morgenstern).

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

Drinking tea with Lon on his back patio while gazing over the cliffs at the Pacific Ocean. Either that, or having crazy, horns-out demonic sex with him. Or both: sex first, tea later.

Bonus Question!  What’s the most unusual place you’ve ever been recognized as an author or talked with someone about your books?

Last year I spotted someone reading an Arcadia Bell book on a plane. She was shy, and I think I scared her into silence with my enthusiasm—“That’s my book! I wrote that!”—though I somehow refrained from lunging across the aisle to hug her. I can’t promise that level of professional control if it happens again, so fair warning: you WILL be hugged if I catch you reading one of my books.

Giveaway time!  Jenn Bennet has a new book coming out.  A first in a shiny new series.  The title is Bitter Spirits and it’s hitting shelves January 7th 2014.  By leaving a comment below, you will be entering to win an EARLY COPY!  Jenn will mail out a copy to the winner as soon as she gets it (most likely December).  Giveaway open Canada / US and you have until Monday October 7th 2013 11:59pm EST to leave your comment to be considered for the giveaway.  Good luck to all commenters and a big THANKS to Jenn for the giveaway prize!

  1. I love this feature and I’m a big fan of Jenn’s Arcadia Bell series. Thanks so much for the giveaway! And Jenn, update that computer!

  2. Vicki Webster says:

    I love Cady and the gang and I’m looking forward to the new series. Feel free to hug me if you see me on a plane. I will probably be reading one of your books on my smart*ss phone since that’s the reason I got the thing.

  3. Texas Book Lover says:

    LOL! I love that you are correcting your own question!

  4. Even funnier than the “stumbled upon” error is “copy writer” instead of copywriter—which my husband would’ve caught if he’d proofread this guest post! Ha!

  5. Love, love, love the Arcadia Bell series. Cliff hanger, no cliffhanger, don’t care…just keep ’em coming!!!!

  6. Northwoman says:

    I love this series of Authors asking Authors. Thanks for the great info and the giveaway opportunity.

  7. I laughed out loud at the stumbled upon comment! Too funny! And I agree with Lee – you need to update that computer!

  8. Readsalot81 says:

    What a cool feature Julie 🙂 Can’t wait for Jenn’s book, Bitter Spirits. I begged my blogmate to forward me her book if we happen to get an arc or finished copy. But I will still throw my hat in the ring here! 😉

    Have a question for Jenn.

    If you could go back to your early writer self now that you have a few pubbed books under your belt, what advice or knowledge would give to your former self? (Like what do you know now, that you didn’t know back then?)

  9. I love this feature so much I’m eagerly looking for Thursdays.
    Love Jenn’s answers, love that she corrected herself not once but twice (comment). I agree with previous commenters, Jenn, you need to treat yourself with a new computer, something fast and slick, you deserve it. 😉

  10. These are so fun, I love them. I can’t wait to read the new series. And I’ve totally jumped authors before, so I can hardly blame someone for jumping a reader.

  11. The more I see about Bitter Spirits the better it sounds. looking forward to this one. But I’m really in a hurry get Cady out of the spot we left her in. That was really not cool Jenn!

  12. @BookaholicCat, Rebe, and Lee: When I make my next sale, I will definitely buy a new computer! (*pets old computer*)

    @Michele: Thank you!

    @Vicki Webster: Aww! I will hug you like you’ve never been hugged before!

    @Readsalot: What advice would I give my early writer self? I’d tell that Jenn to start writing Twilight fanfic with loads of kinky sex. If I’d done that, I’d be relaxing on a beach somewhere right now! No, but in all seriousness, I think I’d tell myself to slow down. Publishing can make you feel like you’re in a mad race against time to strike while the iron’s hot. And though that’s true if you’re chasing a trend, if you’re not, you’ve got time. Polish. Read outside your genre. Learn. Practice. Don’t just put up the first draft.

    @Amber D: You say that now… 😉

    @Margaret: Glad Bitter Spirits is sounding better to you! (To be honest, I like the Roaring Twenties series as much as Arcadia, if not more.) And I know I left Cady in a bad spot, but I have decided to post the first chapter of Cady #4 (which is cut out of the final version) before the book comes out. It pretty much picks up right where book #3 ended. So keep an eye on my blog over the next few months.

  13. So looking forward to Bitter Spirits. Absolutely love the Arcadia series and have inroduced it to my Urban Fantsay reading group. Keep up the good work. Thanks for the wonderful reads

  14. I love Jenn’s books!!! So excited to hear that there is a new series 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  15. Barbara Elness says:

    I love the Arcadia Bell series and am looking forward to the next one. I also can’t wait for Bitter Spirits, I know I’m going to love it.

  16. Jenn, one of these days, I may run into you in a tiki bar in the Bay Area and you are welcome to hug me anytime. I can’t wait to read Bitter Spirits. Paranormal, San Francisco, and the Roaring 20’s, I know it’s going to be great.

  17. Sadly, not entering the contest, but I do love Jenn’s books sofar, and look forward to the new series. But not as much as the next Cady book thanks to that ending!

  18. I am looking forward to the new series.

  19. Oh what a wonderful idea to do an interview that way. thank you so much for sharing!

  20. Ever since Jenn took the time to let me know I had made a blog blunder, I have been even more of a fan than I was before. She has a such a great way of bringing her characters to life. I read her books over and over and over (and now that I know more about her I like her characters even more) I enjoy how she shares snippets of her life, procedure and books with us. She is a “real” person and an amazing one as well. I would only count myself lucky to be on the receiving end of a hug from her. Keep up the great work! (Yep, I never win anything but winning a book from Jenn would be the icing on my (red velvet)cake.)

  21. Tea & demonic sex, I’m in! Really looking forward to Bitter Spirits.

  22. Sounds awesome, count me in!

  23. Stephanie F. says:

    This feature is great. I love the questions and learning about all my favorite authors. I love the Arcadia Bell series, it’s fantastic. The ending of the last book, ahh. I can’t wait to read this new series. It’s so interesting and unique. And that cover is beautiful.
    Thank you for the fantastic giveaway.

    fsteph55(at)yahoo(dot)com

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