Interview With Author Jen Crane
What is your favorite writing and reading genre?
I love fantasy romance and paranormal books, but I read a lot of genres... when I can find the time. My first series, Descended of Dragons, is a new adult fantasy romance. There are shifters and dragons and magic, and the setting is a magical grad school, of sorts.
The book I am currently writing is a young adult ecopocalapyse, and if that's not a thing, I'm making it a thing.
Where and how did you get your idea for your books?
The Descended of Dragons series was inspired after I wondered what would happen if people evolved from all kinds of species, not just apes. This series is the first time I ever attempted to write a book, and I certainly had never tried my hand at world building. Turns out, though, that it’s one of my favorite parts of writing.
For my first book, I wanted to write something that I’d like to read. I have maybe thirty book ideas driving around in my head. Rare Form is the first one I allowed off the exit ramp. It has driven me to new heights, it’s driven me to deeper self reflection and discipline, and it’s driven me to drink. But by the time we reached the end of our journey, this book and I, we were in love. Rare Form is the first in a new adult fantasy romance series with a little something for everyone. It has action and adventure, romance, magic, suspense, whipsmart girl talk….and dragons. I really think you’ll love it.
If a movie or TV show would be created for your books, which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead roles for you books?
Oh, wow. I don't know. I can tell you who inspired me when I wrote the characters in my books, and if you would like to SEE them, you can check out my Pinterest Character Inspiration page here: https://www.pinterest.com/JenCraneBooks/character-inspiration/
The main character, Stella, looks like a young Jessica Chastain. Rowan Gresham, to me, was David Gandy. Ewan Bristol was Jon Snow/Kit Harrington, Stella's BFF Timbra was Gwyneth Paltrow, and the loveable Boone was Tom Hardy. How's that for a cast?
When did you decide to become a writer?
Writing has always been the one thing I loved, and could do fairly well. For several years I served as the press secretary for a member of the U.S. Congress. My skills were honed to take extensive bills and complex topics and reduce them down for public consumption. Writing novels, of course is the exact opposite of that concept, so I worked hard to develop that new skill. It was tough, but I looooove it. And I'm still learning every day.
How did you get your book published? How long did it take for you to get it published?
I self-published these first three books, and I am so glad I did. Self-publishing forces an author to learn absolutely everything they can about the publishing business. I can now feel confident because I am well-educated and made informed decisions. It's tough because an indie author is essentially a small business person--in addition to being an author and working to develop his or her creative side.
Do you ever get writer's Block? If so, which book did you get the worst while writing?
I don't. My writing schedule is Tuesdays and Thursdays, and occasional weekend days as a deadline approaches. I cherish my writing time so much that when I finally have some I work as hard as I can. I save up ideas and thoughts and scribble (type) them down as soon as I'm able.
What is the average time for you to write a book?
The first book took two years because I was learning how to be a writer. The second book took six months, and the third about the same.
For your own reading, do you prefer kindle or paperback books?
I have a crazy family life and hardly ever get time to sit down with a real book. However, I can steal a few moments on the Kindle app on my phone, and I do that as often as I can. I do miss real books, though, and take them on trips or plane rides.
How are the covers made for you book?
I hired Deranged Doctor Design for my book covers, and couldn't be more pleased. They are fast and professional and so kind.
What advice would you give writer wannabes and future/young authors?
My best advice to a new writer would be to read everything you can get your hands on. Educate yourself on genres, publishing, marketing. You’ll need every bit of information you can find, and then some. Writing a book is tough; publishing is maybe tougher. Be prepared to wait a while, to perfect your craft, and to try again. Always, always keep writing. That first book is a learning process. Once it’s behind you, you won’t believe the difference in your skill and knowledge.
Oh! And join a writing group. You’ll need help, and you’ll need encouragement. Groups are a great place to find both.
What do you do during your free time, how do you relax?
I don't have a lot of free time, sadly. My family keeps me super busy. But I like to run, and I like to be outside. I love camping and canoeing. Gardening and getting my hands dirty soothes my soul.
And then I have guilty pleasures like watching Game of Thrones and Stranger Things.