Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Guest Author Series - Welcome Jennifer Hartz
Jennifer Hartz is a fellow Desert Breeze Author. Her book, Future Savor Book One: Conception will be released tomorrow! Welcome Jennifer!
STEPH: Congratulations on your release of Future Savior Book One: Conception. Can you tell us a little about it?
JENNIFER: First of all, Stephanie thanks so much for having me on your blog. The Future Savior Series is the byproduct of a ridiculously long commute. I have an hour and a half drive… one-way. That's three hours in the car! One day, while driving, I started to daydream about interesting characters and the fantastical land of Meric. I would let my mind conjure up different storylines for my mystical characters, pulling out the things that really worked and filing them away in my memory bank. For three months these daydreams continued until I finally realized I needed to sit down and write.
The best way I can sum up Future Savior is to say that it is a combination of all the stories I have ever loved. It is essentially a Christian fantasy series, similar to The Lord of the Rings, but modernized and with a major romantic storyline as the main focus. There are also some subtle sci-fi elements and a huge cliffhanger that stems from the season finales of my favorite sitcoms. What? We have to wait all summer to find out if Ross and Rachel get together?!
STEPH: Do you cast your characters? If so, who plays the leads? Why do you cast your characters?
JENNIFER: Actually, I did not have particular actors in mind while writing Conception. It was only after the story was complete, and I started milling around author loops and writing chat rooms, did I start to think about who would be great in the roles.
Hands down, without a doubt, and no questions asked Shaw would be perfectly portrayed by Kellan Lutz. If you don't know who he is, he plays Emmet in the Twilight Saga.
I've had a slightly harder time casting Christina, but my mind keeps bouncing between either Allysa Milano or Kate Beckinsale. I guess it depends on my mood, but both of these ladies are fabulous.
Charis is such an interesting and intriguing character that I'm not 100% sure who I would place in that role, but Carla Gugino, the Pocahontas guru in Night at the Museum, keeps popping into my head.
Finally, I place Zak Efron in the role of the obscenely handsome Elf Prince Jonus.
STEPH: What genres do you like to write and why?
JENNIFER: Anything speculative! Or, more specifically, Speculative Christian Fiction. Speculative includes fantasy, sci-fi, horror, urban fantasy, time-travel, and all the other "not so normal" genres. I write this particular genre because this is the genre I'm drawn to. I have always loved anything speculative. From Star Wars to The Chronicles of Narnia and from Harry Potter to Twilight I just can't get enough!
STEPH: Do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring writers?
JENNIFER: The best advice that I can give to anybody thinking about writing a novel is to treat your writing like a job… and not in a bad way, in a scheduling way. Set aside a certain amount of time for your writing and make sure you stick to it, even if it is for only a half an hour a day. My own writing schedule was very minimal. I work as a teacher, my husband works nights, and I have a two year old son. My writing schedule was very lean. I forced myself to write for one hour on the evenings that my husband worked after my son went to bed. Not a lot of time, but even with this meager timetable I was able to complete Future Savior: Conception in two months because I was diligent.
STEPH: Do you use beta readers? Why or why not?
JENNIFER: I have two people read my stories for me as I write them. The first person is my husband. He is NOT a reader… so why do I use him? Well, the way I look at it, if my story can captivate a non-reader then hopefully avid readers will enjoy it as well. The other person I let read my stories is a former student. She is a teenager who devours books like it's her mission in life. Plus she's really into the speculative stuff too. I know that if she likes it I won't be disappointing fans of the genre that I love.
STEPH: Print, eBook, or both?
JENNIFER: When I first learned about eBooks I was one of those people who said, "eBook? Bah! I like to hold a real book." Boy, was I mistaken! After less than twenty-four hours with my own Kindle I came to the realization that, not only are eBooks here to stay, but they're AWESOME! I love the versatility and the sheer volume of books that it can hold. The text-to-speak feature is so cool, especially when editing my own work, and I really like the built in dictionary. What is really ironic is that I actually like holding it better than a "real" book. I can easily hold it with one hand or prop it up without worrying that it will flop closed and I'll lose my place. So cool!
STEPH: What was the last movie you watched at a movie theatre?
JENNIFER: The last movie I watched in a theater was with my two year old son. It was his very first movie in a theater: Toy Story 3. Or "Ta Tum Tewee!" as he called it. ☺ But the last movie that mommy got to see was Eclipse.
STEPH: What's your favorite all time movie and why?
JENNIFER: The Goonies. What's better than a rag-tag group of misfits searching for pirate treasure, while being chased by bad guys, all to a Cindy Lauper enhanced soundtrack!
STEPH: What's your favorite time of year?
JENNIFER: Fall. I think is some strange way Fall makes me think of speculative things. Halloween, witches, ghosts, and all things spooky make me smile.
STEPH: What's your favorite TV show?
JENNIFER: My favorite show of all time was Friends. I literally cried when it ended and I've re-watched them countless times thanks to full seasons on DVD. Right now I don't have a favorite show. I honestly don't have much time for TV. Between work, my son, my husband, church, writing a new novel and promoting Future Savior: Conception, I've forgotten what the television looks like.
Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Steph. Your questions were a lot of fun!
STEPH: Thanks for popping in, Jennifer. Bon Chance!