The Story Behind My Blog's Title

The Story Behind My Blog's Title
Why is my blog named "My Father's Oldsmobile"? Click on the car and find out.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Author Interview: Jennifer Hartz

I want to welcome debut author, Jennifer Hartz to my blog today. Jennifer's book, Conception, is the first in the series, Future Savior, presented by Desert Breeze Publishing. I've read this book, and it is wonderful! My 12 y/o read this book and agreed. The story is fun, inspiring, and an epic adventure all around. I'll be writing a full review shortly to give a better glimpse, but for now, let's get to know Jennifer.


Would you please tell us a little about yourself?
First of all, I’d like to thank you Shawna for having me on your blog! Let’s see… other than writing, I am a wife, mother, and Christian. I have a wonderful husband and an awesome two-year-old son. Naturally, I spend as much time with them as possible. Maybe someday I’ll make enough money as a writer to do that full-time, but until then I work as a teacher. I really enjoy working with my Middle School and High School students; they can be so much fun! I also enjoy attending church and I serve in the two-year-old room helping with the child care.

What was your road to publication like?
I know my road took me exactly where I needed to be. Desert Breeze is the perfect place for my debut series! However, before I got to this point I queried like crazy. Unfortunately, Future Savior is a Romantic Christian Fantasy with Sci-Fi elements… can you say un-publishable! A sub-genre of a sub-genre of a sub-genre. Luckily for me, DBP was willing to take the chance.


Ha! Other publishers' loss! I read a lot, and this book trumps a huge percentage of what I pick up. That includes books from a major publisher, Jennifer. It's that good.


You have a new release. Can you tell us a little about it?
Conception is the first of five books in the Future Savior Series. This 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.

Deja vu

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?!

Lol!

The story revolves around Christina Vaughn, a seemingly ordinary person who is thrust into an extraordinary situation only to find out she's not as ordinary as she assumed. As Christina makes her way through her amazing fantasy-like adventure, she learns a great deal about her unbelievable past. She falls in love along the way, all the while battling horrific monsters and struggling with her remarkable destiny.

Can you give us a little history on the characters, including how you developed them, and what endears them to you?
There are so many characters in Future Savior that it’s a bit hard to narrow it down here! Of course, the lead characters are Christina and Shaw. Christina is an everyday kind of person. She’s thirty, she single, she works, she’s bored… until one day her life changes dramatically when she’s sent to the Land of Meric. There she discovers that she has an amazing – albeit slightly insane – destiny. The development of Christina was pretty easy. I really placed myself in her shoes… What would I say in this situation? How would I react here? Someone once asked me if Christina is based on me and the answer is yes and no. Originally, she started off much like me, but after countless rewrites and as the character grew she became her own amazing person. Honestly, she way cooler than I am! I think I love Christina so much because she’s the everyday Average-Joe (Average-Josephine?) thrown into extraordinary circumstances. We really want her to succeed.

Shaw is the greatest warrior in Meric and has been Christina’s Watcher (body guard) for her entire life. He can shape shift so he’s always been hidden from her, but he’s always been there. I am so drawn to Shaw because he’s the strong handsome hero we all love, plus he has so many mysteries. I love the questions that arise around Shaw… of course, I know the answers, but I’m excited for the readers to learn about Shaw.

My daughter loved this book. I basically told her to read it, and a few pages in, she walked into my room and blurted out, "She's thirty! I'm reading a book about a thirty year old! That's old." Well, I told her to keep going, and she'd foget Christina's age, and that she'd soon find out that age didn't matter anyway. It only took her a few more pages to forget Christina's age, and when she finished the book, she said, "Oh... That's what you meant!" (Not giving anything else away, but there was more to that statement than just being so entertained age didn't matter. It literally does not matter!)


What do we have to look forward to with the Future Savior series?
Lots of adventure and lots of excitement! The lives of the characters will unfold only to show how intricately woven they actually are. As the series progresses, you will also see more Biblical parallels which are just so much fun to write! Some of them are subtle so you’ll only get them if you know you’re Bible and others are very blatant smacking you right in the face.

What inspired this series?
As you know, I LOVE speculative and I simply started to create my own speculative adventure. My Land of Meric became so huge that I had to share it with the world. I just hope people enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!


Well, my same daughter drew out a map of an imaginary land she's using for a story. I think you might have influenced her a bit.

How do you balance writing and life?
My own writing schedule is very minimal. My husband works nights so I make sure to write for at least one hour on the evenings that he is at work after my son is in 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. Of course, now trying to juggle book promotion on top of everything else I have even less time to write. I hope I can make my June deadline!!!

Let's talk about trends in publishing. What do you see as the major advantages/disadvantages of ebooks? And what do you like most?
Right now there’s a battle going on between the major distributors (Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Apple) on who will get their eBook reader in the consumer’s hand so I think more and more publishers will be opting for eBooks. 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! You can do so many more things with an eBook than a print book. The advantages certainly outweigh the disadvantages. My favorite features on my Kindle are the text-to-speak option and also split second purchasing. I can order a book and be reading it in seconds!

You sound exactly like me. I was adamant too. My Kindle made all the difference. Now hubby borrows it, and prefers it to print. My daughter tried to steal it. She eventually got a Nook though, so now she leaves it alone.

Do you think marketing an ebook is a different process?
Since I don’t know a ton about marketing for a print book I’m only speculating here, but I think there are some differences. You MUST have a web presence, especially for eBooks. This is important for print books too, but with print a book tour is always a viable option. This is difficult to do with eBooks so we use blog touring.

What is the one thing you'd like people to understand about e-publication?
EBook authors HATE the question: “When will it be available as a real book?” Hello! It is a real book otherwise they wouldn’t be paying me with real money! EBook authors put just as much blood, sweat, and tears into creating, writing, and editing their novels as print authors… sometimes more because of how harshly we’re criticized by old dinosaurs out there who think the only REAL book is a print book. These people need to wake up and realize that it won’t be long before eBooks take over the market. Look at the iPod… I honestly can’t remember the last time I bought a regular CD. Now I download ALL of my music onto my iPod and buy songs through iTunes. I truly believe eBooks will go in the same direction as the iPod.

You can put music on ereaders too.

What's your favorite book, movie, and food?
My favorite book of all time has to be The Stand by Stephen King followed closely by the Harry Potter Series and The Lord of the Rings.
My favorite movie is 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!
I LOVE sushi!!! Unfortunately for me, my hubby doesn’t like it so I don’t get to eat it as often as I’d like.


If you love the Goonies, you need to read By Heart and Compass by Danielle Thorne. So much fun!

Most embarrassing or memorable experience?
Yikes!!! Um… Okay… this one’s kind of funny. When I was in Kindergarten we performed The Twelve Days of Christmas. I was cast as Six Geese A Layin’. I had to wear a fake bill and pull a giant plastic blue egg out from behind my butt! Every time I did, everybody laughed. I didn’t realize my comedic genius at the tender age of five because I thought everyone was laughing AT me and I cried!!!

Aw...

Your ideal vacation
I would LOVE to take a cruise over to Europe making sure to stop in Ireland and Amsterdam. Ireland because I really want to go there someday and Amsterdam because I have a very dear friend who moved there and it would be wonderful to visit her.

A cause you have deep passion about.
I am very passionate about The A21 Campaign. A portion of my royalties from the entire Future Savior Series will be donated to The A21 Campaign. (www.thea21campaign.org) This organization fights against human trafficking and the sex-slave industry. There are currently 27 million slaves in the world and A21 is working to make a difference.


Wow, Jennifer! Thank you for your committment to this, and thank you for educating us and letting us know where to find out how to help.


Other than your book, which I'm certainly looking forward to reading, do you have any recommendations you'd like to pass along?
There are some amazing novels being but out by the authors at Desert Breeze Publishing. Being the big time lover of all things speculative I would highly recommend the Mists of Time Series by Tami Dee and The Phoenix Rebellion Series by Gail Delaney.

Thanks for having me on your blog today Shawna! I hope everyone has enjoyed learning just a little bit more about me and The Future Savior Series!


Thank you, Jennifer. It was my pleasure to host you.


Pick up her book here.


For more about Jennifer Hartz:

8 comments:

  1. Sounds like a most unusual and interesting book

    An Arkies Musings

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  2. This is a really, REALLY good book. The only thing I don't like is that I have to wait until June for the next in the series.

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  3. Hi Jennifer,
    Sounds like a fascinating book - I'm sure your sales will be awesome.

    Enjoyed the interview ladies!

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  4. Great interview. I picked my copy up last night and can't wait to snuggle into bed and be amazed.

    Jmo

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  5. I am reading your book now, Jennifer, I am dreaming about it also. I love it, and your interview, you are quite amazing, good job!

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  6. My daughter's favorite part was the end because she'd hadn't expected it at all.

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  7. I enjoyed your interview, Jennifer and wish you well with your book.

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  8. Nice interview. I have to say that the cover is MESMERIZING! If a book can be judged at all by its cover, then Jennifer will have a winner.

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