Thursday, September 8, 2011

Aspiring Author Thursday: Introducing Jenny S. Morris

I'm excited to have Jenny here with me today. She has such a fun blog and I love reading her posts. Click here to check it out! :)

When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

I didn’t write growing up, I played pretend. Which meant I didn’t realize I liked writing until I was an adult. I was going through a period in my life when I didn’t read that much (babies will do that to you) and a friend suggested I read the Twilight series. She said her daughters loved them, so I took her up on it. A week and half later I had the whole series read. When I was done I kept asking myself- why do I like these books? Then, it came to me-THE CHARACTERS! And through that I realized I wanted to create people, too. So, I sat down and created the characters in my first novel. That was 3 years ago.

Oh, that dang Twilight. Just kidding. I love those books. :)

Do you have a writing schedule, or do you just sit down whenever you get a spare moment?

Don’t I wish I had a writing schedule? I usually write on my lunch breaks at work, after the kids go to bed, and sometimes I shut myself in my room with a notebook and pen on the weekends.

I love writing with a notebook and pen. It's kind of calming I think. I've gotten some of my best ideas and written some of my best scenes that way.

Could you tell us a little about yourself? Random facts? Hidden talents?

Hmm…my mom thought I was a boy until she had a dream and they lifted up my shirt and I was definitely not a boy. She was disappointed because she almost had the Brady bunch. I give concerts in my car every morning and afternoon. (I’m actually not a bad singer; I was in choir during high school and college.) I would die if I did not have spell check, and I’m secretly a southern girl that lives in a Pacific North westerner’s body.

LOL I'd like to hear one of those concerts! Maybe we could do a duet! ;)

If you were stranded on a desert island, what is one thing you couldn't live without? (Besides your family and a laptop of course.)

Sunscreen. I am white as a ghost and I would burn really bad. (I know boring, but who wants to be uncomfortable on an island?


What is one book you could read over and over and over?

This one is tough for me. I live for figuring out the end. I turn pages and sometimes find myself skipping parts to get there faster. (I know, I know the writer put their blood, sweat and tears into every word.) So, I don’t usually re-read books that often. But, I would have to say Chronicles of Narnia and To Kill a Mockingbird.

I love To Kill a Mockingbird. That's actually one classic that I like! :)

What book are you dying to read this year?

I assumed you meant books...The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder, Prized by Caragh M. O’Brien, The Next Door Boys by Jolene B. Perry, (if you haven’t seen her shiny new cover, you should check her website out. It’s beautiful.) and Crossed by Ally Condie.

I'm SO excited for Prized! And Crossed! And The Next Door Boys! Holla Jolene! :D

What genre do you write and why?

I write YA Urban(?) Fantasy, but I also have an idea for an Adult Contemporary and when my boys get a little older I plan on writing a full MG Fantasy with their input. I started with YA because that’s the age of the first characters that popped in my head and I don’t read adult books that much. I write fantasy because even when I’m trying to write something normal, imaginary creatures pop up in the story, I just can’t seem to help it. Oh and I love the “what if” of fantasy.

That's exactly why I write fantasy as well. I love the "what if" factor. And I LOVE imaginary creatures!

Do you have any writing rituals? Music, silence, eating, etc.

I don’t listen to music while I’m writing, unless I’m trying to feel the character’s mood. I usually have a cup of coffee somewhere nearby, and I almost always start with pen and paper. It’s my way of outlining a scene. Paper allows me to be messy and just get down the framework. Then, I type it up on the computer and add the details and emotions.

I love that. "Paper allows me to be messy and just get down the framework." So true.

Where do you come up with your ideas? Dreams, while driving, etc?

The ideas tend to just pop into my head at random times and they are pictures or conversations. I try to think about what I’m working on before I go to bed, then my brain puzzles over it while I’m sleeping and I wake up with a clearer picture in the morning.

That's awesome. I wish my brain could work things out while I slept. 

Any advice for other aspiring authors?

Surround yourself with great people. Writers, friends, and family will all help you through the hard times and be able to rejoice with you when the good times happen. I have been blown away by the writing community and how helpful everyone is. It’s like we’re all on a team. I don’t know many professional communities like that. Get a Critique Partner if you don’t have one, and try to listen to what they have to say. Try not to compare yourself. (I’m still working on this one.)

It's so hard not to compare ourselves to others. I'm working on that one as well. :)

Random Writing Question: What character out of any book would you love to meet. And why? :)

OK, I am going to cheat, I mean REALLY cheat. I’m going to throw a dinner party and invite a few friends. Aslan sits at the head of the table, then surrounding him are Lucy Pevensie, Anne of Green Gables, and Nancy Drew. Here’s why-Aslan is a character I fell in love with-his warmth and love reach through the pages (and screen) and envelope me every time. Lucy because I love her almost as much as Aslan, and I think Queen Lucy would love to teach me how to fight with a sword. Anne because I think her chatter would liven up the party, and Nancy Drew because she’s been my friend since childhood and I don’t think this party would be complete without her, and she might invite the Hardy Boys.

That would be one rockin' party! :) Thank you so much, Jenny!


Sarah Pearson said...

Thank you for this. I've only been following Jenny for a little while but I think she's great. Also, anyone else who thinks of sunscreen on a desert island is a girl after my own heart :-)

Ruth Josse said...

Yay Jenny! She's so nice. Great interview!

Kelley said...

You asked the best questions, and she gave some awesome answers :) Great Q&A :) Thanks for stopping by my blog too; I'm a new follower now!

kirstenlopresti said...

Nice interview! I'm impressed that you can write during your lunch break at work, and I love that you'd invite the Narnia characters to a dinner party! I love those books, too.

Patti said...

Great interview and I love your dinner party idea, I'd totally love to meet all of those characters, especially Lucy.

Angie Cothran said...

What a great interview. I love this reoccurring post Chantele. Jenny had such fun answers. I also think she has a wonderful blog and leaves thoughtful comments :)

Jolene Perry said...

Awww you guys are so SWEET!!!!!

I can't WAIT to brag about your books on my blog :D

SUCH great answers Jenny!!
You're so fun! But I already knew that . . .

Next time I'm in Portland - we're SO getting together - eve if it's just for dessert ;O

Maggie said...

Fun interview. And the picture definitely looks like a "Pacific Northwesterner".

Abby said...

Awesome Jenny! I have to laugh about the sunscreen because I would die without it too, but I'm the idiot who wouldn't care until it was too late. It's a cure. Another holla for Jolene! Whoo-hoo! And I'm digging the dinner party with all the character friends. How fun!

Elana Johnson said...

I played pretend too! I didn't really want to be a writer until much later. And yes, surrounding yourself with smart people is the way to go. Great interview!

E.R. King said...

Every question of this interview was gold, and Jenny's answers were great. Thanks for making me laugh, ladies! I'd love to be at your dinner party, Jenny, but can I bring Cinderella along? LOL!

Jenny S. Morris said...

Thanks everyone, you're so nice. And you are all invited to the dinner party. Cinderella can come to the paryy E.R., and if she really wants to, she can bring Prince Charming. ;0)

Jolene-I can't wait until the next time you're in Portland!

Candice said...

I would totally attend that dinner party!

Jenna Cooper said...

Oh man. Aslan would be so awesome to sit and have dinner with. We need to get this party together.

Megan said...

Cheers for Jenny- ninja, mother, and writer extraordinare! I am lucky enough to be her critique partner and get to read her passionate and fun writing every week. Thank you for featuring her Chantele.

Jenny S. Morris said...

I meant party before, not paryy. Megan-Thanks for the nice words about my writing! You're awesome!

Brooke R. Busse said...

But you know, what would Aslan eat? He is a lion, but he seems to protect and respect all the animals and trees and such.

Shallee said...


Great interview, thanks Chantele and Jenny!

Crystal said...

Awesome interview!! Can I come to the dinner party, too? I'd love to hang out with all three of those characters! Lol...

Leigh Ann said...

Awesome interview - sign me up for that dinner party, I'll bring dessert.

Jenny S. Morris said...

First, I realized I didn't thank Chantele in the comments, so thanks! Second, I didn't address the fact that I would LOVE to do a duet with her. Third, Leigh Ann, you are so invited. The nutella-stuffed challah bread please.

I think I might do a post to find out who everyone would invite to their dinner party.

jamilajamison said...

Ummmmm.... I want an invite to this dinner party! It looks amazing. Great interview, you two!