Can you share with readers a little bit about your latest book?
Atlantis On the Tides of Destiny is the continuing story of Princess Gwenwhyfar and her struggles to keep her tiny kingdom safe in a world at war. As if that isn’t hard enough, she’s fallen in love with Marcus Duilius, an ambitious Roman tribune—a man she can’t marry because of his plebeian birth. Her Druid priests tell her took look for new allies among her own kin. But that requires healing a three-generation blood feud.
Meanwhile, a supporting character from the first book, Atlantean Captain Kenda Ptah, takes center stage in this story. He is sent on a secret mission to India with a Persian spy he wouldn’t trust as far as he can throw. But for the sake of Atlantis, he accepts the task. While wrestling with his own prejudice, he uncovers a startling secret. He only needs to get back to Atlantis alive.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Writing at least 1,667 words every day! I wrote it in thirty days, during the 2014 National Novel Writing Month. After that feat, revising and editing were the next difficult challenge.
What is your next project?
A short story spin-off, as Kenda Ptah is sent on another secret mission. It’s meant to stand alone but will act as a bridge between Atlantis On the Tides of Destiny, and the third installment of the trilogy, Atlantis On the Seas of Fate. I’ve wanted to give Kenda his own story for a while now, and I’m finally doing it.
What role does research play in your writing?
Research is half of the inspiration! I can’t tell you how many ideas come to me during the research stage. Since my novels are historical fantasy, I know I wouldn’t be able to make the world come alive without learning about the time period, even when I end up “changing” some parts of history, or filling the gaps with more fantasy and mythology elements. I would not presume to call myself a professional historian, but I do try to make my stories as accurate as I can.
What do you like to read in your free time?
I read as much as possible. From Young Adult to Epic Fantasy, Medieval and Celtic Legends to Star Trek, fairy tale re-tellings, classics, and mythology. I also try to read outside of my comfort zone in order to grow both as a reader and a writer. Lately, I’ve delved into Clive Cussler’s Fargo series, pulp fiction, and Isaac Asimov.
Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work?
I think the English writer, Samuel Johnson, hit the nail on the head when he said, “The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading. In order to write, a man will turn over half a library to make one book.”
I try to read as many books as possible when preparing to write my own novels. Tolkien, Jane Austen, and Lyle Saxon are my heroes. But I also admire more modern works like Juliet Marillier’s Wildwood series, Lynn Kurland’s Nine Kingdoms series, and Jessica Day George’s novels.
How do you feel about indie/alternative vs. conventional publishing?
I love the freedom and complete control over my stories the indie publishing route gives me. After learning that some of the best selling authors today were rejected many times because they didn’t fit a certain mold, I decided it best to forge my own path starting out.
This is probably the best time in history to be an author!
That being said, I don’t think traditional publishing is going anywhere. Someday, I intend to ink a deal myself. One of my goals is to get a Star Trek novel published. The indie path isn’t necessarily the easier way, but I have no regrets.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Start today! Don’t put your dreams on hold. Everyone can spare fifteen minutes a day. Even if you only manage a paragraph, you’ll end up with a novel-length manuscript in less than a year. I can’t recommend National Novel Writing Month enough! The support and resources that community offers are invaluable!
Want to learn more about Jennifer?
Atlantis On the Tides of Destiny: Amazon