Friday, March 24, 2017

Dorgo's Baker's Dirty Dozen Presents: Jennifer Loiske

I first met the very talented and prolific Jennifer Loiske a few years back, through our mutual friend, author Janet Morris. Jennifer was doing a series of interviews with the authors who write for Janet’s legendary, Heroes in Hell series. So Jennifer sent me a list of questions which I answered at great length, as I recall. In fact, she interviewed me twice! (So now it’s time for me to return that favor.) Jennifer is truly a very kind, generous and all-around wonderful human, with a smile that can literally light up the darkest of caves. But don’t let that smile fool you. Oh, no—because she writes some wicked-cool vampire novels. Here’s a bit more about her.

Jennifer lives in beautiful Finland—in Naantali, which is a small sunny town on the southwest coast. 

She is a Teen/YA paranormal fiction author, with four exciting series available worldwide. The McLean Twins series for teen readers, the Immortal Blood series for mature young adult readers, the Blood Hunters series, also for mature young adults, which is a follow-up for the Immortal Blood series and is created by the readers’ requests, and the Shape Shifter series for anyone age 16 and up. Her stories are full of creatures of the night: vampires, demons, witches, shape shifters . . . but even if they are mostly fiction you can find a hint of truth in every story. Jennifer loves to research, so every time she gets an idea for a new story she has a crazy Google session, looking for places, old myths, names, folklore, and magical items . . . anything that could spice up her story and make it more real for the readers. Jennifer is also part of Authors For Charity, an international author alliance, and a team member of Epilepsy FI magazine. She is a pre-school teacher by profession. Now I guess it’s time for me to put her in the hot seat!

So, tell us, Jennifer . . . what and who are some of your influences and inspirations?

Oh, there are so many! Stephen King, Richelle Mead, David Eddings, Sarah Rees Brennan, L. J. Smith, Jennifer L. Armentrout… I could go on and on… I read a lot and watch all kinds of series so I guess, it’s a bundle of many things that gets me inspired.

How and why did you decide to start writing?

I have no idea about the why nor did I consciously decide to start writing, but my head has always been full of stories, and I guess at some level my other foot has been in another world since the day I was born. So for me there is no other option but to write or otherwise I’ll probably end up in a round room with a soft walls, blabbering about faeries, vampires and witches.

What genres and/or literary style do you enjoy writing in the most?

Definitely paranormal for young adult readers. I love all things out of this world (okay, not ghosts, but the other stuff) and since my mind is playing all kinds of tricks with me, I have this need inside of me to tell their story.

Tell us about your latest published book, short story or novella.

Hmm…that would be, Old Blood (Book 2 in the Blood Hunters series). It continues the adventures of Samantha Green, a girl who got bitten in Immortal Blood series. Old Blood brings together two worlds, witches and vampires, playing with her mind as a psychopath master vampire has taken her as his favorite toy. It’s an urban, paranormal romance story, set in England, and it’s full of hair tingling moments along with despair and hope.

The funny thing about the Blood Hunters series is, that it was created purely because my readers wanted me to continue Sam’s story. The final part, Redemption, will be out this summer 2017.

Besides the “entertainment factor,” what do you strive for in your writing?
Facts. I love planting those nuggets of facts inside my stories. Some readers catch them, some don’t, but most of them have said they bring the ‘nail biting suspense’ effect in my stories as the readers feel the story, no matter how wild, could be true.

Would you say that your stories are more plot-driven or character-driven?

Both. My characters are strong, yet they need a good plot to stay alive. I made the mistake of developing too many characters in my debut story, so currently I make sure all of my characters, both main and side, are strong and easily identified. In that way my readers (and me) can keep up with the story even though the story continues in several books

What can you tell us about your latest work(s) in progress?

I just finished Redemption (Book 3 in the Blood Hunters series) so I’m gonna be buried with its edits, re-writes etc for a long time. Then I have one dystopian novel and one paranormal spy story coming up. I’m also doing interviews for magazines, translations for companies and organizing a new charity book. So, yeah, it’s going to be a busy year. But busy is good!

What are some literary goals you’d like to achieve?

A long time ago I made the decision to go on my own, so with my upcoming spy book, I’m going to give one more try with a literary agent and hoping to end up with someone good and devoted. Also, my pr company and I have some plans for growing my markets but at this point it’s a bit of hush hush project.

What genre of fiction have you not yet written for, but plan to in the future?

I haven’t written anything (except articles) in non-fiction but then again I can’t say if I’m planning to write anything in that genre in the future either. Every time I try to jump out of my genre, I still somehow end up writing about paranormal creatures. Not sure what it says about me!
Name a few of your favorite literary characters and tell us why they are your favorites?

Nick Ryves, from The Demon’s Lexicon. He’s bad in a way that makes you root for him and hope that one day he’ll beat his demons.

Daemon Black, from the Lux series, oh, my…he’s a bad boy with the capital letters and the one secret dream we girls can’t tell about without blushing from head to toe.

Cian, from The Circle Trilogy. I think he was one of the first vampires I found from the book world. The one that gave roots to most of my own vampires, and yes, a well developed character I wish were true…to be loved by a man like him…yeah, maybe this one brings up the romantic in me.

Gabriel, from Dark Visions. He’s the first character that took me into the psychic world, and like the ones above, is fighting to beat the bad in him. 

What are some of your all-time favorite films and TV shows?

Are you sure you wanna go there? Very well then… The Lord of the Rings, Constantine, Notting Hill, Meet Joe Black, Matrix… The Supernatural, Game of Thrones, Grimm, True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Teen Wolf, Penny Dreadful…still want me to go on, ‘cause I can J …Lost Girl, The Walking Dead, Roswell, Dominion, Sherlock…okay, I’m gonna stop now. (LOL! You could have kept on going. Movies are one of my passions. JB)

 Tell us about your writing habits, such as: Do you outline extensively? Do you create your characters first, or your plot? Do you listen to music while writing, and if so, what kind?

Nope. My outlines are more like suggestions to myself. A road map, where I can pick up the road that suits my story the best. Sometimes I create the characters, or at least some of them, first, sometimes I do the plotting first. There was a time when I tried to force the stories out of me, and nothing good came out of it. So now I’m listening my guts and the ‘voices’ in my head, and am letting the inspiration lead me. I love listening music while plotting, but when I’m writing I need the silence. I’m omnivore with the music. Sometimes I listen to Taylor Swift, sometimes Disturbed. It depends on the story I’m writing at.

What else can you tell us about yourself and your reading habits?
I’m a gobbler. When I read, I do nothing but read, and that’s basically the reason why I have to time my reading. If I don’t, well, nothing gets done. I’m also a very loyal reader. When I find an author I like, I read every book she/he has ever written and it takes a lot to get me to abandon the author.

Thank you for taking the time to be “on the show,” and for such a wonderful interview, Jennifer. I hope we can do this again sometime.
— Joe Bonadonna

Jennifer’s links:

And for those of you who may be interested, here are the links to the two interviews Jennifer conducted with me.