Kev’s Author Interviews Presents:
Kev: In a generalized way, tell us a little about yourself. Where you grew up, siblings, family life, education, and how you got to where you are now.
Jennifer: I grew up in Mentor, OH with my mom, dad, grandma, older sister, dog, and rabbit. Though it often felt like I had two siblings because my dog, a Toy Poodle called CeJaye, wouldn’t let me get away with anything. If I even thought of doing something I shouldn’t he would always bark so loudly that I was sure even the neighbours could hear him!
There isn’t really much to mention as far as my education. I went to a local preschool, then from kindergarten through fifth grade I attended a catholic school. My sixth grade year I switched to public school, then during my last two years of high school I ended up needing to be homeschooled thanks to some allergies.
It was actually because of the tutor that I was homeschooled by that I became a published author. She was one of the first people, outside of my family, who got to read anything I wrote. While she didn’t love everything, and those stories she didn’t like are still works in progress as I learn how to make them better. The fact that I knew she was giving me her honest opinion when she said I should publish my stories, made me start thinking about becoming an author.
Previously I just wrote because it was something I enjoyed doing. When my tutor said she could get me an interview with the local newspaper I was reluctant to agree because I have selective mutism which makes it really hard to talk to people directly, but that’s actually what the article was partially about. Though I still tend to be reluctant to share my thoughts and feelings with people and am not really great in social situations which makes it hard to promote my books, it’s been said that I have gotten better at it especially according to a follow-up newspaper article that was written in 2013. I guess this is true as years ago I wouldn’t have even considered doing an author interview or even telling you this much about myself.
Kev: How long have you been writing for?
Jennifer: I have been writing for a long time though I don’t actually remember when I started. My grandma always tells people I started when I first learned how to print which is probably true though it seems a bit odd because until my second grade year I was a reluctant reader so does this mean I was writing before I took an interest in reading?
Kev: Why do you write?
Jennifer: I write because it’s fun though I started writing most of my early stories when I couldn’t find any books I was interested in reading. I guess I figured if I can’t read the story I want, I will write it, after all who knows what I like to read better than me? Now in addition to having fun and having a story I just really want to tell sometimes I write when I have an important message I want to share with people. Sometimes I do this through fiction and other times I do it through nonfiction. It all depends on whether the message is best received directly or subtly.
Kev: What is your genre?
Jennifer: I am actually a multi-genre writer. My primary focus is Children’s fiction and my currently published books are in the genre’s of fantasy and short stories. I am also in a nonfiction anthology. Besides my published works I am working on books in the following genre’s: fantasy, short stories, sci-fi, sci-fi/fantasy, comic books/graphic novels, nonfiction, and maybe one or two others as well. If educational fiction and adventure are genre’s then I am also writing them.
Kev: Who would you say are your favourite/most influential authors and why?
Jennifer: I’m really not sure I can answer this question in a way that doesn’t drag on. The problem is I read so much and have so many favourite authors that I find it nearly impossible to single any out. These are some authors I have currently been reading a lot of book from that I have really liked: Erin Hunter, Tui T. Sutherland, David Lubar, John R. Erickson, and Rick Riordan among others. Erin Hunter and Tui T. Sutherland are probably at the top of this list right now, however, very recently a book called Wizards of the Game by David Lubar really inspired me as some of what he wrote about in this book has actually happened to me because of the characters and subjects I am currently writing about.
Kev: What is your latest (published) book called and what is it about?
I think this question is actually perfectly timed because my latest published book is called Mortal Realm Witch: Realms Unite? It is about a witch who is tired of mortals judging them and hating witches without ever getting to know them. My witch, DWW, wants to change things and bring peace between witches and mortals. She believes people should be judged for who they are and not what they are. To accomplish her dream DWW and some friends work together to change mortals views and opinions about witches but this isn’t an easy task. This book is a full length novel that sets up for three very action packed, adventurous, and maybe even a little thought-provoking, books.
Kev: Who or what influenced you to write it?
Jennifer: The theme/plot for this book was inspired by the movie Halloween Town High and the character of DWW was inspired by both the live action Sabrina the Teenage Witch TV show and the book series based off of it.
Kev: What challenges did you face while writing the story?
Jennifer: One of the biggest challenges for me was connecting the pieces of this story together. When I first wrote it I had lots of written pieces, knew the order they went in, but couldn’t figure out how to flow them together. My natural writing style is a combination of short stories and interconnecting short stories so writing a full length novel was a bit different for me. However, I knew this story would be best told in this form so I worked it out and love the end result. It’s definitely, in my opinion, a very good book for my first time writing in full length and the chapter books I am currently in the process of writing will benefit greatly from what I learned from writing this book.
Kev: Did you do any specialized research for your story?
Jennifer: For this book I didn’t though I do have to do some research for the next three.
Kev: Is your book part of a series?
Jennifer: It might already be obvious but yes my book is part of a series called Mortal Realm Witch. Realms Unite? is actually the third book in the Series though none of the first three books or the Series companion necessarily need to be read in any specific order. I actually often encourage my readers to read the second book first then go back to Book One for a back-story.
Kev: Which of your works do you like best (feel most proud of) and why?
Jennifer: Though my mom and grandma love the book I released alongside this one, Tales of Familiars, best, I have more of a conflicted opinion. While I think I like Tales of Familiars best because of the variety and the way it is told by animals only, I think I am most proud of Realms Unite? because it was the most difficult for me to write.
Kev: Is there anything you would like to say to your readers at this point?
I think my readers might be interested in knowing a little bit about the Series itself. For one thing it is not written like the average Series. Book One, Mortal Realm Witch: Learning About Magic, is written in five separate but interconnecting stories which are written as if they are individual or mini books. Each story is written from the point of view of a different character but at this time I keep the focus on young DWW who struggles to learn responsibility.
This book has been said to be perfect for readers with short attention spans or people that don’t have the time to read a full book because you can read the stories in any order and not lose anything necessary to that specific story. Book Two, Mortal Realm Witch: The Magic Continues, is written much the same however there is less repetition of facts and the last two stories flow directly into each other. Then Book Three, Realms Unite? is a special full length novel where the plot/theme of the Series begins to become clear to the reader. By the time the reader gets to Book Three though it is recommended that they continue in order from there on because the short story format, while still used, becomes more chapter like, the action picks up greatly and continues to pick up speed right up to what I really believe is an epic ending.
There will be ten total books in the Series, six in the main Series, two Series companions, a guidebook, and a special book that will return to several moments throughout the Series with all new stories. All of the currently released books have been read and approved by teachers, parents, and children. I am also pleased to announce that my books have converted some reluctant readers into readers and has been well received by children’s and adults alike. The Mortal Realm Witch Series target audience is anyone 8 and older who likes to read stories about animals and magic.
Kev: What are you working on now?
I am working on many books as I really can’t just work on one at a time. My ideas come randomly and I fit them into the book they best belong in. This is the quick run through of everything I am working on now:
Mortal Realm Witch: The Magical Adventures of DWW2 (Book Four)
Mortal Realm Witch: Misadventures of a Teenage Witch (Book Five)
Mortal Realm Witch: The Final Chapters (Book Six)
Mortal Realm Witch: Untold Tales From the Series (The special unspecified book)
The Mortal Realm Witch Guide to Other Realm Creatures (The guidebook)
Tales of Other Realm Creatures: The Second Mortal Realm Witch Series Companion (The second companion)
Heroes United (a book featuring many short stories about superheroes)
A collection of different animal adventure stories
A collection of different stories about cats and/or horses
A collection of different stories about dogs
A collection of stories about random animals
A collection of different magical, supernatural, and sci-fi stories
A collection of Christmas stories
The Dogs That Saved the World (fiction stories about regular dogs saving the world from “threats”)
Back to the Wild (fiction stories about animals returning to the wild)
The Young Animal Psychics (fiction stories about twins who can communicate with animals and want to help them)
“Good Luck” Animal Shelter (fiction stories featuring some unusual rescue animals)
Becoming Human (a chapter book about a dog learning to become human after making an irreversible wish)
Cursed (a chapter book about a girl who thinks she is living with a curse)
(Other chapter books are potentially in the works but haven’t been developed far enough to be mentioned yet)
A second person story featuring my superheroes of Black Cat, Chihuahua and Star Power.
Spider & Jackal (a comic book/graphic novel inspired by the relationship my two dogs had with each other)
Animals in the Shelters (a nonfiction book featuring facts and stories about animal rescue and the animals that have been rescued)
Animal Snippets: Memories of My Pets and Anipals (a nonfiction book featuring some of my favourite memories with animals I have known)
Just Dreaming: The Dreams I Had and the Stories They Became (a nonfiction book featuring dreams I had and the never before read stories that were written based off these dreams, as well as the real dream and its interpretation.)
Animal World (an educational fiction series that will have some super editions.)
Animal World: Endangered (a split off series of Animal World that will focus exclusively on endangered animals)
Kev: What new challenges are you facing?
Jennifer: Recently I have started working on my online presence so besides working on writing my books I am also working harder to be more active on social media and more. I have had little trouble selling books at physical events but still haven’t made progress online so this is a challenge for me. As far as writing goes I am currently facing the challenge of putting more of myself and real events into my books as many of my life experiences make good stories but I’m not sure I would be ready to admit to many of them yet. That’s probably going to be a challenge for another day, for now I will just put more of them into my writing and see what happens.
Kev: Could you give us a little spoiler?
Jennifer: Yes, I can do that. This spoiler features a character whose role in the Series is only just beginning. This is Star’s first real moment in the Series. I am sharing this moment because he is one of my favourite characters to work with. If you would like to check out a couple more spoilers visit my writing on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/story/list/16026765-jennifer-priester
There are also some interesting quotes from Realms Unite? here: https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/26404965-mortal-realm-witch-realms-unite-mortal-realm-witch-3
When Turtle, Sam, and Star arrived, DWW said, “You three are going to be sent into the past to do something that you all should be good at.”
“What’s that?” Turtle asked.
“Solving problems,” DWW replied. “You will be sent to the homes of three large families. Each one is in a fight about something and need to find a solution to their problems. Your job is to decide what that solution will be.”
“How’s that going to help unite the Realms?” Turtle asked.
“For once you will be expected to use magic for each of your solutions. Exactly how you use the magic will be up to you,” DWW replied.
“Come on, let’s go already!” Star exclaimed impatiently.
“In a minute,” Turtle told Star. Then she asked DWW, “So I can use magic however I want?”
“Yes,” DWW replied.
“So, what are Sam and Star’s jobs in this?” Turtle asked.
“Yeah, are the homes infested with pests that they need me to chase out?” Star asked hopefully.
Sam gave Star a look to tell him to be quiet. Star in return looked at Sam with a large doggy grin.
Ignoring Star, DWW replied, “Whatever you decide their jobs are.”
“What do you mean?” Turtle asked.
“In this mission you are in charge. Sam and Star can do whatever you want them to do or nothing if that is what you want,” DWW explained.
“Can we go now?” Star asked impatiently.
“Star, quiet,” Sam said.
“Yes, I think we can go now,” Turtle said responding to Star’s impatience.
“So then you have no more questions or anything?” DWW asked.
“No,” Turtle replied. “Do you guys?”
“No,” Sam said.
“No, let’s go!” Star answered impatiently.
“Then let’s go!” Turtle exclaimed as DWW sent the three to the first house.
Turtle knocked on the door. When it opened a woman holding a baby was standing there.
“Are you here to help us solve our problem?” she asked.
“Yes,” Turtle replied.
“Then come in,” the woman said leading them into the house.
Upon entering Turtle noticed three kids with a black Standard Poodle. The kids were all handing onto the dog who didn’t look very comfortable.
“This is where the problem is,” the woman said as they entered the room with the kids and dog.
The dog wagged his tail upon seeing them, but at the same time was looking at them pleadingly. Star immediately tried to go over and make friends with the kids and dog, but Sam stopped him.
“So what exactly is the problem?” Turtle asked. As she said this a younger woman entered the room.
“I’m the problem,” she said.
Can any of you guess what the solution to this problem will be? As a bonus, besides this spoiler, I will also tell you that this part of the story is located in the chapter that is called The Both Successful and Failed Mission. Can any of you guess what the solution to this problem will be or what might go wrong?
Kev: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Jennifer: I’m not really great at giving advice. Really the best advice I can give a writer is to write the story they want to read not just what they think readers want, though listening to readers thoughts and opinions while in the beta reading stage is important and everything should be carefully considered. While I don’t recommend changing things based on something only one person says unless it will clearly, in the writer’s opinion, make the story better, if many people say the same thing it can indicate a problem that might need to be worked out.
Kev: At this time have you published any other books?
Jennifer: While I haven’t published any others, last year I wrote an anthology with several other authors called The Battle of Ebulon. Sadly, this book had no professional editing so while it does have some good stories it also has some really bad ones. This one is a free book on Smashwords so if you are interested in it and want to read my unedited version before I rewrite it for inclusion in one of my own books, I wrote Entry Point 12. I was also recently part of an Anthology called Read for Animals Anthology #2. My stories in this one were professionally edited and I was lucky enough to have two stories chosen to be a part of this amazing book. Both this anthology and the first one are $2.99 eBooks and also have print editions available. All profits from both books go to help animals. In January an edited sequel to The Battle of Ebulon will be published on Smashwords. Unlike the first book, this one is a crossover novel, is being edited, and is overall a much better book than the first. Like the first it will be free.
Mortal Realm Witch Series Website: www.mortalrealmwitch.com
Jennifer Priester Author Website:
My blog: www.animalsandmagic.wordpress.com
Mortal Realm Witch: Learning About Magic: http://www.amazon.com/Mortal-Realm-Witch-Learning-About-ebook/dp/B00D09TLO4/ref=la_B00AOFPVLO_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409638746&sr=1-1 (This book is available in both print and eBook editions on Amazon and is also available in print from Barnes and Noble. Nook, Smashwords and iTunes editions are planned for the future)
Mortal Realm Witch: The Magic Continues:
http://www.amazon.com/Mortal-Realm-Witch-Magic-Continues/dp/1938783018/ref=la_B00AOFPVLO_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409638901&sr=1-2 (This book is currently only available in print from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Kindle eBook is in the works and depending on eBook sales of Book One may or may not be released on the other platforms.)
Mortal Realm With: Realms Unite?
http://www.amazon.com/Mortal-Realm-Witch-Realms-Unite/dp/1938783034/ref=la_B00AOFPVLO_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409639007&sr=1-3 (Same situation as The Magic Continues)
Tales of Familiars: The First Mortal Realm Witch Series Companion: http://www.amazon.com/Tales-Familiars-First-Mortal-Companion/dp/1938783026/ref=la_B00AOFPVLO_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409639053&sr=1-4 (Same situation as The Magic Continues and Realms Unite?)
Read for Animals Anthology #2: http://www.amazon.com/Read-Animals-Anthology-Authors-Poets-ebook/dp/B00N4E41UO/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409639114&sr=1-2&keywords=Read+for+Animals
Jennifer Priester, Everyone!