Interview with Virginia Lori Jennings
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I had always enjoyed getting the chance to write in school, but I began to realize that I wanted to be a professional writer during the 6th grade. We were asked by our English teacher to write a longer short story. While many of my friends had trouble making something long enough I noticed that the story just flowed easily from me. Finishing it gave me a thrill. From there I kept writing on my own at home and later asked my English teacher to look over two other short stories that I had written. Even though these short stories were not for classwork she reviewed them and encouraged me to keep writing.
What genre do you write and why?
I write Science Fiction and Fantasy because I have always enjoyed reading both Science Fiction and Fantasy books, and I also enjoy reading and researching anything related to space. I wanted to write something that I would like to read. When I am writing I can create anything I want to create... it just feels more natural for me to create science fiction universes than real earth scenarios. I prefer to make the impossible into the possible.
Tell us about your latest book.
When I started homeschooling in my seventh grade year I found I had a lot of extra time... This is when Visionary from the Stars was started, though at the time it was called Exandra Missions. I would put together the story before I fell asleep. It eventually became so long and complex that I started writing it down, though it was another 10 years before I felt ready to find a publisher. Visionary from the Stars is a story about the intergalactic controversy that is created when a group of scientists finds an alien map that leads them across the galaxy in search of the one universal truth.
Here's the back copy:
A lone scientist, while observing the activities of a planetary object from her spaceship, is faced with the unbelievable proof that aliens do exist. For centuries, humans have thought that we are the only ones in this galaxy…and here, forcing its way onto her ship, is an alien species claiming to have humanity’s best interest in mind.
Meanwhile, the Star Traveler’s crew sets out on a camping trip on the surface of the moon. They stumble upon an object covered in alien writing that gives them the first piece of a galactic map. Unknown to them, it will lead them into an intergalactic controversy, with a group of aliens called the Platonians striving to sabotage their every move.
What marketing methods are you using to promote your book?
I primarily market my books online through my website and social media sites like Twitter, Facebook or Google+. However I have done a few book signings and school visits. I have also just joined a writing challenge called Row 80 (http://aroundofwordsin80days.wordpress.com/) that uses blog tour's to keep everyone connected, on track, and motivated towards finishing their own personal writing goals in 80 days.
What formats is the book available in?
Readers can find my book in all online retailers; Booksamillion, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon.com just to name a few! Though if there is a cheaper price I try to list it on my website for your convenience.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I do house work, run errands... Oh, you asked what do I 'like' to do! I like to knit or play video games with my kids and my husband. I also like to watch movies... Even though my favorites are always the science fiction and fantasy movies, I have also been known to watch romance and even the occasional horror film too.
Who are your favorite authors?
I am a big fan of series'. I read pretty fast so I need a good couple of books in a series to keep me satisfied! My favorite authors so far are: the Redwall series by: Brian Jacques, Lord of the Rings series by: J.R. Tolkien, the Harry Potter series by: J.K. Rowling, the Twilight series by: Stephanie Meyer, and the Fablehaven series by: Brandon Mull.
What advice do you have for other writers?
Keep writing, keep reading, keep learning. Write what you would want to read, if you put it away and months later it still entertains you... then it will entertain someone else too!
What's your favorite quote about writing/for writers?
My favorite quotes change often, but here are two that are pretty good:
There are three difficulties in authorship: to write anything worth publishing -- to find honest men to publish it -- and to get sensible men to read it. - Charles Caleb Cotton
To write good Science Fiction today...you must push further and harder, reach deeper into your own mind until you break through into the strange and terrible country wherein live your own dreams. - Gardner Dozois
What's the best thing about being a writer?
I think the best thing about being a writer is getting to create your own worlds, and your own characters to live in those worlds. The impossible becomes possible and everyone can live out their dreams in the pages of a book; writers make this possible.
Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
You can also see examples from my more recent writing projects on my blog: http://virginiajennings.webs.com/apps/blog/
I have also set up an author profile on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter in order to answer writing questions, interact with fans and meet fellow writers. Feel free to add me at www.facebook.com/virginialorijennings
and Twitter @ vljennings