Interview with Jessica Marie Baumgartner
Tell us about your latest book.
By the Stars poured out of me. It is the first in a Science Fiction Trilogy where a nightmare is realized as Allie boards a space ship that will transport her and her children from their home forever. The human population has dwindled to around 15,000 because the Earth’s become hostile. If they stay they will die.
The alien race who’s come to their rescue seem to have no concept of selfishness, but Allie has her doubts. She’s separated from her husband and left to fend for her family on her own. It’s up to her to make sure that they survive the trip across the stars.
What advice do you have for other writers?
Stop listening to everyone else tell you how to write. Sit down and do it. Editing can fix any discrepancies later. Also, connect with other writers, we are a very accepting and encouraging community.
What's your favourite quote about writing/for writers?
My writing Yoda, Marc Peirson (known to readers as Mark Pearson) said it best, “Writing is like building castles out of pebbles.” I use that all the time now. It keeps me going when I get discouraged.
Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
My website is perfect for that: www.jessicamariebaumgartner.com
Who is you favorite character in your book and why?
Janis, she's the comic relief and I have a huge thing for side characters. They make stories more real.
Why do you think readers are going to enjoy your book?
It's a universal tale that could be set anywhere. My writing Yoda actually said he felt like he was reading a western when I sent it to him.
How long did it take you to write your book?
Maybe a month or less. I write fast. A chapter a night does it for me. When I'm done I don't write again for a while and then there's the hell of editing.
Did you learn anything from writing your book that was unexpected?
Absolutely. I used to have to write an outline for everything. This story refused to allow it. No matter what I tried to plan for, the plot veered. It's like it wrote itself.
What is your work in progress? Tell us about it.
Book 2 of the series. I don't even have a title for it yet. But I've been scribbling out a chapter a night. This one's difficult because its 10 years later and follows the eldest daughter from the first book. She's my opposite, so getting into her head has been a painful but rewarding experience.
What books or authors have most influenced your life?
I love so many book books, but Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre was the first that crept so far into my soul that I immediately started reading it again after finishing it for the first time. Wild Ink by Richard Smyth is like that too. It's more gritty, but has become a piece of me.