Interview with V.L. Jennings

Interview with V.L. Jennings

What genre do you write and why? 

I write science fiction because I want to inspire more people to reach for their highest potential, reach for the stars, and explore the unknown.

Interview with V.L. Jennings
How was this book published? (traditional, small press, self pub, etcc...)  Why did you choose that particular publishing route?

I was originally self-published and was picked up by a small press who closed after a few years. I am now back to self-publishing. I love having control over my work. Being able to fix things on my schedule, and being able to give out as many reviewer copies as I want. I love being able to publish my work as fast as I’d like. With a traditional publisher you often become confined to their publishing work load- how many books they can publish per year.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad or good ones?

I do read my book reviews. If there is a glaring error that a reviewer found (hey, I am human after all), I will take a second look at the file to fix it. (Somehow managed to misspell Foreword…should be fixed now). Occasionally I will politely reply to the reviewer to thank them for alerting me to the error and letting them know that I fixed it. Good reviews, I deal with those by sharing those reviews on social media for everyone else to see!

Do you Google yourself?

Often. Not because I am conceited or anything, more so because google results will point out if the seo or other coding on my website isn’t working properly. If my website doesn’t show up on the first page when my name is googled then I know I need to work on my keyword programming on my website.

What advice do you have for other writers?

Spend lots of time learning your craft. Start off building a blog following. The people who like to read your blog posts are going to be the ones who will want to buy your books. Make sure your blog relates to what you write books about in some way.

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?

On my website:, I have quite a few short stories in my blog if you’d like to read some short science fiction too!

Did you learn anything from writing your book that was unexpected?

I inadvertently learned more about myself from writing my book. For example, the secondary main character in The Alien Mind reminds me a lot of my husband, even though he was written way before I ever met my husband. It took me 5 years into our marriage for me to realize that. My writing also helped me realize that I had a hidden enthusiasm for learning about electrical systems and inspired me to take my own advice of ‘reaching for the stars’ and take the leap into earning my degree in electrical engineering. I am loving it so far!

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I am a bit of both. I start out as a panster. Mostly thinking up story lines and scenarios while driving, while showering, or while trying to drift off to sleep. This way I can scrap scenes entirely or reimagine scenes (including dialogue) without having the burden of having to cut and paste, or erasing. Once I start writing it down I often hit a good flow until about halfway through the book. At this point I sit down and outline where I have been and where I will be going.

What are your thoughts on self-publishing verses traditional publishing?

Interview with V.L. Jennings
There are Pro’s and Con’s to each set. Self-published authors maintain more control over their work and don’t have to worry about a publisher closing, or a publisher restricting reviewer copies. Errors or updates can be easily made. The Con’s aspect of Self Publishing is that you are responsible for all of your own promotion, finding a good cover, and making sure the editors you choose do a good job.

With a traditional publisher, unless they are ‘the big 5’, you have to worry about the publisher closing- which means yet another edition of your work shows up on amazon, goodreads, and other places that track multiple editions. You may still have to worry that a publisher will approve a cover for your book that does not work for your genre or be restricted to their in house illustrators. You also won’t have much control over who your editor is. If an error gets left in the file, it is often a major hassle to get it fixed. Many traditional publishers use Ingram to publish through. If you want something fixed or want to add new promotional stuff in the back of the book for a new book coming out the publisher will have to pay to reupload that file. This can often lead to severe delays in getting things fixed or added. Same goes for changes to meta data or information on online stores like amazon; they don’t have to pay but it can be a while before the changes get made

I’ll be the first to tell you, I LOVED having a publisher, even though they were a small publisher. I loved being able to tell people that someone else enjoyed my work enough to publish it. It DOES add more credibility to your work. Lately, as long as the book looks professionally done, fewer people care whether the book has a traditional publisher or is indie published.

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

With my current schedule it is more like when do I have time to write?

I am married and have three children. My current nonwriting activities involve taking children to doctors appointments and after school functions like band and play practice. We also love to do renovation projects and recently finished gutting our entire bathroom down to the studs and rebuilding it.

Most of the week, however, I am attending college classes toward my degree in Electronics Engineering. I graduate next May.

Which is why I do most of my writing in my head. Once I get the ending nailed down I’ll get it out on paper. I’m currently working on a two book sequel to The Alien Mind.


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