Thursday, March 7, 2013

Interview with Author Virginia Lori Jennings

Would you tell the readers a little bit about yourself? I am 25 years old, married, with three children. I have taken screenwriting college courses, courses to be a science teacher, and even some graphics design courses... Besides being a writer, a mom, and an admin of a rather large writers group online, I STILL don't know what I want to be when I grow up.
I love being creative: knitting, painting, drawing, building, home remodeling, singing. I am always busy. I enjoy playing miniature golf with my kids, and watching science fiction or action movies with my husband. In between all of these things I like to think of random stuff and decide to make stories out of them.

Which book or books are you currently promoting?
I am currently promoting my juvenile science fiction novel called The Alien Mind.

Can you tell us what the book/books are about?
A group of aliens called the Aruk abduct 150 children from Earth intent on studying them to learn human weaknesses. The children are later rescued, adopted, and raised by aliens called the Aunantet who teach the children how to maximize their intellects and develop their special mental gifts. When the Aruk attack again Rivi stays behind to make sure the children can escape. Without a way to follow the children, Rivi's Aunantet guardians send her back to Earth to hide from the Aruk.
On Earth, 14 yr old Rivi struggles to blend into Earth society and hide her abilities all while going to school and trying to make friends like a normal Earth child. She finds a friend in Daniel who has his own problems with bullies in their middle school. Can she help him overcome his own lack of confidence when she is hiding secret fears of her own? It will take both her and Daniel learning to face their fears, overcome their weaknesses, and draw strength from their friendship if they are to escape from the Aruk and overthrow their plot to enslave the galaxy.

How did you come up with the idea for this book series? Pieces of it were inspired by conversations with my father, pieces of it were inspired by some quantum theory books I was reading, and other pieces were inspired by movies like The Matrics, and stories from Star Trek.
With this book, I wanted to explore my thoughts on how I felt humans would react to people who developed special abilities, to the idea that aliens do exist, and what the results might be of an advanced culture developing abilities that no other culture had. In other words- I was curious about the development of an alien 'God' complex.

What can you tell us about your main characters?Rivi is a 14 year old young girl who was kidnapped along with 149 other children and then raised by aliens at a young age. Her alien parents are Ankh and Enuet. While memories from the day that she was taken from Earth still haunt her at times, she eventually finds strength in leading the fight against the vary aliens who are trying to enslave the children once more. As a gifted Comp Amalgamator, she can use her mind to meld into the very workings of any electronic device.
The second main character is Daniel Peterson,Rivi refers to him as Dan. Dan was raised on Earth by foster parents. He meets Rivi on her first day of school on Earth when she stops a group of bullies from attacking him. As they end up being paired together for a school project, Rivi suggests their subject be ‘Mind over Matter’ as they work on Daniel’s problems with the local bullies. Dan turns out to be her closest friend and ally as he joins her on her trip across space to defeat the Aruk who are after her and the 149 children.


What made you decide to become a writer? When I was young I had a lot of problems falling asleep at night. I would create stories in my head as this was a far more entertaining option than counting sheep... When the stories became too long and complex and really began to take on a life of their own I decided that it was high time for me to start writing them down.

How long does it usually take for you to write a book? This would depend on how steadily I am working on the book. I wrote The Alien Mind in the space of one year, just to see if I could. Other projects I tend to write as my inspiration strikes so they take longer.

 
Do you have a general idea of what direction you want the plot to take ahead of time? I prefer to work on the story in my head, including dialogue, before I begin to write anything down. I will trash a story line and rework it from the beginning in my mind many times before I am ready to put anything in a word document.


Have you ever had second doubts about a story you’ve written? ALL the time! I am often plagued by thoughts of, "What if this isn't good enough?' "What if other people find it dumb?". At the end of the day I always force myself to recognize the reality that I do not write for other people, I write for me. I write to let my creative spirit breathe. This brings to life the realization that the only thing that really matters is if I am entertained by my own story. If I am entertained by it, then there is a good chance that others will be entertained by it too.

 
What other projects are you currently working on?I am currently working on an observational humor instructional coffee table book FOR Aliens. That is the only way I can explain it without giving too much away. My husband chuckles while reading it so it must be halfway decent. I also have a science fiction book with a medieval twist that I am working on, tentatively titled The Sword Of The White Knight. Readers can find out more on this project in my blog.

 
What is different about your books from other books on the market? I'd like to think many things make them different from other books. I love to write books that the whole family can enjoy, and I also love to write stories that inspire people, especially children to reach for their dreams and dream big.


How long have you been writing?I have been actively writing since I was in 6th grade. I started with short stories and my book Visionary From The Stars was started in 7th grade. I'm 25 now so that makes 12 years that I have been actively writing, though I can remember being interested in writing from as early as 3rd grade.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us that we have not already covered?Stay tuned! I will be publishing a revised second edition of Visionary From The Stars in the fall of this year. Its contract was recently picked up by a traditional publisher, PDMI Direct. The staff and their work is awesome and I look forward to working with them!

Where can the readers find more information about you?

I keep my website up to date at http://www.virginiajennings.webs.com. All of my social media links can be found on the front page of my website. You can stop by any one of those links and leave me a review or even just say hi, I LOVE to hear from my readers!

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for hosting me today and for all of your thought provoking questions!

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  2. Great interview, Virginia! I got to know a lot about you here! Best wishes with your book!

    ReplyDelete