- What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
My name is Jennifer Steen…well that’s my pen name actually. With identity theft and everything, a girl can’t be too careful, right? So I was born in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma… I know that name sounds weird to most people, but it really is a pretty sizable city. It’s just outside of Tulsa Oklahoma. I currently live in Leander, TX.
- What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
My latest book is A Little Push. Cassie McCrown from Gathering Leaves Reviews said it best, “A Little Push” is a true-to-life short story about a mother of three who is facing the loss of a parent.”
- Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
I’m constantly brainstorming new projects. I have a science fiction fantasy novel that’s coming along “The Jewels of Mailus” and “Force Perspective” is a piece I’m co-writing with writing friend Brian Hook. I also have Rain Plays Barefoot which was just released last month. It’s YA Romantic Comedy, and I totally recommend people read that one if they want to know anything about myself.
- How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
I write for all kinds of reasons. I’ve been writing since high school but I didn’t become obsessed until about three years ago. I started with my Novel, and then on the side these little shorts kind of pop out from time to time. It’s a good way to vent about random things that come up.
- Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
- How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books?Who designed the Cover of your books?
Aiphos Sender, a.k.a my sister-in-law is a very talented artist and did me the pleasure of doing my artwork. Very stunning, I think anyway. (aiphos-sender.deviantart.com/gallery/
- Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
All of the time…actually most of the time. But I try to mix everything up and exchange the personal traits and circumstantial details of the people involved. Really it starts as a memory sometimes, but then grows into a story of its own. The characters start out as different personas inside myself, but then they grow a will of their own as a workshop the piece. I have less and less control over what they do, and I feel like I know them.
- Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?
Gosh…most of the Authors I love, I write nothing like. I love Orson Scott Card, Anne McCafferey, Christopher Durang. Maybe I’m a little Durang-ish when I write comedy, and plays, but that’s it.
- Which format of book do you prefer, ebook,hardback, or paperback?
Kindle, kindle, kindle…I love my Kindle! I named it squishy and the squishy is mine.
- What is your favourite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
Of all time? Tough question! I’d have to say “Pride and Prejudice”. Mostly because the characters are so complex. You can just see a million angles in every interaction they have with each other. Every time in read it, which is at least once a year, I focus on some new thing and I’m amazed at all of the things I haven’t seen before. Like, the mysterious relationship between Mary and Mr. Collins. Why the heck didn’t they get together? Some movies show it, some don’t… it’s all wrapped around a few short phrases in the book which are ambiguous.
11. Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favourite/worst book to movie transfer?
Some do. I think it depends on where the story is. Is the story outside of the person? If much of the story is internal than it’s harder; but it can work with a talented screen writer involved. Also, with behemoths like LOTR that gets tricky unless you want to make three movies. Really, you have to expect that the screen play – being a different medium – is going to be more of a rippled reflection of the original. When you go to see a movie of your favorite book, expect to experience something new. It’s like comparing strawberry sherbet to strawberry Jello. It’s really only meant to get you to want to read the book. You can say, “Hey I like strawberry.”
- What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it?(ebook, hardback or paperback)
I’m currently reading The Empire by Elizabeth Lang, a good friend of mine. I totally recommend it. I can’t quite put it down.
- Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn't finish?
Eragon. Sorry but it felt too stale, too cut and paste of Star Wars, LOTR, and Harry Potter. I’m like, okay…if you’re going to copy someone’s idea, trying something not everyone and their dog has already read. At least attempt to do something new, for heaven’s sake! Maybe the book gets better but I couldn’t make it past the first few chapters.
- Are there any New Authors you are interested in for us to watch out for? and Why should we watch out for them?
Well Elizabeth Lang is really good, and Albert F Bower Jr. has a great short entitled “The Farm” thrilling! Alison Loris is extremely talented as well.
- Is there anything in your book/books you would change now if you could and what would it be?
In Rain Plays Barefoot I would have made it more of a challenge for her to make 2nd chair. She’s the first girl percussionist in her school and it’s a big deal. She agonizes over how the boys are going to respond and has her first crush. Less attention was made on the accomplishment of doing well than maybe I should have put. But still, it’s a really fun read.
- What do you think about book trailers?
I like them. I don’t think they are as good an indication of the book itself as a blurb written by the author. I think it’s important to preview something the author themselves has written – not their editor or publisher. Then you’ll know what sort of quality your getting.
- What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Write, write, write, write, and write some more. Then read and exchange critiques with people. Search for readers who will be honest with you. Good writing is never about ego – remember that. A story can ALWAYS get better. It’s never perfect, period.
- Do you or would you ever use a pen name?
I do use a pen name.
Where can readers follow you?
Your blog details? http://www.jensteen.net/apps/blog/
Your web site ? http://www.jensteen.net
Your facebook page? http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002593912651
Your Goodreads author page? http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5029418.Jennifer_Steen
Your Twitter details? @JenniferSteen1
And any other information you wish to supply?
In my blog I try to give helpful tips and tricks for new authors. Check it out! I also co-lead a writing group on Story Write. It has about 70 members and we are always looking for new people. If you’re interested get a free Story Write membership and join us. We are “Inkception”.