I’ve fired up the Interview With An Author series once more and I’ve got lots of exciting #IndieBooksBeSeen authors lined up for the coming weeks so enjoy! – Melissa.
Jennifer Anne Seidler lives with her husband, three children, dog, chickens, rabbits and one very cute (according to her daughter) hamster on the shores of the scenic Wisconsin River. She is an alumna of Millikin University where she studied theater and creative writing, as well as DePaul University where she earned her Juris Doctor. She is a brown belt, working toward her black belt in Karate. Jenn’s technical and scholarly work has been printed in publications such as the DePaul Law Review, the FDCC Quarterly, and Fire and Arson Investigator. Jenn has been writing stories for as long as she can remember, but “Dry Land” is her first foray into the world of published fiction.
What’s your favourite book and why?
It’s a whole series of books, actually. I love the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde. The prose is so inventive, and the story so off the wall and yet grounded, it’s all so amazing. Thursday Next is an amazing everywoman heroine. She’s so easy to identify with, yet her adventures are so creative. Jasper’s mind is one I’d love to live in for a while.
What’s your writing routine?
There really is no routine. I write when I get inspiration. When I do it’s usually thinking of the story when I’m trying to sleep at night, when I’m awake in the morning, over my coffee. I make dialogue by talking to myself in the car on the way to work. I use voices. Yes, I act out the parts as I’m writing the scenes in my head, call me crazy. I work off of a general outline but I often find myself writing myself off on tangents. Some tangents I keep, some I dispose of.
Tea, or Coffee? Starbucks trenta iced coffee with sugar free vanilla, thank you.
As a first time author, how are you finding the publishing process?
It’s both rewarding and disheartening. The highs are high and the lows are low. It’s a matter of toughening up, taking the hits and remembering the good parts. It’s looking at the dips in sales, or even the zeros in sales and then smiling when we look back at the good days. It’s feeling that “oh no” feeling when we get a negative review, but then looking back and seeing the plaudits and feeling good. It’s knowing that not everyone is going to enjoy the work, that the book is not always someone else’s cup of tea, that someone is going to pick apart the story, and others are going to suspend their disbelief and enjoy. It’s not expecting too much, and yet expecting the best out of ourselves. It’s a lot of marketing. Putting ourselves out there. It’s enjoyable. It’s nerve wracking. It’s worth it.
How many books have you written and what are they?
I’ve written a number of books, but Dry Land is the first one I’ve decided to publish.
Is there anything controversial or different about your writing?
I’ve been sort of judged for writing a male character’s POV (point of view) as a female writer. That goes back to the influence of Jasper Fforde. He can successfully write a female character as a male writer. Why can’t a woman do the same? I thought the criticism was unfounded and I wanted to at least make an attempt to prove that. I hope I was successful.
How do you manage your time? Is it hard balancing your writing life with your working life?
Yes and no. Work does demand. I have a full time professional job, and I deal with sensitive issues and cases where I have to give it my entire focus. My family is very important to me. I’m on the last phase before I enter black belt training. It’s a matter of learning when to write when the inspiration strikes and when to let it go when it’s not there. It’s getting up an hour early to take care of marketing stuff. It’s working until two in the morning to finish that chapter.
Are you self-published or with an agent? Was this an active choice?
I am self-published. It was an active choice, as I wanted to control the content and the image, for better or for worse. I also think that independent publication is the wave of the future. Don’t get me wrong, if an agent came along and was interested in my work, I wouldn’t say no, but I like the way I’ve done this. Maybe next time I’ll seek out an agent. If one will have me.
Do you have a writing space? Tell us what it’s like!
It’s my kitchen table with my kids watching TV in the living room and my dog bugging me for treats.
What did you struggle with the most when writing your new book?
I struggled with the length of it. I cut out a lot of filler, a lot of fluff and a lot of stuff that really didn’t belong there. I wanted the story to be streamlined, but not bereft of the important things. I wanted to keep it novella length, but struggled with doing that. I ended up making short stories out of two scenes I cut from the main story. Whether that was a good choice, I’m not sure, but I liked those sections.
You’ve got a new book out! What’s it about?
Ted “Shakespeare” Hardiston is an intelligent architect and a veteran astronaut. He and the crew of the Space Shuttle Liberty are sent to the Moon to complete work and to live on Lunar Base One, the first manned base off-planet. As part of their work, they terraform the Moon, giving it gravity and an atmosphere. This, however, does not come without consequences, and whether the consequences are known or unforeseen is a question only Ted’s crew mate, Daniel Pierce, can answer. Ted, the ectype Codie-5 Kehlstrom, and the rest of the crew of the Space Shuttle Liberty must act fast and make sacrifices in order to save the Earth below. Complicating matters is a rather shocking revelation about Ted’s true nature and his purpose in this crew, on this mission, and his life.
What it’s really about is the consequences of our human impulse to create in our image, to form nature to our selfish needs, to explore what we can explore. It’s about personal knowledge, about deception and what does that does to the human (or not so human) heart, and about what it means to be human.
How did you decide on cover art? Did you consult with a designer or is it all you?
The cover art is all mine, but I’ve reached out to a designer to see if we can spice it up. I do like simplicity in book covers. I like easy colors and bold typeface, but I think mine currently may be too simple. We’ll see!
Any links or websites you would like my readers to visit?