Today I have an amazing author with me, Jenna Elizabeth Johnson, the author of Faelorehn. She graciously has agreed to do an interview with me and also volunteered to giveaway FIVE e-book copies of Faelorehn to some very lucky INTERNATIONAL winners! I am sure you are all very excited about this =D
To see my review of Faelorehn click HERE
And then continue on to read my awesome interview with Jenna as well as enter our amazing international contest =D!!
Two things inspired me to write Faelorehn. First, the handful of years I spent in college studying Celtic myth and lore, and second, Amanda Hocking's book, Switched. After graduation I started my writing career, beginning with my middle grade fantasy, The Legend of Oescienne - The Finding. Although the books in that series have a Celtic undertone, I slowly started thinking about incorporating the actual gods and goddesses and some of the themes found in the Irish legends into future books. A few years ago, I happened to pick up Switched and realized that Amanda Hocking had done the same thing I hoped to accomplish, only she incorporated changeling lore into her book. That's when I started to get more serious about writing a YA series that would make the world of the ancient Celts a little more accessible to teens, and so the beginnings of Faelorehn started surfacing in my mind.
I saw in your author bio that you have a degree in Art Practice with an emphasis in Celtic Studies. What made you choose Celtic Studies?
I discovered Celtic Studies on accident. I'd always been interested in Ireland and Scotland (some of my ancestors come from those countries and for ten years I threw the shot put (a Scottish event) in track and field). One day while walking through campus, I stumbled upon a career fair that had several tables set up presenting the many different departments at my college. One of the tables belonged to the Celtic Studies department. I grabbed some pamphlets and decided to sign up for a few classes. From that point on, I was hooked.
You also seem to have a very awesome free time life, such as writing, drawing, reading, gardening, camping and hiking, and even practicing the art of long sword combat and archery. Are there any other cool things you do in your free time? And was Meghan’s character at all inspired by yourself or your personal experiences?
Let's see . . . What else do I do in my free time . . . Oh, I know! I do make my own Halloween costumes and every now and again I will throw together tea cozies, small bags/totes and quilts (nothing fancy; just squares and batting ;)). I designed and sewed my own archery gloves as well. I'm also trying to take up beekeeping. My friends built me a beehive for Christmas last year, and now I'm trying to find the time to take some classes before I get my bees. I love honey, especially in my tea, and bees are very important to the Celts.
As to Meghan's character being inspired by any of my personal experiences, I'd have to say that in some cases she was. Some of the things that happen to her in regards to the mean girls and boys at school are loosely based on my own high school experiences. In fact, I drew on my own high school tormentors to develop Meghan's enemies. A few of her friends are also based on my high school friends, but other than that, we're not that similar.
Your writing style in Faelorehn is very visual. Did you happen to be inspired to draw any of the characters or creatures while writing?
Oddly, I haven't really been inspired to sketch any of the characters or creatures for Faelorehn. I have a rough map of the Otherworld floating around somewhere, but that's it. I have tons of stuff for the Oescienne series (everything from full-color scenes I've drawn up to a field guide of the creatures that live in that world and several maps). Maybe one of these days I'll be inspired to illustrate the Cúmorrig or some of the other faelah.
What is your usual routine for getting ready to write and while writing?
Okay, when my Muse isn't on vacation, I prefer to get up early in the morning (around 4 am if I can train myself to go to bed early enough) and write before I go to work. I'll make myself breakfast and tea (I must have tea) and I might light a scented candle. Then I get my music list going (mostly new age Celtic and traditional Celtic instrumental for the Otherworld books; classical and any instrumental that strikes my fancy for the other books I'm working on), and I get to work. Some days I just stare at the computer screen and wait for the story to come to me, on other days I am able to write for an hour or two straight through. It all depends on whether or not the inspiration is flowing that morning. I've also gone into my local Starbucks several times with my headphones and my laptop to get in a few hours of writing before work.
What do you think your spirit animal would look like?
Oh, now this is a good question. I am going to go with a raven (although the Morrigan is represented by a raven and human history has given them a bad rap, I don't believe they are evil in the least :)). Not only do I love corvids, but according to my Celtic zodiac, my animal sign is a raven. I've always liked birds and I've always wanted a crow or a raven for a pet. They're so smart and it would be cool to have one to keep me company, especially if it happened to be a spirit guide.
Who is your real world hero and why?
This is a hard one. I have several heroes and for many reasons, yet there are so many every day heroes who never get recognized. I'm talking about people who make a difference in their community by taking part in completely selfless acts for the benefit of others. In my opinion, if you have ever had a positive impact on someone's life, then you are a hero to me.
If you got the letter today that you were going to go to Hogwarts, what animal would you bring? (Owl, Cat, or Toad)
I'm going to have to go with an owl. I love cats and toads, but it would be totally awesome to have an owl to deliver your mail for you. A Great Horned or Great Grey owl would be my first choices.
This or That
Night reading or Day reading?
Reading or Drawing?
I'm more inclined to read, but being an artist I get that inkling to draw up a storm every now and again ;).
Reading outside on a sunny day or Reading inside on a cold rainy night?
Cold rainy night (or day). It's my favorite kind of weather because it is perfect for curling up on the couch with a blanket and some tea to read a good book or (hopefully) write one.
YA or Adult?
I prefer Adult, but I've been branching out and finding some good YA of late.
Vampires or Zombies?
I was never a huge fan of either, but vampires have been growing on me recently and I'm even considering writing a vampire series . . .