Hello there everyone.
We have a fantastic guest for you for the Author Interviews Series. I’d like to welcome author Jenna Whittaker as she talks to us about her motivations, inspirations and what drives her to be a writer.
Hi there Jenna, it is a real pleasure to have you as our guest here today.
Let’s start with your novels – you’ve been a very busy lady! You’ve just published your fourth book a few days ago. Tell us a little bit about them all, you’ve covered quite a few genres including fantasy, horror, sci-fi and dystopia, which is no mean feat to say the least. Let’s hear more about the worlds you have created and the conflicts all of your characters face.
Well, my books basically encompass my writing journey–as it has been so far. My first novel, Dreamscape, is a fantasy novel set in the usual fantasy world, but the aspects of gods, alternate dimensions, and time, are turned on their heads in this book. It was truly my first finished novel–I started with the idea when I was around 15, wrote in it here and there, but always lacked the proper knowledge, tools, and motivation to round it all up into a coherent story and complete it!
Watership is my second book, and my first foray into science fiction. I’ve always read fantasy books, but I love the freedom that other genres can also give, when you abandon the tropes of sword and sorcery. This book is written from the perspective of a non-human character, and a completely alien environment, with mentions of a past, normal earth–and the struggle for the characters to return to a semblance of that. I feel that this both allows an entirely unique perspective on the story, while also giving a bit of familiarity for the readers to identify with.
Now onto my third! The Last Immortal is another fantasy, but I think that this one fits better into the dystopian genre. It involves a race of cat-like creatures, humans who are immortal, a dying earth–shattered into a thousand pieces with cities perched on the edges of the abyss–and a woman who isn’t immortal; but something else entirely.
My final novel, Dance of Desolation, was initially inspired by the world of Dreamscape, but once I got into the story, it completely changed direction. This book is also a fantasy, and takes what you’d expect about magic, and twists it. The main character in this novel uses the leylines of energy surrounding the earth for instantaneous (but limited) transport, and the antagonists utilise darker magic, placing stones in their eyes to do so. It’s a bit darker than my other books, and I think it explores a lot more aspects in it–in the characters’ relationships, the kinds of magic and their effects on people, and even different environments in the earth.
What do like most about writing for your particular genres? Are you looking to expand into other genres or will you be sticking with the ones you have chosen to write for so far?
I love the freedom that the fantasy and sci-fi genres give! I don’t have to follow the rules of Earth (be it the laws and government, or even natural laws like gravity), be culturally and historically accurate…I have freedom to create a world that fits my story. I started with only fantasy, but have since expanded to dystopian, with some steampunk elements, and science fiction. I’ll go where my books lead me! I usually start with an idea, and write it…and choose whatever genre fits best once it’s done.
What is the hardest thing that you find about writing? And what do you find is the easiest thing?
The hardest thing, for me, is definitely editing. I tend to write a lot parser than I should, so any scene is very difficult for me to cut out! The easiest thing is coming up with the ideas in the first place. I have a document FULL of potential story ideas…I think I have too many of them!
Who are some of the authors in general that inspire you?
I love books by Robin Hobb and Ian Irvine, in terms of fantasy. Frank Herbert’s books, specifically the Destination Void, Jesus Incident, and Lazarus Effect…those continue to inspire my books to this day.
What sort of research do you do to write your books?
Usually a book comes from a couple ideas, brainstorming…then I just write. It depends on the specific book and my knowledge of the aspects required in it, as to what I need to research. I know about taking care of animals, but I know nothing of blacksmithing, for instance. It’s very much on a case-by-case basis, and it helps that a lot of my books are set in very alien worlds, where the rules can–within reason–basically be made up on the fly.
Why do you write? What inspired you to become a writer?
I’m not actually sure. I’ve always written. I grew up loving to read, and as a kid would be reading adult fantasy and science fiction novels, usually finishing several (300+ page) books per week! I think my love to create what’s in my head that I use for my artwork translated easily into writing the worlds and characters I imagine too.
What keeps you motivated during creative slumps? How do you deal with Writers Block?
Setting goals. If I find myself running out of creative energy, of ideas, I tend to back off the novel for a bit and go find inspiration in other books, or my artwork. Just letting my mind have a break. If the problem is motivation or ‘writer’s block’, instead of just being burned out, then discipline is the key, for me. Setting a reachable goal of an amount of words to write per day, even if I think they’re awful, quickly gets me back in the writing mood and I find ideas begin to pour into my head faster than I can write them down!
How do you spend your free time when you are not writing?
When I’m not writing, I’m usually busy with my artwork…doing fantasy art, commissions, concept art…At the moment I’m working on a book cover I’ve been hired to complete!
Tell us more about your upcoming projects. Are you working on anything specific or have plans in the pipeline?
Well, being that I just finished the two WIP’s I had going, I now have to start from scratch again! I had an idea brewing already, and now have 6,000 words done on it…but it’ll be quite a while before that’s ready for publication. Keep an eye out on my Twitter, Facebook, and blog for updates on my writing progress!
Finally, are there any nuggets of wisdom that you can impart to other aspiring writers?
Oh, goodness. There’s so much advice out there…but I think the best piece of advice for any aspiring writer is to just WRITE. Even if you think it’s rubbish, the more you write–and look into the process of writing well–the better you’ll get. An aspiring author is only words away from becoming an *actual* author.
My name is Jenna Whittaker and I am an Australian author who has been writing fantasy, science fiction, and horror novels for as long as I can remember! I love writing, my artwork, and caring for animals.
I have 4 novels currently published: Fantasy, dystopian, and science fiction!
You can connect to Jenna via these social media platforms:-
Twitter: Jenna Whittaker (Twitter)
Linkedin: Jenna Whittaker (LinkedIn)
Deviantart: Jenna Whittaker – DeviantArt
Pinterest: Jenna Whittaker – Pinterest
Sketchmob: Jenna Whittaker – Sketchmob
You can also buy her books here:-
If you too would like to be interviewed on my blog at TooFullToWrite and you have a book or a series of books that you would like us to chat about then fill out the Contact Me form here with your details and we can arrange a future interview slot.
Still want more? Well, Jenna is an accomplished artist, as well as an author. There is a prompt over at The Daily Post called ‘Paint’. For more art and artist related posts, check out the articles from my fellow bloggers below:-
1. Paint – Flower Clocks
2. fake smile – Celebrating ART
3. Dialy Prompts August 2016 – My Garden Biodiversity
4. Iamabloggertoo – Paint On !
5. Blog by Kristen – Detail of blue-green painting
6. burntbreakfast – Day 16-27:My Complicated Muse
7. simply.cindy – Fun with Paint
8. Theresa Barker – Lab Notes – The Lost Daughter
9. Ticket in Romania…#1 – iamioana
10. kwesi – Paint this town Gray
11. A Texan’s View of Upstate New York – Painting D.I.Y.
12. Fluffy Pool – Character Arcs
13. Aug 2016 Daily Prompts – My Garden Biodiversity
14. Derelict Heart – Love’s Painting
15. Myammy! Moving in together at 50… – Whoa! There is a modicum of pain in Paint
16. As I See Things – Paint My World
17. Paint – blackcattwriting
18. Life is this blank canvas! – Abi&Stella
19. Eden of Knowledge – Paint
20. Nikewrites Blog – The Painting
21. on her Thoughts – Louiesse
22. Sacrificial Chain Breaker – SMALL TOWN DRAMA
23. Le Drake Noir – Pyrenees, carpe diem
24. Eden of Knowledge – Painting a good picture of yourself
25. Faith Unlocked – Original Master
26. The last over – Ever wondered why…
27. The Lazy Wanderer – Paint
28. Narutomath96 – Paint it acoustic – From what he heard
29. Sophie – My Second Act, Scene One
30. HarlemATL Inner City Blues – A Glowing Canvas
31. Light & life – Iridescent Clouds
32. That Night – Through Her Eyes
33. Canvas – Life at 17
34. The Blogathon – The Constantly Puzzled Mind
35. Oh, Noisy Mind – A Mind Healing
36. Why Paint? – Whispers in the Wind
37. Ceruleanpassion – Paint my life
38. The Floor Painter – Blog of Hammad Rais
39. Eveleigh Projects – Eveleigh BS: The Window chapter
40. somawrites – Pleasant details
41. Paint life colorful – Positive Ponders
42. Paint me New – mycarve
43. The Evening Artist – Paint – Self Portrait
44. Painted Dreams – The Mistful Mind
45. life in between – Pink Flamingo
46. The Master Painter – The voice of a seed
47. Friendship – Un-communicated Lightning
48. “Paint” – A Pre-Published Indie Author
49. When all is dark, there IS a beam of Light – Bouquet of Scents & Spices & Light
50. The fresh paint… – maybeiamsure
51. Paint Your Story – The Road to There
52. helen meikle’s scribblefest – Daily prompt: True colours
53. Our Artsy Fartsy Family – My Painted Rock
54. PAINT – My QuotesVilla
55. The Poetry Channel – Decoupage Woods
56. websaladbar – Who Painted My Keyboard?
57. Tilly’s Townhouse – Sunday 07
58. Notes to self – Sunday mornings
59. Painted World – StrangeLander2015
60. Between The Colors and Strokes – atrangizindagieksafar
61. Paint – All About Ruhi
62. Paint – thinkingsoulblog
63. Purposive Writer – Weekly Photo Challenge: Morning
64. MY ENDURING BONES – Picture This
65. Full-Time – Look
66. Daily Post Prompt: Neon Signs Paint the Sky, A Poem – Sumyanna Writes
67. Mainline_Matter – Water Color Paint
68. Paint – Why This? Why That?
69. Paint – whatamberthinks
70. Just a Little Face Paint – An Extraordinary Ordinary Life
71. inspiration in progress – Painting is Hard Work
72. Baby Blue – novahswrites
73. dreams – know my heart
74. Not Just a Different Color – Rabbit Fish Blog
75. Painting 6895 – KangaWithoutRoo
76. Done – Making Sense of Complications
77. Weekly Round Up [Paint] – H DIARY
78. Blue Bell – A Moment to Reveal My Foundation, Did the Illustrator Paint These Just For Me?
79. PAINT IT AGAIN – breathingpark
80. Paint – disue
81. so, this is love? – lemonadeletter
82. Daily doodle on the Painter app – ink and toast
83. The Tough Run – Sneakers on Pavement
84. Martha L Shaw – A NEW MORNING
85. Coatings – Vivid Dreamer
86. Paint Your Past With Words – Jacki Kellum Memoir – Paint Your Past
87. Water of Rain – Grace in Brushstrokes
88. Smores and Sundresses – Paint
89. So Literal – Sascha Darlington’s Microcosm Explored
90. Oh the wind – BookmarkingTheDays
91. Unbroken – Ayoka
92. ARHtistic License – Feathers
93. debooWORKS – Pravada Vitez
94. forgottenmeadows – Paint
95. life in between – Brown Eyed (or Black or Purple Eyed!) Susan
96. Writing Web – Daily Prompt for August 7, 2016
97. Po’ Girl Shines – So Paint Already!
98. Cage Dunn: Writer and Author – A Splash of this and that
99. Mirth and Motivation – Inspiration: A Season Of Friendships
100. Interesting – indisputably inconclusive
101. Gold – indisputably inconclusive
102. playing in the dirt with George…….. ⋆ Obsolete Childhood
103. Paint – Kathy’s Komments
104. Painting Dreams – Emotional Spaces
105. Belinda O – Some Things Do Work Out
106. The Reveal – Alchemy of Story
107. “By the Numbers” Archive – The Mono-Economy of the New Millennium
108. Paint, Paint, Paint – Food, Wine & Spirit Guru
109. We will paint the world with our love – Painted in words
110. Bolognese’s Blog – Don’t you paint!
111. Note to Traveler – Medieval Village of Monemvasia
112. Ex/Paint ~ Exaction – Word Adventures
113. artifiswords – CAN I PAINT?
114. Paint – Explore with Mafaza
115. debooWORKS – Fray
116. Children’s artwork – Geek Ergo Sum
117. Head To Toe Beauty For You – Once upon a time….
118. Common Pursuit – A Painting
119. Paint Me Across the Map – by emily
120. MummyKaur – I’m decorating our bedroom
121. My Simple Blog – Paint
122. HoPe&AnChOr – P.A.I.N.T
123. Scouting For Sanity – Today’s Prompt: Paint
124. Writcrit – Paints in Life
125. The Bridge – ideas and culture
126. Paint – The Untold Want
127. Crystalline blues – sci.casual
128. Shell Games – Paint Me Like One Of Your Video Game Girls
129. painting the future – Love it Now
130. Musings of a Random Mind – The Paint Job
131. Zombie Flamingos – Ah, a Saturday evening dinner
132. Life in Portofino – At the Easel
133. Flowers and Breezes – Paint
134. debooWORKS – City Of Joy
135. One Down – A lot from Lydia
136. lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown – Paint Theory
137. Rain painting – Words in verse…..
138. wordsareallihavesite – Paint
139. Jaded Psychodelicide – Cosmic Cloak
140. Paint – Image & Word
141. quiet time journal – If I Could Paint…
142. Architectural Abstraction – The Corporate Fawn
143. olessial – A painter
144. F.R.I.E.N.D.S. – Palpable Pennings
145. Peaceful Journey
146. debooWORKS – The Love for Shoes
147. kStan(ly) kSays – the paper was monochromatic
148. Art! – Some More Fiction
149. Paint – Inner Whispers
150. Jibber Jabber with Sue – Making the Most of Today
151. Shades and hues of experiences. – rupalislale
152. The Checkered Man – Bridging the gap between what is and what could be
153. Paint: New Coat for Living Life – Shelby’s Starlit Crossing
154. Greetings – Paint – rachelthewinoneighbor
155. kStan(ly) kSays – royalty
156. Sara Doolittle – Painting my life
157. Giggles & Tales – The Daily Prompt – Paint!
158. Tournesols – Jane Dougherty Writes
159. What he painted – Awordseeker
160. Paint – Her Snippets
161. vertical combustion – the visible spectrum
162. SERENDIPITY – NEW PAINT FOR AGING GATES
163. Saint P. Blogging – Prompt for the Day: “Paint”
164. Your Nibbled News (c) 2016 YNN – Faded paint provides colorful blend
165. The Cat Chronicles – Daily Feline Prompt: Paint a Feline
166. Jacki Kellum Juxtapositions: Read My Mind
167. Michael J. Fite – How Do You Paint Your Own Life Masterpiece?
168. Peel or Fade? – speaking up for myself
169. Just A Simple Country Girl – Paint
170. Sandmanjazz – The Last Drop
171. Colors: Painted Texts – Rosevoc2’s Blog
172. Paint Me The Colors of Rainbow – eddaz
173. Prompt for the Day: “Paint” – Saint P. Blogging
174. Paintings of my Life – Pippakin Talks Cats, Dogs, Teeth and Claws
175. prompt: paint – Spring Cleaning
176. Drown me in Your Hues – dorkyglassesblog
177. One of the best ice creams I’ve ever had – Later Alligator
178. When – Bloggers Paradise
179. Paint – Covert Novelist
180. Think About It – A Painter’s Song
181. Paint – City Sonnet
182. Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss – Paint?
183. Once Upon Your Prime – How NOT To Paint Your Home in just 14 Easy Steps!
184. Paint!!!!! – Where’s the Windmill?
185. Picture of lie – Angel or Devil?
186. The Gad About Town – Paint the World
187. Daily Prompt – mayathemammal – Paint Me Pretty
188. Go Get your Canvas – howdoyoudoweb
189. Is this world a good place? – Nadira Shirlonna
190. ATG Successful Living – How I Keep Myself Motivated Daily (Motivation)
191. Daily Word Writing Prompt: Paint – KimKnight_Author
192. Paint by Spirit – zorazebic
193. NAMASTE. – how to write pretty poetry
194. Writing and Works – Paintings And Promises
195. Paint and Cuts: Etymological Discourse – Theta’s Eclectique
196. kStan(ly) kSays – (sigh)
197. The Blue Can Of Paint – YUDITH’S Journal
198. Nice work if you can get it – writemebad
199. A Blank Canvas – littleflamesblog
200. Paint – My Garden Biodiversity
201. Glorious! voice coaching – Seaport – a poem by A S J Tessimond
202. Southern By Design – This Color Is Called Life
203. Mugwort dreams and serendipities – Afterlife Love Story
204. Devil Doll Musings – Vincent
205. Painting – Chronicles of an Orange-Haired Woman!
206. La Tour Abolie – A Poem Can Bloom In The Middle Of The Road
207. A word on paint – ioanaazoica
208. A Monologue of the Heart. – “Stop Allowing Your Own Insecurities to Color the Way You Interpret Someone Else’s Intention” – Unknown
209. artistic license – themanbehindtheglass
210. Travel doodles – The lady with earring – Bum Tales
211. If I could paint. – PsychPerspectives
212. Haiku: Smiles Paint Light – whippetwisdom.com
213. thelonerose – Builders beige
214. The Daily Post – Progressing into Solitude – Paint Your World
215. I’m Creating Again – wanderlustandcoffeelover
216. Damn Color of the Skin! – mySestina
217. Lost Property Repository – Daily Prompt Paint
218. Frank Prem – Ronnie’s Other Guy
219. Frank Prem – lost: one cockerel
220. 83 Unsung Heroes – Cooperation, Back Stabbing And Bikes
221. Passion through Poetry – Painting Angels
222. Hot White Snow – An Odd Taste in Art for a Teen
223. Designer Sophisticate – Happy little trees.
224. Passion through Poetry – Painted Butterfly
225. The Wandering Poet – DP Prompt ~ Painted by slow motion
226. Lantern Words – Not Whitewashed Paint