Hi Jen Winters, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Hey Courtney! I am a stay at home mother of two with one on the way. Little Blobby is about 12 weeks along now and looks healthy on the ultrasounds. I have a background in religious studies and ancient languages, so you will discover in my books that I use a LOT of ancient cultural and religious references. Congratulations!
Discuss your newest book.
My most recent publication is Falling Angels which is free from March 25th to March 29th! This one is about Ambrose, a Fallen Angel with a grudge against basically everyone. While this is a paranormal romance, it reads more like an Urban Fantasy where the romance takes second place to the plot.
Free book link!
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
My BFF in high school got me started writing. We wrote together for years before I took it up solo and started publishing.
What are your current projects?
I am working on Raising Hell, the third of my Guardian series. I am also working on a novella in my Guardian series starring the infamous Candi Fox, and I have a Young Adult Urban Fantasy series I am excited to be keeping on the downlow. But if you ever hear me mention Hannah, she’s my YA main character and she is going to knock your socks off.
What books have most influenced your life most?
Easily the Bible. I’ve been a Christian my whole life and that book has certainly influenced nearly ever path I have taken as both a youth and an adult.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I figured I could do what Sherrilyn Kenyon does. I wasn’t correct about that. Sherrilyn Kenyon writes straight up PNR, whereas I love my UF enough that my PNRs definitely read like urban fantasy. So much so, I am thinking of changing genres for book 3.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
Let’s talk about Ambrose:
Ambrose’s main problem is that he can remember every moment in history from the beginning of the universe to it’s very end…except that he remembers it before the war in heaven that damaged the perfection of the universe. So now, he’s struggling with the idea that the world isn’t as it’s supposed to be. Which leads into the next question in this interview:
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Absolutely! Kissing Demons, Falling Angels, and Raising Hell are all about REDEMPTION. I don’t believe that anyone is beyond redemption, so I have made my characters the stereotypical types that you might think can never be forgiven: a werewolf/demon, a fallen angel, and a demon.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
For Ambrose? I’m thinking the hunk would be perfect: Jason Mamoa!
When did you decide to become a writer?
This wasn’t really a decision I made, so much as a person I grew into during my adolesence. When did I decide to become an author? When my daughter was 8 months old and I was suddenly a single mom with no prospects.
Why do you write?
Sometimes I write because I have to, and sometimes I write because I need to. Either way, I enjoy writing.
Do you write full-time or part-time?
I am a full-time mom. I write when I can and that has been less lately than usual. Normally, I write about 3 hours a day.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
For me, when I get about two thirds into my books, I start to hate them. So much so that I cannot continue writing on them. That is the hardest for me. I have to stop and then I have to force myself to restart.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
The one I am currently working on, Raising Hell, is sitting on my computer untouched for the last two-ish months because I hate it. I really, really, really hate it. I am having a beta reader read it and tell me why I hate it so much. She knows me. She will be able to tell me where I went wrong with it, but I think I saved someone I shouldn’t have.
What is the easiest thing about writing?
Letters become words; words combine in a logical progression; sentences form; ideas come to life.
What book are you reading now?
Uh…looks at Kindle…Infinite (Xandrian Circle Book 1) by Allainia Daniels
What is one random thing about you?
These days I am becoming more and more vegetarian because Blobby hates meat, apparently.
What is your preferred medium of writing? Pen and paper or strictly tablet and computer?
Give me a keyboard. I can get my thoughts down as fast as they come this way.
Which social network worked best for you?
Facebook is where I hang out. I have twitter and tumblr and pinterest, and a blog, and G+, but the fact is, I prefer Facebook. I’ve been using it since before it went public.
Any tips on what to do and what not to do?
Do write what you want. Do not publish without a professional edit.
Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?
Have enough contact with bloggers, authors, friends, and family that when I publish I have it out there on a crazy number of sites. I haven’t had to pay for promotion yet, but I am going to start with Raising Hell. I have goals, and it is now time to start paying for ads.
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
Gawd… I don’t care about celebrities… I guess… maybe… I have no idea! I can’t think of a single famous person I want to meet.
If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
Nope. I have no real desire there either.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Write every day. Read what you write. Make yourself better. Take other writer’s advice, but not to the point you lose your unique voice. And EDIT! Edit, edit, edit. I can’t read unedited books. If there is a problem in the first chapter, I DNF, because as books go on the editing can start to get worse. EDIT.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Like I said earlier, I am EVERYWHERE! But if you want connect, here are the ways you can! Feel free to message me on any of these platforms (though I barely even look at Twitter).
HURRY AND PICK UP YOUR FREE COPY OF FALLING ANGELS NOW! And don’t forget to leave a review for the wonderful Jen Winters!