Jennifer Aqualaney, the author of JJ, was nice enough to let me interview her about her book. You can buy a copy of her book off of lulu for only $7.99, which, in my opinion is a great deal. It’s a well-written book that can be both dark and funny, and it’s perfect for YA fantasy fans.
An Interview with Jennier Aqualaney
Thanks for coming onto my blog, Jennifer! To start us off, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself.
Well, I grew up in rural Massachusetts, the only girl with 3 brothers. So, I was a tomboy, unashamedly. I started doing theater because my grandmother asked me to audition for a play with her- she dropped out, I kept on. From there I was hooked on the arts, joining the drama club at my high school and eventually majoring in Lighting Design and Stage Management.
I’d always enjoyed writing, but it never really occurred to me that I enjoyed it. Which seems silly now, because honesty- who enjoys writing essays at school?
I’ve always written though, in some form or another- music, poetry, short stories, etc. A few years ago I was fortunate enough to meet a group of wildly talented people from all over the world thanks to the miracle of the interwebs and through JK Rowling’s site, Pottermore. It was really there and with that group that I started honing my writing and realizing how much it meant to me and that I wanted to write a book. And here we are.
What was the hardest part about writing JJ?
For me, the hardest part was avoiding distraction. It’s easy for me to get sucked into playing on the internet and I felt bad for constantly telling my friends “no” when they asked me to hang out. But I had set a deadline for when I wanted to publish and I was able to stick to it!
What was the easiest?
The easiest thing was the character of JJ himself. I came up with the idea for the character spontaneously one morning while I was getting ready for work and it was an instantaneous familiarity. I thought of him and I automatically knew his whole story. Everything that happens to him came to me at once.
His voice is very easy for me to write in and I can tell you all his little nuances that never present themselves in the book. He’s a full person to me, with likes and dislikes that I know down to the most common things like… favorite colors, food, drinks, music, etc.
Do you have any favorite characters in JJ? Favorite scenes or lines of dialogue?
I am very protective of the title character, JJ. He and Eve are probably my favorites, and it’s their scene when they’re sharing their personal stories with each other that is my favorite.
I actually do have a favorite line in the entire book, and it’s from that scene. I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t read it yet. But it’s the line that starts off: “Her story was written in parallel lines…”
If you were an Enchanter, what power would like to have the most?
That’s a great question! My first instinct is to say Moving. Because, as Daegan says, “You get to lift shit up and huck it at people.” Shifting would also be really cool, though.
What does your typical writing day look like?
It really depends. When I was writing JJ, I didn’t do what some writers might and sit down at a desk and tune out the outside world and just write. A lot of the story was written out long-hand in a notebook on the subway, or when I was at work. Several LARGE chunks were written while I was doing follow-spot for a theater show and I had down-time between cues. My “desk” was my lap, often times. I also did some writing on my laptop, on the couch, with a very cuddly dog trying to vie for attention.
Are there any writers that inspired you?
I already mentioned JK Rowling, and I would say she is the most inspirational. She creates a whole world with its own rules and then keeps the story within those parameters to help you believe the fantastic. That was what I wanted to do. I wanted to envision not just characters or a story, but an entire world. Something that could be real if you believed.
Any parting comments?
I just want to thank you for having me on your blog for an interview! I love the opportunity to talk about my book and my writing and my characters and I just hope to share their story with as many people as I can. 🙂