I am so incredibly excited to welcome you all here today to celebrate the release of my wonderful friend, Jenna’s debut! She’s such an amazing woman and an amazing writer and I have the absolute pleasure of interviewing her today about her book, her life and her writing process! Let’s get into it.
But before we do, check out the awesome book trailer 🙂
CRH: First of all, thank you for coming on the blog, Jenna! It’s such a pleasure to have you here. To start off, can you tell us three things we might not know about you?
JT: I only like fries with nacho cheese, I will take a photo of EVERY pretty sunset I see, and I have a plant named after a book character. Super random things here. XD
Haha, I love these facts! What inspired you to write this novel?
The idea was sort of sparked by an image stuck in my head from a movie trailer and another superhero novel I tried to write but didn’t go anywhere. I become intrigued by the idea of superpowers being more common in our world, but not thought of as positively like we do.
That’s a really fascinating starting point, thanks for sharing that! What parts of this novel are drawn from your personal experience?
A lot of Scarlett’s journey about accepting all of who she is instead of letting society and pressure from others tell her whether her God-given gifts are worth keeping or not come from some of my own learning experiences. As someone with social anxiety and who is generally pretty self-conscious, it can be easy to give in to peer pressure and worry about how people see me. But all that matters is how God sees me, and if He’s given me a feature, a trait, a passion, or a gift for a purpose, there’s no reason to hide it.
I think that’s a message that a lot of people will relate to. What did an average day in the writing of this book look like?
It changed every day. XD During NaNoWriMo 2019 when the first draft was written, I was writing every day, every spare moment I could get. Fortunately, I had already graduated high school and had started really focusing my time on writing. In the following 2 ½ years, there were days when I barely got anything done on the book, and weeks that I ploughed through massive edits. It just changed and flowed with deadlines, my motivation, and what the story needed. 🙂
I love seeing a NaNo novel really thrive! It gives me hope for some projects of mine! What are three interesting facts about Ignite?
1)There used to be another side character besides Nadia and Ares who Scarlett met at the SCF. He was a tall, brooding guy with lightning powers. But he didn’t add anything to the plot and didn’t have much of a character arc, so he had to be cut (r.i.p. Jordan). 2) the whole second half of the book was completely rewritten at some point, 3) I originally hoped this series would be a trilogy, but the story just fit a two-book series better.
R.I.P. Jordan 😦 Do you have any special secrets/tips for naming characters?
Baby naming sites and Pinterest. XD It’s as simple as that! Of course you can go farther and find names with meanings that are tied to the character’s personality, interests, passions, or backstory. Which I think is always really cool. Just go with a name that fits the character.
What is the strangest thing you’ve ever had to research?
I used Google maps quite a bit (since I’ve never been to the location Ignite is set in) and a GPS to find out how long it would take to walk and drive places. To be honest, my writing research hasn’t gotten too crazy or outlandish. Not yet, anyway.
Nice. At least that search history isn’t too incriminating yet! What are your top tips for someone looking at indie publishing?
Research, research, research. There’s going to be A TON you’ll have to do on your own, or hire it done. Research other authors’ publishing plans, freelancers, services, printing/distribution companies. Connect with other indie authors to learn from them; I think you’ll find that all (or almost all) of them are so willing to help and answer your questions. Indie publishing is a hard road, but if you make a clear plan and have a story you’re passionate about sharing, go for it and don’t give up.
Thanks for that advice! Self publishing looks so intimidating so I loved how you broke it down so well. What made you think “this, this is the book I want to publish”?
I think it was a combination of the timing of things in my life and how much I liked the story. By the time I was really working on Ignite, I was done with high school and ready to start making writing a job. Ignite happened to be the first project I worked on stepping into that new phase. And also I just really liked the story. The characters, their journeys, the plot; I knew I loved it enough to stick with it all the way.
Finally, do you play favourites with your characters? If so, which is your favourite character?
Oof, that’s tough. XD Of course I love the main character, Scarlett, because I love how much she grows and changes through the story (and her personality is a lot like mine–introverted musicians for the win). But I also have a special place in my heart for Ares and Nadia. So yeah I guess you could say I play favorites sometimes, but I just don’t tell my characters that. 😉
Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Chelsea!
Thank you so much for coming, Jenna! It was such a pleasure to have you here and thank you for chatting about Ignite!
What if superhumans weren’t considered heroes?
When Scarlett Marley is attacked by an illegal super with fire powers, she doesn’t get burned, but now she has a fire-like glow flickering in her eyes.
With superpowers criminalized, she has no choice but to turn herself over to the Superhuman Containment Facility, or risk hurting everyone she loves.
Her normal life seems lost forever, until she is selected to be one of the first to receive the experimental cure to destroy her powers. In exchange, she must first complete one mission:
Infiltrate and capture one of the largest gangs of supers in the remains of once-great Rapid City.
With the cure and all her future at stake, Scarlett is prepared to do whatever it takes to bring these criminals to justice so she can return to her family. But this gang and their leader, Rez, aren’t what everyone says, and Scarlett begins to question everything she was ever told about the SCF and the fire flowing in her veins.
The cure is her only hope for returning her life to what it was before, but is that life worth returning to after all?
Jenna Terese believes stories are powerful. That’s why she’s dedicated to creating fiction that will impact the world. You can find this INFP dreaming about the future, fangirling over her favorite books, geeking out about Marvel, playing piano, or sipping a chai tea latte as she writes sci-fi novels.