I’ve started a monthly highlight blog of Canadian authors and upcoming authors. I’m so excited to announce that Jenna Morland is my first author participating!
Today is her book birthday! Let’s get started.
Loie: It’s great to have you here and celebrate the release of your magical and romantic debut, Empress Unveiled. I just want to say how amazing it is to meet a fellow Canadian Young Adult writer. I loved this book so much, and I cannot wait to read more of your work!
Jenna: Thank you! I think it is so cool that you are featuring Canadian authors and upcoming authors. I really appreciate all the support and love. I am ecstatic that you enjoyed Empress Unveiled and I am beyond grateful for all the wonderful reviews so far.
Okay, on to the questions 😊
Loie: How long have you been writing?
Jenna: Years ago, I dabbled in song-writing but Empress Unveiled was the first piece of fiction I had ever written. To be honest, I was terrible at English. Actually, I got a C in Grade 12 English! But I did read—a lot. I have always been a creative person and I found it fascinating to rearrange words until they created something beautiful. I started writing Empress Unveiled 2 years ago, and it just kind of spilled out of me. The first draft only took a couple of months to write.
Loie: Wow, sounds like it was the story you had to tell 🙂 I love that! What is your favorite genre to write and why?
Jenna: I really enjoyed writing fantasy. The only limit is your imagination and I find that freeing. I also love romance! I am such a sucker for a good love triangle. I find the complicated trials of the human heart to be inspiring.
Loie: I love writing fantasy and romance as well, haha! Who inspired Swayzi? Sidenote: I love Swayzi so much ❤
Jenna: I love that you love her!! Swayzi is a combination of many characters I have loved over the years. I think there is a piece of me in Swayzi as well, but mostly, I created a character that I wanted to read. She is imperfect, awkward, and most of all—relatable. You can’t help but root for her!
Loie: What books have influenced you the most?
Jenna: Without a doubt, Harry Potter. JK came into my life when I was 12. That awkward time in everyone’s life when you go from being a kid to becoming a teenager. It kept me young, it made me dream and it fanned my curiosity of the journey the imagination can take you on. Twilight also had a big impact on me. It was a beast, and it affected the world. Stephanie Meyer created a story that people young and old could relate to. Like me, she had no experience as a writer and was a stay-at-home mom. She made me believe anything is possible!
Loie: JK Rowling and Stephenie Meyer both had a huge impact on me as well ❤ When I was thirteen, JK made me realize I could dream up stories like she did. Stephenie made me fall in love with storytelling and romance💕
Do you find anything particularly challenging when writing?
Jenna: Now that I have been through so many grueling rounds of editing it’s easy to pick apart my writing. I am currently working on the sequel to Empress Unveiled and it took me a long time to let go of perfecting my writing as I worked. It was stifling my creativity.
Loie: Ah, yes. I understand that feeling completely. I worked with two published authors this summer for a writing mentorship called #WriteMentor. We edited my seafaring fantasy a lot and I learned a ton, haha. After you’ve been through an editing process, you start to pick up on imperfections as you go. I love NaNoWriMo month because I dive into a new project and try to get the words down and worry about editing later.
How did you find your publisher and what was the process like working with an editor?
Jenna: #PitMad on Twitter! I submitted my “elevator pitch” and Oftomes was one of the publishers to like my tweet. I sent them my manuscript and I didn’t hear back from them. I received an offer from another publisher and like any writers wish, I was able to send out the “Offer Received” email to all the agents and publishers I had queried. I had this weird feeling that Oftomes was meant to publish Empress Unveiled. In fact, I said that in my last email to them. They sent me an offer 24 hours later.
I had two different editors and each experience was different. There were times when I really enjoyed it, I could see the beauty that was formed with collaboration and it made me excited. I knew the story was better off. Other times—it was awful. I love the creative side of writing, the tedious details of editing on the other hand, was a struggle for me.
Loie: Can you tell us anything about the sequel to Empress Unveiled? Or other projects you are working on?
Jenna: I love where the sequel is going right now. I am so excited to be in Empress and to fall harder for these characters. There are new additions to the cast, and surprises that will leave you stunned.
I do have one other project that I had to set aside to write the sequel and I will go back to it. It’s something very different from Empress but I love the characters and the idea of it. I need more hours in a day!
Loie: Favorite 2018 book?
Jenna: Turtles All the Way Down!
Loie: What’s your most anticipated read of this year?
Jenna: I am really looking forward to reading Saving Death by R.L. Endean. She is my Oftomes sister and from what I hear—it’s amazing!
Loie: Oooo. I can’t wait to read that one as well 🙂 Thanks so much for visiting, Jenna! Huge congrats to you on your fantastic debut.
Jenna: Thank you so much for asking me to do this interview, I really enjoyed it! I am kind of freaking out that Empress Unveiled has been released into the wild, but I seriously loved the journey to publication and I can’t wait to do it all over again with the sequel.
Loie: Thanks again, Jenna!
I hope you all enjoyed this interview 😊. For those interested in winning a copy of Jenna’s novel, here are ways to gain entries:
- Leave a comment below on the blog
- Follow Jenna on Twitter (@jennamorland)
- Instagram (@jennamorland)
- Follow me on Twitter (@loiedunn)
- Follow my blog
Leave your usernames for both so I can track the entries. At the end of the month I will choose a winner randomly.
Good luck and thanks for visiting!