I’ve been writing for most of my life, but in 2011, I decided to seriously pursue publication for my work. I self-published my first novel in 2012, which was later acquired by Bloomsbury Spark and re-released in 2013, and my first YA novel came out in earlier this year from Month9Books. My career is absolutely hybrid; I’ve got works with small presses, digital first imprints, and large presses, and I plan to self-publish again in the future, too. It’s a great time to be a writer; there’ve never been more options, and that’s wonderful!
What do you love about being an author?
It’s so incredibly cool to be able to tell stories. I love playing in my fictional worlds and getting to know my characters! Meeting readers is really awesome, too; I particularly love visiting middle and high schools and connecting with young writers.
If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?
I’d love to sit down with Scarlet O’Hara, although we’d probably get into a fight; two strong, opinionated women in one space would either be amazing or disastrous! I’d like to eat whatever she would want to serve. Knowing her, it would be decadent and delicious!
If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?
You know, I never know what to do with that question! I honestly haven’t cast any of my novels, but it would be amazing to see them brought to live on film or TV!
Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?
Classic monsters. DRACULA is one of my favorite books to re-read each fall!
I’m a total history nerd, so it’s nearly impossible to pick just one era. I guess if I knew I could get home whenever I needed, I’d love to pop back to the days of the last Cleopatra and get a glimpse of the fall of Egypt. I’ve always been obsessed with ancient Egypt!
What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?
Just keep writing. Seriously, there’s very little stress in my life that won’t melt away if I keep writing and keep practicing yoga.
If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?
I’d love to be a witch, ala Practical Magic, because, come on! Who doesn’t want to be that cool?
Where do you write best?
I tend to fast draft, and lately I’ve been drafting on my laptop at my dining table. When I dig into edits, I work best on my desktop. Sadly, I’ve never been able to write in a coffee shop, although I do love a good Starbucks break whenever I get the chance!
What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?
I just finished STOKER’S MANUSCRIPT by Royce Prouty, and I loved it! It was a great gothic read, particularly for fans of the original DRACULA.
If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?
Since I write in a lot of genres, I don’t really know how to answer this question! I write YA paranormal, contemporary, and gothic, and I write NA contemporary, mystery, and paranormal. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to try my hand at Sci Fi, but I’m not an avid Sci Fi reader, so I wouldn’t even know where to start!
Jen McConnel first began writing poetry as a child. A Michigander by birth, she now lives and writes in the beautiful state of North Carolina. A graduate of Western Michigan University, she also holds a MS in Library Science from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. When she isn’t crafting worlds of fiction, she teaches college writing composition and yoga. Once upon a time, she was a middle school teacher, a librarian, and a bookseller, but those are stories for another time. Her fiction titles include DAUGHTER OF CHAOS (YA), THE SECRET OF ISOBEL KEY (NA), and the upcoming BEAUTIFUL CURSE (YA). http://www.jenmcconnel.com to learn more.
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