MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR JENNIFER SIDDOWAY 💜
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
My name is Jennifer Siddoway and I write Young Adult Paranormal Romance and Fantasy.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
I’ve always loved Fairy Tales and enjoy a good re-telling of an established plotline. It’s especially fun if there’s a dramatic shift, or unexpected role reversal. I started toying with the idea of Rumpelstiltskin and started thinking, “What if something went wrong?”
I didn’t want to do an actual re-telling, so I twisted things around a bit and tried to picture how that would play out from the point of view from the child who got wished away. The whole concept of selling your unborn child to the devil is such a terrible thing to digest you have to wonder what kind of a person would do that. Around the same time, I was pregnant with my first child and a well-meaning, older person in church put her hand on my stomach and said, “You only get to work hand in hand with God to create life a handful of times in life, so enjoy it while you can.”
I knew what she meant was intended to be sweet and reassuring, but I just felt this chill run down my spine. “What if I wasn’t? What if it wasn’t God that I was creating life with?”
I walked away and my arms were covered with goosebumps and after that the story just wrote itself.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I’ve always loved Young Adult Paranormal, it’s so fun! I love magic and the dreamy feel that comes along with it. Writing that genre was a no brainer.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
I have spent the last eight years researching demon lore and mythology, strictly from an anthropological point of view – I find it fascinating. A lot of the information is actually cannon with regard to lesser known myths, including the seven demon lords of hell.
I also looked up specific locations and even visited New Orleans to get a feel for the locale so I could do it justice. There are just some things that can’t be found online, smells, food, music, that are iconic to a region.
When Wynn went off to college at the University of Alabama I made a trip up to Tuscaloosa and toured the campus. That was probably the smartest thing I have ever done, because it’s not at all the way I imagined it in my head. I had to change around some things after that. 😊
Can you tell me about your series?
Well, my series is basically a modern twist on Rumpelstiltskin, but it’s from the point of view of the child that was sold realizing what has happened and this terrible betrayal by her mother. Wynn realizes there is this contract on her soul and she belongs to this Demon Lord, but is fighting back the best way she knows how.
Do you have a favorite book out of the series?
That is a difficult question! I enjoyed writing Dealing with the Devil because it introduced all the characters and set the stage for all the things to come, but I also like the final book in the series, Down in Flames. Down in Flames is fun because it’s action packed and now that we know the characters it allows for us to explore them more fully and have some fun with backstory. It’s been a lovely experience seeing Wynn develop and grow throughout the series from a young, spunky teenager to a powerful and headstrong young woman.
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your series?
Oh, I have no lack of inspiration! Lol. Its organic and comes from everywhere, music, paintings, anything I come in contact with.
Was it always meant to become a series?
Yes, I knew way back in the beginning that this was going to be a three-book series. There was just too much information to fit in one book.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily word goal?
I’m usually up and writing by seven thirty in the morning after I get my daughter off to school. After that I drink my coffee and it’s an hour on, and hour off for a regular work day scedule. It depends on what stage of the writing process, but I can usually get in about four thousand words a day like that. During the hours breaks, I can run errands, fold some laundry, or have lunch, then it’s back to writing. After my husband gets home from work I try to not be on though so I can spend the evening with my family.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
Technically, I’m still finishing up the edits and formatting for Down in Flames. That should be coming out at the end of the month, or first thing in October. Once the Earthwalker Trilogy is out, I have LOTS of ideas for books to come after that, but since they haven’t been formally announced via my publisher I’m not allowed to spill the beans just yet. I will say, however, that it will involve exploring some of the side characters like Michele and how she first got involved with the Demon Lord, Aidan, to begin with.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
Um, no. Not really. Lol. I just pick a name that feels right and go with it.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Editing, hands down. I made the rookie mistake of trying to edit my own work and that just made me miserable. I’ve since learned my lesson and decided to leave that to professionals because I never know when to stop and leave it alone. If left to my own devices the story would never be finished, I would be continually going back and adding scenes here and there and tweaking dialogue. It important to know when to stop.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I think book trailers are a useful marketing tool when used properly, but rarely executed well. I have two out myself, but think the time, money and energy put into them might not be worth the payout.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Being able to fan girl about my own character with my readers who love them as much as I do. Wynn, Caleb, Aidan… they’ve all been living in my head for so long and now I get to share them with the world. It’s kind of magical when you think about it because I’m giving the readers insight into my mind.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
In ten years, I will probably still be writing. I’ve got eleven more books inside my head and I want to get them out! Lol. Next year I’ll be pitching the Earthwalker Trilogy to movie agents and Hollywood executives, so that could be really cool if it turns into something like that. Even if that never happens, I still love the books for what they are and will continue adding to that universe.
Have you always likes to write?
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Don’t write for anyone but yourself. Don’t let another person’s opinion dictate what makes you happy. Their opinion doesn’t matter, only yours does.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
Before I was a writer, I worked as a scenic artist for twelve years so I’d probably go back to that. It’s a hard field to be in, but a lot of fun.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to then, good bad? How do you deal with the bad?
The only bad review I have ever received was a person complaining that the other books weren’t out yet. If the worst thing someone can say about my writing is that there isn’t more of it, then I must be doing something right.
What is your least favorite part of the writing/publishing process?
What are you working on now?
Currently, I’m finishing up the edits for Down in Flames and bullet pointing out the next project in my schedule.
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in process?
Not from the work in progress, but here is one from Dealing with the Devil. To put it in context, Wynn has just woken up from a hallucinatory fever and realized she transformed into a demon. She’s been living in denial of what’s happening to her up till this point, but now faced with the reality of her situation, realizes that she doesn’t know how to conceal it without being trained in how to use magic.
I rolled up the sleeve of my shirt to expose the irritated patch of skin, or more appropriately, lack thereof. On the inner side of my forearm was a large section of flesh that had sloughed away to reveal a pattern of black and reddish scales. My hair was still the fiery, red that it had always been, but instead of curling gracefully down my back it looked as though it had been set ablaze with heatless flames. I still maintained a woman’s figure, but my skin was covered in hard back scales and a pair of enormous, leathery wings sprung outward from my back.
As I stared at my reflection in the mirror and tried to formulate a statement in my mind, the words would just not come. “I’m…”
“Beautiful,” Aidan finished for me. “You’re a demon, Wynn. That human illusion was just a shell to conceal your true identity. Now that your demon half has been activated, your body’s begun rejecting it and your true, magnificent form has finally broken free. May I just say what a pleasure it is to be seeing you at last.”
“I’m a monster…” I muttered dismally.
He rolled his eyes dismissively and sat up in his seat. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, love. I’m telling you, you’re no such thing.”
What did you choose to write in your genre? If you write in more than one, how do you balance them?
Oh, I didn’t so much decide the genre as have it thrust on me😊 Paranormal Romance just end up being the way I think and what I enjoy writing. It’s the world I want to live in so that comes as natural to me as breathing.
Where did your love of books come from?
My dad. He would always read to me when I was little and do funny voices for different characters. I loved that.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favorite and why?
Hands down, Aidan Thomas. He’s the Demon Lord of Pride and the big bad of my series, but so dang charming that you can’t help but like him. He’s not your typical demon, he’s handsome, sexy and just the right amount of arrogance to come across as dangerous.
Where can readers do to discover more about you and your books?
They can check out my webpage at http://www.jensiddoway.com or join my mailing list. I’m also on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook where I post regularly with creative content.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
It depends on the content of the scene, I’ve had it go both ways. Character deaths are really hard for me and it takes a lot out of my emotional reserve.
What is your writing kryptonite?
I’m a complete wuss when it comes to my health, so if I feel even the slightest bit under the weather I cannot write. It will take me out for days sometimes.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I will never ever change my writing to accommodate someone else. That may sound harsh, but I like the work I do and my readers seem pretty happy with it. I’m open minded and have lots of ideas, but I won’t give in to “peer pressure. 😊
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Haha! I have quite a few author friends😊 Bridgette O’Hare is not only an author, but she also designs my cover art and Elyse Reyes is incredibly talented, we sometimes toss around book ideas.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
The Inane Ramblings of a Crazy Housewife.
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
If you could spend the day with one of the characters in Dealing with the Devil, who would it be and what would you guys do?”
If I could spend one day with any of my characters, it would probably be Aidan. He is sexy, funny and just the right amount of dangerous. Because he’s the Lord of Pride he’s incredibly well dressed and has charisma oozing out his eyeballs, I absolutely adored writing him and can’t wait to see where this story takes me.
What would we do? … I’ve always wanted to go dancing with the devil.
Where can your fans find you and follow?
I have a website they can visit at http://www.jensiddoway.com as well as social media accounts. If readers really want to know what I am working on right now they should like my author page on facebook and comment on my updates.
Thank you Jennifer for taking the time to do this interview 😊