Jennifer Armentrout-Interview with the Author
FROM the Website: USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russel Loki.
Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She also writes adult romance under the name J. Lynn.
TRC: Hi Jennifer and welcome to The Reading Café. We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?
Jennifer: I currently live in West Virginia and like most authors, I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I’m a big fan of scary movies and zombies, which is strange because zombies scared the crap out of me as a kid. I write adult and YA in pretty much every genre. I have a hard time parting with books, that’s why I have duplicate copies of some signed and way too many.
TRC: Many authors develop their interest in writing at an early age. Do you remember what was the catalyst that sparked your interest in writing? Who or what do you credit with your desire to write?
Jennifer: I’m not sure what the catalyst was, but I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I think it had to do with the fact that I read so much growing up–the old school YA and historical romance novels.
TRC: What difficulties or challenges have you faced as a writer?
Jennifer: The biggest challenge is focusing. When you have multiple books out or multiple books coming out, it can become very difficult to keep focus on writing, because there’s a lot of other stuff that needs to be done. Hours are spent catching up with emails or on the phone with editors/agent/publicists/crit partners and before you know it, you’re too tired to write. So focusing and making time can be a big challenge.
TRC: The LUX series focuses on a town of aliens trying to blend into regular life. Where did you come up with the idea of aliens posing as humans? What triggered your imagination as it pertains to alien life forms in a Young Adult storyline?
READING ORDER: Obsidian/Shadows/Onyx
Jennifer: My adult editor at Entangled had asked me if I’d be interested in writing about aliens in high school. Initially, I laughed and was like no. Who wants to read about aliens? But the more I thought about it, the story started to take place in my head. Having the aliens try to blend in adds conflict and coming up with the type of alien was the most difficult part. For half the book, I kept picturing giant insects eating brains. Seriously. Finally, the idea of them being made of light just popped into my head. The rest was history. =)
TRC: Occasionally you take the LUX series cover models with you on your promotional tours. Who are the models and why the decision to tour with the actors and models?
Jennifer: The models are Pepe Toth and Sztella Tziotziosz. The decision kind of came from the publisher’s wanting to get new pictures of them for the book covers, and we thought we might as well do some book trailers while they were over here…. and that spun into going on tour with them. Both of the were great and we hope to have them back for another tour.
TRC: ONYX is your August release in the LUX series. Would you please tell us about the premise of the storyline?
Jennifer: Onyx is the sequel to Obsidian, so I don’t want to say too much for those who haven’t read Obsidian, but it deals with the consequences of what happened at the end of Obsidian, delves more deeply into the world of the Luxens and their interactions with the DOD. There’s romance, action, a bit of heart break, and a lot of secrets revealed.
Click HERE for our review of OBSIDIAN.
TRC: With the popularity of the characters, have you considered continuing the series? Any spin-offs?
Jennifer: There has been some talk about a companion novel. It’s almost completely written, but there isn’t much I can really share about that right now.
TRC: DEITY is the next instalment in the Covenant series. Would you please tell us about the premise?
Jennifer: Like Onyx and Opal, the premise is really spoilery. But It picks up where Pure left off. Seth and Alex return to Deity Island. A lot of things happen in Deity and Alex faces a lot, but you do find out who Alex wants to be with in Deity and a lot of the gods start popping up.
TRC: The covers for the Covenant Series are beautiful. Who designed the covers? Where you involved in the cover selection for this particular series?
READING ORDER: Daimon/Half Blood/Pure/Deity/Elixir
Click HERE for our review of DAIMON- the prequel novella in the Covenant series.
Jennifer: The publisher had the covers designed and I did have a say in them, but they get all the credit for those beauties.
TRC: CURSED is your September new release. Would you please tell us something about the series?
Jennifer: Cursed is currently a standalone and deals with a girl who was brought back to life by her little sister. I kind of think that if someone dies and comes back to life, they aren’t going to be right, you know? And Ember isn’t. Everything she touches dies. The book has a big mystery element to it, and instead of really focusing on the different gifts, it’s about Ember finding out who was responsible for the accident that took her life and that of her father’s.
TRC: The premise is similar yet different to the X-men comics. How many books do you have planned for the series? Will Hayden and Ember be the primary characters for each novel?
Jennifer: Right now there is only one book. I think whenever you have a group of kids that have abilities, you cannot escape the comparison to X-Men. If you have a bunch of adults with super powers, you’ll hear the same comparison. It just comes down to if the premise goes it a different direction, which Cursed isn’t about saving the world or doing heroic acts. It’s about a girl who’s trying to accept the life she’s been dealt with.
TRC: DON’T LOOK BACK is your new series schedule for release in the fall of 2013. Would you please tell us something about the new series?
Jennifer: Don’t Look Back is scheduled for March 2014, and there isn’t much I’m allowed to really share about that book yet. What I can say it’s a mystery/thriller that deals with less of memory and murder. And the book has successfully creeped out my crit partners if that tells you anything =)
TRC: What have been some of the challenges you have faced with regards to research, logistics and publication?
Jennifer: The biggest challenge is waiting for a book to come out when it has a far out release date. You kind of forget about the book until it gets closer to that date.
TRC: You have a very prolific series of storylines and books. Writer’s Block is a very real phenomenon that many authors face from time to time. How do you handle the stress of Writer’s Block?
Jennifer: I try to work through writer’s block when I get it. Luckily that hasn’t really happen. What I get is the case of inability to focus. And once again, I try to power through it. That doesn’t always work and when it’s really bad, I take a day off from writing.
TRC: Many authors bounce ideas between other authors, or family and friends. With whom do you bounce ideas?
Jennifer: With my friends. I’d be lost without them.
TRC: What is happening in the next six months?
Jennifer: Well, the next six months are going to be super busy for me. I have a book coming out every month:
October- Unchained (adult/ under pen name J. Lynn)
November- Deity and Elixir
January- Tempting the Player (adult/ under pen name J. Lynn)
Anything red meat
Favorite TV Show
Don’t really have one
Last Move you Saw
The Darkest Hour
Dark or Milk Chocolate
Last Vacation Destination
Florida I guess
Do you have any pets?
I have a Jack Russell named Loki!
TRC: Thank you Jennifer for taking the time to answer our questions. We are looking forward to all of your new releases in the coming months. Congratulations on all of your success.
Jennifer: Thank you for having me!