Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Author Interview - Jennings Wright

Author Jennings Wright

Born and raised in Florida, Jennings spent her early years reading anything she could get her hands on, when she wasn't spending time in and on the water. She won a prize in the 6th grade for her science fiction stories.

Jennings attended the University of Tampa, graduating with a B.A. in Political Science, and almost enough credits for B.A.s in both English and History. She attended graduate school at the University of West Florida, studying Psychology. She spent time over the years doing various kinds of business writing, editing, and teaching writing, but mostly having and raising her family, homeschooling her children, owning and running a business with her husband, and starting a non-profit.

Thanks to a crazy idea called NaNoWriMo Jennings got back into creative writing in 2011 and hasn't stopped since. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband, also a business owner and writer, and two children, and travels extensively with her family, and her non-profit in Uganda.

Tell us a bit about your family. I’m married and have two kids, a son who is 16 and a daughter who’s 20. My son will be graduating from high school this spring, and my daughter in May. And my daughter is getting married in June! (Yes, it’ll be a very busy couple of months!) My husband is also a writer; he writes political non-fiction.  We also have a black lab named Thyme and a black cat named Emmy. Emmy hates the dog and attacks her for no reason several times a day.

What is your favorite quality about yourself? I am very curious. I don’t care that much about information everyone knows, like when Columbus discovered America. I like weird, strange trivia, and I know a little bit about a whole lot of things. That helps me in my writing, and it is also pretty fun!

What is your least favorite quality about yourself? I am not patient. At all. 

What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life? This is our last year of homeschooling, since my son will graduate this year. I’m really proud of the people my kids have become, and that we have managed to get so much of real life into our homeschooling over the years. 

How has your upbringing influenced your writing? I am an only child and lived kind of far out of town growing up. I spent a LOT of time (hours and hours) outside playing make believe games. They were almost always adventures, and I still love adventures. I may not write about mermaids and pirates, but those years of running around outside pretending to be chased or finding treasure or fighting off marauding Indians was great training to be a writer.

When and why did you begin writing? I have done a lot of different kinds of writing over the years (business writing mostly), but didn’t start writing fiction until November 2011. I found out about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and signed up for it, figuring my novel would be terrible, but at least I could say I wrote one. I wrote Solomon’s Throne in 23 days that November, and, after editing, that became my first published novel. I really got the writing bug after that!

What is your greatest strength as a writer? Speed.  I write really fast! As I said, I wrote Solomon’s Throne in 23 days. That first draft was almost 90,000 words! I do better writing fast, because I can keep the storyline and characters in my head. I actually have a harder time writing slowly. All but one of my novels have gone from the first word to a finished first draft in a month or less.

How did you develop your plot and characters? IXEOS was born when I combined two separate ideas. The first thing that caught my attention was finding out about the almost 200 miles of tunnels under Paris in a National Geographic magazine. I kept that idea in the back of my mind for several months, wanting to make a story around it. The second was when my daughter and I were kayaking that summer. We found, then lost, a flock of mallards. For a couple of weeks we texted each other funny stories about “where the ducks went” until I finally realized that the ducks could go to those tunnels under Paris. From there, the plot was born.

I develop my characters last, which is completely different from most writers. IXEOS has a lot of characters, but only seven were developed at all before I started writing: the McClellands, Vasco and Abacus, Landon, and Darian. The rest were “born” as the story was being written, and I made a long list with all their traits, background, and histories as I went along.

Who designed the cover? I came up with the original idea after a friend of mine posted a photo of his preschool daughter in a tunnel in a playground. I sent that photo to Glendon Haddix at Streetlight Graphics, who has done all my covers, and he developed the concept after that. I think he did a great job!

What was the hardest part about writing this book? The set-up was the hardest. There was a lot of backstory about Ixeos that needed to be explained, but I didn’t want it to take too many words/chapters. But I also didn’t want to use flashbacks or a prologue (a lot of people skip prologues!), and I didn’t want to start the story with the war between the Firsts and the humans. So it was a delicate balance to really get the story going but still have enough background for it to make sense. Hopefully it worked!


The McClellands are enjoying a lazy summer vacation at the beach when they are lured from our world into Ixeos, an alternate Earth. Finding themselves lost in a maze of tunnels under Paris and surrounded by strangers, they discover that they have been brought to Ixeos for one purpose:  to take the planet back from humanoid aliens who have claimed it. With the aid of the tunnels and a mysterious man named Landon, the teens travel the world seeking the key that will allow them to free Darian, the long-imprisoned rebel leader. But the aliens aren't the only problem on Ixeos -- the McClellands have to deal with brutal gangs, desperate junkies, and a world without power, where all the technology is owned by the aliens, and where most of the population has been killed or enslaved. The worst part? There's no way home.

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Books Sold - 6 Nov 2011 to 31 May 2012

Some of you have asked me for my total number of books sold to evaluate KDP Select so here it is. Bear in mind, that results will vary based on genre and author. Good luck and remember, Keep Moving Forward.

Total - 120,836

1. Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out
Amazon Kindle - 42,559
Paperback -
Smashwords -

2. Frequent Traveller
Amazon Kindle - 35277
Paperback -
Smashwords -

3. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 1
Amazon Kindle - 462
Smashwords -

4. Mirror Me Martha (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 281
Smashwords -

5. Drive On Hope (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 190
Smashwords -

6. Blog-A-Licious Directory 2012
Amazon Kindle - 1
Smashwords -

7. Pandora's Reading Room 1
Amazon Kindle -
Paperback - N/A

8. The Cat That Barked (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle -

9. Dora's Essentials - Examining Anxiety
Amazon Kindle -

10. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 2
Amazon Kindle -

11. Elevenses from Around the World
Amazon Kindle -

12. Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability
Amazon Kindle -

Blog-A-Licius - Sherbet Blossom



Dealightfully Frugal

Blog-A-Licious - The Few, The Proud, The Wife


My Soul Slippers

Blog-A-Licous - Textbook Mommy

Blog-A-Licious - Blue Frogs Legs

Blog-A-Licious - Pretty All True

Pretty All True

Blog-A-Licious - tbaoo



Powered by

Blog-A-Licious - The Invisible Art

Blog-A-Licious - Rediscovering Domesticity

Rediscovering Domesticity

Blog-A-Licious - Quiver Full

Blog-A-Licious - Cori's Big Mouth

Blog-A-Licious - Great Fun


Blog-A-Licious - Busy Wife

Blog-A-Licious - Steps To Happiness

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Blog-A-Licious - Toby & Max

Blog-A-Licious - Amelie

Raising Amelie

Blog-A-Licious - Peas In A Pod

Blog-A-Licious - Riley

Blognostics - Poetry


My Awards - September 2010

My Awards - September 2010
Awarded By Jo Frances

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded By Alejandro Guzman

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded by Kriti Mukherjee

My Awards - April 2011

My Awards - April 2011
Awarded By Roy Durham

My Awards - June 2011

My Awards - June 2011
Awarded By Sulekha Rawat

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