Monday, September 2, 2013

Interview with J.A. Bennett

To celebrate Labor Day, I invited Jennie Bennett over here to discuss her writing.
What is the synopsis of your current WiP?
Stealing the Stars (working title)
Sixteen Year Old Piper Lane is cursed. Every time she goes out in public a natural disaster occurs. She's been a recluse for the past two years, but her psychiatrist convinces her to brave the waters of the real world again. Shortly after her first interaction with an attractive boy, Liam, a meteor shower starts. She flees the scene in hopes the falling stars will stop.
The next day, just after she's determined to stay a recluse forever, she sees Liam on the news. A flood has occurred and Liam is in the center. Piper is certian she has something to do with it.
Fearing what might happen if Liam goes out in public again, Piper gathers her courage and sets out to find him alone. What she discovers is a world much bigger than herself and an enemy strong enough to destroy everything she holds dear. Learning how to control the natural disasters is the first step she must take if she wants to save everyone around her
When did you take writing seriously?
I wasn't serious until I started blogging in April of 2011. I had no idea what kind of work it took to make words into a novel. I've been practicing the craft non-stop since.
Are you a plotter or pantser?
I consider myself both a plotter and pantser. I always do a lose outline, most of the time it's based on James V. Smith's 10 scene plotting tool which you can find here. Then I write like crazy and revise my 10 scenes as I go. I also write a blurb before I start writing the book so I can get an idea of what sounds good and will make the book sell-able (hopefully).
What was your first experience like with Insecure Writer's Support Group?
I first signed up for IWSG after a friend on Twitter told me about it. I had been following Alex's blog before, but I really became a fan after I joined his hop. Then I switched domain names (it used to be A Book, A Girl, A Journey) and I signed up because that's one hop that's too cool to miss. And it's nice to know I'm not the only insecure writer out there.
What was the NaNoWriMo experience like?
I did NaNo last year and I loved it! I barely scraped out 50,000 words, but I never written so much in my life and it felt amazing! I got a little burned out after Thanksgiving, so this year I'm trying get my 50,000 in before the holiday. Since I don't write on weekends and I want to do 60,000 this year, my goal is to write 4,000 words a day.
What is your favorite part about writing?
For me it's when I'm about 10,000 words into a new project. That's when my characters really start coming to life and suddenly the writing becomes oddles of fun. I also love it when my MS has been polished enough that I can read through it in a little over a day. It doesn't feel real until that moment.
What is your least favorite part about writing?
Re-writing. I have a nasty habit of needing to re-write almost my entire book each time. I'm trying to avoid that with my current WIP, but we'll see if it really holds or not...
What have you learned from the online writing community?
Pretty much everything. When I started blogging in 2011, I had no idea what I was doing. I was 40,000 words into an MS that is now safely tucked away into a drawer. It was the furthest I had ever gotten writing anything and I had these grand illusions of getting published without even editing. Yeah, blogging has done a lot for me.
What is your best writing advice you ever received?
It came from Howard Taylor during a writer’s conference I attended last spring. It was an hour long class full of advice, but I'll sum it up in a sentence: Quit thinking you're not talented enough--talent has nothing to with it--hard work is what you need to achieve your goals.
Thank you, Jennie!


  1. Four thousand words a day...? Whoa!
    Glad you are a part of the IWSG, JA.
    And challenges like NaNo are awesome.

  2. Great advice, hard work is certainly the most important part!
    Wonderful interview, ladies!

  3. Interesting interview! And I especially like the quote from Howard Taylor; I often feel like I'm not talented enough when it comes to fiction writing and writing my dissertation. It helps to know that hard work can and will help me achieve my goals.

  4. Howard makes an excellent point about hard work. Great interview, I've learned quite a bit.

  5. Oh your answer to the blogging community sounds totally like me! I wrote an entire book, which is now safely and securely stashed from public viewing. I have learned so much being online with generous writers. I've learned, also, to define my own writing. Yay!

    Your book sounds really good-- so excited for you and glad you found your own calling with words.

  6. Great interview! I follow Jennie's blog, so it was fun to see her pop up here. The writing advice at the end is spectacular, not to mention inspiring!

  7. Great interview! I loved the backstory on your WIP.