A long time friend and fellow writer, Jennifer Amriss, has gotten her book,Race Against the Dark published. I’m really excited for her, and look forward to seeing a long list of wonderful books from her in the years to come. She graciously agreed to do an Author Interview.
- Introduce yourself, what is your favorite beverage? Chocolate yes or no? What would you like people to know about you?
Hi! Oh, dear. Well, I’m a big fan of chai latte, and who can live without chocolate? Apart from that, I am simple woman. Pennsylvania is where my cat Punks and I live and work. She keeps me honest, you know.
One of the best things to happen to me is my childhood. It wasn’t easy, but as a Navy Brat, I got to travel the world. I lived in Sigonella, Sicily for three years, and in that time I got to visit much of Europe. It really helped to give me a broader sense of the world and helped to fuel my creative mind.
Something some people may not know about me is I am a surgical technologist. I no longer practice, but I must admit, I miss it. The surgeons I worked with were amazing and hilarious during operations. One of my many jobs as a surg tech, other than passing instruments and holding bodies open for surgeries, was keeping a conversation open with the surgeons to help keep them from getting anxious or stressed. Though, standing for an 8 hour open-heart was torture, it was also a really fun, interesting, and rewarding experience.
- What are your hobbies, what do you do when you’re not writing?
When not writing, I waste spend my time playing World of Warcraft and other online games such as EverQuest II and Guild Wars 2. I can also be found losing myself in single player games like Dragon Age: Origins and the Mass Effect series. Don’t get me wrong, I suck at first person shooters, but I really love the stories in some of them.
Other than gaming, I read as much as I can or zone out to Netflix. I’m currently wading through the nostalgia that is the old X-Files series.
- Tell us about your new book including what inspired you to write it!
Race Against the Dark is the first book in the Fantasy series Kings of Kal’brath. It features kickass women, elves, and interesting creatures. Everyone’s favorite seems to be Culthar (that’s Man-Eater for those of you who don’t speak Common Elvish). He is a Darksire, which is the male counterpart to the Nightmare, and he is so full of cultured sass he’s one of my favorite characters to write besides the MC, Ka’lei. The two fit well together, if for nothing else than their combined wit.
Race Against the Dark is a sword and sorcery Fantasy Romance that can be categorized for New Adults, as Ka’lei is 20 and struggling to cope with more adult themes. The story starts in the year 2033 on Earth and quickly changes to Adradis, the Elf world.
In order to marry the man she loves, Ka’lei must prove her adulthood while trying to survive attacks from the encroaching Darkness that chases her throughout the continent of Kal’brath, set upon her by her deceased ancient ancestor… who just so happens to look exactly like Ka’lei if she aged about five years.
It’s a really fun story and was an absolute joy to write. I was inspired mostly by Wen Spencer’s Tinker series, and by the Dark Earth series by Raythe Reign. From studying their writing, I finally “got” how to write a story, and Ka’lei took me by the throat and demanded I write her story. I had no choice but to comply.
- What genres do you write in, and why? And would you like to try your hand at any others?
I write Fantasy in its various forms, from medieval-esque to postmodern sword and sorcery. Coming up with magic systems and trying to get them to make sense is one of my favorite things about the Fantasy genre.
If given the chance, I’d like to expand into the Paranormal genre since it’s so close to Fantasy. I also have some Science Fiction ideas sitting in the back of my brain that I hope to someday get onto paper.
- When writing, what geeks you out the most?
Hmm. Possibly creating the magic systems. One of my favorite things, as I said, is creating them and getting them to work. Though, beyond that I honestly geek out over creating different races and creatures. In the Kings of Kal’brath world, my two favorite races have to be the Kir, a race of cat shifters who I modeled loosely after Native Americans, and the Vampir colony. The Vampir are my version of vampires—humans who drink blood as a supplement to their normal diet due to physiological changes. They are the world’s best blood magi, and you will be seeing them in all their glory in book 3. (Cue the excited squeal.)
- Who has influenced your writing?
So many people have influenced my writing over the years, but I would have to say the major players in how I write would be Raythe Reign (X. Aratare if you look her up in Amazon), and my friends at Forward Motion. Without their help and guidance, I wouldn’t have eight books written, and I definitely would not have a published story.
- What are your favorite books?
Oh, man. I have so many. Let’s see… how to condense the list? I love The Artifacts of Power series by Maggie Furey, anything by Patricia Cornwell, Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein, Blue Heaven by Paige Jadette, all of Jordan L. Hawk’s stuff. Wen Spencer’s Tinker series is a must read. Katherine Addison has a great story that I am in love with called The Goblin Emperor, and under another pseudonym, Sarah Monette, she has the Doctrine’s Labyrinth series (Mélusine, The Virtu, The Mirador, Corambis) that made me squeal. They’re really fun.
Ugh. I’m packing for a move, and all my books are packed, so I can’t even look at my book shelf to jog my memory! But, I have so many favorites I can’t name them all without this becoming unwieldly. Though, a final mention: I love, love, love Raythe Reign’s work (if you hadn’t noticed from the many times I have mentioned her).
I pretty much love anything that is Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Paranormal. Though I also have a small place in my heart for a good murder mystery. If it’s M/M Fantasy or Paranormal, that’s all the better.
- Do you reread books you’ve already read, or just stick with new ones?
I definitely re-read my favorites until the spines start to crack. Though, something people may find interesting is I have a sensory disorder that makes paper and untreated wood products hard for me to handle. This includes paper books and pencils. Now that eBooks are a thing, I no longer have to worry about the spines, and I can re-read to my little heart’s content.
I may re-read my favorites, but I am always looking for new things to read. I’m currently on book 3 of the Widdershins series by Jordan L. Hawk titled Stormhaven. The series is a wonderful read, and I can definitely see myself re-reading this until I nearly have it memorized.
- What’s next on your agenda? What upcoming projects do you have coming?
Currently, I’m editing book two, Healing Wounds. Though, I’m unsure if I will be publishing that next. I’m waffling between publishing the books in a linear line, which would make sense, or publishing the series as a whole before starting in with the M/M side stories. If I go with the latter, I will be publishing Climbing Shadetree next (innuendo intended).
There are nine books in the main series, which is Heterosexual Fantasy. The side stories, the Exile’s End Duology, Dragon Highlands Duology, and The Scourge of Narin, are all M/M Fantasy. So, it’s a tough call.
Hmm. May I ask your followers what they think? I’d love to make a poll of this. I plan to publish a book every three months in order to retain my sanity (as if I had any in the first place). As a reader, would you rather a mix of Het and M/M fantasy if they are set in the same world and it keeps within the timeline, or would you rather keep the two genre categories separate?
- Where can we find you on the web?
You can find me a number of places. The best would be my website, http://jenniferamriss.com, where you can find a wiki that has awesome and interesting little tidbits about my two main worlds. The In the Works page has what I’m working on at any given time. You can find out more about me, see snippets of published work and snippets of books up for pre-orders when the pre-order goes live. Visit the Newsletter tab to keep up to date with my new releases, and if you like a one-stop-shopping experience, I have a list of all my books with the buy buttons for the various retailers I publish with for your convenience.
I am also on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/jenniferamriss and Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/jenniferamriss. Though don’t be fooled. I am horrid at keeping up with social media. I’d rather spend my time writing. But! I’m getting better!
- Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions, any last thoughts or comments?
Not a problem at all. Thank you so much for having me! This has been great fun.
As for last thoughts, I’d like to remind your followers that Race Against the Dark is available at most major retailers. You can find the buy buttons on my website at http://jenniferamriss.com/book/race-against-the-dark/, or go direct to Amazon, iBooks, Nook, Kobo, and others. It will also be available in print soon for those of you who prefer physical books.
If you want to see my work on another retailer, please feel free to contact me through my website’s contact page and let me know! For right now, however, Google Play is closed to new authors. Once their platform opens up, you can expect to see my work there, as well.
Remember, if you buy a book from any author, please leave a review. Reviews are the greatest way to show an author that you appreciate their work, and good reviews make our entire week, and remind us why we keep writing. Sure, sales are awesome, but reviews hold a special place in a writer’s heart. They also help authors get noticed by more people by making us more visible in retailer searches by boosting our sales rankings and adding us to “also boughts” and giving us a shot at being featured in retailer newsletters. Leave reviews. Receive satisfaction that you made an author squeal.
Also, I’d like to thank your followers for listening to me ramble. You are all awesome. Remember that.
As a last surprise, and a special thanks to everyone, I’d like to announce that we will be keeping track of commenters. We will choose a random commenter for a free ebook copy of Race Against the Dark, delivered to your email in your preferred format of ePub or Mobi. Your names will be put into a Random Name Picker for fairness, around March 31st. Thank you all for your participation!
There you have it folks, check out her book and keep your eye on her for more great stuff. Thank you again Jen, for taking the time to answer these questions, and congratulations on the publication of your book!