Wednesday, March 1, 2017

H. Schussman Interviews Jennifer Bryce Interview


First, Jennifer, tell us a little about yourself. I live in Southeastern Arizona in my three ringed circus -handful of kids, farm animals, and a darling hubster. Currently, I work on an Apache reservation as a nurse at their hospital—that job alone could supply me with endless writing material! Maybe one day I'll actually get a spare minute to take a nap and write a paragraph or two.

Heidi:
What genre do you write? 
Jennifer:
I love sweet romances, but I've dabbled in some magical realism recently. One day I'd like to do a compilation of reflective essays, like Pat McManus has done, about my life being a daughter of a cop and the awkward teenage years...funny stuff there!

Heidi:
When did you start writing?
Jennifer: 
About 8 years ago I found myself on bedrest and had plenty of free time to read. I read a few books that were absolutely garbage. I thought to myself, "I can do a much better job than this."

Heidi:
What are you working on now?
Jennifer: 
Well...I just had a baby a few months ago so I'm working on trying to catch up from that. Seriously, I have the worst case of writer’s block and lack of ambition right now. All you new mothers can probably sympathize right now. I did have a great idea recently that I thought I might pursue with the help of my 12 year old son. There is not much out there for middle grade boy’s fiction right now. I have three boys that love to read and we struggle finding clean stories that they are interested in. I'm sure with my son's help we could come up with a dynamic plot for tween boys.

Heidi:
Who is your favorite character in your stories? 
Jennifer: 
Stucky from Haley's Song. I can feel he has a "rode hard and put away wet" story just itching to come out. His character is the silent hero in the book.

Heidi:
Do you see yourself in any of your characters?
Jennifer: I put a little piece of me in all of them, especially my flaws. It makes them more relatable.

Heidi:
Where do you write? Describe your workspace?
Jennifer: 
On my couch with my feet up! My kids frequently are up to mischief, so I have to put cartoons on and supervise their activities while I write. How's that for multitasking?! My super glamorous life is shining through...

Heidi:
Who are your all-time favorite authors?
Jennifer:
Lately, I've been enjoying Lacy Williams but my favorites are still Pat McManus, Erma Bombeck, and Marcia Lynn McClure.

Heidi: I see you have a new book out, Guardian of the Fountain. Can you tell me a little about it. By the way, I love the cover.
Jennifer: 
I wrote Guardian of the Fountain after Haley's Song. I wanted to give self publishing a try. It's available on Amazon Kindle right now.
Guardian starts in the middle of the story of Chrissie and Brant's love story. I think it's safe to say most of us would like to stop time and aging, this story feeds into that. Brant is the keeper of the much sought after Fountain of Youth but his secret almost costs Chrissie her life.
Chrissie is a down to earth Texan looking for a change in her life. Not normally a person who typically embraces change, Chrissie takes a leap of faith that lands her in the jungles of Venezuela.

Here is the blurb:
Some secrets are better kept…

When a mysterious stranger crawls through her window in the dark of night and claims to have a cure for her disease that claimed 6 months of her memory and is slowly killing her, Chrissie is given a second chance at life. She only has to travel to the jungle of Venezuela to get it.
Then Chrissie meets the gorgeous, Brant Winston the attraction is instant; although she has the strange feeling that she’s met him before. When she stumbles upon secrets tying him to the drug cartel and ancient tribal magic it puts them both in eminent danger. But Brant isn’t the only one with secrets; Chrissie has one very big secret that could destroy their love forever. Some will live and some will die. Who will it be? Only the pure will live.
(Phatpuppy Art did my cover and they did an exceptional job and were great to work with. I have them in mind for a future project about the Angel of Death.)

Heidi:
Did you find writing a query letter a challenge? If so, how did you overcome it? Do you think there was a key phrase or idea in your query letter?
Jennifer:
Query letters are tricky little critters. Luckily, I've been blessed with a great support group of author friends that help me hash them out. I try to come up with a catchy hook right at the beginning and from there it seems to flow easier if I get that part done first.

Heidi:
What advice do you have for a writer aspiring to be published?
Jennifer:
Write because you love to write. Don't do it because you want to make money. This expensive little hobby of mine has left me in the red, wanting to climb back into the black. Passion for writing will sustain you through the $0.84 royalty checks.

Heidi:
Would you like to acknowledge someone for their help/assistance/faith in you/etc?
Jennifer:
Jennifer Griffith Stewart (Author of Big in Japan and Super Daisy), Monica Ragland (writing group buddy and coolest lady I know), and my Dad have all encouraged me to keep at the writing thing. All three have been super helpful with editing, ideas, and just plain encouragement when I needed it the most.




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