I’m really excited (a.k.a doing a minion dance of glee) to introduce you to another fabulous author!! I’ve always admired Jenny Freitag, so you can imagine how excited I was when I interviewed her!
(PS Don’t forget to enter part 1 of the Frabjous and Massive Giveaway!)
meet Jennifer Freitag
Jennifer Freitag is first and foremost a Christian. She writes fantasy and historical fiction from her home in South Carolina, where she lives with her husband and two cats. She loves reading, especially obscure old works; she loves her family, and she loves tea. The Shadow Things is her debut novel and can be purchased on Amazon, in Christian bookstores, or from the author’s website.
It’s super exciting to have Jenny visit our blog (hi Jenny! Thanks for coming!). She wrote THE SHADOW THINGS in 2010 and is currently working on GINGERUNE. We have a fabulous interview below and afterwards? A giveaway! Jenny’s generously offered 2 copies of her book to two of you lucky blogglings!
Ready for it?
BEHOLD. THE INTERVIEW:
pitch us your book in a sentence!
In southern Britain, young Indi has grown up knowing nothing more than his gods of horses and thunder: so when a man from across the sea comes preaching a single God slain on a cross, Indi must choose between his gods or the one God – and face the consequences of his decision.
can you give us some tips about researching for historical fiction?
I had already spent much of my time before I even knew I wanted to write THE SHADOW THINGS toying about the ancient world—so there wasn’t a lot of research I had to do when it came to writing THE SHADOW THINGS! Take my current novel in progress, GINGERUNE, however: set in a Minoan civilization, I had a lot of research to do. So I purchased the greatest weapon known to man: BOOKS! With a topic like this, my best bet was to read books on archeology, which I love to do. To get the “feel” of the culture, I dug out novels that I own which are set in the Mediterranean. That way, I get both the historical background locked in stone through which the people moved, and also an idea of how human beings interacted with their culture. It’s a lot of fun!
how long did it take THE SHADOW THINGS to go from seed-idea to published book?
I honestly don’t remember, but I think an educated guess would be three or four years. Not because the book was unusually difficult to write (it wasn’t), but because it was my first book and I had very little idea of what I was doing. When you don’t know where you are going with the writing and publishing business, each step takes time, and there is a lot of fear to be overcome.
what do you recommend writers do while they work towards self-publication? Blog? Tweet? Do you think these hold real weight in today’s publishing world?
Blogging, tweeting, getting a website (I’m under contract with web designer Bree Holloway (breeholloway.blogspot.com) to have a pretty little website up by the end of August!); blog-hops help spread your name out over a wider audience. I have an author page on Facebook where I give updates about THE SHADOW THINGS and my current writing projects. I have an Amazon Author page and a Goodreads Author page. I’m not technically self-published, but I do bear the bulk of marketing on my own shoulders, and that can be very gruelling, especially for the introverted author-type which would much rather hunker down in front of the computer and scribble for hours on end. But you have to put forth some effort or your book will come to nothing. How much and exactly what you will do may depend on your own personality and your resources, but don’t shrink back from making your dream come true. Every little bit counts.
what do you feel is the most important part of writing a book? characters, plot, writing style, etc.?
Endurance and humility are both hugely important traits in the writer. You’ve got to have a heap of stick-to-it-iveness to get through the harder parts of your relationship with your book. There are countless writers out there who start off with a bang and a whirl and great potential, then fizzle out at the first sign of writer’s block. If you want to make anything of your career, you can’t let yourself despair. My current writing project has given me the fits almost from Day One, but I’ve been slogging through one step at a time, seeing a little bit more of the plot as I go. It isn’t easy, but it will be worth it. And you have to realize that you need help. Do that research! You can’t create in a vacuum. Give yourself plenty of material to work with. It will always help.
Remember that every book is different. The characters will change, the plot will be different, even your writing style will tweak a fraction to fit each new story. Come to the story with the idea that it is almost alive, breathing with living characters and a potent world just waiting for you to write it down. Even though the story isn’t real, you are writing about people who experience life just as we do. Don’t cram your brain into a box. Don’t get caught up in the endless downward spiral of mechanical rules. Let the story have its head as often as you can and it will do exactly what is in its nature to do.
was THE SHADOW THINGS your original title? if so, tell us how you thought of it!
Funny you should ask! Yes, THE SHADOW THINGS was the original title I had in mind, but I almost had to give it up because my publisher thought it was too close to an idea postulated by C.S. Lewis. I confess that was half my intention, so while I was horribly shy and didn’t want to make waves, I put back my ears and in the end we stuck with my title!
can you give us a quick intro to one of your characters? (Pretty please!?)
Meet Indi, the main character. He is quite a young man, but since he was born to receive the rule of his village when his father dies he has matured very quickly and has been blessed (or cursed) with a more intuitive, introspective frame of mind than his fellows. The catalyst of his discontent with his people’s philosophy and religion comes quickly and leaves him looking desperately for a light in a very, very dark place.
time for a Quick 3!
– 3 favourite music composers/albums
Believe it or not, I am extremely fond of the score of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. The songs are fantastic and so catchy (it helps, too, to have seen the show!). But I don’t usually listen to My Little Pony while writing: the music is too bouncy, I’m afraid. I love listening to Loreena McKennitt, and I’m also very fond of Rich Mullins.
– 3 favourite authors
G.K. Chesterton, Dorothy Sayers, and then a tie between Rosemary Sutcliff and C.S. Lewis. I have gobs of other authors that I love, but have only read one or two of their works. This makes putting together this list very difficult.
– 3 favourite pizza toppings
Ham and pineapple and feta cheese!
The Legions have left the province of Britain and the Western Roman Empire has dissolved into chaos. With the world plunged into darkness, paganism and superstition are as rampant as ever. In the Down country of southern Britain, young Indi has grown up knowing nothing more than his gods of horses and thunder; so when a man from across the sea comes preaching a single God slain on a cross, Indi must choose between his gods or the one Godand face the consequences of his decision.