Saturday, April 25, 2015

Five Enchanted Roses Author Spotlight: Jenelle Schmidt

Today I am highlighting Jenelle Schmidt, winner of the Five Enchanted Roses contest, and author of Stone Curse. 

Give me the basics...Where are you located and what do you do?

I'm from Raleigh, North Carolina, and am a stay-at-home-mom.

Tell me about your Five Enchanted Roses story.

The story opens inside Thorndale Castle, which has been the recipient of a rather nasty curse. In one evening, most of the nobility of the country who were attending a ball at the castle were turned to stone, the princess was abducted, and a visiting prince was turned into a beast who cannot leave the castle grounds without losing his mind. And nobody knows who cast the curse or why.

What was your inspiration for your story? Anything in particular?

I kind of started out by thinking of all the things I didn't like about the original or classic retellings of Beauty and the Beast. I didn't like the father's role in the original story, or the fact that the prince in the Disney version was cursed at the age of 11 because he wouldn't let some creepy old lady into his house after dark (I think his parents would have probably agreed that this was the best course of action... not that they are present in the story). So I set out to create a version of the story where the prince is not really the true "Beast" of the story. It's a bit of a twist on the "don't judge a book by its cover" theme.

How long have you been writing?

I've been writing my whole life. I was coming up with stories before I could even hold a pen, and I began writing stories the moment I learned to write. I was going through some things my mom had saved of mine from my own homeschooled days, and happened across a story I had written when I was six years old. It had chapters and everything!

Have you written any other stories/novels?

Yes. I have written five novels, two of which have been published. We are hoping to have the third book in the series available later this year. I've also written a novella adaptation of Cinderella, which I also hope to release later this year.

Can we find any of your other works for purchase online? 

Yes, you can! King's Warrior and Second Son are both available through Amazon in e-book and paperback form.

What's next for you?

The next thing I'm working on is the second book in my new series - which I'll be talking about later on in the year on my blog. I also have a sci-fi/mystery project in the works that I hope to begin writing as soon as my current work-in-progress is finished. And I have a whole new world (to borrow from Disney) with no story yet, just waiting for some characters to come fill it with life.

What is your process when you begin writing a story?

First I have an idea. Usually the idea is focused around a character and/or a set of circumstances that might converge upon that character. Next I do a lot of world-building. My husband helps with this part immensely. I write fantasy and sci-fi, so the world-building is an extremely essential step. Then I might sit back and let the story and the characters simmer for a while. I'll discuss ideas with my husband some more, create some more characters, and begin putting together an outline. Once I have the outline kind of figured out - at least for the first few chapters - I will start writing the story. My outlines tend to be very flexible, and they change as I write.

What other writers/books inspire you?

That is a very long list. J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis and George MacDonald definitely top the list, as the fathers of modern fantasy. Stephen R. Lawhead is a constant source of inspiration, as well as Timothy Zahn. There are many others, but those are the main ones.

What advice would you give to other new writers?

My first piece of advice is to read. Read everything you can get your hands on. Read books you love, read books you don't love, become an expert on the genre you want to write. Read books outside that genre. Read!

My second piece of advice is to write. Write on napkins and fill up notebooks and the hard drive of your computer. Write what you know. Write what you don't know. Write what you'd like to know. Some of it will work, some of it won't, but don't let that stop you.

And finally, finish a writing project. You don't have to finish EVERY writing project. Some things will be abandoned. But there is nothing like that feeling of accomplishment when you finish that first manuscript to spur you on to keep writing and keep finishing stories. Accept that there will ALWAYS be something you will wish you could change about your story, it will never be perfect... but it can be considered "done."

Where can we find you online?


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  2. Great interview! I really like your advice to new writers! ^_^

  3. Thanks for having me over, Dorian!