I am delighted to have American author, Jenna Morrison visit the blog today to discuss her new novel, A Brother's Truth. Jenna, thank you very much for agreeing to an Author Interview with me.
Please tell my readers a little about yourself?
Hi, my name is Jenna Morrison and I am the author of A BROTHER’S TRUTH, which will be released on February 4, 2022. This is my first debut novel, which I am very excited about. I am a Colorado native, originally from Elizabeth. Along with being an author, I am also a self-taught artist at J.K.Morrison Fine Art.
What inspired you to become an author?
I have always been fascinated with storytelling for as long as I can remember. As a little girl, one of my most favorite things to do was to tell my parents and friends scary stories, and the love for storytelling never died away. In elementary school (Legacy Academy), my teachers had encouraged me to keep writing because they had noticed my love for it, and so I did. I was very lucky to be surrounded by a bunch of supportive people who constantly encouraged me to follow my dreams and to never give up.
What is the best thing about being an author?
Oh my gosh, so many things. I don’t care about fame, I don’t care about fortune. I never have. I just want to create a story that at least one person will read and love, and that’s it. If one person can read it and fall in love, then my job is done and it means the world to me. But to answer your question, the best thing about being an author is having the ability to tell someone a story that came from my own mind, and be able to make them laugh or cry, all because of my words and imaginary characters. I love being able to create stories that will always be remembered, especially ones that people won’t forget. There is just something so satisfying about that. When I write, I can literally “see” a movie play in my head, shot my shot, scene by scene, and so when I write, it’s like I’m able to create my own movie in my head.
What is your writing routine like?
If I could write all day, every day, every second, I probably would, and it is my personal addiction. To maintain balance and a life outside of storytelling, I try to not write during the day and focus on living life, work, being around friends and family. During the night is when I allow myself to finally write, but I will only allow myself up to two hours, or 1,000 words. Otherwise, I will sink into my story and I won’t realize how many hours have passed.
How much time do you spend on research?
When I started to write A BROTHER’S TRUTH, I did a lot of research because I had some knowledge about what life was like in the late 1800’s, but I didn’t know a lot of things, mainly about what people had back then and what life was like as a peasant. As I was writing, I was also researching at the same time. For the sequel, I do some research but I don’t have to do as much due to already learning about that particular lifestyle.
How much of the book is planned out before you start writing it?
This may sound bad, but I do very minimal planning when it comes to storytelling. I will usually have a very basic outline (Pixar’s outline for storytelling), and fill out the blanks. For everything else, I let the story write itself and just go along with whatever my mind plays, like a movie.
As a horrid example, this is all I will have planned out: Once upon a time there was a girl named Sarah. Sarah worked in a bakery, until one day, the store was robbed, which led to her wanting to capture the criminals, which led to_____, which led to ______,until finally _____.
So I will always have a plan like this written out, but the events and resolution is always subject to change because when the movie in my head starts playing, most of the time I will think of the craziest, last minute things that will spice it up and make it more effective as a story.
What do you think is most important when writing a book? Characters, plot, setting, etc
I love this question, and in my personal opinion, the characters are the most important when writing the book because they are the ones who drive the story forward. They are the reason why the reader will keep reading, and they are the ones who have the backstory, character arcs, and will create that hidden message to all readers. Don’t get me wrong, plot and setting are important but the characters are what make or break the story.
What is your latest book about?
The story starts off with nineteen year old Matthew Cayden, who is arrested and is unable to weasel his way out this time. His younger, partentified brother, Will, finds out about his latest arrest, and this pushes their strained relationship to the limit. Matt’s angry and destructive behavior leads into further trouble, and more dark secrets begin to emerge. Soon, the brothers find themselves in grave danger.
Matt and Will’s cousin, Lilianna Miller, raises questions about her true ethnicity, and discovers that she is a Native American, stolen from her tribe as a newborn. Raised in a wealthy family, she is sheltered all through her life by her over-protective adoptive father. But when her parents are murdered by a gang, Lilianna is bloodthirsty for revenge.
Any new books or plans for the future?
I am working on a sequel to A BROTHER’S TRUTH, and this sequel will also read as a standalone, so readers do not have to read book 1 in order to understand book 2. I’m trying to make it so that people can start with whichever story they want to, but they can go read one or the other right after in order to gain more story on the character’s past, or their future (that way, they can see the full character arcs and their full story throughout the course of time). So far, all the betas love it and have noted it to be more dark, more dangerous, and more suspenseful.
What genres do you read most often?
I would say thriller, suspense, murder mystery, or horror over anything else.
Is there anything else you would like my readers to know?
Yes, I’m sincerely so grateful for my readers and their support. Without you, storytelling wouldn’t be as fun. If you do decide to read A BROTHER’S TRUTH, I look forward to hearing what you think of it, and be sure to rate it through Amazon or Goodreads because this will help me as an author learn and grow. I sincerely want to thank you all for everything <3. Much love!
A life of crime. A quest for revenge. A final showdown.
Long ago, brothers Matthew and William Cayden were close. Then one day, everything changed.
Nineteen-year-old Matt is in trouble again with the law, except for this time, he is unable to weasel his way out. When Will hears of Matt’s latest arrest, it pushes their strained relationship to the limit. As Matt’s impulsive behavior leads to further trouble, dark secrets begin to unravel. Soon, they find themselves in grave danger.
The boys’ cousin, Lilianna Miller, raises questions about her true ethnicity, and discovers that she is a Native American, stolen from her tribe as a newborn. Raised in a wealthy family, she is sheltered all through her life by her over-protective adoptive father. But when her parents are murdered by a gang, Lilianna is bloodthirsty for revenge.
When Lilianna’s path crosses Will’s and Matt’s, her chase for the murderers turns even more perilous. How will the brothers escape a fatal trap? And will Lilianna get her revenge?
Jenna Morrison was born on November 1, 1995, in Denver, Colorado. At a very young age, Morrison became a prolific reader, painter, and writer. At 10 years old, she became the President of her 4-H club. That year, she exhibited her artwork through 4-H; she won first place for her county and for the state of Colorado.
Then, at 11 years old, Morrison wrote her first flash-fiction narrative, "My First Horse," as a school assignment for her fifth-grade class. After Morrison's teacher read her work, she submitted Morrison's story to the Penguin Classics Essay Contest. Only 11 years old, she was the youngest person ever to enter the competition, competing against 16 to 18-year-olds. Morrison lost the contest; the judges noted that her story was 'too sad,' resulting in her loss. A year later, Morrison's narrative was published in the local Elbert County newspaper.
In 2010, At fourteen years old, Morrison wrote a short story for her eighth-grade school assignment, "The Forbidden, The Untold Secret." Another teacher recognized Morrison's abilities and encouraged her to submit her story to the NaNoWriMo contest. That month, Morrison won the competition; she self-published her short story that year. Additionally, Morrison's artwork was invited into the DPAIG Art Gallery, and she was the youngest person to join the Parker Artists Guild.
In 2011, Morrison's father took his own life after battling depression for many years. Morrison put down the pen and the brushes, quitting her painting and writing. She resigned from the guild and art gallery. In 2014, Morrison wrote and self-published her second short-story, "Suicide Survivor," a coping mechanism for her father's death. She graduated from high school in 2015. In 2017, she attended Regis University, then Aspen University. In her junior year of college, she co-taught and tutored students at Harvard University and Regis University.
In 2021, Morrison became a senior in college, earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Management. After encouragement from her boyfriend, Morrison began to paint and pick up the pen again. She has sold countless artwork to universities, professors, and peers.