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An Interview with Jennifer Worrell

Thank you so much for taking time out of a busy day to chat, Jennifer. It is always a thrill to welcome a bestselling author to the blog. Please start by telling my readers a little about yourself?

Hello all! I live in Chicago, IL (USA) and took a long, circuitous route to writerville. I first made a half-assed attempt at nursing, then went to school for a pastry & baking degree, eventually landing a sweet gig at a university library.

What inspired you to become an author?

I read everything and anything, and was lucky enough to have parents that didn’t censor my choices. I enjoyed a good story and read beyond my age level, and soon became enraptured by beautiful prose. I was fascinated how a handful of words could evoke an image as clearly as a photograph and emotions that real life can’t stir up. It’s magic.

What is the best thing about being an author?

I like trying to figure people out. Character development is so much fun, like unraveling a puzzle.

What is your writing routine like?

I tend to agonize over it until the afternoon, wonder how it got so late, then chide myself for not getting anything done; this leads to either blocking out the world and getting words down, or feeling guilty and medicating with fried food and whiskey. I’ve recently started thinking about the next scene at the start of the day, so when I pull up my draft, I’m not wasting time staring at the cursor. If I time my coffee just so, I might be able to write into the wee hours.

How much time do you spend on research?

I come to a screeching halt if I don’t have all the answers, so to speak. For instance, in my current work-in-progress, my protagonist works for a radio station as an ad salesman and broadcaster. I know next to nothing about this life, so I stopped to get my research on before diving back in.

I also take a page from my own creation: my protagonist in Edge of Sundown sketched his settings before writing. And I thought…gee, that’s a good idea. It really helps!

How much of the book is planned out before you start writing it?

I tend to write a rambling synopsis and pants it from there. But since the current book is non-linear and deals with time travel, I attempted to outline the old fashioned way. It’s so unpleasant! I’m going back to my sloppy synopsis.

What do you think is most important when writing a book?

Character has a bigger piece of that pie. Knowing how much setting description to include is a tricky balance, and there are many lovely books with little plot. But if you don’t care about who the plot is happening to, you’re in trouble.

What is your latest book about?

It’s about a man who can give you the ability to travel through time, to relive your past in full detail. The only catch is, every revisitation takes time off the end of your life. Since no one knows how much time they have, is it worth the risk?

What inspired it?

I overheard a conversation between two friends, one of whom held every radio station job imaginable. He mentioned a co-worker who “sold time” [ads]. I wondered, what if you could sell literal time?

Any new books or plans for the future?

I was invited to write a novella for a smutty chapbook series, so I’m working on that along with a few (non-smutty) picture books.

What genres do you read most often?

I’m an equal opportunity reader. My TBR list reaches the moon and back.

Is there anything else you would like my readers to know?

If you happen to be stateside on September 12, I’ll be signing books at the Printer’s Row Lit Fest in Chicago’s South Loop.

The Author If Jennifer were to make a deal with the Devil, she’d ask to live—in good health—just until she’s finished reading all the books. She figures that’s pretty square.

In case other bibliophiles attempt the same scheme, she’s working hard to get all her ideas on paper. She writes multi-genre fiction and the occasional essay. She’s always been drawn to “what-ifs” and flawed characters, has never quite mastered the happy ending, and will work for pie.

The Links: Edge of Sundown:


Facebook and Twitter: @JWorrellWrites

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