Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Jennifer Donohoe. Jennifer is a Science Fiction & Fantasy, Horror, Young Adult writer .
Jennifer Donohoe, Author
Jennifer Donohoe, Author
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Jennifer Donohoe currently lives in Northeast Ohio. She works as a In-Home Counselor to Felony Juvenile Offenders. She loves taking landscape photography as a hobby and uses the photos as descriptions for some of the settings in her stories. Her passion is writing and enjoys the company of her characters.
SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author
First of all, congratulations on your new book, Fly Away. Now the marketing begins. Let’s move to what’s next. Rumor has it that you have another book on the horizon called Dragon King. Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?
Dragon King is the sequel to Willow's Journey. Where Willow's Journey focused on the main character, Willow, Dragon King will focus on Ryuu. The journey to find the Four Jewels of legend begins in this book, but Willow is kidnapped by the ruthless Kings guard, Daisuke. Ryuu and the rest of the travelers must find her and rescue her before the Dragon King kills her. I hope to have this book finished this coming late fall and have it on the market by late winter. This book has been a challenge and I originally lost the first 50,000 words to the manuscript and had to start from scratch, a little heartbreaking.
You have a good following on twitter. How important have your social media relationships been? How much has it work with your book launch process?
I'm still working with twitter as far as finding more fantasy fans. It's been difficult for me because of balancing writing, my other job, taking care of horses, and allowing my daughter to show. Fly Away will be the first book I truly launch the traditional way. So it will be interesting to see how twitter does work for me.
Do you do book signings, interviews, speaking and personal appearances? If so, when and where is the next place where your readers can see you? Where can they keep up with your personal contacts online?
Fly Away will be the first book I'll actually try to do book signings with and work more with the public. I do have high school students posing for the voice actors for the trailer so I'm hoping this gives it more exposure. Since Fly Away is based in Northeast Ohio, I'm going to use that to my advantage and utilize the bookstores and libraries around here to promote it. I have nothing set up yet, but when I do I'll post it on facebook and twitter.
You have great covers. How does your book cover creation process work? Do you hand over the basic theme or do you have more of a hands-on approach? Do you get your readers involved in its development?
I have actually created the covers for Fly Away and Dragon King. I use a 3D software called Poser Pro. It's great to work with, but does take a lot of time to learn. Once I create the picture in Poser, I then use Photoshop to do the rest. Willow's Journey was done by a fellow author, but will be revamped to match the covers of the books that follow. When thinking of a design for a cover, I usually go for the main theme of the book - what will attract the attention of a reader. I feel it gives me more ownership of the book and allows me to use more unique scenes.
Have you created a book trailer for any of your books to promote them online?
Oh my goodness, the terror of my existence. Poser allows me to create movies in the software. However, it takes quite the hand to do this. I am currently working on Fly Away's trailer and hope to have it done before the end of May. As with human actors, 3D actors can be just as difficult in moving around and complying with what I want to have done. Finding voice actors is even more difficult. I've have to learn various techniques to combine voice and sound with a scene so that it seems to flow. I actually enjoy doing this even though it has been a challenge for me.
What kinds of writer support groups do you belong too? Do they help with the writing, marketing and the publishing process?
I currently work with Internet Writer's Workshop to help me with the basics of writing. Fellow authors submit their work to be critiqued and in return they help with my work. I have built a great support system with the authors I work with. However, after the book is finished, I'm basically on my own. They will help share or write reviews, but that's as far as the process goes. I do have to say that working with this group has been the greatest gift given to me as an author. They are a wonderful group of people and will challenge you to write better with each suggestion.
Between your book writing, blogging, marketing, day job, family and all the other things that can get in your way, how do you manage your time? Do you have a set schedule or do your sort of play it by ear?
The only schedule I have is at work. If I planned a schedule for my personal life I think I would go insane. I write when I have inspiration and when I'm not writing, I'm working on creating still shots or trailers for the books.
What has been your experience in giving your books away free? Have you been involved in any other type of giveaways and how did that work out? What was your main goal in doing this? Did you run into any obstacles?
I gave away Willow's Journey faithfully to mainly get my name and book out to the public. As far as Amazon, I've not had much success with them. However, on Goodreads, I had a better following. I have also worked with other authors and have done a more organized attempt at promotion by giving away Kindles and free books. These promotions did very well. The only obstacles in giving away free books that I have seen is that it becomes expected by the readers for the Indie Authors to do this. I think it's a great promotional tool done in small fractions. Fly Away will have give a ways also, but will be done in accordance with signings and the main virtual book party that will occur hopefully sometime in June.
How do you manage your plots, characters and timelines to keep your stories going? Do you use any software to keep track of your books?
I really don't manage my plots or characters. I feel they manage me. I let the characters tell their stories and let them tell me the direction they want to do. Fly Away is a perfect example of this. The book was originally slated to be a psychological thriller, but quickly turned its heels on me and turned into a fantasy with a theme compared to Dante's Inferno and The Neverending Story combining. I've not ever tried any software to keep track of my books and almost feel it would stifle my writing.
You have a great blog. You do a great job keeping readers informed, marketing your books and providing useful information about other writers. What is your primary goal? How rewarding is it to promote your fellow writers?
As an Indie Author, I feel it is very important to help fellow authors. We all need to have a boost and look out for one another. I enjoy having a author do a guest post on my blog and they get some rewarding feedback for their post. I believe my primary goal is to keep the readers informed. If they are aware it's out there there'll be more of a chance for them to take a look or purchase it.
Author's Book List
Robin Sullivan is given a magical book where she can experience a better life in a new world called Tearmann. She can finally escape the terrible reality of life with an abusive, alcoholic father, her mother's schizophrenia, and her best friend's Leukemia. Robin must choose between deserting her real life or living in a world promising a better one. Events come into play forcing Robin to make a decision. Will she be able to save those she loves and still save herself?
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- The Legend of the Travelers
Left without a memory after a brutal attack, Willow struggles to remember what happened to her and who did it. Her mother is missing and Willow is the last traveler who can find the Four Jewels of legend. In a life filled with Celtic gods, Japanese legends, Native American folklore, and a guardian fairy that does more harm than good, Willow learns everyone she meets has a stake in the choice she will have to make. Surrounded by those who are torn between aiding her and killing her, she works to put the pieces together and figure out who she can trust. As the mystery unfolds into the ultimate betrayal, Willow has to decide if she can fulfill her destiny regardless of the consequences.
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