Today we are privileged to speak with Jenni James! Jenni is a lovely and talented woman, mom and writer and Writing World feels honoured to have her with us.
WW: Hi, Jenni, and welcome to Writing World! Tell us a little about yourself- who is Jenni?
Jenni: I am a recently divorced, single mother of seven children, ranging from the ages of 2-16. I was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona and then spent my high school years (9-12 grade) in Farmington, NM. As an adult I've lived in Phoenix again, the Azores Islands of Portugal, England, Utah,and now Farmington, NM again.
I love to sing, dance, act, paint, travel, cook, and host large parties. I really love taking my kids places and showing them the world with me. We have many adventures together, and I've never been afraid to load them all up and go anywhere.
WW: In each of us, I believe, there is a place for the magical, and your work encapsulates that. Tell us about your writing journey. What sparked it for you?
Jenni: I never wanted to be an author. Never. I thought it would be excessively boring to do “homework” and write for months on end the same story, instead of just reading one. I learned later how wrong I was! When my first book came to me, it kept me up for three days straight--the ideas, the plots, the characters, they all began to speak to me. And I resisted until I decided that sleep was more important than resisting. :) Once I began I couldn't stop. I learned how much more fun it is to write your own novel than to read one. Pride & Popularity was the first book and now I am currently writing my 15th... I believe, though it will be my 12th published. (the others will come out later).
WW: Our readers would love more detail about your books! Which book would you say was the most difficult to write, and why?
Jenni: Sleeping Beauty, hands down was the most difficult book to write. What would have normally taken me a few weeks, took 5 months. It is a story about a girl facing her fears, and as my divorce had just happened, it was a terrifying, extremely painful, but oh, so healing journey for me. It was Sleeping Beauty that taught me to love writing again. Without that book the Faerie Tale Collection would have never been completed.
WW: You have really intriguing covers, they capture the eye and the imagination! Do you create them yourself?
Jenni: Oh, goodness no! My publisher the amazing StoneHouse Ink has hired one of the best in the business: Claudia McKinney to design all of covers. She is an angel with an incredible gift and I am so very, very fortunate to be able to work with her. I just love this woman!
WW: What are you working on right now?
Jenni: Right now, I am writing Snow White. While editing Jack and the Beanstalk. I hope to be through with Snow White within two weeks and then I’ll begin writing The Frog Prince, I believe...
WW: Is there another side to Jenni James? Perhaps you have a crime thriller or murder mystery waiting to be born?
Jenni: Lol! After I pump out a few more of these fairy tales, I hope to be able to sit down this summer and write out Revitalizing Jane, a woman’s fiction novel, that will strike home in many ways.
WW and Jenni: I have to throw this in! That list of favourites we’re all interested in!
Favourite book: (How about author?) Judith A. Lansdowne
Favourite movie: Enchanted
Favourite TV series: I don’t watch TV...
Favourite colour: Purple and Silver.
Favourite food: Mexican Food!
Favourite drink: Water with lemon (so I can eat the lemon)
Favourite pet: Dog
Favourite season: I love change, so I am excited with any season that comes
Favourite place: Home, with my kids.
WW: What comes next for Jenni, beyond a new book?
Jenni: I don’t know yet. Right now, I am working on writing as much as I can--becoming a full time writer--so that I may take care and provide for me and the kids. My goal is a nice house, we can really fit in--with new couches and my own office! lol! I’ll see when/if that ever becomes a reality. But right now, I’m taking one day at a time, just to learn and breathe and become me. :)
WW: And finally, if you could choose one person, living or dead, you would like to meet, who would it be and what would you ask of that person?
Jenni: I would love to meet Jane Austen and ask her what she’s thinking of the Jane Austen Diaries, and if I've truly stuck with her original moral and theme with each book. I want to do them justice and I’d love to have her opinion. Hopefully it would be good! lol!
WW: And now, for our readers, here's the short version of Jenni's books (the short version, because there's so much to say about this talented lady's work, we'd need pages to do so!)
The Jane Austen Diaries:
Pride & Popularity--is about Taylor, the most popular boy in school and Chloe who hates popular people. He can’t figure out why she doesn’t like him.
Persuaded--is about Amanda who is persuaded, by her friends, to reject the only boy she’s ever loved, he comes back three years later and he’s tall, hot, strong, and worth millions. Now all of her friends are in love with him and he won’t speak to her.
Emmalee--is about Emma who has everything, wealth, popularity, etc. and she is determined to fix the lives of those around her to be as happy as she is. And Chase the guy next door who is determined to fix Emmalee.
Northanger Alibi--is about Claire who is addicted to Twilight. She gets to go to Seattle for the first time ever, and she thinks she’s met a real vampire--he’s not. (By far the funniest book I’ve ever written!)
Middle Grade spiritual novel:
Prince Tennyson-- is about a 10-yr-old girl who’s dad died in Iraq the year before, and now she’s trying to prove if God is real or not. She wants to know if she’ll ever see her dad again. --The man they called Prince Tennyson, because of how handsome he looked in his uniform. (this book will make you cry--it is not a challenge, it is a warning. So, so sweet.)
The Jenni James Faerie Tale Collection:
Beauty and the Beast--Alexander is a werewolf. He’s a prince by day and a wolf by night and he has one year to get a girl to fall in love with him as the beast, except the only girl he can get to talk to him absolutely hates the prince.
Sleeping Beauty--Aleyna is under an enchantment, she is really asleep, but walks the halls of her ruined castle (believing all is perfect) as a ghost, stuck in time, awaiting for her prince to unlock the spell. Except, Prince Darien, the prince sent to release her, is afraid of ghosts.
Rumplestiltskin--(My personal favorite!!) Prince Frederico, was crippled by a witch as a small boy and his family feared his new form--they disowned him and told the kingdom their heir had died. He becomes Rumple-Stilt-Skin, because his skin is so rumpled and stilted. Years later his brother is a cruel king when Aubrynn’s father announces she can turn straw into gold. Rumple is determined to help her without falling in love with her himself. If she can figure out his real name Frederico, she will realize he is the true heir to the throne and save her kingdom.
Cinderella--Prince Anthony sees Ella Woodston dressed as a servant and pretends to be John, the boy she used to beat at the horse races when they were children. He wants to know why one of the wealthiest girls in the kingdom would be dressed so. This journey for them both opens a new world as they fall in love and become who they were each destined to be.
Hansel and Gretel--when Hansel’s father finds a lost child, they soon realize she is the princess of Larkein, the kingdom their king just invaded. Hansel pleads with his father to save her and help her. Years later, while Hansel is pushing away his growing attraction for Gretel, the witch of Larkein disguised as a beautiful woman, marries their father and sets the whole family in a tailspin as Hansel and Gretel battle for their lives.
Jack and the Beanstalk--(the sequel to Hansel and Gretel) Jack’s fiance was taken by the giant and he must travel with Jill, his sister, to Larkein to find a way to get her back. Once there he meets his father’s old enemy (the witch) and trades a cow for magic beans and a quest that will truly prove his worth to his intended.
Jenni's books are available as eBooks and in Print:
For more about this talented author:
Thank you so much, Jenni, for spending time with us here on Writing World. We wish you every success!