My schedule on a normal day is get up at six AM, drive Jen Jr. to school, then hit a local coffee shop and do my daily blog stuff until it’s time to pick the kid up at 10:50. Then I come home and I should write at that point. However, I will admit that some days I come home and play Rock Band or The Orange Box before I even think of my manuscript.
Do you have a pre-writing routine to prepare yourself to get down to business?
Usually, I just have to have Diet Coke near by and some head phones. If I’m working on a new story, I might take the time to organize a playlist for the story in iTunes to get me inspired, if I don’t already have one.
Do you have a favourite author or someone you look up to in the industry?
I have to say that the person I really admire– and not just because of his awesome books– is Jim Butcher. He’s had such amazing success and writes stories that mind-blowing and clever, but when you meet him, he’s this regular guy. I want to be able to be that cool and down-to-earth if I ever reach that level of fame.
What’s your writing style? Slow and steady? Quick and prolific? All over the place?
It really depends on the project and various other factors. Sometimes, I can sit down and write twenty pages in a day. On others, getting half a page is pulling teeth. I usually can get a first draft out in about three months, though.
What are you working on now?
Right now I’m working on line edits for Blood Ties Book Four: All Souls’ Night, and I’m writing my next book, Lightworld/Darkworld, a futuristic fantasy set in a sort of dirty, underground, post-apocalyptic world. But with fairies. That should be out in August, I think, of 2009. Readers will get a preview at the end of All Soul’s Night.
What are the names of the books you have out?
Blood Ties Book One: The Turning, Blood Ties Book Two: Possession, and Blood Ties Book Three: Ashes To Ashes. They are conveniently numbered in case you’re smart enough to know how to read, but not smart enough to figure out the order of books in a series, I guess. I don’t know why they’re labeled like that.
Will Lightworld/Darkworld be a series?
Lightworld/Darkworld is the first book of a trilogy. The story is all mapped out and written down ahead of time (Brynn, you would be so proud of me!). After that, I’m really looking forward to writing a few books that are just stand alone books with no hooks in other projects.
What’s your favourite genre to write?
Urban Fantasy. You can have all the gore of a horror novel, and along with the squishy bits like intestine you can have the squishy bits having to do with love and romance. Also, you can swear as much as you want and they never seem to cut the naughty words out.
Tell us about your latest release and how you got the idea?
Well, my upcoming release is going to be Blood Ties Book Four: All Souls’ Night, and I go the idea because I had to finish the story somehow. Really, though, the book started out as something else, then I combined it with the plot line from the now-axed fifth book of the series and decided to end it all with the fourth. It has more action than the past books, and at the end vampires and werewolves and an army of golem fight a bunch of zombies. That’s really the part I’m most excited about.
Tell me your writing story…when did you decide this was what you want to do? How long did it take you to get “the call”? Etc.
How does it feel to be a USA Today Bestselling author? Tell us about what it was like when you found out.
Being a USA Today Bestselling Author is kind of embarrassing in my case, because I always think of it at the worst times. Like when I forget my purse and I’m at the gas station buying a soda and I’m like, “USA Today Bestselling Author Jennifer Armintrout buys pop with change!” Also, my friends are way more excited about it than I am by now, and they introduce me to other people with “Bestselling Author” at the beginning of my name, like it’s a title bestowed upon me by the queen of books. One of my friends even tells stories that way: “I was out shopping with my friend, USA Today Bestselling Author Jennifer Armintrout…” It’s really funny, because he’s known me since I was fifteen and he was referring to me back then as “my friend who wears the same REM t-shirt every day, Jennifer Armintrout.” The way I found out I was on the list was kind of funny. I was on a book tour of supermarkets (don’t overlook those for promo, because more women buy books grocery shopping than going to book stores) with Susan Anderson and Karen Harper. I had sold literally one book the whole tour at this point, and my agent calls and says, “I have news, you made the USA Today Extended Bestseller list” and I was like, “Right, what was I, 150?” and she said, “No, you’re 93.” I whooped for joy really loud in this Kroger’s in Ohio. It was very funny. I still only sold like three books on that tour, though.
You might not consider yourself a big name but some people do. Have you ever been stalked at conventions?
People at conventions are pretty cool. I do have some people who make me kind of laugh at book signings, because they’re super nervous to meet me because they think I’m going to be cooler than cool. I think, “Oh my god, spend a weekend with me and the bloom will be off that rose real quick.” Apparently there was a woman in South Carolina who was pretending to be me on MySpace, but I guess that’s all done and over with. It was unsettling and really caused a lot of hassle. She’s apparently still trying to make it as a writer, so if I see her at a conference or something I’m going to punch her in the nose.
Coke or Pepsi?
Coke. Diet coke. Infused directly into my blood by means of some kind of medical pump.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers?
I would love to have a fun, flashy excerpt, but I don’t have the permission yet!
Do you have any advice for pre-published writers?
You have to finish your manuscript before you or anyone else is going to take you seriously. There’s that running joke on Family Guy, where Brian is always writing his novel, and so far all he has is a title, but he’s told everyone that he’s writing it. Don’t be Brian. Finish the thing. And don’t tell a whole bunch of folk that you’re writing it, because they’ll be naysayers and drag you down.