Friday, April 24, 2015

Jenna Hiott ~ an interview and her novel Desintegration

Jenna Hiott


Q: How would you describe yourself as a color? Think personality here. Are you a light and airy pastel person, or more of a deep, dark, sultry and mysterious color?
A: I think my default color is gold. I love to shine and reflect that divine, golden spark that is in all of us. Most of the time, I float around in this golden bubble, but there are also definitely times when I am red. Just like Scarlett O’Hara from Gone with the Wind, I can be fiery and determined, consumed by my passions.

Q: Are you a morning person, or a midnight candle burner?
A: I’m a midnight candle burner who wants to be a morning person. I love having time to take mornings at a slow pace…to linger over a cup of tea and watch the sun rise, to journal and meditate before my daily activity begins. BUT, I often have a natural burst of creative energy somewhere around 10:00 pm. I love darkness, and the energy from the moon and stars seems to seep into my cells and rev me up.

Q: How do you feel when a reader (or a fan) takes the time to contact you?
A: Absolutely ecstatic! I LOVE hearing from readers! It’s the only way I can get to know the people reading my work, and I want to build real relationships with all of them. I want to know if my work moved you in some way, even if it totally pissed you off. And then I want to hear YOUR story. What motivates you? What do you long for? These are the sorts of things I can only discover if a reader contacts me.

Q: Tell me something you would like your readers (fans) to know about you.
A: I am a spiritual healer. About ten years ago, I was hit with a mystery illness that shut down my pancreas and liver. The medical community could not help me and I was faced with the choice of either dying or healing myself. I turned to my spirituality—to the Divine within me—and healed my body. When I learned how to heal myself, I knew it was a gift I needed to share with others. So I did. I became certified in both Thetahealing and Sacred Contracts, but in perfect Jenna style, I’ve made the teachings my own. My focus in working with clients is almost always about guiding them to authenticity and self-love. One of my favorite phrases is, “If you’re an asshole, be an asshole.” Healing, on all levels, comes from a place of radical self-acceptance. (And you might just find this message permeates my fiction writing too.)

Q: Bedtime, relaxing so you can sleep sounds. Is your preference, white noise, TV, soft music, ocean waves, forest or meadow sounds, babbling brook, or something else?
A: Lots of white noise. I don’t want to hear my cats, my dog, my husband or the traffic outside. I usually have both my air filter running as well as my white noise machine full blast on ‘extreme rain’. I’ve lived in the desert of New Mexico all my life so the sound of rain is both soothing and nourishing. It puts me right to sleep!

Q: If your life were a movie would it be considered an action film, comedy, drama, romance, fantasy or a combination?
A: A Broadway musical. It’s filled to the rim with silliness and everyone in it bursts into song at the slightest hint of emotion.

Author, healer, all-around kook, Jenna Newell Hiott boasts of having a limitless imagination, unless it’s nap time. While many of us had an imaginary friend as children, Jenna had an entire imaginary family—complete with a second set of parents and three siblings—all of whom lived in a make-believe world of Jenna’s own creation. One could say she’s been writing fantasy fiction since she was old enough to use words. And she never outgrew it. Out of this hyperactive imagination, and a life steeped in metaphysics, Jenna created the land of Todor: a world of magic, intrigue, and power plays.


Q: How do you handle a writer's block?
A: I give myself permission to write pure crap. I repeat the mantra “put words on paper” and then I just write. It doesn’t matter what the words are, I just perform the act of writing. Then, before I know it, things are flowing smoothly again.

Q: Are you a sit down and play it by ear kind of writer, or do you need a structured guideline, or maybe a little of both?
A: I like the plot pre-planned from day one. In the past, I always outlined the whole book, then wrote the book starting with the first chapter and moving through to the last chapter. But I recently started using the writing software called Scrivener and have found the freedom to write scenes as they come to me. I’ve still got the plot/characterization outline to refer to, but I no longer feel tied to having to write the book in such a linear fashion. I’m having a great time with it!

Q: Do you always know how a story will end when you begin writing it?
A: Yes. This is essential for me. I have to know the general story arc—and most especially the ending—before I start writing. To me, the ending is the most important part of the story and I need to know what it is before I put a single word on a page.

Q: Have your characters ever taken the story in a different direction than you had originally planned? Do you have a for instance, for us?
A: Sometimes my characters are jerks and do this to me on purpose. It makes them laugh. When I was writing Disintegration, the second book of the Todor trilogy, they pulled this stunt in grand fashion. I was writing chapter 7 (which means I was in the last third of the book!) when Numa and Keeper Sam came up to me, giggling behind their hands. Numa tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Remember that major turning point in chapter two? The one that set the rest of the story in motion?” I already knew I would not be happy with the rest of the conversation, but I answered her anyway. “Yes, I remember,” I said. Numa and Sam snorted with laughter then blurted out, “Just kidding! It didn’t happen that way at all!”


Q: What are you working on now? Would you like to share anything about it?
A: I am currently working on Unity, the third and final book of the Todor Trilogy. I am very excited about this one! I won’t give any spoilers, but I can promise readers that the questions they’ve accumulated through the trilogy will be satisfied. I’m also writing The Todor Concordance, which will be available for free from my website. In it, I explain where I came up with character and place names to help shed some light on the deeper meanings of things within the trilogy.

Q: How can we find you? Do you have a web page, FaceBook page or any buy links?
A: Yes, I do.

Do you love fantasy adventures? Let The Todor Trilogy take you on a magical journey that will leave you questioning your own reality. 

In a land where magic was created through the spilling of blood, turmoil is looming. Grief and despair flood the land of Todor, and its creators--the omniscient Deis--consider destroying it altogether. That is, until a single spot of joy attracts their attention: the idyllic village of Aerie. Believing in the hope found there, the Deis give Todor one more chance. They place three infants within this village who are unknowingly tasked with ending Todor’s suffering and saving all creation.

As the three chosen ones grow, they discover that their beloved village is a haven of secrets, and nothing is as they believe. Can Gemynd, Soman, and Numa move beyond the secrets of Aerie in order to learn the truth about themselves and the world they thought they knew? With impending war, passionate love, and the heartbreak of separation facing them at every turn, will they do what is required to save Creation?

Revelation, the first book of The Todor Trilogy, combines intrigue, passion, and magic to create a mythic tale like no other. Revelation introduces readers to a unique fantasy realm—intelligent and layered with hidden truths, it will stay with you long after you’ve read the last page.

Thundering toward an epic conclusion, Disintegration, the second book of the trilogy, picks up right where Revelation ended. In it, author Jenna Newell Hiott paints a stunning portrait of humanity at its rawest, giving a revealing glimpse of how it fares when everything teeters on the brink of destruction.

Praise for The Todor Trilogy:

"Careful, this book is addictive."

"Newell Hiott's gripping style of writing completely immerses the reader in the story."

“I found myself on the edge of my seat and staying up way too late with this page-turner.”

“I've never read a book twice...until now.”

“Masterfully written and truly unique. I can't wait for the next one. Newell Hiott is going be big.”

“Honestly, this could be the next J.K. Rowling.”

  Thanks for joining us today!

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