Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Author Spotlight: Jen McConnel

Jen McConnel
Jen first began writing poetry as a child. A Michigander by birth, she now lives and writes in the beautiful state of North Carolina. A graduate of Western Michigan University, she also holds a MS in Library Science from Clarion University of Pennsylvania.  When she isn't crafting worlds of fiction, she teaches college writing composition and yoga. Once upon a time, she was a middle school teacher, a librarian, and a bookseller, but those are stories    for another time.


If you could be best friends with another author (past or present), who would it be?

I would LOVE to be BFFs with Jane Austen. Can’t you just picture it? Afternoon tea with a side of scathing remarks about high society? I’d probably talk too much for her tastes, but I still think it would be so much fun to pal around with her.

What’s the best book you’ve read recently?

That’s a tough question, but I’m still swooning over THE GOLEM AND THE JINNI by Helen Wecker. It’s this beautiful mish-mash of historical fiction, fairy tale magic, and mystery. Absolutely a must-read if you like otherworldly tales!

How long does it take you to draft a novel? Tell us a bit about your writing process.

I’m a pantser when it comes to drafting, but a planner when I hit revisions. I tend to fast-draft, so I can usually finish a first draft in under two months. Then, I set it aside for a while to marinate while I rotate my attention to another project: I like to have two or three projects at different stages at a time. It may seem manic, but I’ve found that it helps me establish a rhythm.

Do you write every day? Do you set word goals?

I try to do something writing-related every day, and when I’m drafting, then I absolutely write daily. When I’m writing, I usually set a minimum goal of 1,000 words, but I’ve found my sweet spot is between 1k and 3k. It changes a little bit for every project, though, so I’m learning to be more flexible with myself.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

I love yoga, and I teach it as well as practicing. I’m also lucky enough to live near a great park, and my husband and I try to take a walk every evening. Like many writers, I’m an avid reader, too, so one of my favorite pastimes is curling up on the couch with a new book.

Jen McConnel
308 pages
Publisher: Month9Books
Publish date: March 25, 2014


Nothing is more terrifying than the witch who wields red magic.

There comes a time in every witch's life when she must choose her path. Darlena's friends have already chosen, so why is it so hard for her to make up her mind? Now, Darlena is out of time. Under pressure from Hecate, the Queen of all witches, Darlena makes a rash decision to choose Red magic, a path no witch in her right mind would dare take. As a Red witch, she will be responsible for chaos and mayhem, drawing her deep into darkness. Will the power of Red magic prove too much for Darlena, or will she learn to control it before it's too late?

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