I first met Jinn at Goodreads. We’re both members of the Grim5Next Anthology Project. She was also kind enough to guest post back in early June. She recently published her debut novel Fear the Hunted which is an awesome achievement. Congratulations Jinn and thanks for agreeing to this interview.
Troy is a young woman with no memories before age twelve. Taken in by outlawed scholars called the Esobir, she learns forbidden knowledge of a sentient stone called elaa and joins a silent war that is tearing the kingdom of Cathylon apart.
With Cathylon’s new king and his ruthless commander closing in on her, Troy must face the truth of her past and find the key to defeating them before their mad hunt destroys the kingdom—and ends her life.
2. Where did you get the idea for Fear the Hunted? ie. What provided the genesis of your story?
I had a lot of big ideas when I was younger (and hopefully still have them now), about big concepts like time and space and the parallels between our lives and the stories we love. You know—those movies or characters you latch onto because their situation resonates with yours, or maybe you can relate to their thought process. And while you go through your real life and have little adventures that add up to a big adventure that is your own story, you think back on that character and you can point to this or that situation that they went through, and learned something, and you’re in a parallel situation learning the same thing—your story and their story line up.
And when you realize it you’re like, ‘Wow. That’s me.’
Then you go on with your life and forget that you once saw yourself in another person’s story.
That’s how we forget who we are, I think. Sometimes we get so far away from who we truly are that we begin to suffer and decay on the inside.
That thought was part of a conversation I had with my friend Tristan, who incidentally was using an alias at the time but I didn’t know it. Shortly after that conversation, whenever it was, I started writing Fear the Hunted. That was the genesis.
3. How long did it take you to complete the story?
I wrote the first draft in two years, starting when I was 16. At the time I wasn’t a good enough writer to fix the flaws in it, so I put it away for a while and worked on other projects. I returned to it over the next…lot of years, rewriting bits and pieces as my skill improved, until about 3 years ago when I began serious revisions.
I still don’t feel like it’s complete, even though it’s now published, but it’s pretty dang close.
4. Will there be a sequel? If not, what is your next project?
Yes. I wasn’t certain there would be (though I have a prequel already started), but the story for the sequel fell into place recently. Set years after the events in Fear the Hunted, it will follow the next generation of Esobir and a few of the main characters of FtH as they travel to an island in search of an ancient book which may contain the lost history of the Esobir.
5. Did you self publish or is this traditional? What were some of the challenges you met in the process?
I am traditionally published, though I find there are pros and cons to either route.
One big challenge for me is being my own publicist. I was never in marketing before this, and though I have a lot of experience talking to people and selling ideas, I’ve never done it in the publishing industry. I value the experience, however, and I’m glad of it. I’m learning a lot there. Marketing isn’t something people associate with the publishing process, but it’s actually a huge piece of it.
Jinn Nelson started writing fiction at age 7, on a computer with a screen bigger than she was. At 16, she wrote her first novel while studying medical transcription. After high school she made a living typing doctors’ notes until she met a group of writers online and began writing fiction again.
She now lives and writes in Wisconsin with her husband and three cats. She enjoys knitting, rock climbing, loose-leaf tea, zombies, dancing, and the Internet. Her favorite country is Scotland.
Her first published novel, Fear the Hunted, will be available in early spring, 2012.
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Find excerpts and blog at: www.jinnnelson.com