Jessica Lorenne started writing for assignments in elementary school, but didn't begin her first attempt at a novel until the age of 12 when she was inspired by Peter Jackson's adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, which she then read, along with other works by Tolkien.
This first story started out as a LOTR fanfiction, and then--with the encouragement of her father--turned it into the Bearer of Power series from which other relating projects have emerged.
She's ambitiously continued to follow in Tolkien's example by creating mythology, races, history, and legends for the Power series, while also working on unrelated projects on the side. She started rewriting fairy tales in college, beginning with Cinderella because she didn't like Disney's adaptation. Now she sells her fairy tale rewrites on Amazon while perusing her more serious writing endeavors.
As a result of Jessica's constant immersion within her own imagination, she has begun to have imaginary arguments with her characters. Through these encounters she has learned about them, and begun to tame them. These meetings can be read on her blog Character Arguments.
Me: What inspired you to write The Ever Magic Series?
Jessica: I was going to university and living in a dump of a house (plants growing out the ceiling, ants coming out of the sink, exploding toilet etc...) when I got to think about Cinderella and how much I disliked the Disney version. Since Spice Girls we’ve been experiencing a lot of “girl power” and I thought Cinderella lacked it. So I started writing with the intent of creating a character who was a regular girl who could be kind (cries a lot), but could also help herself. I wanted her to make decisions knowing there would be definite consequences with no fairy godmother to back her up. And from there my brain started picking at other fairy tales to see what I could do with them. So then it became my goal to take them and blow them out of their normal boundaries.
Me: Tell us about the series and what we can expect.
Jessica: The series is basically my rewritings of fairy tales, horror stories, classics, mythology, and other stories. The idea has come to not only take the original mold and stretch it, but apply it to characters who experience similar struggles real life people do while remaining in a fantastical world. Some of it gets kind of dark because of the things my MCs have experienced, but if it doesn’t end well in their book, they’ll show up again (in someone else’s) hopefully for a happier resolution. One of the most important things to remember is that one person can be thrown into the thralls of multiple stories, and that’s when things get crazy. Right now I’m working on a mythological character who has no real story to go by, and that’ll happen sometimes in Evermagic. The magic in this world doesn’t care who you are or whether there’s a story involved. Somehow it’s going to change you. It’s fun because there are stories readers will be familiar with, and others they’ll have never heard of. And the best part about writing in a world where the stories are relived is that I get to take the same story, and change it however many times I want. Who says Cinderella can’t be the bad guy? But what I’m most excited for is some yōkai action, (Japanese lore. Who doesn’t love a fox spirit?), dragons, monsters, and regular people turning into fae.
Me: Which character in your books would you say you are most like?
Jessica: Right now I’d say Serren from The Monster & The Beast. She’s based off of some of my own struggles and anxieties, but look out for the black swan coming up in the next couple books. She’s me ;)
Me: What inspired you to become a writer?
Jessica: I started writing for assignments in school, but it wasn’t anything I was really interested in until I was 12. On my 12th birthday in 2012 I saw The Lord of the Rings for the first time. It blew my world into the fantastic. I started off by writing a fan fiction, and once my dad read it he told me to try to rewrite it in my own world. I’ve been writing ever since.
Me: What are you most excited about for readers to learn or experience from your series?
Jessica: The thrill of the experience. Romance, action, adventure. The things we want in this life but can’t so we live it through another. I’m always hoping that they get to enjoy an adventure and meet characters in an awesome alien world they can relate to. If writing these stories has taught me one thing it’s that you can overcome anything, and I’d like to think that’s something my readers can relate to. And never never do you ever have to go through your trials alone.
Me: How do you feel when you publish a book?
Jessica: Anxious. Lol. I should be excited but I always get nervous. No matter how hard I’ve worked on something I never thing it’s good enough.
Me: Tell us a little bit about your other writing adventures.
Jessica: My other writings are mostly dedicated to my Power series (Bearer of Power). That’s the one that came out of my fan fiction. It’s blown into a verse with mythology, races, history, and all that crazy stuff. Tolkien has Arda, Lucas has a galaxy far far away, and I’ve got Edar, an incomplete universe that I’ve taken from medieval fantasy through stages of history into a future with my favorite parts of fantasy. There are four series in that verse and only one of them is written. I’ve got tons to do. Other than that I’ve started a 4-5 book series inspired by Shannon Hale and Sherwood Smith that I’m really excited about.
Me: If your books were made into a movie or television series do you have a dream cast in mind?
Jessica: Not really for Evermagic. I try to imagine my characters as actors I’m familiar with and nothing quite hits the mark. I’d really like to find a cast that most people are unfamiliar with. I think that’d be exciting. But for Power, I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to that.
Me: What do you do when you aren’t writing?
Jessica: I watch anime, play video games, do church stuff, or am working for stuff for my books. More rarely I go hiking, or sailing. But my favorite thing to do when not writing is to be at rehearsals for theatre.
Me: Do you ever experience writer’s block, and if you do, how do you overcome it?
Jessica: Rarely, but yes. The best thing I’ve found for me to get through it is to force myself to write an outline, even an incomplete one. And then I go shut my eyes or take a bath and my imagination takes over and I can go back and fill in the blanks.
Me: What do you love most about being an author?
Jessica: I’m the first one who gets to experience knew unread stories. I get to create and let my imagination take over. In a world where most people are benefiting from someone else’s creativity it’s pretty cool to be the creator. I also really love getting those reviews on amazon. It’s awesome when someone says your retellings of fairy tales is their favorite. Heck. I even like the bad ratings, though those are the ones I most want people to add their comments. I can’t get better if they don’t tell me why they rated the story 2 stars when everyone else gave it 4 or 5. (Unless it’s just not their thing. I can’t help that).
Me: What writers/authors have inspired you?
Jessica: First and foremost J.R.R. Tolkien. I wouldn’t be writing if it weren’t for him. A couple others are Shannon Hale, Sherwood Smith, and Garth Nix.
Me: Do you listen to music when you write? What kind is the most inspirational?
Jessica: Always! I’m mostly listening to epic scores from the movies or trailers. My favorite is “Two Steps From Hell” and my favorite from them is “Heart of Courage”. But a lot of times I’ll create playlists for particular moods. I find that when I’m writing I write according to the tone of what I’m listening to. So if I’ve planned a sad moment and I’m listening to something more appropriate for battle I might start trying to write a battle scene instead of the sad one I’d intended. That’s when I’ll switch to an appropriate playlist and then go back to what I was listening to before.
Me: What do you dislike about being a writer/author?
Jessica: Not being able to make it perfect! I’m a perfectionist but I know I miss things, and though I have wonderful beta readers who can point things out to me, sometimes it’s not enough. And since I’m still fairly new without much of an income I can’t hire an editor to do it for me. Writer problems. The struggle is real.
Me: Where is your favorite place to write?
Jessica: My room. People know not to bug me while I’m there with the music on. Plus I have a really nice big screen so I can have multiple pages up at once: my outline, my story and sometimes images that I find inspiring.
Me: Do you have advice for aspiring authors?
Jessica: Don’t quite and don’t let the criticism get you down. Someone wants to read your story. Let people help you refine it. Sometimes you wont agree with their input, and that’s ok, but a lot of the time you’ll find it valuable. Take it in stride, and accept it. I have a beta reader who always finds at least 10 things I can do to improve my stories, and she’s right 99% of the time.