Ghost Story

It won't scare you like the one with the tail-lights or the one with the hook, but Fall by Jennifer Hurst gave me at least a few moments of the creepy-crawlies.  Just in time for Halloween season, I had the opportunity to review Fall for Six Mixed Reviews.  That review is up today, and this post is in conjunciton with that. 

After I began reading her book, I got poking around on Jennifer's website. Because of her unique novel and her interesting online content, I decided I would ask her for an interview, and she graciously agreed to answer my questions (even after I was late getting the questions to her).

First, will you introduce yourself to my readers?

I live in Utah and I am a very busy mom of three boys. I was homeschooled during most of my childhood. I attended Utah Valley University where I got a Bachelors in Technology Management.When I’m not writing, I enjoy cooking and exercising. Which I think is a good combination and balances out, since exercising makes me hungry, and eating a lot of good food, necessitates exercising to stay in shape.I also enjoy hanging out with my family and friends and traveling. I love meeting new people. I think that as a writer, being interested in people and their life stories is critical in developing believable characters and their stories.

I was really interested in your art on your website. Could you talk about the different ways you express yourself though art and writing? How are they different and alike, how do they play off of each other and influence each other. Do you find different feelings and ideas are better expressed in one format than another?

I don’t see the art and stories I produce as an expression of myself, just like I don’t see my children as an expression of myself. They, like the artwork and stories I generate, are their own beings and I’m merely the vessel that delivers them into existence. Sometimes, an image will manifest itself in my mind’s eye, and like labor pains, I have this huge urge to give it life and while in that process, a story about that image will come along with it, like a twin. Sometimes not. Sometimes the opposite is true and I’ll discover a story lurking in the recesses of my subconscious and I’ll start to write and a movie will unfold before my mind’s eyes with thousands of pictures that are impossible for me to capture on paper – sometimes. I do believe that some ideas are better expressed in images rather than words. Words tell you what the writer wants you to know – images lets you decide for yourself what the message is. Or, rather, the images can speak to you on a deeper level, evoking feelings that I believe have a more profound influence on the viewer. Not everyone can understand each other’s written language, but everyone can understand pictures.

How did your growing up influence you to write? What made you know you wanted to write? Was there one experience in particular?

I grew up in a family that travelled a lot. That kind of lifestyle didn’t allow for making or keeping friends. I realized early on that I enjoyed writing. I had dozens of pen friends from around the world, which helped me get to know different cultures and lifestyles. My constant companion while growing up was a notebook and pencil and I filled dozens and dozens of these with stories, genealogies, floor-plans of castles and cottages, maps of imaginary countries and worlds. I was discouraged from pursuing writing as a career when I was 16 because “writers don’t make a lot of money.” But that all changed when I realized a few years ago that writing and doing art made me the happiest of all the varied activities I pursued. I was most peaceful inside when I could write and draw. All that matters is that I am happiest when I am writing and drawing.

I am not truly happy either unless I'm writing, so I totally understand that.  I'm finding Fall to be different than all the other paranormal stuff out there right now (at least what I've read, which admittedly is not extrememly extensive). Can you talk about what makes Fall different and unique and why we should read it?

My book Fall is based on a dream I had 13 years ago. Though none of the actual dream made it into the final edit, it was a launching pad of sorts for getting the story out there. I struggled with control of the story and rewrote it many, many, many times, before I learned to just let go and let the characters tell it in their own way. Then it flowed. A lot of my main character’s experience is based on my own, however, JD is NOT me. She developed on her own and still is as I’m working on the sequel. Fall is different from most other paranormal romances out there because its more true to life, with believable paranormal experiences that everyone has had a touch of in one way or another. Fall focuses on JD’s choices and the consequences that follow. Where other books glorify sex and risqué behavior, Fall doesn’t. Fall shows the consequences and the pain of making the wrong choice, but there is redemption. There is always redemption and another chance to make the right choice. You learn from your mistakes and that is what life is about – making mistakes and learning from them. The next book will bring in the stories of the supporting characters and illustrate life lessons in ways that I hope are both entertaining, educational and beneficial to the readers, especially the younger readers.

I love that JD has to face the consequences of her choices and the emphasis on good battling evil.  Full my full review of Fall, click over to Six Mixed Reviews.
Thanks so much, Jennifer!