A few years ago, Jennifer Fisch-Ferguson had signed on as a Gotta Write Network book reviewer. I knew that she was devoted to fulfilling her chosen reading selections, that she was an avid reader and wanted to write novels. Recently, we reconnected through social media. I learned that her first novel, “Enter the Moon,” has been published and she’s so excited to wear the honorable hat of author.
Jennifer has been writing and publishing fantasy stories since 2003. Her publishing credits include short fiction, writing contests and novels.
She attended the Eastern Michigan University and graduated with a B.A in African American History and promptly went to work with AmeriCorps on a literary initiative.
Jennifer then went to the University of Michigan and got her Master’s degree in Public Administration in 2008 and while she finished writing her thesis, also got a Masters in English – Composition and Rhetoric in 2009. She is working on her PhD at Michigan State University in the field of Writing and Rhetoric. She has been teaching collegiate and community writing classes since 2003 and loves the variety and inspiration her students bring.
She currently is finishing her trilogy and dutiful writes on her blog space about her journey.
She lives in the Midwest with two sons, one coffee supplying mate and acts as staff-in-residence to one cranky cat.
Denise: Jennifer, what’s it like to write something other than curriculum assignments?
Jennifer: I just did a blog post about this. I used to really compartmentalize my academic writing and my creative writing and tried to convince myself that they were different processes. In reality, I use processes from both styles to work at becoming a more solid writer over all. It probably helps that I teach writing, so I have the benefit of continually reviewing written works – it honestly is the best way to train your brain to write more effectively. I find creative writing just as frustrating and rewarding as writing an academic article. It makes me work harder sometimes because I know eventually what I do will find its way into one of my courses and I can’t just show how to write certain things, I have to be able to explain it and that’s where the learning happens.
Denise: What inspired you to write your first novel?
Jennifer: I have written since I was young, my first “novel”, which my mother still has, was done in second grade. I have stories in my head and it’s always an experience to watch them gain clarity and form on paper. I am “that” author who looks at situations and spins a tale about how they fit into my world. I have no shortage of short, short stories created from listening to various styles of music. I ruined one song for my mom when I told her the story I made to go with it. Interestingly enough, I was working on my novel as I worked on my graduate degrees, it was a counter balance for constitutional law and English. Writing a novel is a challenge for sure, but the act of writing every day is as ingrained as drinking water every day.
Denise: It’s clear to see that you’re writing about werewolves. Was it a difficult challenge?
Jennifer: biggest challenge is to clarify my ideas of werewolves. Writing fantasy is not easier; this is my world and I am responsible to make it coherent as well as keeping continuity through the different stories that are being told. I have been fortunate that when I reached out to DVM and other wolf experts that they have eagerly engaged in conversations and answered all the questions that I had/have. I have tried to integrate lupine traits into my werewolves as well as some supernatural traits. Possibly one of the biggest challenges is to show why wolves are so misunderstood as bloodthirsty non-thinking beasts. The perpetuation of the rumor that wolves being evil are rough to go against. I do keep a “world notebook” in which I write things about my world and about my characters as I go through the process of defining them; it really helps to look back for clarity. Sometimes I look back and wonder just what I was thinking and other times I grin because I am on track. It’s one thing to have an idea up in your head – it’s another to put it on paper in an entertaining way. I ‘know’ so much more about the world and characters than ever will show up on the page, it’s a challenge to make sure the story is whole and I’m not assuming everyone has the ESP to get all the details.
Denise: Tell us how Kamaria DeKosse’s life goes from opera diva to supernatural.
Jennifer: It all starts with her being attracted to Jack and allowing herself to pretend that she can live in his world. Even still, while she enjoys her time with him, she still knows who she is what she is about. By the time she realizes the supernatural bent of life that he carries, she is already in too deep.
Denise: Is this her destiny? Is she even aware of it?
Jennifer: Destiny- perhaps but she always had planned to be an opera Diva. There is definitely chaffing when the choices she felt were certain, become a lot more mutable. I think there is a moment where she questions what is happening and why, since she had a plan; but overall her foundations in life prepared her to not only deal with the changes but make the best happen with it.
Denise: Does she have a choice in the matter? After all she’s a modern day woman who wants a career before marriage.
Jennifer: Everyone has choices and consequences- both good and bad, that comes with making those choices. Granted, in this world there are some Fated events that will take place no matter what, but Kama choosing to accept the supernatural that was forced into her life brings about the question, not so much about accepting choice but rather what one does with situations that aren’t part of their original plans. One of the best things about Kama is that she doesn’t count things out; she figures that there is a time and place for everything. She understands the value of work and knows that once she decides to embrace the supernatural life shown to her that she will be fine with it.
Denise: What does she learn about herself?
Jennifer: Overall Kama learns that life is what you give to it and make from the chaos. She learns that what one needs most isn’t always what one had decided for their life. She always has been driven and focused, but once she is introduced into the supernatural aspects of life, she finds that there are no definites and choices can alter the path but you are the one to accept it and move with it or fight. I think she also learns that while she wants to have support that is she is fully capable and intelligent and at the end of the day, she does what is right.
Denise: Did you read a lot of books in this genre before creating the characters and storyline?
Jennifer: I read a lot period. I have always favored sci-fi and fantasy because my God-parents are avid readers in that genre. My world expanded more when I started to review books, because all of a sudden I wasn’t choosing so much as given genres to read that I might have never considered. One of my favorite styles is character heavy- not situation. I want to be able to either relate with or despise a character. Reading is very cerebral and I love the books that cater to thinking.
Denise: Where are you promoting the book in terms of social media and readings?
Jennifer: My website is: warriorsofluna.com and
I have a facebook page: facebook.com/etm.jff
I have 3 book signing dates for 2014 so far and I am waiting for confirmation on the 4th. I am working with my local libraries and book stores for the signings and Q&A sessions. I am working on some micro stories to tell when I make my appearances. Being able to tell a good story and get people engaged is the exciting part.
Denise: How far are you in the second book and when can we expect to read it?
Jennifer: Book 2 – Howl at the Moon, is about 2 chapters shy of being ready to edit. My goal is to release it December 2014.