July 2, 2012

Author Interview: Katie Jennings

Please welcome to Feed My Need, the fabulous author, Katie Jennings!

Author Bio

Katie Jennings is a mid-twenty-something year old girl with an imagination for days and a supportive husband who thinks she’s a colossal nerd. She writes because she loves it, and because breathing life into characters is the greatest escape she’s ever found. Most of her time is spent puttering around online, editing her latest book, or feeding people food to her cat. She lives just north of Los Angeles, and enjoys reading fantasy and romance novels, watching Once Upon a Time, playing around on Photoshop, and finding new music to fall in love with. She believes in, above all else, happy endings.
Check out her website here!

Author Interview

When and why did you begin writing?

For me, writing has and always will be an escape. When I first discovered my love for it, I was thirteen and going through the usual high school dramatics along with dealing with my parents’ divorce, and I suppose losing myself in a story was the best way I found to distract myself.

I’ve always been an avid reader, and I loved experiencing life through another person’s eyes, even if just for a moment. With writing, it was all of that and so much more. I could literally become the character, and put myself in their shoes and talk for them, walk for them, live for them. It was addicting, and I’ve been doing it ever since.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? What is the easiest?

When I wrote The Dryad Quartet, I was writing only for myself, so that part was easy! It was just a hobby; a fun and challenging experiment to see if I could actually write a whole book series. I didn’t even tell anyone I was doing it until I was well into the second book, and even then I only told my husband! Before I took on the Quartet, I had only ever written fan fiction and short stories, never anything of this magnitude.

And so I suppose the hardest part came after the books were done, and I was faced with the concept of self-publishing the series. I was so scared to put this story and these characters that I love so much out on a limb, and see if anyone else would enjoy them as much as I do. I was worried that other people’s criticisms would alter my own perception of my books, and make me regret ever having written them. But fortunately I got over that and jumped off the cliff, so to speak, and hit the ground running. And I haven’t stopped since!

What music do you listen to while you write?

Usually I end up making a playlist for each main character, collecting songs that remind me of them that I can listen to in order to get in the right mindset before tackling that character in a scene. I especially love it when a song comes on the radio and I hear some lyric that strikes a chord with me, and I immediately think of one of my characters and inspiration for a new scene or plot twist strikes!

As far as specifics, my playlists are usually crowded with Fleetwood Mac, Tears for Fears, Adele, Elton John, Dave Matthews Band, Florence and the Machine (LOVE her), The Fray, and Chris Cornell.

What inspires you?

People inspire me. Personality types. Flaws and quirks and motivations. My Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs book is at my side at all times, at the ready for speedy reference on how a character should react to a situation. I love exploring different mindsets…from the shy, bashful girl prone to doubting herself to the strong, ambitious business tycoon willing to cut anyone’s throat to get ahead. Bad guys are the best, too. I particularly like making a character that should be considered a protagonist/hero into somewhat of a bad guy, playing off of the “Byronic Hero” traits. Because everyone has flaws and weaknesses, and it’s not fun to read about someone who is perfect because they don’t exist!

Do you have any hidden talents?

I taught myself how to use Adobe Photoshop when I was in high school, and my husband, who was professionally taught Photoshop in college, gets super frustrated when he sees me using strange short cuts to create an effect because my way is both faster and easier. For whatever reason all of these years I’ve been able to create some really neat stuff (my book covers are all me) despite not using professional techniques in Photoshop!

What are your current projects?

First off, books three and four of the Dryad Quartet are going to be released on June 15th, so I’ve been busy putting that together. Also I recently finished writing the first draft of a new novel called When Empires Fall. It is a story about a prominent New York City luxury hotel and the family that built it, and the scandals and murder and greed that ensues as the newest generation takes on the family business.

It’s darker, deadlier, and sexier than the Quartet, which I hope readers will enjoy ;) Next up once I finish with that book, I plan on writing a paranormal romance/horror about a ghost hunter and a medium. I’m obsessed with the television show Ghost Adventures, so as a result this book has been on my mind for a long time, lying in wait for me to find the time to get it all on paper!

What book are you reading now?

Right now I am reading Resounding Echo by Michelle Louring. It’s a dark fantasy book about a girl with an unknown past who spent many years in a religious sanctuary, only to discover she is the target of a demonic cult that seeks to capture her. I’m not quite halfway done with it yet, but it’s getting very intense and intriguing!

Quick: Vampires or Shapeshifter? Why?

Honestly, after Twilight, True Blood, Vampire Diaries, and everything else, I’m a little burnt out on the whole vampire thing. So I’ll take Shapeshifter. Especially because I used to be obsessed with Animorphs as a kid!

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Learn as much about marketing and promoting before publishing your book. If I could do everything over again, I would have set up my website/Facebook/Twitter/blog before the book was released in order to establish a base. Because making connections is the most important thing you can do aside from writing the book itself. World Literary Cafe is an excellent resource, so visit their page.

Also, I always stress that having the perfect book cover is crucial to selling books. I hate seeing really good books go to waste because the cover art is bad. So spend some money (at least $50-$100) and have a cover designer whip something up for you versus doing it yourself on Paint. It will be the difference between a bestseller on Amazon and a flop.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I just hope that they fall in love with the Dryads as much as I have. Though, it’s very possible that no one will ever love those characters as much as me ;) They are my heart and soul, written down for anyone who wants to to take a peek and experience what has been, for me at least, the greatest escape of my life.

She was born with a gift she didn’t understand. A gift so strange, so remarkable that she had kept it secret for as long as she could remember, despising that it made her different when all she wanted was to be normal, to belong. As an orphan, belonging to someone, anyone, would have been an incredible blessing, one she would have given up all that she had just to get a taste of.
But the truth was that she didn’t belong in the orphanage in Virginia, or even in the United States. In fact, she didn’t belong with human beings at all. Because she wasn’t one of them, not really. She was something much more extraordinary.

She could shift the direction of the wind, create billowing clouds out of nothing, and charm birds into dancing on her open palm. She belonged to an elite group of beings, responsible for preserving the balance of nature and the safety of Earth from an underworld that deserved to be feared, and needed to be controlled.

And after years of being lost, she had at last been found, and now the truth of how she had ended up so far from home was becoming horribly clear to her.

But there’s someone who doesn’t want her to return; someone who knows Capri was the only witness to an act of heinous treason and violent murder. And when she begins to search her memories for details of the night she was taken from her home, details that will implicate a killer, she finds herself the unwary target of an otherworldly dark force intent on silencing her by any means possible.

Her name was Blythe, and she was Fire.

She fought for what she believed in, and wouldn’t hesitate to unleash the fire in her blood on anyone who threatened those she loved.

But when an alarming truth is revealed regarding the one man she’s both hated and longed for her entire life, she finds herself in an awkward position of both acceptance and denial. But whichever way she looked at it, she was reminded that there was an evil out there gunning for her and her family, and she would stop at nothing to destroy him, even if it meant sacrificing everything she had and everything she was.

Fortunately for her, she had help. But even with the companionship of a skilled and lethal bounty hunter, Blythe couldn’t escape more of the truth, no matter how hard it was to swallow.
Because the evil she’s fighting has a story to tell, and she’d be a damn fool not to listen.


  1. Thank you for featuring me Larissa! :)

  2. Oh wow, this is the second time in 3 days that I've seen Katie Jennings and her books mentioned. Must be fate. Adding to the To Read list. Thanks for the very interesting interview!