I'm so excited to host Jennifer Ellision here today! This talented author is a new discovery for me, and a ravenously devoured her Elementals Trilogy over this last month. She was kind enough to take time out of her busy writing schedule to answer some questions for me, so please enjoy! (And don't miss out on the GIVEAWAY! Details at the bottom of this page.)
Hi, Jennifer! I’m so glad you could make some time for this interview, because I’m super eager to pick your brain about your amazing Elementals Trilogy. So let me dive in . . .
Jennifer: Thank you for having me! I'm so pleased that you enjoyed the books!
How did Threats of Sky and Sea begin? What was the initial spark that inspired this series, and how did you grow that into a full idea? Did the story come to you as a single book, or did you know from the beginning that it would become a three-book epic?
Jennifer: My first job out of college was as a parking services administrative assistant for the university I'd just graduated from (UCF- Go Knights!). Part of the gig was that off staff could pick up extra cash working parking for concerts and other events held on campus. I was stationed on top of a parking garage during one of these. No cars were coming in and I found myself daydreaming.
A scene jumped into my head: two girls were arguing in front of a fire. One gave the other a little shove. She stumbled into the fire and didn't burn.
Those girls were Bree (my main character) and Princess Aleta. That scene didn't make it into the books, but it inspired the entire series.
As for whether it was a book or series, when I began writing the first book, I was determined that it would be a standalone! But Bree's story wound up having too many twists, turns, and arcs to be contained in a single novel.
Bree obviously stole the show as your kickbutt leading lady. But who was YOUR favorite character to write? And who did you find most difficult to manage?
Jennifer: Oooo, this is tough. Part of me wants to say Lady Kat was my favorite to write. I actually wrote a whole villain backstory short story for her because I enjoyed her so much.
If I had a second favorite, it would be Princess Aleta. Ironically, she's also my answer for the most difficult to manage. When I write Aleta from someone else's point of view, she's easy. She has a very clear face that she presents to the world. But when I added her POV to Fall of Thrones and Thorns (Book #3), she proved to be a tough nut to crack. She has a lot of internal walls and that made it tough for me to get into her head.
Part of what I loved in this series was the way each book got progressively more complex. There were always new threads and twists to keep the intrigue high, but it all wrapped up beautifully by the end. As a result of this complexity, did you find each book more difficult to write than the last? Or were you so caught up in the world and characters by book 3 that it just came together for you?
Jennifer: Thank you! I did find each book progressively more difficult. In writing Threats of Sky and Sea, I sort of just made it the best book that I could, but it was pretty much my critique partners, editor, and me reading it. Happily, it found many readers who loved it. But I have a bit of a reputation as a cliffhanger queen and when I started writing Riot of Storm and Smoke and Fall of Thrones and Thorns I wanted to fulfill the promise and build-up that I'd left my readers with each time. I was intimidated!
I discovered and read the whole trilogy all in a rush, but I realized afterwards that there was a 2-year gap between book 1 and book 3. Do you feel you changed much as a writer between those books? And if so, how do you feel you changed between the start of the series and the conclusion?
Jennifer: Hmmm, I think where I changed the most as a writer between beginning Threats of Sky and Sea and finishing Fall of Thrones and Thorns was my approach to world-building. As I wrote Threats of Sky and Sea, any detail I knew or discovered about the world went into the book. Not in an info-dumpy way, but it was there. In the later books, I did decide additional things about the way the world worked, but those details only went in if they were applicable to the plot.
Last of all, can you tell us a bit about what you’re currently working on? I’ve got your Lady Pirates series on my TBR list, and I believe I saw a completely stunning cover for a Cinderella retelling . . .
Jennifer: Sure! I have so much on deck for 2019 that I'm really excited for. Right now, as you mentioned, I'm working on the Lady Pirates series. The final novel, On Sinister Shores, will be released in the early months of 2019. Response to this series has been phenomenal which was a big relief as it's somewhat different from Threats of Sky and Sea! Less royal intrigue, more adventure on the high seas. I'll also be publishing a prequel novella to the series that's a spin on The Little Mermaid.
I also plan to publish the first duology in my Fairy Tale Lies, Spies, and Assassin: Striking Midnight and Slipping Glass-- which is the Cinderella retelling that you mentioned! Book 1 is currently available in the Kingdom of Glass and Ashes collection of YA Cinderella retellings, but will be published on its own in 2019.
And (time permitting), I hope to launch another series next year as well, called The Lost Kingdom!
Thank you so much, Jennifer! This all sounds wonderful. Do let my readers know where they can connect with you on social media. Do you have a newsletter?
I do! Readers can join my newsletter and get a free ebook of Sisters of Wind and Flame, a prequel to Threats of Sky and Sea!
You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Or on my website: jenniferellision.com
Thanks again for having me Sylvia, and have a wonderful holiday season!
So there you have it. Aren't you eager to pick Jennifer's adventures for yourself now???
Well, you're in luck! I'm hosting a giveaway with a chance to win the complete Elementals Trilogy on Kindle. To enter, you do have to be a member of my Reader Group, so sign up if you haven't already. Good luck! And happy reading . . .