Please welcome Jennifer Provost to the Far Edge of Normal. Jennifer Allis Provost is a native New Englander who lives in a sprawling colonial along with her beautiful and precocious twins, a dog, a parrot, two cats, and a wonderful husband who never forgets to buy ice cream. As a child, she read anything and everything she could get her hands on, including a set of encyclopedias, but fantasy was always her favorite. She spends her days drinking vast amounts of coffee, arguing with her computer, and avoiding any and all domestic behavior.
How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc. – please share your public links.
Tell us about your writing - What genre do you prefer to write? What books, stories, other publications that you've written are your personal favorites? Anything new coming up?
I write mainly fantasy, but I’ve been known to throw the occasional bit of horror out there. A blogger once described my first novel, Rise of the Deva’shi (ebook version), as “too lovey-dovey” for his taste. It’s true that there’s a fair bit of romance in my work, since I believe that a character’s relationships are vital to the plot. I mean, they’re going off to fight the monster for a reason, right? To keep their home safe, defend their lady’s honor, or some other noble cause. Or, maybe they drank too much and lost a bet. Still, those relationships (even the drunken ones) are well worth exploring.
My labor of love is my fantasy series, The Chronicles of Parthalan. Heir to the Sun, the first in the series, was released in August 2011, and the second installment, The Virgin Queen, will be out in early 2012. It’s a five book series…for now.
I also have a story featured in an anthology that released January 2012 called UnCONventional. Along with my story, All In, UnCONvential tells 22 tales of what goes on behind the curtain at conventions. Learn more about it here: http://www.site.spencerhillpress.com/UnCONventional.html
I heard about that anthology. It looked like a blast. What about you as a person? What do you do to relax? Favorite movies or tv shows? Hobbies?
Hmmm, you ask this as if I’ve got time to relax. Most of my free time is spent with my 2-year-old children, the Wonder Twins. In those rare moments when they’re sleeping at the same time, I’m usually writing. Or doing laundry.
However, when I need to switch gears and need to do something creative, but a different sort of creative, I end up making jewelry. I love to work with natural stones and unique copper findings. I also haven’t yet given up on my childhood dream of drawing comics, and I draw and paint quite a bit. I did the watercolor on the cover of Rise of the Deva’shi.
What gets your creative juices going? Do you write to music, and do you want to share your playlist?
Random things inspire me. For instance, an interesting tree on the side of a parking lot inspired an entire novel, and a music box was the muse for my fantasy series, The Chronicles of Parthalan. As for writing to music, I don’t specifically write or not write to anything; usually, whatever’s already playing will suffice. The exception to this rule is when my husband is watching talk shows. They are way too distracting!
"All writers must have cats, especially if they write fantasy or speculative fiction." Do you have a stand on this one? Any cute pictures of your kitty or other pet?
Me? Pets? Well, yes, I have had a few. Currently we have two cats, a maroon bellied conure, and an eighty-five pound pit bull who thinks he’s the size of a bunny.
What organizations do you recommend for those wanting to become writers? Any advice you'd like to share about writing?
Here’s the best piece of writing advice I’ve ever gotten: leave your house, go out there and meet people. Hang out in a bookstore, or library, or café; meet readers and writers; network, network, network. Go to conventions, workshops, community events. Keep your eyes and ears open, and learn. All of these people will have something unique and valuable to teach you, be it about publishing, or which bookstores in the area book the most events, or maybe someone will finally explain that pesky “i before e” rule.
And yes, join writing-related organizations! I belong to Broad Universe (I’m the Ad & Promo Coordinator) and New England Horror Writers, though I don’t participate with the latter as much as I’d like. BU does keep me busy!
Wonderful advice. We writers sometimes spend too much time locked in our rooms writing. What writers inspired you to become an author?
Oh, so many. Robin McKinley, Wendy Pini, J.R.R. Tolkien (does everyone list him?), Jacqueline Carey, Neil Gaiman, Madeline L’Engle, Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte… The list goes on, and on.
Not everyone lists Tolkein. I'm almost embarrassed to admit I never finished The Lord of the Rings although I loved the movies.
Thanks so much for stopping by. It was fun getting to know you, Jennifer.