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Monday, May 7, 2018

Author Interview - Jodi L Milner


Please welcome Jodi L Milner to The Far Edge of Normal!
Jodi L. Milner has been published in SQ Mag and several anthologies. Her epic fantasy novel, Stonebearer’s Betrayal, will be published in Fall of 2018 by Immortal Works Press. When not writing, she can be found folding children and feeding the laundry, occasionally in that order. 
Website: http://jodilmilnerauthor.wordpress.com/ 
Twitter: @JodiLMilner

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 love being swept away by a good story, especially if there is magic involved. My stories almost all have magical elements including ancient magical beings, immortal societies, mythical islands, and people who can wield power for good or evil. 

My most exciting project is my first book, Stonebearer’s Betrayal, being released in November through Immortal Works Press. It’s a power-fueled coming-of-age story where Katira, a young healer’s apprentice, becomes a pawn in an ages old conflict between the immortal Stonebearer’s of the Khandashii and the Archdemoness Wrothe who wants to destroy them.

My favorite story currently available is The Skull Collector which was shortlisted in SQ Magazine’s 2017 International competition. It’s best described as a mashup between Moana and The Hunger Games. Even better, it’s available to read for free on their website. 

What about you as a person? What do you do to relax? Favorite movies or tv shows? Hobbies?
As a mom of three, I’ve only recently been able to fathom what it means to relax. For me it’s simple, I want to be somewhere alone where it’s quiet. Long walks are the best, especially if it’s somewhere beautiful. One of my favorite pastimes is reading and I wish I could find more quiet time alone to really dig into a good book. 

What gets your creative juices going? Do you write to a music, and do you want to share your playlist?
Music is an amazing tool to help get in the right mindset, especially when writing emotionally packed scenes. I love epic sweeping scores from movie soundtracks and video games. My two default Pandora stations are Epic Soundtracks and Two Steps from Hell.  

"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?
It’s funny, really. My professional life before becoming an author mom was working in veterinary medicine. I love kitty kisses and puppy snuggles and being squished by excited calves and piggies. However, due to allergies in my family I can’t have any furry friends in the house. We do have chickens which bring lots of happiness and breakfast omelets.

What organizations do you recommend for those wanting to become writers? Any advice you'd like to share about writing?
I’ve been part of League of Utah Writers for years and attribute my success and finding my “tribe” to the wonderful people I’ve met there. I’m currently president of the Oquirrh Writers Chapter in West Jordan and love mentoring writers of all abilities. My best bit of advice is for writers to give themselves permission to write badly and just get the story out. Once it’s written it’s so much easier to find ways to improve, edit, and make it awesome.

What writers inspired you to become an author?
Epic fantasy books made my awkward teenage years survivable. I voraciously read Robert Jordan, Terry Brooks, Douglas Adams, and countless more authors as a way to escape the stress. In a way, my writing now feels like paying it forward. If I can make life a little better for another lonely awkward teen, it’s worth it.

Any special appearances or events coming up that you want to mention?
This is my third year as the event director of Spring into Books, Utah’s Awesomest Author signing and mini writing workshop. This year’s event is June 2nd, 2-6pm at the library’s Viridian Event Center in West Jordan. There will be over 50 local authors in attendance, all selling and signing their books. This year’s headlining authors are Josi Kilpack and Wendy Knight. Learn more at LUWOC.com

I’m also a mentor for the Eagle Mountain Arts Con, Sept 22.

Describe your dream writing spot.
While I love my setup at my home, I dream of going somewhere far in the woods where it smells of pine and there are no people around for miles. Just me, a great story to work on, and hours with no interruptions. Bonus points is there is a bubbling stream nearby and a cooler full of my favorite snacks. 

Thanks so much for stopping by, Jodi, and best of luck on your book release in November!