Thursday, June 20, 2013

"Insanity runs in my family. It practically gallops!"

 I just realized who's interview is up for today. It seems fitting, since I reviewed her book yesterday. So, moving on. Today's interview is Jenelle Schmidt! Author of King's Warrior. 

Jenelle grew up the oldest of four children. Every night before bedtime her father read to her and her siblings, and it was during these times that her love for adventure and fantasy were forged. While she adored the stories of the Lord of the Rings, the Chronicles of Prydain, the Wheel of Time, and the Chronicles of Narnia; it wasn’t long before her imagination led her to the creation of a world and story all her own.
In 2001, Jenelle completed King’s Warrior, originally titled The Dragon’s Eye, as a project for her father who wanted something new and fun to read to the family at night. This first endeavor gave way to the completion of a four book series that is full of the same adventure that Jenelle grew to love in literature as a little girl. Jenelle graduated from Taylor University in Indiana in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in English Education.
Jenelle has written numerous short stories and many poems, as well as some full length work within the realm of science fiction. King’s Warrior is her first published work and she is currently working on bringing the rest of the series to public availability. Jenelle lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with her husband Derek and two little girls Leiana Arwen and Nathalie Eowyn.

Book Summary for King's Warrior:
Six hundred years ago the land of Aom-igh was threatened with invasion by the Dark Country across the Stained Sea; in their danger King Llian sought the help of the dragons and the myth-folk. Graldon, King of the Dragons, granted the human king with a gift that would help him defeat his enemies. Graldon also promised King Llian that the dragons would come to the humans' aid should Aom-igh ever be in such danger again.

Years passed, and Aom-igh remained safe and isolated from its enemies. The dragons slowly disappeared and faded into legend and myth, and people forgot magic had ever existed. When her kingdom is threatened by the Dark Country once again, the headstrong Princess Kamarie sets off on a quest to find the man who may be able to save them all: the former King's Warrior. Traveling with her are two companions: her eccentric maid named Darby, and a squire named Oraeyn who resents his charge to travel with and protect the princess.

However, finding the legendary hero proves to be the least of their worries. Together the companions encounter more than they ever bargained for. A beautiful gatekeeper, a sword fashioned by dragons, enemies who pursue them relentlessly and hound them at every turn, and an underground world full of mythical creatures are just the beginning of their adventures. As they search for the answers to mystifying riddles and seek a way to save everything they hold dear the comrades will learn a little about courage, a lot about truth, and more about themselves than they ever imagined. But if they can succeed in their quest, they may join worlds together.

 On your blog you mention that your inspiration for writing came from reading and your  imagination. Did you put anything from your childhood adventures into your books?
Definitely. My cousins and I were always creating new worlds to adventure in, pretending to be orphans, imagining dragons and magic could exist, and just generally fighting evil of some kind in our forays into make-believe. My first series takes place in an imaginary world filled with dragons and magic, and one of my main characters is an orphan with no knowledge of his true heritage.
The new series that I am working on is showing even more influence from my childhood adventures in that it includes pirates!
 (Pirates are always fun! "Attacked by pirates is good.")

 What was the hardest part of publishing for you? The easiest?
The hardest part of publishing for me remains any and all aspects of marketing. It’s a lot of hard work, and I am no salesman.
Nothing about publishing is what I would call “easy.” Writing the first draft is the most fun part of the process, but just because it’s fun doesn’t mean it’s easy.
 (I agree with you about marketing!)

 What first started your interest with dragons and swords?
Probably The Hobbit. It’s the first fantasy-fiction book my dad ever read to me, and it remains among my favorite books of all time. However, I love the idea of dragons being the good guys. They’re often portrayed as the villains of fantasy, and I portray them as a harsher, more brutal race than humans, but that doesn’t make them inherently evil.
Swords are just cool. I always wanted to take fencing classes, but never have had the opportunity. I think my love of swordplay was begun by the movie “The Princess Bride” and “Ladyhawke” which have two of the coolest sword-fight scenes of all moviedom. This interest was furthered by stories like The Lord of the Rings (and the sword that was broken!) and anything Arthurian (Excalibur!)

 Were any of your characters inspired by people you know?
Yes! Kamarie is based loosely on myself, or who I hope I would be if I were a princess living in a medieval kingdom filled with magic and dragons.
Brant is based on my brother and my dad.
Kiernan Kane is based on my other brother.
Rena and Kitry are sort of loosely based on my mom and sister.
 (It is always fun to base characters after people we know.)

 The book you wrote you said turned into a series. Were there certain "tricks" you learned to remember all of the smaller details throughout the series?(To better explain this. As an author, we seem to forget some of the smaller details in our books because we are busy connecting the huge,
important things in the plot. The readers, however, notice if something smaller is out of place - such as hair colour, or a slight change in personality. How do you keep all of this straight?)
It was definitely a learning process. As an author of a series the “find” function on the computer is often one of my best friends.
I’ve also learned that keeping a document with important facts about each character is a good idea. I’ve heard of authors keeping very detailed versions of this, but mine is usually one document with a list of the characters and a few facts about each one such as eye/hair color, height, occupation, and how they’re related/connected to any of the other characters.

 Who are some of your favourite side characters?
Boromir would definitely top the list. I just love his heroism and courage. I feel that he is often sadly misunderstood.
Ron and Hermione also make the list. Their friendship and loyalty to Harry and their general “goodness” are inspiring.
I also love Leia from Star Wars. Her spunkiness and impulsiveness may make her appear abrasive at first glance, but I believe she’s really just one of those people who sees injustice and cannot stand allowing it, and therefore she must act.
A final favorite side-character would be Arwen. I loved that Peter Jackson gave her extra screen-time. In the books it is enough that Aragorn loves her. He’s awesome enough that we barely even need to see Arwen to believe that she must be awesome too. But it’s harder to convey that in a movie.
 (I love your list! You mentioned some of my favourites!)

 Did you ever have a character who you meant to be a side character try and steal the spot light?
In King’s Warrior, all my side-characters ended up stealing the spotlight. Brant wasn’t supposed to make it past the first chapter, and he ended up being the main character and hero of the story. Because of him, and the mystery surrounding him throughout the first book, the entire series sprang to life, when originally this was supposed to be a stand alone!
 (Well, considering my fondness for Brant, this makes me happy to hear. Though, as an author I know how this can almost be a pain. I've had characters do the same to me and completely change the story.)

 On your blog I read that you are married and have two daughters. How do you find time to write while taking care of a house and raising children? (One of the greatest marvels for those of us authors who are still single and sometimes don't manage to find the time to write. Married authors are our inspiration.)
Finding time to write is always a struggle. I am blessed with children who nap at the same time, giving me a couple hours each afternoon to get some writing done. I am also blessed with an incredibly supportive husband who truly believes in and loves my writing. I am currently trying to finish my newest book and he is helping me stay on task by setting aside time on at least 2 evenings a week so that I can finish this project by my self-imposed deadline of August 24th.

 Have you ever used a sword?
I wish! I’ve done a lot of research on them, and participated in a demonstration with hand-made fake swords for a Shakespeare class in high school, but I’ve never used an actual sword. I’ve held a couple, which was awesome.

 And lastly, which do you find more inspiring for your writing, books or movies? And why?
Definitely books. I love movies, but reading a clever turn of phrase or a stunning description or a witty bit of dialogue is what tends to get the creative juices flowing. I find that when I’m not reading anything for fun, it becomes a lot harder to get into the “writing mode.”

Thanks so much for having me!
 (Thank you for allowing me the chance to interview you! I had a lot of fun reading your answers.)
 I have a writing update planned for tomorrow, in which I will reveal some changes taking place in the Haphazardly Implausible series. So, if you are curious about the new twists and turns my characters have thrown me be sure to stop back by.

 Quote is from Arsenic and Old Lace, which I found at the library today and plan to watch over the weekend. It'll be fun to finally see the movie with the quote in it I've been hearing for years.



  1. Great interview! :) BTW, is it too late to sign up to do an interview? I was going to ages ago but I forgot. XP

  2. I just thought of what your problem could be with the remove formatting. Where were you copying the text from? A chat box or something else? That could be the difference as to why it may not work.


  3. Great interview and I have to agree....books are more inspiring than films :)

  4. Ohhh! A quote from Arsenic and Old Lace! I love that movie :-)

  5. Great interview. =) Another amazing sword fight scene is from The Court Jester (starring Basil Rathbone and Danny Kaye).

  6. A wonderful interview! And I can sympathize with side-characters taking over a novel. I think that's all mine ever do.

    In response to your question, Jack, I don't believe they ever did. I certainly would have remembered if it had been implied! (I rarely forget why I didn't like a book, mostly because they're aren't too many of them.)

  7. Awesome interview! Sword fighting is the second best to dragons. :)

    Arsenic and Old Lace. :) I saw that movie. I'd love to know what you think of it. It was hilarious and then gave me a headache at the same time. :P Not sure why.

  8. She doesn't live that far from me - small world!

  9. Alex: Small world, indeed!

    Jack: Oh! I hope you enjoy Arsenic and Old Lace, it is one of my all-time favorite movies - it is SO funny!


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