“Hmm… about me… well, I have a thing for grammar. It’s the only reason I’m passing English because, quite frankly, I don’t like freshman English; perhaps it’s the only thing I’m capable of despising besides laws that aren’t constitutional and breaches of freedom of speech (I heart the First Amendment).
“I’m a bit of a headbanger. Corey Taylor of Slipknot and Stone Sour fame and Otep Shamaya of… well, of Otep, are my musical idols. Concerts are my weekend activities when I have the cash to buy tickets and there’s a good band playing locally. But don’t let that fool you. I’m on the youth leader council for my youth group and have been going to church for somewhere around a decade. I have a love/hate relationship with my DSLR.
“As for the trivial things, I am a southern California resident. I live in a boring suburb that doesn’t even qualify as a small town because every inch of space has a house crammed in there. I hope to go to college at Trinity in Dublin, Ireland because I like European history, Trinity has a good English department, and Ireland is gorgeous. I have a three-legged dog who is made of awesome. I am a nerdfighter (DFTBA). I read a lot and it disrupts my sleep habits, but it’s not as if I don’t write until I’m hunched over the keyboard with my eyes half-open on a regular basis. Speaking of which, I like writing. Just thought I’d throw that in there.”
It’s a good thing that Jenni (aka Jennii) likes writing, because the people of inkpop? Well, to put it bluntly, they love her work – as evident by the Gold Star her project Stake My Heart earned in February 2011, and the rapid pace at which her new project, Things Unseen, is climbing the charts.
★ Your project Stake My Heart is incredibly popular on inkpop, and received a gold star in the February 2011 Top Picks. How did it feel to see it garner so much success; and receive such a fantastic review? Is Stake My Heart a project that you are still working on, or have you shelved it for the time being to devote time to something new?
Jennii: It felt a little bit… odd? I’d written a few novels already, but I never let anyone see those. Then, I sign up to this site, write this novel that I only wrote because I wanted to write about a metal band, and suddenly I have people telling me they love Michael and that the band reminds them of this one band I used to be into, Black Veil Brides (that was certainly an ironic comment, as I’d just interviewed the guitarist). The review was nice.
In relation to the next question, it kind of made me annoyed with the fact that Stake My Heart has been discontinued. Especially since starting Things Unseen and having people respond to it even better, I just don’t have any interest in SMH. Not to mention, I read over the last ten or so chapters that I crammed in just to finish. It’s weird to see my own improvement that’s happened in just the past year—and I thank God that I improved.
★ Your most recent project, Things Unseen, has only been on the site since March 31, 2011, yet it is already ranked as # 138 on the charts, and climbs higher with each passing day. How does it feel to know that you are quickly on your way to making it into the Top 5? What is currently going through your mind? Since you have already made it into the Top 5 in the past, do you feel differently about it this time?
Jennii: Well, this is the first time I’ve seen the rank in a few weeks, so I’m not sure how to feel. I’ve actually paid no attention to where it’s been. I don’t scroll down my page to see it, and I cover the part of the screen when I’m updating. It’s nice to know that it’s still climbing, though (thanks, Zoey and whoever else has been promoting).
As for what’s going through my mind… I need to work on chapter twenty-one, I need to edit sixteen, seventeen, and maybe another one before Zoey spams me, and I need to go back and fix up some little things that I keep forgetting to fix up. If it gets into the top five, it will come as a surprise to me the day I log in, seeing as I’m not looking at the rank. I’d be honored, but it starts to feel anti-climactic, in all honesty. I forgot about SMH’s review for a couple weeks after February ended, then one of the other February top fivers messaged me, asking if I was anxious. It felt odd. All I want is the input; numbers really aren’t my thing.
★ Both of your projects fall into the Horror / Paranormal / Romance genre. Would you say that this is your favorite genre to write? Would you ever consider writing something completely different from these genres? If so, which one and why?
Jennii: I’d say that it’s what I’m most familiar with. I’ve been reading it for years now. Romance is generally a mainstay in whatever I read; I’m a terrible romantic, despite not liking to date. Paranormal and horror are nice, but that’s just where most of my ideas fall in most instances. I’ve got two ideas that I’ve been playing with that are both different. One is a general fiction idea that I’ll probably never write simply because it’s straight-up romance (think mass-market paperbacks by one of those middle-age women who can pump out nine books every five years). The other is in the outlining stages until I finish Things Unseen and will be a dystopian romance, although it may tip-toe the line of horror as some of my other projects have done.
★ Obviously, what with Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight and other vampires in pop culture, people are incredibly opinionated when it comes to them. Seeing as how vampires are a focal point in Stake My Heart, what are your thoughts on them, and how they are represented in the entertainment industry (books/movies/TV)? How do you feel your vampires compare?
Jennii: I feel that they’re fictional beings with roots in ancient superstition. Every culture has its vampires. I’ve done research into it for my last three books, and it’s really made me aware of the fact that they differ so much. It’s ridiculous how people bicker over them. There really is no “real” vampire. The one we know best is the one that’s due to uneducated, superstitious people digging up bodies and seeing the natural states of composition (bloating, skin pulling back from fingers and toes to make nails appear to be still growing, etc.) and assuming their dead Great Uncle Bernard has been chomping on the villagers. Other cultures believe in demons that feed on the psyches of their victims. There’s a whole culture today where people call themselves “psy-vamps” and “feed” on the emotions of others.
I think that it’s great that writers are creating their own idea of the vampire, but some variety is nice. That’s what I like about my vampires; they stick to tradition. I love writing the hero that’s just plain Michael/Aidan/Keir/etc. or just plain Aria/Haven/Belle/etc. They have their weaknesses, and there’s just about nothing they can do to be more than human. When the monster’s got the best cards in the deck, the hero and heroine have more room to grow stronger; they have to work hard to win, and that lets them develop more.
★ What do you feel influences your writing and why?
Jennii: Random little things. Like I said, Stake My Heart came about because I wanted to write about a metal band. I fronted a metal band, so I guess that’s where the idea first stemmed from. The watch on the cover of Things Unseen actually belongs to me. It’s a 108-year-old Ingersol Junior from my great-grandfather. I was holding it one day and just thinking about all the history that’s in it. The thing is so damaged inside, it’s got to have seen a lot. It felt almost magical because I adore history, and that watch has been through almost the entire twentieth century. Things Unseen spawned from that and a bunch of little notes about the idea.
I also tend to get ideas from little things I see, but that’s usually for little bits and pieces of scenes. It’s fun to imagine the stories behind certain people, and that sometimes creates a new story or scene in my head.
★ Who was your favorite childhood author and why?
Jennii: I have no idea who wrote the Magic Treehouse series, but those were my first chapter books. I stayed up reading them until one, much to my parents’ chagrin. I also loved my books on Greek mythology, bugs, and dinosaurs, but I’ve got the same plight there. R.L. Stine held my attention fairly well. I only read some of the Goosebumps books, but they were enough to feed my little mind.
Pop, Pop, Pop! Rapid Fire Questions:
★ Favorite song? Palace in Flames or Fetish for the Finite by Fearless Vampire Killers (Look them up; they’re amazing and need a bigger American fan base.)
★ What’s on your iPod? Fearless Vampire Killers, Slipknot, Casting Crowns, Otep, HorrorPops, Rise Against.
★ Hidden talent? I can lick my elbow, but people are more surprised that I can sing.
★ Twilight or Harry Potter? Harry Potter.
★ Book you could read over and over again? None. My mind retains things for two years, at the least. If it’s gone sooner, it’s not worth rereading.
Over to you…who do you think should be the next inkpopper of the Week?
Erika (aka inkpoperika)