Interview with Jenna Katerin Moran

What do your fans mean to you?
They are my lifeblood!

It's easy to fall inwards, sometimes; to draw my world ever closer and tighter around me. And it's ... been really amazing, and really helpful in fighting that, to know that sometimes people in random places all over the world like the little thoughts I have thought and the words I have put in order. ^_^

I don't really have much of a choice but to be a writer---it is a thing that was practically coded into me, seeded and grown into me while I was growing, that twined about the pieces of me as I grew up like the vines of some notional plant, and now I think if I ripped it out of me I would lose my nervous system and my bones.

So, since I'm stuck writing this stuff anyway, I feel really lucky and happy that there are people out there who can get pleasure out of it and put it to some use!
Who are your favorite authors?
Jack Vance, Jack Vance, Jack Vance, Jack Vance, and ...



* Diane Duane,
* Daniel Keys Moran (no relation),
* Guy Gavriel Kay,
* Rachel Caine,
* Gordon R. Dickson,
* Chrysoula Tzavelas, and
* C.S. Friedman!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
... nobody told me there was an option WHY WAS I NOT TOLD THIS
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
... editing!

Um, I like computer games although I haven't really had a modern computer in a long while so I'm like ... I mean, like, I'm a decade behind on most of the really good ones. (Though I did have a DS for a bit and got to play through a Phoenix Wright game. That ruled.)

I enjoy books!

I play flute sometimes but I am not very good. I draw sometimes but I am *terrible.*

I am an indifferent consumer of television---I like superhero and fairy-tale stuff, mostly---and don't really watch movies except sometimes at home.

I like hanging out with friends but I am terrible at actually getting out of the house to see them. This is particularly true lately when most of my friends are like a 12 hour plane trip away but was sadly true even when I lived in bus distance. ^_^
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Sort of!

My very first story was probably a superhero comic of some sort in kindergarten, plus a couple of random poems at the same time. One of them had ... something to do with an eagle? And another was about a ... tiny frozen city discovered in a sphere of ice under the leaf of some plant?

I wrote *something* about . . . like, there was a fire horse? . . . and something? . . . when I was in elementary school. I don't remember much about it. It was a lot of longhand pages.

When I was twelve I wrote some truly terrible schlock about people waking up as D&D monster types in a classic endangered fantasy world, having terrible threats get thrown at them, and doing epic escalations in turn. At the end it turned out that both the big good and the big bad were children of the Christian God. Why? I don't even know.

Then I tried my hand at science fiction and dimensional travel shenanigans but when I couldn't get the characters to break the fourth wall and help me with some stuff no matter how hard I wrote them doing so, I soured on that story.

Hm, and then my first functional story, you know, something that was actually *half*-decent, was about a pair of siblings and one was taken away and brainwashed by aliens into a world-killer and the other was exploited into a super-psychic by Earth's government. It was actually decent despite that writeup because it mostly focused on how it strained their relationship, with everything else just being an excuse for purple Fionavaresque prose.

And then on and on and this and that---

. . . until we reach the terrifying world of, today!
What is your writing process?
I'm not sure, but I think it has something to do with lasers.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I'm told it was "Are you my mother?"

I think it really helped me come to terms with the fact that various objects and animals around me were not actually my mother. Like, that slinky?


I think there may have been a green block that wasn't my mother either. But I'm not sure. I never actually did, like, a DNA test!

I think I was already heavily into reading by the time the full-awareness-of-my-own-existence part of childhood happened, so I don't really know which books were "first." Though I have this suspicion that maybe "The Currents of Space," by Isaac Asimov, was my first sci-fi/fantasy book---

. . . I remember finding it in the school library, and it being a very new experience!

There are still bits of that story stuck in my head, not as plot or words but rather chunks of newness, like . . . food stuck between your teeth? Not comprehension, not really what you normally get in reading, but just . . . a half-formed view of two people talking about "tabula rasa," and another bit about food, and the notional breath someone (Asimov? A character?) took before launching into expounding an idea. It burned into my brain, but I didn't know how to organize that burning. It climbed in me like ---wait, I already used the trellis example. Dang it. I'll use it again anyway! The metaphorical trellis of my heart is covered in various, disparate gardens!
What are your five favorite books, and why?
"Araminta Station," by Jack Vance, is perfection. It's *made* of perfection.

Jack Vance is the god of language. He . . . I mean, it's a cool enough plot and setting, but the language! It's ... it's what I strive for. It's breathtaking.

"Deep Magic" by Diane Duane is utterly amazing. The story is ... well, er, deep ... and vast. It's bigger than life. It fills the world with blues and greens; and there's a character who practically swims off the page and becomes a pleasant presence in your life thereafter.

"Soldier, Ask Not" by Gordon R. Dickson really got to me. I don't know why. It just ... it's like "Deep Magic" in that it just kinda *poured* into my world and enriched it.

P.S. his short story, "Things Which are Caesar's": also awesome.

"The Door into Shadow" by Diane Duane is personally precious to me. It gives me things to daydream about.

And, oh, man, that's four. I have to choose between "the Long Run" and "the Last Dancer?"

. . . I dunno. Probably "the Long Run," then. By Daniel Keys Moran. His books are ... the other half of where my writing comes from, I think. There is lightning in them.

There are things that move beneath the pages of them.
What's the story behind your latest book?
So, I was riding the high of having completed "An Unclean Legacy" quite quickly---a week of writing, six weeks of editing, possibly?---and being incredibly satisfied with it.

And I thought, "Let's do more of this."

So I went to my box of ideas, dragged some pieces together that seemed to fit, and started writing.

Sadly I chose too many pieces, and the book came out a trilogy; and more than that, I'd rushed too much---

Leaving me with a trilogy that took a couple of years of work *after* that just to get it into shape!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Probably "Raiders of the Lost Ark." By the time I saw Last Crusade and found out that "indie author" was actually the name of the *dog,* it was too late to change my course!
Published 2014-03-19.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Vidar's Boot
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 78,980. Language: English. Published: May 25, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
It’s bad to let a world-eating wolf just ... eat everything, but it’s also not that great to chain it up for 1400 years. It’s bad to let a giant snake crack the Earth, but what happened instead, it wasn’t OK. What I’m saying is, I get why someone might want to quit the Keepers’ House and stop holding the world together this way ... but, won’t that mean Götterdämmerung? (Part 3 of “Enemies Endure”)
Magical Bears in the Context of Contemporary Political Theory
Price: Free! Words: 34,330. Language: English. Published: July 13, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Historical, Fiction » Humor & comedy » Satire
For too long the disciplines of thaumatic ursology and political science have held themselves apart, each asserting its own unique magisterium. Isn't it time someone brought these two disparate fields to synthesis? A revolutionary short story collection by Dr. Jenna Katerin Moran.
The Storm That Saw Itself
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 69,500. Language: English. Published: February 4, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
It's difficult to live in the world. If you have even two left feet, then it's hard to be a good dancer. But if you're carrying a *puppy* around, you've got *three.* What if there's a bug on your shoulder? That's *six.* Six left feet! That's, like, three times as bad! Anyway, this book has a giant wolf and a magic hat in it, so you know that it's great. (Part 2 of "Enemies Endure.")
Stomping the World Round
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 55,390. Language: English. Published: March 16, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
The power that brought the world into existence is fading. The world begins to fray under the pressure of a cavalcade of apocalypses. Four children, with four largely incompatible world-destroying destinies, come together in the house on Doom Lane and take up the motto: "You don't have to die just because some people think your existence is evil." Also, there are some wolves.
Hitherby Dragons #1: Jack-o'Lantern Girl
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 33,710. Language: English. Published: November 19, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary, Nonfiction » Inspiration » General self-help
A modern fantasy novella proposing solutions to such pressing problems as labyrinths, excess firewood, and suffering, as well as a brief explanation of the principles of resurrection, the construction of angels, and the structure of the monster's wings.
Fable of the Swan
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 95,840. Language: English. Published: March 20, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy, Fiction » Fantasy » Urban
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
Right now, my friend Kseniya is fighting Death. Right now, my friend Giselle is skidding across the floor of the labyrinth under Principal Entropy’s School with somebody else’s heart inside her chest. Sometimes before turning into a brass war machine and moving forward with your life, you’ve got to take a moment to reflect on where you’ve been. A young adult urban fantasy w/ Surrealist overtones.
An Unclean Legacy
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 67,240. Language: English. Published: December 20, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
(4.67 from 3 reviews)
A fairy tale about an enchanted princess, a deathless sorcerer, a fallen knight, a man of God, a bad house, a soulless girl, the Devil's child, a madman, a witch, and Santa Claus. A story of redemption. By the award-winning author of the Nobilis role-playing game.