Interview with Jennifer Priester

Published 2014-09-02.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I didn't start out as an indie author. What happened was that the publisher I originally published with decided I had so many books in progress that it would be better for me to become a publisher myself. Technically I am both an indie author and published by a small publisher at the same time as my first book got switched over from the original publisher to my company, A & M Moonlight Creations, just before publication.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Having fun and converting reluctant readers into eager ones.
What are you working on next?
Lots of books! I am working on the final six books in my Mortal Realm Witch Series as well as preparing to release the first book on here as soon as Book Two's Kindle eBook is ready and Book One's time in Amazon's program runs out. I am also working on the Kindle eBook versions of Book Three and my first series companion. Also in progress are the following books:

Short Story Collections:
Heroes United
An unnamed collection of animal adventure stories
An unnamed collection of stories about cats and/or horses
An unnamed collection of dog stories
An unnamed collection of stories about random animals
An unnamed collection of different magical, supernatural and sci-fi stories

Collections of Interconnecting short stories:
The Dogs That Saved the World
Back to the Wild
The Young Animal Psychics
"Good Luck" Animal Shelter

Chapter Books:
Becoming Human
Cursed
(Some potential other chapter books that aren't yet developed far enough to be mentioned here)

Comic Books/Graphic Novels:
Spider & Jackal

Nonfiction:
Animals in the Shelters
Animal Snippets: Memories of My Pets and Anipals
Just Dreaming: The Dreams I Had and the Stories They Became

Educational Fiction Series:
Animal World
Animal World: Endangered
Who are your favorite authors?
Way too many to put here! Some of my favorites include: Erin Hunter, Tui T. Sutherland, David Lubar, John R. Erickson, Bruce Coville, R.L. Stine, Rick Riordan, Lisa McMann, C.A. Wulff, H.Y. Hanna, A.D. Elliott, Derek J. Goodman, Ben M. Baglio aka Lucy Daniels, Bill Wallace, Jenny Dale, Gordon Korman, Dan Gutman, Jack Stonely, Felix Salten, Jill Murphy, Jenny Dale, Adam J. Epstein, Dorothy Hearst, David Clement-Davies, Bonnie Bryant, James Patterson, Maryrose Wood, W. Bruce Cameron, Diana Wynne Jones, Tamora Pierce, Peter Howe, James Howe, Patricia C. Wrede, Judy Blume, Roald Dahl, Louis Sachar, C.S. Lewis, Victoria Stillwell, Bill Amend, Pamela F. Service, Laurie Halse Anderson, Dodie Smith, Virginia Vail, Emily Costello, Jeff Smith, Yumi Hotta, Rachel Roberts, Jeffrey Salane, Alex Scarrow, Brandon Mull, William Boniface, Bob Balaban, Riku Sanjo, Ken-ichi Sakura, Yukiya Sakuragi, Bill Watterson, Walter Farley, Ellen Miles, Ann M. Martin, Nicholas Edwards, Clete Barrett Smith, Ned Lerr, and many others as well!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Necessity. I pretty much spend all day in bed as many of my best stories come to me while I am sleeping. I'm not really a big fan of getting out of bed and really only do it for bathroom breaks, to take care of my pets, attend author events, go to the library, and get food. Otherwise I really don't do much in a day because even when I am awake I am usually in bed either reading, writing, drawing, watching TV, playing video games, or doing whatever online things I can do from my Kindle.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Sleeping, watching TV/movies, playing video games, occasionally taking my dog for bike rides, going to the library, reading, drawing, sometimes attending vendor events as an author, playing with my dog, spending time on social media sites, and whatever I feel like doing in the moment.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Most of the eBooks I read I discover through Goodreads, Bookgoodies, Wormy, the library, and the occasional author asking me to do a read for review for them.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I ever wrote was either The Dog and the Rabbit, a story about a dog that learns to accept and get along with a rabbit that moved into his house, Mouse's Dog, a story about a mouse that wants a dog, or one about a missing puzzle piece.
What is your writing process?
My writing process basically involves coming up with an idea and writing down a summary of it and maybe a few more small pieces later then coming back to it later and starting to write it. I write multiple books at once so my writing process involves a lot of jumping around. I actually even wrote the fifth book in my Mortal Realm Witch Series before the fourth book! Sometimes I start writing a story in the beginning, sometimes it's the middle, and other times I begin at the end. It all depends on what I come up with first.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
No, not really. I have read too many books and don't have a great memory of my past or in general.
How do you approach cover design?
I just start drawing and see what happens. Oftentimes my stories are written based off drawings I have created so I just draw what fits the story or write the story that fits the drawing. I like to try to represent everything that I can on a cover without making it too crowded looking. I also sometimes try to convey my characters biggest emotion in the story through the cover and/or some major event/events. That is the simplified version of how I design a cover. Now though I am also starting to pay a little more attention to my background colors as my last few book all have different colors but it's easy to mistake one for the other because the colors are too close together.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I can't answer this as I can't limit it to five.
What do you read for pleasure?
I mostly read children's fiction though I also read YA and some limited adult books. Most of the books I read are about animals, magic, superheroes, time travel, alternate realities, games and toys come to life, and playing video games. I will read almost anything in children's books and almost every age level but in YA and adult I limit my reading to select genre's; fantasy, sci-fi, sci-fi/fantasy, nonfiction, some comic books and graphic novels, and I am about to read a few adult mysteries featuring animals.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My Kindle, though I also read on my iPod and will be using my iPad for reading. I don't like using the computer for this but have done it.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Going to physical vendor events to sell and sign my books.
Describe your desk
I actually don't have a desk. The closest thing to one is the very small area that my computer sits on which currently has two black speakers on the left corner, one of which is behind the monitor. Between the speakers I have gray and black typing gloves which I am not using right now but probably should be. In front of the visible speaker and my gloves is a small red computer fan that is laying down on top of a small tin of St. Clair's organic throat soothers. In front of that is a desk light with has a base with places to put pencils and other things. Most of these spots are empty except in one of the larger areas I have a broken up pink eraser and in another there are mismatched Double A batteries, and in the third big spot is a USB which is probably the one I have been looking for, as well as a quarter and a dime that I didn't know I had until just now. Just behind the light is a mechanical pencil that is halfway under my fan. Next to the light is another mechanical pencil. The middle of my desk consists of notebooks, my published books, lots of papers, the manuscript of a book I am publishing for another author, some Nintendo club papers for registering some of my recently bought games, and a poodle thing that will allow me to plug four USB's into my computer at once. The right side of my desk consists of a stack of computer games on the front corner. These games include: 500,000 Games, 700,000 Games, Wildlife Park Tycoon, Farm Frenzy 2, Dozen Dash Pack, Fate, Fate: The Traitor Soul, Fate: Undiscovered Realms. Behind the games but actually more on the side of them between the two corners is a wolf scent lamp which features the head of a gray wolf with a glass plate underneath it and a light under that. Part of the stand consists of a gray wolf pup and scenery. On the plate is a scent for allergies. Behind the wolf lamp is a small open pack of double A batteries (a different brand from either of the two sitting in my desk lamp. Next to that going all the way back to the far end of the back corner, are some books. Currently the books in this spot include: Magical Mix-Ups #1: Hamster Magic by Lynne Jonell, Sheltie the Shetland Pony #1 by Peter Clover, Abracadabra! #8: Wow! Blast from the Past by Peter Lerangis, and Best Friends: Hattie and Henry by Jenny Dale. In the middle of the base of my monitor, in the shadows and almost completely hidden by my notebooks and other papers there is a pen.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Mentor, Ohio. I'm not sure what it did to influence my writing.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing when I first learned how to print.
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