Interview with Jenny Ren

Published 2013-09-07.
Who are your favorite authors?
At the moment my favorites would have to be Stephenie Meyer with the Twilight series, E L James with the ...err...tastes of Christian Grey, Amanda Hocking with her mermaid series and Mindy Haig's Glory. These are my repeat reads at the moment.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The hope that I will learn something new, mainly. I love life and get enjoyment out of as much as I can; my four year old grandson whom I have wonderful adventures with every day; my husband who I love as much now as I did thirty years ago and the hope that I'll be able to squeeze a portion of writing out of a hectic day.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Unfortunately I don't get to spend as much time at writing as I long to. Work commitments and grandchildren minding take up most of my time and if I'm lucky, I get to walk along the beach every afternoon.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Mmm, it was a short story, well...excerpt really, about a troubled boy. I think I was about fourteen. I handed it in as an essay at school. My teacher at the time wasn't very impressed, said I had problems if I could imagine feelings like those portrayed. Handed the same story in the following year to a different teacher, and received top marks and my effort was read aloud to the whole school. Go figure.
The next story I wrote was Mr D, or Mr Dynamic as it is now called, and it wasn't that long ago.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Apple, Google play and now Smashwords. I have a friend who is a voracious reader and when she discovers a good read, she always lets me know.
What is your writing process?
Get an idea and work it. Usually, once an idea forms in my head I start writing and just go with it. There is nothing structured, I often don't know how the story will develop until it actually does and sometimes it is completely different from the idea I started with. As was the case with Forever Hostage. That was intended to be a straightforward romance but as soon as my pen hit paper my hero wanted something more, something intriguing, something to fight for and that's what he got.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born and raised in New Zealand, the third child in a family of five children, the piggy in the middle. I spent many hours on my own, escaping into a world of fantasy and adventure as my older brother and sister had their own interests and the younger two were too childish. I would play with my assortment of animals - never dolls, and weave different stories around them. Then, I got older and found...books.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
My word yes! There were two actually, I borrowed them from the library at the same time. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and Hollow Tree House. I think I borrowed them twice a month for the following five years. Even though the stories were vastly different they were both full of hope, the bright light at the end of the tunnel and a happy ever after.
What impact it had...I discovered that there IS life in the wardrobe!!!
Seriously though, in C S Lewis's tale, the land of make believe resonated loudly within me. Here was my imaginings coming to life. As I read I could feel the cold creeping across me as the snow fell, I could hear the beavers building their dam, I was upset when Edmund turned traitor and I felt despair as Mr Tumnus was captured. I didn't particularly align myself as Susan or Lucy, nor as Peter or Edmund but I did love Aslan. I was entranced. I wanted it for my own and I felt desolate when mum said it had to be returned. I still have fond memories...
With Hollow Tree House, it was the happy ever after that thrilled me. After believing for some years that I was adopted, as a lot of children do when they feel hard and done by, the plight of Susan and Peter and their wicked Aunt interested me greatly. Unfortunately, there was no hollow tree in our back yard to escape to and I came to realise that despite all their troubles they kept faith in each other and believed that everything would work out. As it did. Happy...Ever...After.
After five years of borrowing both books I knew I wanted to be able to write as compelling a story as these two and have other readers enjoy them as much.
How do you approach cover design?
With difficulty.
No, I don't suppose I can really say that! I try to show something relative, either to the title or the story. Sometimes I labor for days trying to work out what it should be only to intensely dislike what I've come up with. The hardest one was for Forever Hostage. Whatever I tried looked wrong (and believe me, they were wrong). One day, very frustrated with conflicting ideas, I sat on the back step gazing blankly at the sky when a hawk glided into view. Suddenly a thought clarified...a bird, outstretched wings, portraying freedom...
Would it work? To early to tell but it looks good.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book was actually my first attempt at writing romance. My husband and I were building a boat. The shelter where we worked was actually reinforcing bars bent into semi circle shapes and covered with secondhand tarpaulins. One of these had the picture of a extremely appealing (to me) man on it. He had closely cropped hair and a rather stern, business like appearance. During the process of sanding the boat, I began to alleviate the boredom of my occupation by weaving romantic stories around him. When asked by visitors about my preoccupied air my husband would laughingly murmur... 'oh, she's off with her Mr D.' Later, I would write everything down and Mr Dynamic evolved. He has my husbands traits...most of them anyway.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Over a five year period, I had written and tweaked three complete novels that I felt rather proud of. During this time I entered a few traditional type competitions through the local romance writers association and although disheartened by some comments, most of them were favourable and encouraged me to keep writing and submitting entries. Making it into the final ten on one occasion (Timely Encounter) helped as well.
However, I was shy. Still am to a certain degree but I am trying to conquer that. I found I couldn't pluck up enough courage to pitch and I had trouble writing those damn synopsis's. I was mad at myself; on one hand I wanted to write more and more, on the other I was too frightened to take that publishing step. While browsing the web one day, actually looking up articles on how to write a synopsis, I came across the Smashwords site and was hooked. Here now was a way to market my books without stress. I joined and published. Now all I have to conquer is my fear of rejection.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author or publisher.

Books by This Author

Imagining Amy
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 93,680. Language: Australian English. Published: February 26, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense
The bomb detonated at ten thirty, blasting through buildings and people with equal disregard and gave back to Adam Thorne the woman he had thought lost. But, at what cost?
Two Steps Back
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 111,550. Language: Australian English. Published: December 14, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical » General
(4.50 from 2 reviews)
Found barely alive on the bloody battlefield of Waterloo, the man they named Sol knew nothing of his past. All he had was a faded picture of a beautiful woman who haunted his dreams, filling him with a yearning he could not understand.
Mr Dynamic
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 99,780. Language: Australian English. Published: August 9, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Adult, Fiction » Romance » Adult
Love or lust - who could tell the difference. All they knew was they were going to enjoy it while it lasted.
Forever Hostage
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 134,190. Language: Australian English. Published: June 26, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical » General, Fiction » Historical » Medieval
(5.00 from 1 review)
Danger and desire go hand in hand as the mystery that surrounds his alluring hostage thrusts Nicholas Brede onto a dark pathway of tormented love and revenge.
Timely Encounter
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 135,410. Language: Australian English. Published: June 25, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Time travel, Fiction » Romance » Historical » General
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
What is your future when you’re trapped in the past? Enjoying an idyllic life with her partner, exploring the islands of the Atlantic Ocean aboard a trimaran in the twenty-first century does not prepare Emma Collins for the event that is about to change her world.