Interview with Jessica Schaub

What is your e-reading device of choice?
I'm old-fashioned. I have a kindle app on my phone, but I much prefer books, the smell of paper and ink and dust brings my mind to my favorite place on earth: the library.
What do you read for pleasure?
I'm not one to read just one type of book. Sometimes a good story is all I want. Other times, I want to learn how to be a better parent or how to milk a goat. I love reading cookbooks, novels with a poetic flair, and self-help books - A strange combination, to be certain, until I can manage turning a poorly made dinner into a theatrical presentation complete with positivity and laughter. See? A win-win-win!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I'm really an introvert pretending to be an extrovert. The fact that I have four children whom I homeschool and must, therefore, be talkative and positive much of the day can wear me out. Writing is the salve for my patience. The quiet and solitude I need to write rehabilitates my soul. When I started writing, I believed (erroneously) that I could create situations in stories that I could control and make a point through a plot that would teach a lesson. I was the first victim to that lesson! My characters have become quite stubborn and unruly and rarely do what I expect them to do. But I look at it as just more practice in being a good friend, neighbor, mother and wife. That is the joy in writing; no matter what, the story of our lives or the story in our minds isn't really ours. We are simply called upon to do the best with what we have. Writing allows me to explore my life through characters.
What do your fans mean to you?
Anyone who takes the time to read a book by an author they have never encountered before is a courageous person. To invest time and money into any activity says a great deal about the reader and the author. My fans the reason I write. I pray that my stories inspire them as much as my readers inspire me.
What are you working on next?
I have three books that are complete and being edited. I hope to release them over the next 18-24 months. The third book of The Elemental Chronicles is in constant creation. I hope to have that ready for a team of test readers before October 1, 2016.
Who are your favorite authors?
Too many to list, but my top five are:
1. C.S. Lewis. Not only was he a master storyteller, but a philosophical genius. Each time I read any of his non-fiction books, I learn something new.
2. Alexander Dumas. It was The Count of Monte Cristo that stole my heart in high school.
3. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Who doesn't love Sherlock Holmes?
4. Madeleine L'Engle. The complexity of her novels and the family-oriented characters are classic.
5. Sharon Creech, Kate DiCamillo and Kathi Apelt are both excellent writers whom I admire greatly. Their sense of story is rich and poetic.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The alarm clock never inspires me to get out of bed. Never. Sometimes it's the dog who is inspired to go outside instead on the carpet. Mostly, it's the quiet of the house, a hot cup of coffee, and a new story - that I'm writing or reading - that launches me from the warm bed. In my living room, I have white Christmas lights hanging around the front picture window year round. It's the perfect lighting for early morning writing and reading.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
My husband and I, along with our four children live on a small farm. I love to garden, working outside in the dirt and among the green as much as I possibly can. We also have chickens (99 at the moment), goats, and will have cows this summer. Farming is not for the weak-hearted. Just this morning, my daughter lost one of her chickens. There are callouses and sweat and all kinds of weather to work in and around. Why do we do it? For food. I love to eat the best food possible. Instead of buying it, we grow it, harvest it, gather it, and milk it.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I do! I was in the sixth grade. My teacher assigned two stories written every week, one due on Tuesday and one on Thursday. That was the extent of her writing curriculum. We never had any instruction, just due dates. I wrote a story about a ballerina that my teacher read in front of the class. It was ridiculous, but it made the class laugh (it was a comedy) and I loved the recognition. The author-bug bit me badly that day.
What is your writing process?
This question always makes me smile. I don't have a specific and organized manner in which I write. With my life and the busy-ness of homeschooling and farming, my best process is it make time to write and then use that time wisely. Because my time with my pen and paper is so limited, I do have to have the story well planned out first. Those are the times I am the most productive. However, every week is different and I sometimes am not prepared to write a particular scene. That's when I play around with the characters, putting them in different genres and seeing that their personalities might do. I rarely use those stories in the bigger novel, but it is very entertaining for me.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
There were always books in the house, but I don't remember spending much time with them. Not until my 7th grade year did reading become a favorite pass time. For Christmas I was given a copy of Michael Ende's The Never Ending Story. I read it in three days. I couldn't put it down and spent those three days in my room enjoying every page, loving how much I was like Sebastian and feeling that I was truly on that adventure with him. I didn't think about writing until much later, but I still remember how I felt during that story. I still have that copy. Now, it's yellow and fragile, but as readable as ever.
Published 2016-04-13.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Lies in the Shadows
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 82,690. Language: English. Published: November 27, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Christian » Fantasy, Fiction » Fantasy » General
Yesterday Julius was King. Tomorrow the King’s greatest secret will be known. And it will save them all.
Crimson Arrows, Book III of The Elemental Chronicles
Price: $1.49 USD. Words: 87,320. Language: English. Published: June 24, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » General, Fiction » Fantasy » General
The saga ends here. Victoria Nike's journey through the worlds reached only by paintings she can enter, comes to a haunting conclusion. Both satisfying and heart-wrenching, her story will leave you forever changed.
The Elemental Chronicles Series
Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 256,750. Language: English. Published: June 20, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Travel, Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
The Elemental Chronicles Series includes three books: Gateways, The Elder's Circle, and Crimson Arrows. Victoria Nike discovers that her paintings are gateways to other worlds, and all is not well beyond the canvas.
Gravity: A Short Story
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 25,440. Language: English. Published: October 31, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Family, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Social Issues
I'm Jefferson Stanhope and I'm short. Like, really short. As in bring-a-step-stool-to-drink-from-the-water-fountain short. It's not genetic or anything. My parents are tall and my older brother and sister are tall. But not me. I think God hates me. Caitlin says God doesn't hate anyone, but after what happened to her, I thought she would change her mind. She didn't.
The Elder's Circle, Book II of The Elemental Chronicles
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 71,880. Language: English. Published: April 12, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
Victoria's journey home continues in this second installment of the Elemental Chronicles. Separated from her mentors and her friends, she must learn to control all the elements in order to survive.
Gateways, Book I of The Elemental Chronicles
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 98,080. Language: English. Published: April 12, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
Victoria wants what all girls her age want: an adventure. When she falls through a painting into an alternate reality where sphinx rule and she can communicate with the four elements, her wish comes true. Turns out that Water is moody, Air demands attention, and Fire is hungry all the time. And Earth? That's where the true power lies.