Review: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Howdy bookies (you book huggers)!

Have I ever mentioned I’m from Texas? Well, now you know. I spent most of my childhood elsewhere though, so my upbringing isn’t really “Texan”. Back to the main point!

I read a book from my new stash! (Yes, it’s a whole “stash”! does a happy dance) It’s called “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas”. Maybe you’ve heard of it? I was really excited when I found it at a thrift store. I had watched the movie based on it. It was very close to the book’s content, I think. But for now, let’s give you the basics:

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Title: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
Author: John Boyne
Genre: Historical Fiction, Children’s Literature, Fable
# of pages: 216

I have been really interested in the Holocaust since the tender age of about 6 years old. I would hear about it, from adults. I would hear these experiences about how and why people were persecuted. But best of all, at least from my point of view, is that I would hear all of those things applied to me like: “Yeah. Some day that could happen to all of us.” Since I was one of the “us”, I took a personal interest in it. And I think that’s what really makes it seem real, what really helps you appreciate history. So when I found this book, I was pretty happy. I had watched the movie, which was ok. And of course the book is nearly always better.

So about the book itself, the blurb reads:

Berlin, 1942

When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move to a new house far, far away where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people he can see in the distance.

But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides taht there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastation consequences.

This sounds great, right? But no. It was a disappointment. I guess, if it is children’s literature, it’s ok.  But it’s not great. I didn’t really get into the story. It is told from a third person point of view with knowledge of Bruno’s p.o.v. But you are being told the story. You are not really experiencing it. In a way, I guess it feels like a general description rather than a story. And Bruno never becomes someone you can really identify with. I mean, you get to know a little of how he thinks. He is a small child, spoiled, but he hates the “Fury” and has not been taught/brainwashed by societal values of Nazi Germany, despite the fact that his father is a very proud Nazi commandant. Bruno is selfish and thinks highly of himself, but you don’t quite hate him because he tries to do what he has been taught is right. However, sometimes, by applying the manners he has been taught, he ignores the bigger picture. I suppose, though, that it should be expected of a nine year old. For example, he makes friend with a Jewish boy in the concentration camp. Bruno notices how hungry he is and how he is getting skinnier and skinnier. He takes him food, whatever he can carry on a long walk.

“[…] but the walk from the house to the place in the fence where the two boys met was a long one and sometimes Bruno got hungry on the way and found that one bite of the cake would lead to another, and that in turn led to another, and by the time there was only one mouthful left he knew it would be wrong to give that to Shmuel because it would only tease his appetite and not satisfy it.”

Obviously, since Shmuel is starving, it would be better to give him that little mouthful, but Bruno doesn’t understand that. Nor does he understand who the “Fury” is, why he must say heil Hitler, why all the people on the other side of the fence get to wear pajamas all day and he doesn’t, and other things such as that. He isn’t really observant.

What I do like about this book is that it is that it accurately portrays the interests and some of the point of view of a little boy. Bruno doesn’t get along with his sister and tries to use words and phrases that he doesn’t really understand. He likes food and eats even when he’s not hungry. He likes to explore, but doesn’t really do much of it. It limits the information you get to what Bruno understands/experiences. However, the story is told with an adult “voice”.

” ‘He runs the country, idiot,’ said Gretel, showing off as sisters tend to do.”
“But still, there are moments when a brother and sister can lay down their instruments of torture for a moment and speak as civilized human beings and Bruno decided to make this one of those moments.”

Think about it. Does this really sound like the “voice” of a kid? No. And if a child (and most adolescents) were to read this book, he/she would become bored really easily, while and adults would probably become a bit frustrated with the overly simplified interests and limited knowledge Bruno has. My favorite part was probably the ending:

“Of course all this happened a long time ago and nothing like that could ever happen again. Not in this day and age.”

Because it is emphasizing the fact that it can happen again, that history is a lesson learn from.

So, it’s a book that sounds a lot better in theory than it does when you read it. I had high expectations, and this book failed them. I don’t think this book will really appeal to anyone. Therefore, I give this book 1/5 stars.

What about you bookies? How would you rate this book? Is the book or the movie better? In my opinion, neither one was great, but I think I enjoyed the movie slightly more than the book, making this one of the rare exceptions to the “the book is always better” rule. Which movies have you found that are better than the books?

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My Town’s Public Library

I love my town’s relatively new library. When I first moved to this town about 8 years ago, I was disappointed to find that both the school and public libraries were so small and limited. Not surprised, because I figured such a tiny rural town would be thus limited. And it was so.

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Honestly, I had to really, really search in order to find books that I had not read and that caught my attention. Many times I would end up with my small pile of books. Not books that I intensely wanted to read as is my normal and preferred state, but instead the books that I would settle for. The ones that were alright or mildly interesting. The ones that I had that lukewarm interest for. So sad… Not to mention that the library itself was very dark and old, with the smell of mildew and stains on the carpet. A small open area exposed to everyone, crowded…Not exactly the type of place you wanted to stay in and not somewhere you could find a cozy corner in which to sit and read.

Fortunately, about 2 years ago, we finally got a new library. Ah, the new library! Of course I have seen fancier and bigger libraries, but this one is our town’s library and it is exponentially better than the old one. First of all, it is 2 stories! Score!

yes! victory arms

And it was modeled in a very nice, modern way. No longer do you have to put up with humid heat and the smell of mildew. It’s kept cool and air-conditioned and smells like new books and fresh wood and paint. The lobby is huge, open, with comfortable armchairs and sturdy tables where you can just sit and chill. Now we have a proper children’s section with a good selection of books and a small activity corner. No longer is it a simple, foldable table with a few crayons. We have a whole room dedicated to just young adults (my go-to place) with the newest popular series and books, as well as manga. There is another room which serves as a computer lab. Feel like checking out the upstairs? Do you want to take the stairs or elevators? See more comfortable armchairs and chairs with a swing-out desk. Large fancy restrooms for your convenience. About 4 or 5 different rooms for private business or meetings. (You have to ask permission to use these, but they are usually empty.) Best of all, the upstairs is usually deserted, so you have it all to yourself. Read there to your heart’s content in a cozy corner, maybe by the window with a view of the town. Use the free, fast wi-fi on your phone, tablet, or laptop for 2 hours. Not enough time? No worries. Disconnect, reconnect, and you’re golden.

About once every 2-3 months, the library has a book adoption day or a book sale day. You might be wondering, what’s the difference? Well, book adoption day, which is my favorite, is when you can choose from a special room full of books any books you want to take and then just give a donation. Anything you want or think it’s worth. On book sale day, you can the room is filled with books once again, but this time, each type of book has a certain price. Some are $1 or $2, some are $0.50 and a few are $0.25. Pretty cheap. I think I probably spend more money on book adoption day than book sale day. Then why do I prefer book adoption day? Well, there’s no pressure. Don’t want to give a lot of money? Don’t. Feel like being generous? Go right ahead. Last time I went to book adoption day I even got a free backpack out of it, in which to stick my 4-year old niece’s free books. Now she doesn’t like anyone to mess with that book-filled backpack!

As you can tell, I am absolutely smitten with the new library. I can’t go as often as I like, but when I do, I enjoy it so much. I nearly sigh with relief and contentment. If I could improve it, I would recommend putting a suggestion box for the buying of new books. That and maybe adding some bean bags by those cozy upstairs corners and the children’s section. Maybe a few more educational toys in the children’s section.

What do you guys think? What are your town’s libraries like? What changes do you wish you could make to them? Which is the best library/bookstore you’ve ever visited and why did you like it? I can’t wait to read your comments below!

First Book Haul!

Hi bookies (book bloggers and readers),

I know it’s been a few weeks since our last post. Don’t worry. We’ve got more coming soon. I do want to share my first ever Book Haul! I got some new books!!! Now, I have to clarify. I love reading and I love books, but I am a total cheapskate. So how do I satisfy my voracious appetite for books? 5 words sum up my methods: Library, Free Books, Thrift Shops. These are my methods in order of frequency.

I have, of course, had books hauls before. But that was before I began my book blog and so they were not documented. Now that I’ve got this blog, I can share the good news with you bookies.

I can’t wait to finish them up and post reviews on each of them. But for now, check it out!

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Can you believe these great finds? I love languages and everything to do with them. So when I found these for the taking at our public library, imagine my excitement. Books about correct pronunciations of words that are normally mispronounced, different accents, slang, the origin of words and phrases, and more. And I found a few fiction books. Now these babies are all mine!

Who knows? Later on maybe I’ll hold a giveaway. What do you think? Would you want to own one of these? Comment below.

 

Review: Girl of Myth and Legend

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Welcome back, bookies (you reading-obsessed individuals)!

I just finished reading a great book that left me craving more. Let me give you the facts before I continue.

Title: Girl of Myth and Legend (Also known as: GOMAL)
Author: Giselle Simlett
Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, YA

And now you must want to know what the book is about, right? Well, I live to serve so here you go:

A girl with a past she tries to forget, and a future she can’t even imagine.

Leonie Woodville wants to live an unremarkable life. She wants routine, she wants repetition, she wants predictability. So when she explodes in a blaze of light one morning on the way to her college, it’s enough to put a real crimp in her day.

And things only get weirder…

Leonie learns from her father that she is last of the Pulsar, a phenomenally powerful member of a magical species called the Chosen. It will be her sole duty to protect the Imperium, a governing hierarchy, from all enemies, and to exceed the reputation of the Pulsar before her. So – no pressure there, then.

Leonie is swept away from her rigorous normality and taken to a world of magic. There, she is forced into a ceremony to join her soul to a guardian, Korren, who is both incredibly handsome and intensely troubled, a relationship for which ‘it’s complicated’ just really doesn’t cut it.

But Leonie is soon to learn that this ancient world is no paradise. With violent dissidents intent to overthrow the Imperium, and dark entities with their own agenda, she and Korren find themselves caught in a war where they will have to overcome their differences if they are to survive.

Dare to dream. Dare to hope. Dare to be a legend.

Now on to my p.o.v. on this book. I loved it. I think I can officially say I’m hooked. Now, I won’t say this book is perfect. The beginning of the book can be a little…awkward. I think too much is jammed into to few pages and that feels a bit forced. Kind of like when books have an intro like: “My name is so-and-so. I look like this. Now my story is…” It’s not bad. You’re just a very conscious reader at that point. Not part of the world, just an outside observer. This book doesn’t begin like that, of course. It just has the same sort of effect. On the plus side though, it’s not a slow beginning.

Want to know how it starts? Imagine you in your normal life. All of a sudden, you feel a lot of pain and black out. Now your dad with whom your relationship is strained tells you that you have powers, but before he can tell you what it’s all about and why, lo and behold, here come some people to take you to a different world for “training”. Only once you’re there, you realize you aren’t just any normal person with powers; you are a “special” person with powers even in this new world. Yup, that’s basically the beginning in a nutshell.

But you might be surprised at how quickly you warm up to the story. I know I was. I thought the whole book would be like the beginning. Nope. It slows down and starts to do a little world-building and character development. That’s when you really get into it.

This book is told from 2 different points of views. It is seen from Leonie’s perspective and Korren’s perspective. The author introduces Korren early on. It reminded me a little of Beauty and the Beast, with Korren being the Beast. He is definitely a tortured soul and something that I am hoping to see in the second book is more about Korren’s past, since he has a very sad history that has completely shaped his life, but he is an eternal being. I know, I know. It sounds complicated, but it’s not. Leonie’s past is what makes them sympathize with each other and work together. The author tries to play it off like they just get along, but I definitely see the blossoming romance she is probably holding off for book 2.

So now a side-by-side comparison of the pros and cons. Pros:

Fantasy world, mythical creatures, powers, developing friendship, tragic pasts all join together for an incredibly fast-paced and action-packed story. I think nearly character presented so far is pretty interesting and could have their own novellas or even separate series to explain their past.

Cons:

NOT ENOUGH DETAILS!!!

frustrated confused

Ok, I understand that the author wants to leave some things to be explained in future books, but even like that I feel that there are way too many unanswered questions. I want to know about Leonie’s mom, dad, friend, Korren, Korren’s previous masters, more about the world, the society, where/how this world exists, the effects of each of the worlds on each other, the history of this new world, how many different powers there are, why there are powers, more about the “normal” people of this new world, if there even are “normal” people in this world, etc.

However, because there are these unanswered questions, you are firmly hooked… So I guess the author did her job right… To sum it all up, I give this book 4/5 stars for what it does manage to do and I hope that the coming books will satisfy my curiosity.

What do you think, bookies? Would you read this book? Would you wait for more books of the series to come out first? Tell us in the comments! We really want to know.

Review: The School Story

The School Story

Hi bookies (those who pour their hearts and souls into literature),

I just read a great book. It’s not the normal adult or young adult books that I’ve posted reviews on before. No, this is my first review on a children’s book or “tween” book. I don’t mind and I hope you won’t either. There’s the famous old saying about books that goes like…hmm…what was it again? “Don’t judge a book by a cover”? Well, this doesn’t just apply to covers or books, as everyone well knows. So I also apply it to book genres and intended audiences. I don’t limit myself to fit in the “intended audience”. That’s how I have found a lot of funny, clever, and entertaining books that I have really enjoyed. One of them being…

Title: The School Story
Author: Andrew Clements
Genre: Children’s Literature

There are plenty of reasons to read this book. The author is a well-known writer who in my opinion writes really good children’s books that happen to appeal to adults as well. Maybe you’ve heard of Frindle or The Landry News? Both excellent books that are written by the same author. The author writes really good, clean books. Best of all, it has what I love the most along with a good story- lessons/facts you can learn. (Want to find another book that excels in this? See my soon-to-come Pastwatch review.)

If this isn’t enough to convince you, think about this. If you read this book, you’ll break out of bubble you might be placing yourself in. Why do you have to stick only to adult books? Have fun. Be a kid again. Remember your own dreams and goals and those good times back in your childhood. As every good reader knows, you tend to open up your mind to new things when you read books. You gain so much mental flexibility with all the adventures and knowledge coming to you. So why not take a crazy chance? Why not do a crazy dance? ink&scales walks over to slap me Thanks Aramia, for snapping me out of a sudden bout of quoting lyrics. Anyway, in case you still need ANOTHER reason, think of the advantages of reading children’s books as an adult. You will be able to “connect” more easily with the younger generations, you’ll understand their interests/p.o.v., plus you’ll be able to recommend good books for your own children or for other people’s children. (Especially if you are a teacher!) So, if you’re not convinced…see a doctor. Something must be wrong with you! For those of you who are following me so far, let’s get started with the book’s pros and cons.

The title is pretty simple and I basically ignored the cover until the very end. When you read the book, DON’T SKIP AHEAD!!! There’s a small twist that I found pleasantly surprising, a bit amusing, and clever. Well, you might be wondering: what’s the book about anyway? Here’s the blurb:

Two middle school girls scheme to publish a book in this novel from Andrew Clements, the author of Frindle.

Natalie’s best friend, Zoe, is sure that the novel Natalie’s written is good enough to be published. But how can a twelve-year-old girl publish a book? Natalie’s mother is an editor for a big children’s publisher, but Natalie doesn’t want to ask for any favors.

Then Zoe has a brilliant idea: Natalie can submit her manuscript under a pen name, with Zoe acting as her literary agent. But it’s not easy for two sixth graders to put themselves over as grown-ups, even with some help from a couple of real grown-ups who are supportive but skeptical. The next bestselling school story may be in their hands—but can Natalie and Zoe pull off their masquerade?

This book is well-paced and interesting. As I was reading, it flowed so smoothly that I never noticed when one chapter ended and another began. I will admit it was a quick read. It took me less than 2 hours. But I feel that it is totally worth it.

not hard in one day

As for the plot itself, I think it will appeal to most adult readers. Why? Well, if you are an adult and still love reading or have it as a main hobby, congratulations! You are one of the few. I had a few classmates in school who loved reading, just like me. Unfortunately, life got to them and got them so busy that as an adult, they didn’t have time to read. Once they finally got enough time to try to rekindle that love, it was too late- damage had been done and reading just wasn’t the same for them. So if you are an adult reader, chances are that you have passed the danger zone. You still love reading and as an avid book reader, you have thought about how a good book is created. Maybe you’ve even considered writing your own book. That’s what this book is about.

As for the previously mentioned lessons it teaches, some of them are loyalty, bravery, true friendship, loss,  parent-child relationships, etc. It does teach about all these things in the subtle form a story.

The adults in this story are the adults there should be in this world and the way we should strive to be. The kids in this story are very real, down-to-earth, street-smart kids who have a good heart and try to achieve dreams by planning ahead and thinking things through. Could they have backed down and given up? Yes. Will they? No. Why is it so necessary to get the book published? Do they publish their book? That’s for me to know and for you to find out!

I give this book 5/5 stars.***** Definitely should be read! What do you guys think? Do you agree with the rating? Have you read any of Andrew Clements books? Which ones?

My Dismay with Publishers

You know that terrible moment when a book’s release date gets pushed back? This is story-rant.

inkandscales

Heya Book Kooks, It’s Ink&Scales, back with literate masses with a rant in mind.

This feeling has been floating in my head for quite some time now, and since I have you Book Kooks to talk to, I thought I’d get your feedback.

The Situation: 

There’s this new series that came out a while back that I really got into from the get-go. It really wasn’t in my best interest to do so, but I couldn’t help myself. The first book came out and I read it about a month after the release. IT. WAS. GREAT. So much so that I keep re-reading it at odd intervals to keep the details fresh in my mind and, well, because I can’t keep my electronic mitts off that e-book. I kept checking Illy A’s (Author nickname, see if you guys can guess who and what book) website, so I was totally hyped as the publishing date drew nearer and nearer. And then, calamity struck. The book was not coming out, not then.

extreme shock n sad

That was bad enough, but then I found out that it wouldn’t be published for until some time in 2017! OVER A YEAR LATER!!!

angry i trusted you

I was foaming at the mouth. The anger, the agony, it was too much to bear. Truly, I was an inch from the “depths of despair,” to quote Anne of Green Gables. It hurt me, deep in my soul, as I cursed those people with bunions and kidney stones and bratty kids/nephews.

Apparently, Illy A missed a deadline and that pushed her publish date back a year and some. The reason was that the publishers had several other books scheduled and they didn’t want to release too many at one time.

As it is, the plan is to relaunch the first book (new cover and some extras), 3 months later the second book comes out, and 3 months after THAT the third book will be released. At least, that is plan. It’s great that the wait between #2 and #3 will be minimal compared to most series releases, but still. TWO AND A HALF YEARS. That’s how long the wait will be in all of its entirety, IF there are no further mishaps. 2 1/2 years without another fix from this new addiction.

You should never cut an addict off cold turkey. I’m surprised I haven’t died.

Nine months down, 11 months to go...

 

And now…

The Question: 

So now that the stage is set, I present my question to you, my fellow literature addicts: Why? Why can’t they release it at the same time as other books? Is it a question of money, exposure, …?

 

Read, Like, Comment.

Don’t bite your tongue, you know you want to.   😉

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P.S.: I planning on reviewing the Chronicles of Narnia in my next posts, one book at a time. Look forward to my thoughts on the first book, The Magician’s Nephew, next week!

P.S.S.: I beg of you, please respond. The miasma has returned and I need something to distract me from my despair.

 

Author Interview with Jeffe Kennedy

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Hey Book Kooks, Ink&Scales here, saying “Long time no see!”

Hardcoverlover and I were able to score another author interview. Hooray! This time around, we were able to interview Jeffe Kennedy, author of the book series The Twelve Kingdoms, Covenant of Thorns, Master of the Opera, and a few others, as well as several stand-alones. She has written a lot of different works, such as essays, poetry, and some non-fiction. Hardcoverlover reviewed the first book of The Uncharted Realms series, The Pages of the Mind, some time ago, and the next one in the series is to be published in December of this year.

As we can see, Jeffe Kennedy is a prolific writer, and now we have the opportunity to get to know her a little better. So without further ado, let the interview commence!

Ink&Scales: First off, I want to thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. So far, we have only read one of your books: “The Pages of the Mind”. Tell us a little bit about it.

the pages of the mind

JK: This is the first novel in The Uncharted Realms, but really the fourth in this world, which began with The Mark of the Tala. This book picks up in the aftermath of that trilogy with one of the secondary characters, Dafne the Librarian.

Ink&Scales: How did you get the idea for this book?

JK: Dafne was a consistent – and much-loved – presence in the first three books. So many readers wrote to ask if she’d get her own story that I knew she’d be the natural choice for the next installment. Because language, words and knowledge are so important to her, I knew I wanted to put her in a situation where she couldn’t use those skills – married to a man she couldn’t talk to.

Ink&Scales: How did you come up with the title?

JK: I originally suggested The Pages of Fate – for Dafne’s bookish ways and the way destiny takes a strong hand in her life – but the books are all titled The Something of the Something, so my agent suggested The Pages of the Mind and that worked too!

Ink&Scales: I’ve seen you have written another series called the Twelve Kingdoms. I suppose that the events of that book unfold before the events of  “The Pages of the Mind”, is that correct?

JK: Yep! Pages picks up in the aftermath of that trilogy.

Ink&Scales: Would you like to tell us a little bit more about that series, to give us a bit of background information?

JK: That trilogy is about the three princesses, each more beautiful than the last, daughters of the High King. They begin to discover that their lives, the king and the Twelve Kingdoms are not what they’ve been raised to believe. They take hold of their own destinies and change the world. (Which also creates a big mess – lol!)

Ink&Scales: Dafne is a very interesting character and one that I think a lot of readers will relate to. Tell us- what does your protagonist think about you? Would she want to hang out with you, the author, her creator?

JK: I’m pretty sure she has no idea I exist! But I like to think we’d be good friends.

Ink&Scales: To be good friends, you’d have to know them very well. If you were to imagine them in our world for a change, what sort of Starbuck’s coffee would your characters order? Simple coffee or some sort of complicated soy-non-fat-extra-espresso-half-caff-nightmare?

JK: It would depend on the character. Dafne is probably a Flat White kind of girl.

Ink&Scales: I’m sure most readers have enjoyed getting to know Dafne more in this book. Would you like to tell us what we can look forward to in your upcoming book?

JK: The next in this series is The Edge of the Blade, which is told from the point of view of Jepp, a scout and warrior who accompanies Dafne on her quest as a bodyguard. When Dafne is waylaid, Jepp must pick up her mission, and also deal with a foreign prince she committed a bit of an indiscretion with.

I’ve also got a new series coming out – called The Sorcerous Moons – and the first book, Lonen’s War, comes out in July. It’s about a sorceress whose city is attacked by a barbarian race, and a warrior forced to deal with a magical city. There are also dragons.

Ink&Scales: Dragons? Awesome! I love dragons, hence the “scales” in my name. Man, with Edge of the Blade and this new series coming out, there’s a lot of to look forward to. Now, I’m sure that everyone wants to know about your writing process, so we have to ask: how long does it take you to write a book?

JK: I’m pretty fast now and I write full time. The Sorcerous Moons books are shorter, at ~60,000 words and I can write those in about 35 days. Books like The Pages of the Mind are twice as long and take pretty much twice that time to write. About 1,700 polished words/day, including days off and revision time, works out to be the average.

Ink&Scales: Wow, that’s some pretty fast writing. Where do you get your ideas, your inspiration?

JK: A lot of them from dreams.

Ink&Scales: And how do you name all your characters?

JK: I name them for friends or readers who support my Patreon. I look up name meanings and pick names that convey their personal qualities. Sometimes the names just come to me with an idea of the character.

Ink&Scales: So we can see you take time and research for your character names. What about the story line? Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

JK: I write for discovery and seem to be incapable of pre-plotting or outlining. I have a general idea of the direction of the book and what will happen, but the details – particularly how problems are solved – always come to me as I write.

Ink&Scales: So how involved are you in your story? Do you fall into the world as you write it or do you just see it from the outside?

JK: Oh definitely very involved! I feel like I ride around in my point-of-view character’s head and discover things as they do.

Ink&Scales: And once you’ve finished the rough draft of your book, do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?

JK: For both my traditionally published and self-published books, a series of editors does that for me. Outside editing is crucial.

Ink&Scales: Where do you write? Is your workspace the definition of  “neat freak” or do you prefer to keep a “controlled chaos” atmosphere?

JK: Hmm. Neither really applies. I have a dedicated writing office with a treadmill desk that looks out over a valley and distant mountains. I like my desk to be relatively clean and free of detritus or clutter, but I’m far from a neat freak.

Ink&Scales: So basically, you have a comfortably clean place to work. What about goals? Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?

JK: Always.

Ink&Scales: How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

JK: Counting only novels, including those not yet published, I’ve written about sixteen. A lot more than that with novellas and short stories. It’s hard to pick a favorite. The Talon of the Hawk, the third Twelve Kingdoms book, is very close to my heart – and not just because it won Best Fantasy Romance of 2015 from RT Book Reviews, although that helped!

Ink&Scales: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

JK: I don’t know? Maybe that each one is difficult to write in its own way – and equally rewarding in its own way.

Ink&Scales: Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?

JK: Yes – I’m still working on it!

Ink&Scales: Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?

JK: It took me years and lots of revisions. Eventually it ended up published by Carina as Rogue’s Pawn, my first Fantasy Romance, which then became the first in my Covenant of Thorns trilogy. But I published erotic novellas before I was ever able to sell that one.

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Ink&Scales: If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novels, either writing them or getting them published, that you would change?

JK: No – because things happen the way they do for a reason. My path is my path and all that occurred led me here.

Ink&Scales: What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?

JK: Reviews are for readers and it’s good for people to express their opinions. Reviews are also growing to be more and more key for discoverability on sites like Amazon, so I always appreciate any review a reader takes the time to leave. I don’t read many of them.

Ink&Scales: So reviews don’t really impact your writing. What about other books? Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

JK: Tons! I often cite Anne McCaffrey, Tanith Lee, Patricia McKillip, Anne Rice and Robin McKinley as major influences. There are many more.

Ink&Scales: I love Anne McCaffrey, especially her Dragonriders of Pern series, and Robin McKinley also has some great works. And you, as an author, do you have any advice you would like to give to aspiring writers?

JK: Write every day is the very best advice I have. The sooner you build the habit of producing words, the more your career will grow.

Ink&Scales: Now, you’ve been getting a bit bombarded with all these questions about your books and your work. Let’s relax a little. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? What do you do when you are not writing?

JK: I read. I like to take walks and garden. My husband and I watch movies and stream some shows and series. Really I have a pretty quiet life.

Ink&Scales: What about when you were younger? What were you like at school? Were you part of a clique? If so, which one?

JK: I was a total nerd – National Honor Society, French Club, theater.

Ink&Scales: If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?

JK: Well, I did write an essay collection about my life experiences – it’s called Wyoming Trucks, True Love, and the Weather Channel.

Ink&Scales: That’s an interesting title. And speaking of interesting, which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?

JK: Living, I really want to meet Neil Gaiman and Tina Fey because they’re my heroes. Dead, I’d pick Tanith Lee and Anne McCaffrey, because I never got to.

Ink&Scales: I assume you like reading since you’re an author and you’ve mentioned various other authors. What book are you reading now?

JK: I am reading Grace Draven’s story, The Undying King, which appears in our duology, For Crown and Kingdom. I didn’t have time before it went live and now I’m like the last person to read it! Of course it’s awesome, as everything she writes is.

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Ink&Scales: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

JK: I read M.A. Grant’s Honour Bound and really liked it – would love to read more from her. I also recently read Kelly Robson’s Nebula-nominated Waters of Versailles and greatly enjoyed it. I’m really looking forward to more from her!

Ink&Scales: And now to the nitty-gritty. We have a series of small but fun questions your readers want to know the answer to. I hope you don’t mind. Here they go.
Pen and paper, or computer?

JK: Computer all the way – anything else is too slow!

Ink&Scales: Chocolate or vanilla?

JK: Chocolate in everything but ice cream.

Ink&Scales: Light or dark chocolate?

JK: The darker the better.

Ink&Scales: Tea or coffee?

JK: I like them both!

Ink&Scales: Favorite color?

JK: Green – on the emerald end

Ink&Scales: Dogs or cats?

JK: Cats, two, Maine coons

Ink&Scales: E-reader or print book?

JK: E-reader is my preference. Saves my bookshelves and instant gratification is the best kind.

Ink&Scales: Favorite movie and tv show?

JK: My go to comfort movies are Pride & Prejudice (Keira and Matthew, thank you), Clueless and Legally Blond. Fave TV shows right now are Outlander and Game of Thrones.

Ink&Scales: D0 you like manga?

JK: I don’t dislike it, but I don’t seek it out.

Ink&Scales: How would your best friend describe your personality?

JK: I asked my husband of twenty-five years. He said: witty, charming, thoughtful, informed. He’s the reason we’ve lasted this long!

Ink&Scales: What’s your stance on creepy-crawlies? Do you go out of your way to kill bugs? Are there any that make you screech and hide?

JK: I am a bug relocater or coexister. Spiders are welcome in my home. The only critters I don’t care for are banana slugs.

Ink&Scales: Once again, thank you for your time. I appreciate that you were able to answer our questions, and I’m sure all our readers appreciate it too.

JK: Thanks so much for having me!

 

Also, if you like to have a look at her bio or check out her website, see below.

Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning author whose works include non-fiction, poetry, short fiction, and novels. She has been a Ucross Foundation Fellow, received the Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship for Poetry, and was awarded a Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Award. Her essays have appeared in many publications, including Redbook.
Her most recent works include a number of fiction series: the fantasy romance novels of A Covenant of Thorns; the contemporary BDSM novellas of the Facets of Passion, and an erotic contemporary serial novel, Master of the Opera. A fourth series, the fantasy trilogy The Twelve Kingdoms, hit the shelves starting in May 2014 and book 1, The Mark of the Tala, received a starred Library Journal review was nominated for the RT Book of the Year while the sequel, The Tears of the Rose was nominated for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Best Fantasy Romance of 2014 and the third book, The Talon of the Hawk, won the RT Reviewers’ Choice Best Fantasy Romance of 2015. Two more books will follow in this world, beginning with The Pages of the Mind May 2016. A fifth series, the erotic romance trilogy, Falling Under, started with Going Under, and was followed by Under His Touch and Under Contract.
She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with two Maine coon cats, plentiful free-range lizards and a very handsome Doctor of Oriental Medicine.
Jeffe can be found online at her website: JeffeKennedy.com, every Sunday at the popular SFF Seven blog, on Facebook, on Goodreads and pretty much constantly on Twitter @jeffekennedy. She is represented by Connor Goldsmith of Fuse Literary.