Today, this blog has the honour of an interview with Danielle L Jensen, the USA Today best selling author of the great fantasy saga, The Malediction Trilogy. Recently, I contacted Danielle and asked her the following questions:
Your first series was The Malediction Trilogy. What was the spark that made you write it? And what was the most challenging part of writing it?
Stolen Songbird was the fourth novel I ever finished and the third that I threw into the query trenches in my pursuit of publication. The spark was a dream I had about a beautiful city partially destroyed and buried by rubble. The image stuck in my mind, and I began to ask myself questions about it. Who lived there? Why did they choose to remain? How would having generations of people stuck underground change them? What sort of powers would make it easier to live in such a place? The plot and characters came out of my answers to those questions.
I think the greatest challenge with that series was writing the sequel, Hidden Huntress, while being inundated with reader reactions to Stolen Songbird. I found myself trying to address criticism of the first book in the second. But because the criticism was inconsistent, trying to accommodate it really crippled my ability to write. I’ve since come to learn that I should take what is said in reviews with a pinch of salt; that I should just write for readers who love my books, not those who hate them.
This blogger: First, your spark is really interesting. Plus, the questions you asked yourself are absolutely fascinating and deeply thought-provoking. This is exactly how you build an engaging plot and a sophisticated world.
Second, with regards to criticism, Writers need thick skin. It’s part and parcel of being a writer. I think you have the right mentality with how to deal with it. (Smiles reassuringly.)
Which of your characters is most like you? And why?
Readers haven’t really met her yet, but Lydia, who is one of the protagonists in Dark Skies (May 2020) is probably most like me. She’s bookish, introverted and a dreamer. Yet, she is also very stubborn. Readers only know her as a secondary character from Dark Shores, so I’m excited for everyone to get to know her better.
Interestingly, Dark Skies is actually based on the first novel I ever finished writing. I say based on, because only a few aspects of the plot and characters are the same as that early novel. Although, much of the world-building is the same.
If you could give your younger self some advice about the writing process, what would it be?
I didn’t start writing until I was 25, so younger self is relative. But I’d tell that earlier version of me that writing is never going to get any easier. In fact, it will only ever get harder. I feel having known that would have reduced a lot of the anxiety I suffered early in my career.
This blogger: It’s funny you should say this because I feel exactly the same with writing. Even now, after ten tears of writing, I still hope that the writing process will get easier. But it never does.
How has writing changed you?
Being part of the writing community has changed me more than the actual writing. In my prior careers, I interacted with a fairly small group of individuals, most of whom had similar backgrounds to mine.
By contrast, the writing community includes people from all different places and from every walk of life. Being part of it has made me more empathetic to the challenges faced by others. Also, I am more aware of my own privileges and limitations.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I have two preschoolers, so my favorite thing to do when I’m not parenting or writing is to sleep! Besides that, I enjoy reading in the bath, watching historical dramas, and going to the gym.
This blogger: (*Chuckles*.) I hope your kids give you some peace when you are reading and watching lol. But, seriously, it sounds like you have a wonderful and busy life. One day, I hope that your kids read your work and be really proud of you. Keep up the great work!
End of interview
That brings our interview with Danielle L Jensen to a close. I would like to thank her for her time, and to say that it has been delightful talking with her. I wish her all the best for her future writings, her family, and her other undertakings.
You can purchase Danielle’s wonderful fantasy series, The Malediction Trilogy, at Amazon and it is definitely value for money. Moreover, like Danielle on Facebook, follow her on Instagram and on Twitter, and check out her website to stay up-to-date with her and her latest releases.
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