Jennifer Parr is the author of the enthralling novel Tortuous Shadows. This is what she has to say on reading, writing, and being a independent author.
What inspired you to become an author?
Growing up, I never had the desire to write, though I’ve always been a creative person, but that all changed when I started reading the Twilight saga some four years ago. I’d finish one book and start writing my own version of its sequel in my mind. I was hooked instantly.
How did you first get the idea for Tortuous Shadows?
Trying to fall asleep, believe it or not. I was sick and it was one of those nights that sleep was too distant a thing to achieve, and I just started thinking about a set of twins and what kind of life they would have if they were the first twins ever born and what would cause a thing like that to happen. I immediately had the names Aria and Aaron and it was like I already knew everything about them. I already loved them.
In what ways do you relate to Aria Morgan?
Aria is such a shy, inverted person when she’s around people she doesn’t know, which is me to a tee. If you know me, really know me, then I can be myself, just like Aria. She knows who she is, but she keeps her true self hidden, shining only for those who really embrace her, those who love her.
What are the benefits of being an independent (indie) author? Are there any major drawbacks?
Honestly, I haven’t found many benefits of being an indie author, aside from the fact that I decide my own deadlines. My life has been hectic the last ten months or so since I moved from California, and if I had been stressed with deadlines I probably would have cracked. Then again, my second book would have been published by now, but hey, what can you do? The major drawback in my opinion is a lack of guidance. Everything I’ve done has been on my own accord, without any support from an agent, editor, publisher, anything. It’s been difficult, but I believe that one day I’ll find the agent that’s right for me.
Do you have any other series in the works in addition to the Avalon Valley books?
I do, actually. It’s a sci/fi adult series that I am very excited about. I wrote the first book The Purifier rather quickly, inspired by the freedom I found in writing with fewer restrictions (being that the Avalon Valley series is set in an older type of setting, before modern technology). It’s set in New York and the main character is a guy, and I found it very entertaining to write from the male perspective.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors/writers?
Just keep writing. If you love it, do it. It doesn’t matter how bad it is when you start out. The more you write, the more you grow. If you learn to push yourself and rethink the way you arrange words, you can discover that there is beauty hidden within you that you never thought you had.
And last but not least, what are you favorite books and/or authors?
My favorite author is Maggie Stiefvater, who brought us the beautiful and haunting Scorpio Races, a standalone novel about deadly water horses and the brave riders who back them every November for the even deadlier Scorpio Races. This novel is so near and dear to my heart, as is the author – I’d probably die if I ever met her. 🙂