Jennifer: Welcome, Jeni! Please tell readers about your new novella, Betrayed.
Jeni: Hi Jennifer! Thanks for having me. Betrayed is a novella based loosely on the legend of the NJ Devil. It’s set in the early 1700’s and features a witch in hiding who wants more out of life than the everyday and a Devil that wants an heir so that he can prove he’s worthy of a second chance.
Jennifer: This is the first novella in your Twisted Fate series. Can you tell us a little about the series?
Jeni: The Twisted Fate series follows the ancestors of Delila Dewsberry, the witch who gives birth to the Jersey Devil, as they are forced to combat his conniving antics while they try to keep their souls in tact. The novellas are fantasy with a pinch of romance sprinkled in. They also have some crossover with a series of Paranormal Romances that I’m writing, so some of readers favorite characters get cameos in the novellas and vice versa. The novella series will have a total of six novellas, which will all be available by February 2016. The second novella, Sacrificed, is already available on all digital platforms and Revealed, the third novella, will be available in July.
Jennifer: What appeals to you about the paranormal genre?
Jeni: I’ve always been a fan of science fiction and adventure tales. Not only does the genre allow readers an escape from the realities of the world, but also allows me as a writer to delve into all the “what if’s” I like to play around with. There’s something about adding a bit of magic to a story that makes my heart happy.
Jennifer: What inspired you to write the Twisted Fate series?
Jeni: I grew up in a small town in New Jersey where there were more cows than people. We played capture the flag in the woods and sat in the middle of the Delaware River on these huge rocks talking for hours. As you can probably tell, there wasn’t much to do that didn’t involve using your imagination. Couple that with my love of folklore and viola! The Twisted Fate Novellas were born.
People familiar with New Jersey legends will find bits of legends and tall tales scattered throughout the novellas and also the full-length Paranormal Romance books that I write. Besides the NJ Devil, I also include the legend of Jenny Jump that is familiar to all who’ve ever taken a trip to The Land of Make Believe in Hope, NJ. There is also a few local legends to the Northwestern part of the state that are explored throughout my books.
Having the opportunity to build this world that is loosely based in reality and add in that bit of magic that I enjoy was kismet.
Jennifer: What are some of your favorite paranormal and fantasy books/authors and why?
Jeni: That’s like asking me to pick a favorite between my kids, but I’ll try… My first favorite books were all fantasy and sci fi novels my dad read that I “borrowed.” I can’t remember titles or authors from back them because I know I wasn’t supposed to be reading them, but I remember traveling to far away places and meeting aliens and thinking to myself, these are the best books ever!
Since then, I’ve graduated to Charlaine Harris (all of her stuff, not just Sookie), Darynda Jones (who is lovely and paints a fantastic picture of a Reaper), Christine Feehan (who doesn’t want one of her Carpathian Males to have as their very own?), and to make this a little more strange, Shakespeare (because in some ways I feel like he invented fantasy). Like I mentioned earlier, I’m a huge fan of folklore, which adds the Grimm Brothers to my favorites list. They have written some of my favorite folktales. There is even a bit of the Rumpelstiltskin feel to Betrayed and the following novellas, Sacrificed, and Revealed. Again, those are just a few of my go-to’s but I read so much in the paranormal genre there isn’t much I won’t read or haven’t read.
Jennifer: Have you always wanted to be a writer? What got you started on your writing journey?
Jeni: I have wanted to be a writer since I was a little kid. I was that child that would sit and color with a box of crayons and a coloring book making up a story to go along with the picture I was coloring and be so upset when the picture was completely colored and my story wasn’t finished. Soon after that, my mom began buying me notebooks and journals to write my stories in. She always told me I’d be a great children’s author, but true to my defiant nature, I fell in love with writing stories for adults. To me, everyone deserves a few hours of escapism and that’s what I want to provide.
What really got me started was the birth of my son. My husband traveled almost every week for work and when my son went to bed, my house was too quiet. All the storied that I’d been tucking into the dark corners of my brain came crawling forth with torches and pitchforks demanding to be written because I no longer could use the excuse of having to work. So, in a way, finally pursuing a lifelong dream of mine became a reality because I wanted my son to have that role model in his life. I wanted to show him that you can do anything you set your mind to—once you stop making excuses.
Jennifer: What’s next for you? What are you working on?
Jeni: I’m currently in final edits for Revealed (third novella), writing the second full-length (Wind’s Solace), and rough drafting a women’s fiction piece that is nameless at the moment. By August, I plan to be back at writing the final three novellas and in edits on Wind’s Solace, but we shall see what the kids have in store for me this summer.
Thanks again for having me as a guest today!
Jennifer: Thanks so much for being here!
ALL ABOUT JENI
Jeni Burns is a Jersey girl living in a southern world. While she’s firmly planted in the South with her husband, two kids, and one massive poodle, her heart still lives in the Northwestern part of New Jersey where her characters reside. Since writing about home is cheaper than airfare, she spends much of her time living vicariously in NJ’s snowy winters and humidity-free summers.
Jeni has been telling stories since she first learned how to string two words together. Thanks to her mom and her middle school English teacher both telling her she should be a writer, she now happily spends her days writing all the stories that continuously float around in her head while drinking fabulous decaf coffees.
Jeni is offering up print copies of Betrayed and Sacrificed (open to US only) and e-book copies of Betrayed and Sacrificed (open internationally). To enter, use the form below.
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