good morning, cyberspace!
Remember a few weeks ago when I helped reveal the cover for Jenelle Schmidt’s newest release, An Echo Of The Fae? Well, today I was given the chance to go even deeper into the creation of this story! I’ve never really been part of a book release tour before, but if there is one book that I seriously want to help boost out there in the great, wide Cyberspace, it is this one.
I was initially supposed to do an author interview/book review post today, but because Life is a cruel mistress and Time hates my guts, I am unable to do the review portion today. I will, however, be posting that in the near-ish future, so please stay tuned for that! (seriously. y’all NEED to read this book.)
But, despite my inability to complete my tasks on time, I still have an absolutely LOVELY author interview to share with you all today! And I am so so excited for you to read it, because–as I’ve mentioned before, and as I shall keep mentioning until it is known world-wide–Jenelle is literally the Fairy Godmother of Indie Publishing. She is an absolutely hUGE inspiration to me in my own writing journey, and I am so incredibly blessed to have had the opportunity to get to know her better over the course of the past year or so.
(not to mention we actually KNOW PEOPLE IN EACH OTHER’S IRL CIRCLES??? the world is eerily small sometimes, my dudes. XD)
So when the chance came for me to help promote her book and interview her on ALL OF THE WRITERLY things, I couldn’t pass up the chance. I still have a multitude of things I’m going to have to pick her brain on in the future, but for today, allow me to introduce you to our first ever Smudged Thoughts Author Interview!
(I feel so profesh now. look at me, guys, I’ve actually interviewed a real-life author!!! …ahem. moving on.)
LET’S CHAT!: featuring Jenelle Schmidt
Kenzie: Good morning, cyberspace, and welcome back to yet another episode of LET’S CHAT! This is a very special episode, however, for today, our interviewee is actually alive.
*collective gasp from the crowd*
Kenzie: I know. It’s quite shocking even to me. So before our lovely star has a chance to completely rethink this entire decision, let’s dive right into the interview! Ladies and gents, boys and girls, let’s give a giant, warm welcome to the one–the only—Jenelle Schmidt!
Kenzie: First thing’s first, our first question! How do you balance family and overall chaotic crazy Life-ish-ness with your writing life/goals and dreams? (I would absolutely love to hear how you juggle family and life with writing and blogging and just ALL OF THE THINGS, because you are a huge authorly inspiration to me, not gonna lie.)
Jenelle: Aww, well, thanks!
Balance is always a hard thing to find, and it’s not always easy to keep things properly balanced. I will be the first to admit that there are many things to do, and at any given time in my life, there’s at least one important thing that’s not getting done or being neglected.
Usually it’s house work.
Pretty much always house work, actually. And sometimes it’s cooking. We probably eat take-out more often than we ought to. Which is a bummer, because I actually like cooking and am pretty good at it.
But, that aside, there are a few things I do that I think help me.
- God comes first. When I slack off in reading my Bible or spending time in prayer, everything else in my life suffers. Usually, when things begin to tip out of balance, this is the reason. I’m not making time in my day for my Lord and Savior, and that throws all the rest of the things out of whack.
- Limit time on social media. This one has been a major problem for me the past few months during the quarantine, and my time on social media definitely got way out of balance, which meant that a lot of other things did not get done in a timely fashion… or at all. So it was a good reminder and wake-up call to set limits on how much time I spend on social media.
- Protect your writing time and do whatever you need in order to make sure that time is spent writing. This is a two-fold key, because when those moments come that you’ve set aside for writing, you have to be proactive to make sure that you actually WRITE during that time. Don’t let other things get in the way. If you know you’ll be distracted by a messy house, make sure you do your cleaning before you get to your writing time, otherwise you’ll spend your writing time cleaning! (And nobody wants to do that!)
I also have a super incredibly amazing supportive husband who loves my stories and loves the fact that I’m an author and helps make sure that I get time to work on my writing.
Kenzie: Oh my word, I LOVE this answer!!! I definitely need to start limiting my social media time, as well. (specifically youtube…aha.) And THANK YOU for mentioning the part about putting God first. That is such a crucial point and I feel like it really needs to be discussed more…
Kenzie: What does your writing process typically look like on a day-to-day basis? (I’m probably being kind of selfish, here, because I absolutely love insider looks into author lives.)
Jenelle: I’m never quite sure how to answer this question. I just… erm… write. I open my computer, pull up my document, and pick up where I left off. (If I’ve been consistent and disciplined, I don’t even have to re-read much of what I wrote before… though lately so much time has passed between writing sessions because of getting ready for this release that my other projects have suffered a little).
I used to be a revise-while-you-draft writer, where I would spend a couple of hours writing, then the next day I would start out by going over what I had written the day before, editing and tweaking before moving on to write new stuff, but then I discovered the amazingness that is word sprints (thank you, Anne Elisabeth Stengl!) and ever since then, I have implemented those into my writing process with a lot of success. I don’t do much revising or editing when I’m drafting now, though I definitely do a lot more outlining!
I tend to have a very basic overall outline for the story, and then as I’m writing I’ll create more detailed outlines for the next scene or the next several scenes so that I know my next immediate destination with regards to the overall plot, and then I write as fast as I can to get there.
Kenzie: *INTENSE FLAILING* WORD SPRINTS!!!! YES!!! I absolutely ADORE those, as well! Goodness, next time I’m going to have to ask you about your outlining process. I definitely need help, there. XD
And finally: they say that each new book teaches you something new. Did this particular novel teach you something about writing/your creative process that you hadn’t yet realized?
Jenelle: Yes! An Echo of the Fae taught me a lot of things. But the thing it taught me the most was the beauty of creating something with my Creator. I really feel that God laid this story on my heart, and He was with me every step of the way throughout the entire process. I didn’t write a single scene without talking to Him about it first.
If you haven’t read Allen Arnold’s “The Story of With” I highly recommend you get a copy of the audio book and give it a listen. (Or you could read it, but the audio book is fantastic). It’s a book about what it can look like when you choose to pursue your creative identity with and for God, rather than for yourself or for the acclaim of the world. It’s one of the things that has been extremely inspirational in my own life over the past couple of years.
Why do I bring this up, a book recommendation sort of randomly in the middle of my answer to this question? Well, I felt like the things I learned while listening to The Story of With sprang to life in my own creative process as I wrote An Echo of the Fae. It was a transforming experience, and one that I am sure I will have to relearn again and again. I don’t know if I’ll ever have the same sort of writing experience I had while writing Echo… but I’m glad I got to experience it once.
Kenzie: …I absolutely love this, and am totally checking out that book now. Thank you so much for chatting with me today, Jenelle! All of your answers were so inspiring and helpful, and I cannot WAIT for the world to meet Echo!
Kenzie: As for the rest of you, don’t forget to snag your own copy of this amazing book over on Amazon, and also make sure to check out this post right here over on Jenelle’s blog to find the rest of the blog tour stops! There’s an insta challenge and a TON of fun content coming your way, so head on over to Jenelle’s site so you don’t miss anything!
Kenzie: As always, let us talk about ALL OF THE THINGS!! down in the comments below, and until next time. . .
Kenzie: *flings cookies in the air and disappears*
talk to me, peasants!
GUYS!!!! AN ECHO OF THE FAE IS OFFICIALLY OUT IN THE UNIVERSE!!!! I am so impossibly exited about this, and I can’t wait to get my own copy… Having this book on my shelf is going to be my reward for finishing my own novel, methinks. XD
But anyway!!! Questions!!!
- how do you balance life and family and the overall chaotic craziness of existing with your writerly dreams?
- have you ever read The Story of With? (I’m gonna be checking my library for this as soon as I can. It sounds like a book I’m desperately in need of right now…)
- do YOU like writing with word sprints? (if not, you should really try it. I’m gonna form a word sprint club that meets every Monday night. I’ll bring the cookies and the punch. XD)
And finally, most important of all–
ARE YOU GOING TO READ ECHO?????
I am ridiculously excited about this book, guys. I don’t think I’ve been as excited for a new release since The Boy Next Story came out last year. XD But anyway. I DIGRESS.
As always, let’s talk about ALL OF THE THINGS! down below, and until next time. . .