Today I’m pleased to be hosting a guest post from J Lenni Dorner.
What originally drew you to writing?
It was just something I started doing when I was eight years old. It turned out that I was good at it. Later on, I found out that I come from an exceptionally long line of storytellers and tale-keepers. One elder said that it is part of my spirit. I didn’t know about any of this when I started. I just did it, the same way that some children just start coloring or throwing a ball around, because it felt natural.
Which writers inspired – or continue to inspire you – to write?
R.L. Stine, Stephen King, J.D. Salinger, Kevin Smith, and J.K. Rowling have all inspired me.
What most inspires your stories?
The voices in my head, the random prompts, and the crazy world around me- inspiration comes from everywhere. The trick is in knowing which bits to use, which to store for later, and which to send off.
Do you have a special time of day that you prefer to write?
I prefer to write when I’m alone and it’s quiet.
Do you have any tips on overcoming writer’s block?
Go write a letter of resignation.
Are you an e-book person, or do you prefer to own a hard copy?
For most books, I’m happy with either. When it comes to my favorites, I want both.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
The story takes place when one character is visiting the other in a care facility. They have a picnic lunch outside. Grammy tells the whimsical story of how she met her husband. To divulge more would ruin the unexpected ending.
What genre do you prefer to write in, and why?
I prefer to write in speculative fiction. The natural style of my writing flows toward a dark side, and I have a love of throwing in that which borders on possible just enough to make the mind itch. I love itchy minds!
Have you ever been involved in a collaborative project with another author? If not, is it something you would like to do in future?
Yes, I’m working on a fantasy project with another author right now. A fellow writer and I are also kicking around the idea of an advice book for high-school aged teenagers – your basic list of “no one told me” items that come up when you turn 18. Nothing preachy sounding, like do this or don’t do that, more of a “Here’s how credit works,” and “Why you can get rejected simply by only applying to one college.” We’re strongly considering taking it to Twitter for input. (Drop thoughts in comments if you happen to have any!)
Do you set yourself a daily word target? If so, how often do you meet it?
I only set that in November for NaNoWriMo. Some days “writing” is about rewriting, editing, marketing, blogging, and social media activity. Yes, writers write. But writers that want a paycheck have to wear several other hats, especially the sales one.
What do you do to get book reviews?
That’s an excellent question. I hope to have an excellent answer for this question one day. At the moment, I can only speculate. I think WLC has a program that helps with this.
What are your views on social media for marketing?
It is absolutely vital. There are good ways to do it, such as interacting with and making friends with people and getting them interested in your work the same way you would a “real live person” (because, and I think sometimes people forget this, but those are real live people out there). There are BUY MY BOOK also bad ways OMG YOU SHOULD BUY MY BOOK to do DID YOU BUY IT YET it, such as slamming people with BUY BUY BUY MY BOOK ads that no one wants to BUY IT BECAUSE I AM POOR AND AM BEGGING see, and thus will ignore. I do worry that the new 2015 Facebook Pages rules are going to make it difficult for authors to connect with readers, as we’ll no longer be able to mention that we (or others we know) have a product out there in the world that is purchasable without facing hurdles. Different sites have interpreted how this will play out, but for now, it’s something to be cautiously consider.
J Lenni Dorner: WRONG!
” WRONG!: A themed anthology 2014 “
My most recent publication is the short story titled “EGOT and the Pond King” in the anthology “Wrong!” (Southern Star Publications, December 2014). I was inspired by two different writing prompts. The first was a requirement to enter the contest- the phrase “I have a list and a map. What could possibly go wrong?” had to appear. The second prompt was a bit of humor about names and American entertainment awards- it lends to a joke inside the story. (EGOT is an acronym for “Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony.” A distinction officially held by twelve people.)
I also spent my NaNoWriMo November working a fantasy book entitled “The Dagger in the Darkrise.” I was inspired over a decade ago by an image of a woman with a sword. The story is finally coming together properly after all this time. I’m not sure it would have made it before, as the cast is diverse (though sometimes that isn’t as heavy a factor in the fantasy genre). Timing is a big factor in the publishing industry.
J Lenni Dorner Bio:
J Lenni Dorner began publishing under pseudonyms at age eight, and won several awards before turning eighteen. Education includes the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for Excellence in Creative Writing semi finals and Penn State University’s Honors and Scholars program. While embracing the ancient tribal traditions, J Lenni Dorner discovered a story originated by The Grandfathers. J is happily married and living in Pennsylvania (USA) on the original lands of the Lenni Lenape people. When not reading or writing, J enjoys video games (such as The Sims and Civilization), funny cat videos, finding new drawings of dragons on Pinterest, and watching movies. Look for a short story titled “EGOT and the Pond King” by J Lenni Dorner in the anthology “Wrong!” (Southern Star Publications, December 2014).
I weave fantasy with lore to unhinge your mind.