I had the honour to do an Interview with the amazing author Jennifer M. Eaton who wrote “Fire In The Woods”, a brilliant, sci-fi novel!
So let’s not waste any time and get on with the questions, shall we?
How would you describe “Fire In The Woods” for someone who has never heard of it?
Fire in the Woods is a fast-paced, action-adventure, chase novel where a seventeen year old girl, Jess, finds a strange boy in the woods and ends up racing across New Jersey with her father and half the United States Army after her.
What inspired you to write “Fire In the Woods”?
Originally Fire in the Woods was going to be a short story. I’d just written and published a novella that was very “tame” for me, and I wanted to write a story where I could blow something up. I ended up blowing a lot of somethings up. (smiles)
How did you come up with the title?
I think the title has a whole lot of meaning. The book starts with a plane crash and a subsequent fire in the woods behind Jess’s home. Once our heroes start running for their lives, they spend most of their time in the woods, where the sparks or “fire” in their relationship starts to develop. There are a few more fires in the woods at the end of the novel as well. All around, it just seemed to “fit”.
What books/authors have influenced your writing?
I think the early Wheel of Time books, and Dragon Riders of Pern books showed me that anything is possible in the molding of a story. Jocelyn Adams’s work showed me how deep first person point of view with an authentic “voice” could really bring a character alive.
What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing your book to life?
It doesn’t show much in the book, but I did quite a few hours of research on terraforming. One of the characters is a scientist, and I needed to make him sound reasonably intelligent in the subject. All that research added to only about a paragraph worth of dialog. I probably could have fudged it, but I wanted the “science” behind the issues in the novel to at least be real.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Stopping the editing. I am a perfectionist at heart. Every time I read through the book I would change something else. Making myself “give up my baby” is always the hardest part of writing for me.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Technical perfection is not always the best. I worked hard to learn the craft of writing, and I started querying with a tight novel that followed all “laws of writing” to a tee. But I was not getting any interest. Then I pitched the idea to Harper Collins at a writer’s convention, and they asked for the first fifty pages. They said they liked the idea, and liked my writing, but I did not have an authentic teenage “voice”. That was a big wake up call to me. As much as it hurt, I started from page one and painstakingly inserted what I felt was an authentic teen voice. I started getting interest in the new version right away. So I learned to perfect my craft, but then insert the “art” of writing.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I didn’t at first, but I think I do now. After the Harper Collins suggestions I mentioned above, I think I have a better ability to submerse myself in the main character. It is sort of like acting. I get ready to play the part, and then I just sit back and let the character tell her story in her own voice. So far it seems to work for me.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I’ve always had stories going on in my head. I imagined huge, intricate worlds and I was the main character. This kept me busy for hours when there weren’t any friends around to play with. Sometime in my teen years, when I discovered that I really liked to write, I decided I’d start writing some of my elaborate stories down.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I didn’t actually say the phrase in the novel, but the overall theme is “You don’t have to be extraordinary to do extraordinary things.” Jess is a very average girl. She’s not a ninja, she’s not a jock, she has no special abilities… yet she takes off on an adventure, risking her life, and achieves the impossible. There are a lot of stories out there that feature a character who succeeds because they are already “special” in some way. I wanted to show that everyday people can make a difference, too.
This has been fun Kübra! Thanks so much for having me.
Thank you for this amazing Interview! It was very nice to get to know you and your novel better!
For everyone intrigued by the amazing things Jennifer just mentioned about her writing process and her book “Fire In The Woods”, you can get it now! Here are all of Jennifer’s social media links so go check her out, it’s definitely worth it!
I just wanted to say what a genuinely sweet and loving person Jennifer is and that she couldn’t be more forward with everything! I absolutely loved “Fire In The Woods”, it was a different spin-off of Aliens and to create a unique world with original plot ideas is so so hard these days so Kudus to you, Jennifer for writing a fantastic novel! I can’t wait for “Ashes In The Sky“!
About the author:
Jennifer M. Eaton is a contemporary blender of speculative fiction and romance.
Her work ranges from the sweet contemporary romances of Paper Wishes, to the high-speed science fiction action adventures of Fire in the Woods.
While not off visiting other worlds, Jennifer calls the East Coast of the USA home, where she lives with her wonderfully supportive husband, three energetic boys, and a pepped up poodle.
Writing isn’t a hobby.
It’s a means of keeping sane.