I am excited to share this interview with Jessica Marinos today. She is a fairly new author who has just released the second book in her Trimont Trilogy.
Jessica, thank you so much for taking the time and allowing me to interview you for this blog post.
Q: You became a writer at a fairly young age. When did you first know you wanted to become a writer?
A: When I was 22, I began seriously writing Traiven’s Pass, thinking that it would be one book which may be the only book I ever write. Strangely, I never grew up thinking that I wanted to be an author, though I always enjoyed writing throughout school and possessed a natural knack for it. Once it was evident to me that Traiven’s Pass would be a trilogy, I knew for certain I would at least see the trilogy through to completion. Now that I am on the final book, other story ideas are seeping in, and I know that I want and am called to be a writer.
Q: Did you take college level classes for writing? If so, did you attend college or do online classes, and what types of classes did you take?
A: Besides other college classes, I did take online college writing classes such as: English 1 & 2, Literature, History of Theatre, which had me reading lots of plays. I also widely read how to write good fiction books.
Q: I read your first book, Traiven’s Pass, and enjoyed it immensely. I was extremely impressed with the quality of your writing–your descriptions and character development, your ability to draw me into the story and keep me turning page after page. I always say that the best books make me laugh and cry, and Traiven’s Pass did both. Therefore, I have been excitedly awaiting the second book in this trilogy, King’s City, which you have recently released. However, you had some trouble getting this book out to your readers. It was delayed for quite some time. Will you share a bit about that journey and how your readers reacted to the extended wait?
A: I do not think I will ever predict when a book is going to be released again. King’s City was delayed for several reasons: 1) Our family had an unexpected gargantuan move from Tennessee to Pennsylvania. We moved our entire auto restoration business and a house from Arizona to Tennessee all to Pennsylvania. With everything that goes on with such huge transitions, I set aside my writing for nearly a year. 2) I have learned that excellent writing takes time because it takes much thought. My writing does not come out perfect my first draft. It is worked and reworked many times over to achieve just the right flow of plot, character, description, and prose. 3) The most recent setback was with the printing company we chose to print King’s City. The quality we received did not meet the quality we had been led to believe that we would receive. We, therefore. had to find another printing company, which we now have, and things are back on track after the upheaval.
My readers responded to the delay of King’s City most graciously–with much understanding and encouragement. I never want to take their kindness and patience for granted.
Q: Has your first book, Traiven’s Pass, been a success in your eyes?
A: Yes, I view Traiven’s Pass as a success. I cannot say financially, but from those who read it, they love it–all ages, men and women, boys and girls. Families have also highly enjoyed it as a read aloud.
Q: You have one book remaining to complete and release in the Trimont Trilogy and I know you’ve already begun work on it. Do you think this book will see better progress and a quicker release than King’s City?
A: I am not going to attempt a prediction, but I do think that the third book will be completed and released faster than book 2, King’s City. I have discovered the right method of writing for me, which is writing really sloppy drafts and running them by mom sooner, rather than later, so that the content kinks can be worked out before my good writing comes. So far, progress has been faster than anticipated on the third book. There are no foreseeable big events to take me away from writing. As of now, the runway is clear.
Q: Every writer dreams of being able to make a living from their writing, but few accomplish that goal. Is that your dream? Do you see a possibility of accomplishing that dream? Do you have other work that you currently do in addition to your writing?
A: I hope I can make a living through writing; however, my original aim was never to seek after a career. If I could get books out faster, which I am going to try, I do see the potential, in the future, of making a profit. But like you said, it is a very tall, expensive ladder to climb.
In addition to writing, I am the assistant office manager of our family auto restoration business.
Q: Do you have a favorite writer whose books inspired you?
A: George MacDonald is my favorite writer. I am constantly in the middle of one of his English or Scottish novels (Edited by Michael Phillips). Like C.S. Lewis considered MacDonald his literary master, so do I. George MacDonald’s description is breathtaking. His characters are so true, deep, and good role models. His spiritual insight is unparalleled in fiction. I’ve learned so much for my own soul through his stories. It is my desire that my books could also have such a lasting heavenly fragrance upon the heart.
Q: What is your writing routine like?
A: I get up at 6 a.m. and spend an hour alone with Jesus and His word and then I work on my book for another hour. After breakfast, I begin writing again, but I also shift between writing and my accounting work throughout the day.
When I get writer’s block, I switch from writing on my laptop to writing in a notebook. And when I feel stuck in writing in a notebook, I move back to a laptop. I’ve noticed that going back and forth helps loosen my mind so that I can progress forward. The notebook is my free flow, and I then use the laptop to clean up my mess, keep what I want and leave out what I didn’t like so much.
Q: After the Trimont Trilogy is completed, do you have more stories waiting to be written?
A: Yes, indeed! I’m pondering writing more books based off the Trimont Trilogy. Also, I am amped up to write a historical fiction which takes place during the Revolutionary War. As far as non-fiction, I’d like to write a fun how to write creative fiction book, as well as a Biblical Christian book based on Romans chapters 6-8.
Q: Where can people purchase your books? Do you do book signings and if so, can you give us some dates and locations of any upcoming signings?
A: My books are available on Amazon. I will be at the Great Homeschool Convention in Greenville, SC, March 19-21; the Great Homeschool Convention in Cincinnati, OH, April 16-18; NCHE Thrive Convention in NC, May 28-30; and CHAP Homeschool Convention in Lancaster, PA, June 11-12.
Jessica, it has been a pleasure getting to know more about you and your writing. I wish you the very best. I have my copy of King’s City and cannot wait to dig into it! I will also look forward to seeing you at the CHAP Convention in Lancaster in June.
Readers, if you haven’t read either Traiven’s Pass (read my review here), or the recently released King’s City, I highly recommend that you do.