The Otherworld Trilogy by Jenna Elizabeth Johnson
Interview with the author of The Otherworld Trilogy, Jenna Elizabeth Johnson :
Tell us about your series. What makes them worth reading?
My series is called the Otherworld Trilogy, and consists of Faelorehn (Book One), Dolmarehn (Book Two), and Luathara (Book Three). I also have one companion novella, Ehriad, available and I have just completed a second short novel, Ghalien, that is with my editor at this very moment. The Otherworld Trilogy is about Meghan Elam, a junior in high school who finds out that all the strange things she's heard and seen her entire life are real, not figments of her imagination. One night she wanders into the woods behind her house and happens to run into Cade MacRoich, a mysterious young man from the Otherworld. It is Cade who informs Meghan that she isn't human, but Faelorehn, an immortal from the Celtic Otherworld.
The Otherworld Trilogy, on the surface is a young adult, paranormal romance series similar to some of the others that are out there (think Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments, Amanda Hocking's Trylle Trilogy and Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey), but what sets it apart from others is that a good deal of the plot is intertwined with Celtic mythology. My characters aren't just fae in nature, but they have deeper roots in the gods and goddesses and creatures of ancient Ireland. For those familiar with Celtic myth, my Otherworld series presents a new twist on the old familiar pantheon and their descendents. For those unfamiliar with these legends, I hope to open up a new world of magic and myth for them through the eyes of Meghan and her friends.
Also, Faelorehn is currently free in ebook format on most of the sites where you can purchase digital books. So if you're wondering if this is the series for you, now is your chance to give it a try.
How long have you been writing and what inspired you to do it?
I've been seriously writing for almost ten years now. I started right out of college and I haven't gotten tired of it yet (and I can't imagine myself ever getting tired of writing). As for what inspired me, I'd have to attribute that to my Celtic Studies classes. During my time in college I took several courses that focused on the ancient myths and legends of the Norse and Celts, and those stories in turn inspired me to finally start writing my own books.
What do you think causes people’s enduring fascination with vampires?
To be honest, I've never been the biggest fan of vampires and I used to ask myself this same question. Over the years, however, they've kind of grown on me, partly because I've branched out and tried to read some vampire novels and discovered that I like the various ways different authors portray these creatures. For example, the vampires in Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels books are the result of people choosing to become servants after death; unthinking creatures that often sacrifice their bodies in order to earn some money for their families once they are gone. On the opposite end of the spectrum there are the vampires of J.R. Ward's books: warriors fighting for the survival of the species who require the blood of their females to survive. I really liked the concept of males and females relying on each other's blood (not the blood of humans), to remain healthy. So, to answer your question, I think it is that fascination with the undead and immortality on one end, and that need to drink blood on the other. There is something alluring, I suppose, about feeding off of the life force of another, and vampires definitely fit that role.
What are you reading right now? Would you recommend it?
Right now, I'm jumping between a few books. One is the latest Ilona Andrews novel, Magic Rises. Yes, I would absolutely recommend this author to any paranormal fans. I've read most of her books and have loved all of them. I'm also in the on again off again process of reading the last two books in Lindsay Buroker's Emperor's Edge series. Lindsay's characters are fabulous and I've loved both the Emperor's Edge books as well as her Flash Gold novellas. If you enjoy steampunk and endearing characters, definitely give Lindsay's books a try.
The vampires are attacking! Grab the first thing you see to your right and hit them with it! What was it? And how do you think you did in the ensuing fight?
Hmmmm . . . There are three things immediately to my right: a used napkin, an apple core and a tube of chap stick. I have a feeling none of these will help me in a fight against vampires. Perhaps I can use my charm to discouraging them from killing me . . . ? I'd like to remain optimistic and say the vampires left me alive, though now there might be a good chance I'll become one.
The afore mentioned vampire attack didn’t go so well and you were bitten by the vampire…now what?
Alas! I shall become immortal and I must prowl the night looking for prey . . . Hey, okay by me. I actually enjoy the night time and now that I'm immortal, I'll be able to write many, many, many more books. Oh! And considering Halloween is my favorite holiday, looks like things turned out for the best after all.
In the event of a zombie apocalypse what item would you make sure that you took with you to your underground safety bunker? (we will presume that your family are already safely in the bunker!)
Can I also presume that the electricity will still work? If so, then my laptop. I must be able to write from time to time or I'll go insane. In the likelihood that the electricity does eventually stop working, then I guess my choice would be as much paper and as many pens that I can get my hands on. Writing material, you see.
You are planning an awesome dinner party. Which 3 celebrities/fictional characters/historical figures (past or present) would you add to your guest list?
Oooo, this is a tough one. Hmmm, I guess I could pick one person from each category. The celebrity I'd invite would have to be Stephen Colbert. He is hilarious and maybe he could give my books the Colbert Bump. The fictional character I'd like to invite would be Sherlock Holmes (the Benedict Cumberbatch version from the BBC's Sherlock). I have a bad feeling that he'd end up insulting all of my guests by the end of the dinner party, but it would prove rather interesting with him there. As for a historical figure, I'd say John Muir. John Muir's love for and understanding of nature and his fight to preserve some of the most magnificent places in California have always been an inspiration for me.
Can you give us five random facts about yourself?
1.) An athletic scholarship (track and field: discus and shot put) helped pay my way through college. 2.) I have a beehive in my yard and I keep chickens. 3.) My hobbies include long sword fighting and archery. 4.) I have one younger sister who is nothing like me. 5.) Yosemite National Park is where I go to recharge my soul.
Where can readers find your books?
My books can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Kobo, Sony and Smashwords. If readers are looking for paperback books, they can be ordered from amazon.com.
Is there anything you would like to say to your readers?
You guys are fabulous and I couldn't do this without you, truly, I couldn't. My readers mean the world to me and I love to get feedback from them. As an independent author, it is very hard to make a name for myself and create interest in my books in the publishing world, so when readers pick up my books and write a review and spread the word, it helps me get closer to my dream of being a full-time author. I just want to thank anyone who has ever taken a chance on any of my books and that I hope my characters and their adventures have brought some joy into their lives.
About the author
Jenna Elizabeth Johnson grew up and still resides on the Central Coast of California, the place that has become the inspiration for the setting for many of her books.
Miss Johnson has a degree in Art Practice with an emphasis in Celtic Studies from the University of California at Berkeley. She now draws much of her insight from the myths and legends of ancient Ireland to help set the theme for her books.
Besides writing and drawing, Miss Johnson enjoys reading, gardening, camping and hiking. In her free time she also practices the art of long sword combat and traditional archery.
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