Jenna Lynn Brown Interview
The Indie Book Butler Interview.
Indie Book Butler: Let’s start things off with an introduction. Tell us a little about yourself for those not already aware of you and your work.
Jenna Lynn Brown: My name is Jenna Lynn Brown and I write M/M romance. I previously published as Jenna Jones. My latest novel is “Fidele”, a southern gothic romance set in 1950s Louisiana. I’m also very slowly republishing my previously published works.
IBB: You’ve got twenty words to entice us to read your book(s). What would you say?
JLB: True love, hot sex, found families, true friendship, quirky humor, love of food, love of music.
IBB: Where do you like to write?
JLB: Someplace I know I won’t be interrupted. Before lockdown, those were usually either a coffee shop or the library near the circulation desk. There would be just enough noise and bustle to keep me from feeling isolated. Since lockdown, you’ll usually find me on my couch with my laptop on a lap desk with a movie or Youtube video on for company.
IBB: Is there anything you must have in order to write?
JLB: A good keyboard, to take care of my hands. I don’t go in for totems or rituals or anything like that.
IBB: What books have influenced you most, both as a person and as an author?
JLB: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë has been one of my favorites since I was 12 years old. I reread it about once a year and I always find something new. These are some other books that I feel refresh me when my brain needs it: The Vintner’s Luck by Elizabeth Knox, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie, Persuasion by Jane Austen, the Patrick Melrose novels by Edward St. Aubyn.
IBB: What is the one thing that has helped you develop most as an author?
JLB: Writing fan fiction. I knew at the age of 9 that I wanted to be a writer, but it wasn’t until I started writing and posting fan fiction that I learned things like structure, dialogue, voice, and how to accept feedback and constructive criticism. I still write fan fiction for fun, and play in a text-based role-play game to write with friends.
IBB: What do you want to achieve most from your writing?
JLB: I want to write someone’s favorite book. Having a fandom for my books would be amazing, too.
IBB: Have you received a favorite review of your work?
JLB: A male-identifying reader once told me he liked my books because I write men like men.
IBB: Were there any particular parts of the writing/publishing process that you struggled with?
JLB: My first publisher, a small press, went bankrupt a few years ago. It’s been hard to trust other publishers again, which is why I’ve gone the indie route.
IBB: Is there something specific you do to improve your writing?
JLB: Keep reading, keep writing, read about how to make stories, try out different formats, experiment. I give stories to my writer-friends for their opinions and honest feedback, and they know me well enough to know I can handle even harsh criticism.
IBB: What is the ideal relationship between editor and author?
JLB: The right editor is the author’s partner. I’m forever grateful to my first editor with my first publisher, who pointed out when things weren’t working in the gentlest, most encouraging way possible. I can only thing of one instance when I had to decline one of her suggestions.
IBB: If you had a direct line to someone who loves or hates your writing, what would you say?
JLB: To someone who hates my writing, I’d like to know why and what I can do to improve.
To someone who loves my writing, I’d like to thank them, ask what they love about my writing, and what I can do to improve.
IBB: If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
JLB: Writing is an art but publishing is a business. A savvy author needs to understand it from both sides. There are so many resources out there: do your career a favor and educate yourself.
IBB: What does your writing future hold for you?
JLB: I’d like to publish a few stories as serialized novels like I did with Fidele. I have ideas for screenplays, more novellas, and some sequels to my previously-published books. I also need to re-edit and republish those previously-published books.
IBB: How have you set about the task of creating enticing cover art?
JLB: I have a little knowledge of graphic design, and I’ve found that for me it’s best to keep things simple, like one striking image and a minimum of text.
IBB: How often do you read? What genre?
JLB: Not as often as I used to. When I do read, mostly I read non-fiction. I love strange history, biographies, books about the development of language and story structure, and the occasional true crime.
Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. Best of luck in the future.
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