Talkshow Thursday: Say Hello to Jenna Brandt
I'm sitting down today with author Jenna Brandt who saw a need for readers and did her part to fill it. Draw up a chair and get to know this interesting lady!
Linda: You are part of an anthology of Christmas stories titled Under the Mistletoe. How did that collection come about?
Jenna: I’ve noticed in the book industry, anthologies are a great way for readers to get to know new authors as well as for authors to share the work with a wider audience, but it wasn’t being used as often in the Christian writing world. I decided I wanted to create one for the Christmas season: romances themed around Christmas all with HEAs. I asked my good friend and critique partner, Lorana Hoopes, if she would be interested and she came into the project as my co-creator. We then put out a call to any writers who were interested in a couple of Facebook groups we both were in and narrowed it down to 8 authors total-featuring 2 historical novellas and 6 contemporary.
LM: Where did you find your inspiration for your story The Christmas Bride?
Jenna: It centers around a couple that was introduced in my series, Window to the Heart Saga. They are friends of the main characters in the fourth book, The Oregon Pursuit, which takes place in 1870 West Linn, Oregon.
LM: You obviously have a love for history. Your books range from the Victorian to the WWI era with the Old West tossed in for good measure. Which time period is your favorite and why?
Jenna: Oh, my, that’s like asking me to pick a favorite child (I have four of those too). I love each of them for different reasons. I think I love reading the Victorian era, and Regency was my first introduction to historical romances. As a matter of fact, my current work in progress is set back in England during the Victorian era with characters from The Oregon Pursuit and The Christmas Bride. I love mixing sub-genres and having fish out of water scenarios. However, researching WWI was so much fun. Honestly, I don’t think I can pick. I love them all for different reasons.
LM: Lots of research goes into each story to ensure historical accuracy. What is your method for researching a story, and how much time goes into that before you begin to write?
Jenna: I research the era and the location extensively so I have a feel for the time period. For instance, The Christmas Bride and The Oregon Pursuit both take place in West Linn, Oregon at the end of the Oregon Trail. I have lots of tidbits of truth woven throughout the stories to make the book historically accurate. I also research as I go for descriptions and pictures so I can visualize an area where my book takes place.
LM: Have you ever experienced writer’s block, and if so, what did you do to push through it?
Jenna: I think every writer does experience writer’s block. Personally, I might set it aside for a couple of days if I’m not on deadline. If I am, I just force myself to keep writing. I may not like what I’m writing but I can always go back and edit it later. The key is to keep pushing through. Also, starting at the end and working backwards helps if the plot has already been figured out and I know the end.
LM: What is your next project?
Jenna: As I mentioned, I am currently working on the next book in my series called The Viscount’s Wife, featuring characters from my West Linn books which I hope to release in late January. I also have two other projects I’m working on-one coming out in March and June, respectively.
LM: Where can folks find you on the web?
Go to https://www.wattpad.com/user/JennaBrandtAuthor to get the first two chapters of all my books for free!
Here's the buy link for Under the Mistletoe: www.amazon.com/dp/1979713073
LM: Thanks so much for stopping by!