Today at the Blog Mansion we have Jennifer Loring, a multi-genre author like myself. We share a publisher in Omnium Gatherum Media, one of my all time favorite places. There she has Those of my Kind, a dark fiction. Creepy cover, chills just reading the blurb. Good stuff. She has a new project. FIREBIRD
Johnny Worthen: And now for something completely different.
Jennifer Loring: You mean my new book FIREBIRD?
JW: Yes, you went from horror to "headless male torso fiction." How'd that happen?
JL: Not much of a stretch. I mean, the guy is headless.
JW: Don't get me wrong, headless male torso fiction is an up-and-coming genre. B&N will have a section dedicated to it this year if they don't already. Actually, I think they do. What's FIREBIRD about?
JL: It's about a very famous hockey player and the love of his life, and the terrible things that happen on their way to finding a happy ending. Because I like making terrible things happen.
JW: You know this is the kind of thing that gets made into TV movies. What are you doing to market this?
JL: I've got two release-day blitzes and two blog tours scheduled, ARCs going out to all the major romance reviewers, a Facebook takeover event in December... Why? You interested in the movie rights? *calls lawyer*
JW: Is there sex in it? Because there better be sex in it.
JL: There is so much sex in it.
JW: You're very open minded about relationships. I notice from your bio that your husband is a turtle.
JW: it's right here on your bio sheet: "Jennifer lives in Philadelphia, PA with her husband, a turtle, and two basset hounds." I assume the hounds are there to protect your husband so raccoons don't take him away and to tip him back over if he gets on his back.
JL: Thank the Elder Gods for the Oxford comma. Otherwise he'd also be two basset hounds.
JW: Who's publishing FIREBIRD?
JL: Limitless Publishing. Good people, and their covers are fantastic.
JW: I see you've self-published and gone traditionally as well with small press, namely Ominium Gatherum, Dark Fuse, Fox and Raven. You're a hybrid author. How's that working out for you?
JL: I haven't self-published in ten years and don't plan to again, unless it's a project I absolutely can't place with anyone. I don't have the kind of time it requires (I like to, you know, actually write) nor the money for a cover artist, editor, etc. I also think its less-than-stellar reputation continues to exist for a reason, so until that gets sorted out, I'm sticking to traditional.
JW: FIREBIRD seems a departure from you. Dark fiction runs in your veins. What is it about Dark Fiction that attracted you?
JL: I think it's the acceptance that life isn't always happy and wonderful, and we shouldn't pretend it is. It forces us to confront our deepest fears but in a "safe" way. Without giving anything away, FIREBIRD does get very dark, as do its two sequels. So while its main focus is on the characters' relationship rather than on external supernatural events, I wanted to push the boundaries of contemporary romance a bit and explore that darkness. Marianne Williamson said, "Until we have seen someone's darkness, we don't really know who they are. Until we have forgiven someone's darkness, we don't really know what love is." That's pretty much FIREBIRD's theme. In horror, the most disturbing revelation is often that the true monster is the face we see in the mirror. Since FIREBIRD's main character, Alex, is both protagonist and antagonist, in that sense it's not much of a departure at all.
JL: Look at those abs!
JW: Stupid question. I want you to know that I have a male torso like that.
JL: Under all that hair?
JW: No, in this room. Wanna see?
JL: The Blog Mansion has a 65% author kill rate. I'm not sure I want to see your torso room.
JW: Yes you do.
JL: Yeah, okay. Anyone I know. Wait. They're all mannikins.
JW: What did you expect?
JL: Headless, limbless human bodies.
JW: Now my standard question: how'd you get started? What was your break? How did you go from writer to author?
JL: I've had a lot of short fiction published over the past fifteen or so years. Short stories were my first love. My first pro sale was in 2000, and four years later one of my stories received an honorable mention in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, but I feel like my "break" didn't come until I signed with DarkFuse in 2014. I wrote Conduits shortly before grad school ended in 2013, and it's still one of my best stories. Grad school, by the way, is probably what turned me into an "author." I had the privilege not only of attending a program devoted to genre fiction but also of being mentored by Tim Waggoner. And it's how THOSE OF MY KIND got written in the first place.
JW: Your turtle must be very supportive.
JL: You know how turtles are.
JW: Give us a hint about the FIREBIRD TRILOGY. What's next? Where is it going?
JL: I'm working on the second book now (no title yet), which takes place less than a year after FIREBIRD ends. The third book jumps seventeen years into the future. It's hard to reveal where it's going without giving away the first book's plot, but Alex will continue to be the focus--and believe me, he's not done suffering. *evil grin*
JW:Where on the Internets can people find out more about you?
JW: Now just step into the delimbing room and we'll call it good.
JL: The what?
JW: Delimbing room. I'm want you to be the first in my a headless female torso room.
JW: I delimb you then make a fiberglass mold of your torso and then cast you in plastic.
JW: I have a machine. It's very quick.
JL: The things I do for publicity.