Name: Jennifer Musgrave
Fiona: Where are you from?
Jennifer: I am from beautiful southern Indiana where my ancestors have lived since the 1700s.
First and foremost, I am the mother of two wonderful children, whom I love and adore. Every day, they surprise me with their intelligence and wit. I am also a full time student with aspirations of a doctorate in history. I currently wear many hats along with these first two, including volunteer 4-H leader, historical consultant, writer, The Hoosier Historian e-magazine editor, and author.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Jennifer: I have recently published my first two books Unreal and Unearthed, books one and two of The Immortal Legacy Series. Both books are available in print and e-book at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I am currently taking voice auditions for both audiobooks at ACX online.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Jennifer: I began writing when I was just a little girl. I loved reading and telling stories from a very young age and wrote my first books while in elementary school. I still remember the local librarian putting my crayon illustrated “masterpiece” in her library collection.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Jennifer: I have long considered myself a writer, as over the years I have written many an academic paper, as well as several books just for fun. It took a long time for me to build up the courage to send off my writing for publication. Starting my own e-magazine, The Hoosier Historian, was the first step in putting myself and my writing out there for the public to see. It was this first step that led to the publication of my current newly released books.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Jennifer: All of my first books I wrote for family enjoyment. I have some, as of yet unpublished, works that I have written for my parents and children. The Immortal Legacy Series I wrote as a gift to my sisters.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Jennifer: If there is one thing that the world of academia has taught me, it is that I am a flexible writer. I have been called upon to write a wide range of genres in a wide range of topics over the years and do not restrict myself to just one in my book writing. I will admit; however, that I do have a weakness for historical romance.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Jennifer: The story itself gave me the title. When I write fiction I allow the story to take me wherever it wants to go and from that process a title is born
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Jennifer: Unreal and Unearthed, The Immortal Legacy Series books one and two, are stories of love, loss, and making the most in life through the pain. We all hurt, sometimes even to the point of wanting to die, so I wanted to offer heroes and heroines that had endured the greatest of losses yet, through it all they somehow find a way to survive and make the best of the bad.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Jennifer: The Immortal Legacy Series is an entirely fictitious work. That being said, there are elements of truth that can be found throughout the series. In book one, Unreal, the historical description of the Greco-Persian Wars and Xerxes’ are taken from true historical events. Some geographical descriptions are also based off of real places such as the Irish pub described in Bloomington, Indiana and the tourist attractions in Charleston, South Carolina. The New Orleans style restaurant used in a date scene between two of the main characters is also based off of a real place in Indiana. Personal experience of having visited these locations, as well as having been a family counselor for a cemetery in the past, assisted in my ability to write Unreal. The second book, Unearthed, discusses true historical elements such as the religious practice of human sacrifice by the Moche and Aztec peoples. My personal experience of being a college student in the fields of history and anthropology assisted me in writing Unearthed.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life? a mentor?
Jennifer: I have always loved reading. so I have read a lot of books over the years. My favorite books have elements of history and romance. When I was young, I read historical fiction by Janette Oke, Gilbert Morris, and Lori Wick. As I grew older, I came to appreciate a wider range of historical romance such as Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott, The Searchers by Alan LeMay, Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim, Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and other wonderful classics.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Jennifer: Recently, I have been enjoying the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Gabaldon’s writing is very unexpected in its twists and turns. I love the historical intertwining with the lives and passions of the main characters.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Jennifer: Outside of my family, my writing has been most influenced by a former history professor of mine from my associate undergraduate years. His passion for history, woven as a story throughout the class lectures, was contagious and inspiring.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Jennifer: Yes, I would very much like to turn my writing into a career. I can think of no better vocation than to do the thing I enjoy most about the topics I enjoy most.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Jennifer: Not that I can think of. Of course if anyone pointed out an editing error or something of that nature I would want to change that.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Jennifer: My love of reading as a small child led to a love of writing.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Jennifer: I am currently working on the final editing changes for the third book in The Immortal Legacy Series called Unchanged. Unchanged takes the idea of immortality from the first two books and adds shapeshifting as a genetic component. The third book takes place near Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and in the Scottish highlands. Tala Waneta is forced to flee for her life after the mass slaughter of her family by her brother. Hunted, Tala flees to Scotland where the secrets of her mother’s past lead her to the safe and loving arms of the Calhoun family; into the safe and loving arms of Cael Calhoun. Can the Calhoun’s keep Tala safe or will her brother’s thirst for blood seal her fate?
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Jennifer: I struggle with endings. As I write the story unfolds before my eyes in a flowing stream, but when it comes time to end the story I always doubt myself. I always wonder if I have done the story justice and ended it well.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Jennifer: I love to travel! In the wonderful world of modern technology, where photographs and information are just a click away, the world is literally at a writer’s finger tips. So do I have to travel for my books? No, but I do use the places I have traveled to in my writing. As wonderful as the internet is, there is no replacement for going forth and exploring all that this great big world has to offer.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Jennifer: I designed the e-book covers for both of my books. The print covers were a combined effort of myself and the publisher.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Jennifer: The hardest part of writing both books were the intimate and fight scenes. I was concerned that I would not do them justice.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Jennifer: I used a lot of prior knowledge in writing both books, but I have learned a great deal about the writing industry since going through the publishing process and am learning more every day.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead?
Jennifer: If Unreal were made into a film, I would love to have Ian Somerhalder play one of the male main characters. If Unearthed were made into a film, I think it would be interesting to see Emma Stone as the main female character, Alice Lange.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Jennifer: Don’t be afraid. Fear can crush dreams before they have ever been given a chance to grow. Be brave!
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Jennifer: Thank you! Thank you so much for all of your support! Please let me know what you think by writing a review or sending me a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Jennifer: I am currently reading Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Jennifer: The Clumpets Go Sailing by Jan Wahl was the first book I ever remember reading by myself. As I think of it now, I can’t help but smile. I spent many happy moments reading it aloud to my younger sisters as children. My favorite childhood book; however, was The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Jennifer: I am very empathetic, so people’s joy makes me laugh; while, their pain makes me cry, especially if those people are my children. I laughed and cried the day they were born.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
Jennifer: In all of history there are too many people to choose just one. I fear that if I had a time machine I would irresponsibly jump through time like a scared rabbit from one era to the next. There are people and moments I would most like to visit. They are not epic sweeping moments of history where the world was saved or made, but quieter more personal moments. I would like to have been on the movie set of McClintock with John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. I would like to have been there at the exact moment that the sailor kissed the nurse in Times Square on V-J Day and shared in the joyous excitement of the moment. I would have liked to have known the first Musgrave to bear the surname I now bear. The list is endless.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
Jennifer: When I die, I would like my memorial marker to bear the inscription, “Loving Mother,” for if I have been a good mother and left behind a legacy of love for future generations, then I can die in peace knowing that I lived a life worth living.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Jennifer: Other than writing, I love to read, watch movies, travel, practice my photography, and be outdoors.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Jennifer: I love historical movies and I have a weakness for a well done romance. As far as TV shows are concerned, I enjoy historical and crime solving mysteries.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music?
Jennifer: My favorite foods are chocolate and meat. My favorite ethnic food is Mexican. My favorite colors are blue and green. I love bluegrass and country music. I also greatly enjoy the good oldies, such as, Glen Miller, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, etc.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Jennifer: I have aspirations of not only being a writer, but also of being an historian and anthropologist.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Jennifer: I have two websites. One is for my magazine The Hoosier Historian: http://www.thehoosierhistorian.com/#!about/cjg9
. The other is my author’s website: http://thehoosierhistorian.wix.com/jlmusgrave-author
My author profile on Amazon is: http://www.amazon.com/Jennifer-Musgrave/e/B01IPR6A12/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1469208179&sr=8-2.