Friday, 25 November 2016

Interview & Spotlight with indie author Jessica Hernandez

I've came across Jessica Hernandez work and Blog via GoodReads. She is an indie author and helps promoting others like me through her blog as well. So, of course, I invited her for a spotlight around here and I invite you to join and read her interview as well as get to know her books of Hawk of Stone duology. Are you ready?

1 - How was the writing and publishing process for your first novel, "Capering on Glass Bridges"?
Capering on Glass Bridges was born from an idea that I had while in high school. Over the succeeding years, I developed this idea considerably, and I often spoke with my mother about the fantastical world that I sheltered in my mind. It was she who encouraged me to write about it. As the end of my final semester in college approached, I made the decision to do as she suggested; I told myself that, upon graduation, I would finally pen the novel that had been floating about in my head for ages.

The publication process proved to be an overall positive experience. It’s in my post-publishing journey that I’ve encountered one of my biggest obstacles to date—which I’ll discuss in further detail when I answer question three.

2 - How did that process evolve when you worked on book 2, "The Yesterdays of Tomorrow"?
Initially, I did not create an outline for book one. I sat down in December of 2014 to “pants” my way through Capering on Glass Bridges. After writing about seven thousand or so words, I realized that I didn’t like how the story was coming out, so I discarded it and left the project alone for a few weeks. In March of 2015, I sat down at my desk and created an outline of my story. As I’m sure you can imagine, the writing process went a lot smoother thereafter. Hence, with my second novel, I created an outline before writing a single word. In my opinion, the outline has a function akin to that of a compass; it helps one better understand the different directions in which a story can be taken. My outlines, however, are rather skeletal. That is, I make sure to leave sufficient room so as to allow certain aspects of the plot to evolve as the story progresses.

3 - What is your biggest challenge as indie writer?
Overcoming obscurity. When you’re starting out as a writer, not only do readers shy away from your work simply because they perceive you as an unknown, but—often times—you are invisible to most of them as a consequence of the sheer number of writers out there. I’d love to get to the point where I have a loyal audience—be it of one person or of a thousand—to which I can present my writings.

4 - What are you working on at this moment and/or future plans as author?
I am currently working on my third novel. It takes place in Acu—the same fantastical world wherein Capering on Glass Bridges and The Yesterdays of Tomorrow are set. This book, however, is unrelated to my first two titles. Readers will be introduced to a new kingdom and a new cast of characters. I’m very excited about this project! Though it’s a work of fantasy, it’s imbued with a few elements characteristic of mystery and psychological thriller novels. Needless to say, the writing process is proving to be immensely enjoyable, and I look forward to sharing the finished product with readers.

5 - How do you keep inspired and who are your fav icons on books, arts, music?
I am inspired by too many things to name. I’ve learned that one needn’t be exposed to something new in order to be inspired. One simply has to endeavor to view the familiar from a different angle.

C.S. Lewis is one of my favorite authors. Lewis’ prose is exceptionally colorful. His writing style is such that readers can visualize the events unfolding in the narrative without any difficulty. I can still recall flipping through the pages of The Magician’s Nephew when I was younger and being in awe. The world that Lewis had created was so rich and so detailed that it felt extremely real to me; it felt organic. As a writer, I actively strive to emulate this effect. I want my readers to feel as though they’ve been transported to Acu—the fictional realm in which Capering on Glass Bridges and The Yesterdays of Tomorrow are set. I want them to feel immersed in this world.

6 - What do you think of social media and how do you make it work for you?
I’ll admit, I’m not too active on social media. I’m trying to change this, though. Social media is invaluable in bridging the formidable gap which exists between new authors and readers. It enables the two to connect and open up a dialogue with one another. (Which is pretty awesome!) I don’t know if I’ve succeeded in making social media “work for me,” but I’m certainly laboring towards this goal.

7 - Your biggest wish or dream?
I’m a bit of a chocoholic. I kid you not. I have memories of returning home from school as a first grader and running to the kitchen to stuff my face with chocolate chip cookies. For this reason, were I granted one wish, I’d request that chocolate be made as healthy—in terms of nutrition—as broccoli. I’d spend all day eating chocolate lava cakes. Yum!

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Title: Capering on Glass Bridges
Genre: YA Fantasy
Series: The Hawk of Stone #1

Synopsis: The Utdrendans have spoken, and everything has changed as a consequence. People normally avoid the fog surrounding the cursed Kingdom of Mar, but now they are asking sixteen-year-old Kaia Stone to venture into it. The Utdrendans implied that there is something special about Kaia. They claimed that she could help free the land; she need only carry out their instructions and deliver a message to the Marian king.

Mar, however, is a land in which dark secrets abound, and many will stop at nothing to ensure that it remains forever cursed. Determined to work against Kaia, unfriendly forces have already begun to gather.

Will Kaia choose to abandon the only life she’s ever known—perhaps indefinitely—in pursuit of the greater good…in pursuit of her purpose?

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Learn more about the Sequel or Final part of the duology

Title: The Yesterdays of Tomorrow
Genre: YA Fantasy
Series: The Hawk of Stone #2

Synopsis: It’s been a year since Kaia’s first encounter with the turned ones. Every day since then has been fraught with uncertainty. Most in the Kingdom of Mar prepare for a life wherein they will be free. Kaia, however, knows that even if the curse should be lifted, the Marian people will not be unburdened in the near future. King Sol promised them a war with Darlbent, and a war they shall have if the fog dissipates. Swords have already been thrust into the hands of every man in the kingdom, filling Kaia and her friends with trepidation. Things have changed in Mar, and Kaia worries that it is only a matter of time before some blades are turned against them.

The moment of truth is approaching. Soon, it will be known whether or not the curse was meant to have an end. If it wasn’t, can Kaia and the others learn to make lives for themselves in a forsaken land like Mar? Will they ever truly know safety there?

To further complicate matters, Kaia has Ruelena to contend with…

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Jessica Hernandez was born and raised in the beautiful, sunny state of Florida (USA). She attended the University of Miami, where she spent more time than she cares to admit daydreaming of a faraway land called Acu. Upon graduating with a degree in English and Political Science in 2014, Jessica put pen to paper and brought Acu to life—so was born the Hawk of Stone duology.

Connect with Jessica 

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