Author Interview with Jenelle Schmidt

Author Interview with Jenelle Schmidt

1) What got you into writing? 

A couple of things got me into writing. First, my grandma was a writer. I grew up listening to my dad reading her novel out loud to us kids, and I guess because of her it never really crossed my mind that writing might be something intimidating. The other thing was that I was always telling stories... making up games to play with my siblings and cousins, creating fantastical worlds and characters for us to pretend to be. It was only natural that I started writing down some of my ideas.

2) Do You believe in writer's block? 

I do not believe in writer's block. Unfortunately (or "misfortunately," as they say in "The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming!") it sometimes believes in me. But when it attacks I have found two strategies for holding it at bay that seem to work pretty close to 100% of the time. The first is turning on Christmas music. I do not know what it is about Christmas music... perhaps it is because it is so extremely familiar to me that it provides a pleasant backdrop of creativity-inspiring sounds, or because it is peaceful, or it just has to do with the way my brain is wired, but it almost always cures my writer's block. The other way is to just dive into a timed session, a "word war" against the clock if you will. This is the battering ram approach, where I just force the words out, whether I like them or not. In those strange instances where neither of these solutions works, I find that it is best to walk away for a bit. Get some exercise or fresh air, read or watch something I love, and come back to the project with a fresh perspective later.

3) If you couldn't be an author what job would you do? 

There have been many times in my life when this was not a hypothetical question. And at those times in my life when I couldn't be an author, I was a teacher (jr. high and high school English), a play-director, a full-time stay at home homeschooling mom, and a student. By far, my favourite of those "other" jobs is being a mom to my four munchkins. I also have distant dreams of owning a horse ranch...

4) If you could be any animal what would you be and why?

I would be a peregrine falcon. The idea of flying has always fascinated me, so I'd want to be something that could fly. I've also loved falcons ever since I first read "My Side of the Mountain" and fell in love with Frightful, and Ladyhawke is one of my favourite movies so those might be influencing my decision a bit. Not much hunts falcons, so that would be in my favour, as I'd just stay away from bigger birds of prey! The idea of eating mice and other raw meat is the one downside to this scenario... so if "any" animal includes mythical creatures, I'd definitely rather be a dragon so I can at least cook my food. And because dragons are awesome.