About the Author:
Jennifer Loiske lives in Finland in Naantali, which is a small sunny town on the southwest coast. She is a Teen/YA paranormal fiction author, with four exciting series available worldwide. McLean Twins series for teen readers, Immortal Blood series for mature young adult readers, Blood Hunters series, also for mature young adults, which is a follow up for Immortal Blood series and is created by the readers’ requests, and The Shape Shifter series for anyone age 16 and up.
Jennifer’s stories are full of creatures of the night. Vampires, demons, witches, shape shifters…but even if they are mostly fiction you can find a hint of a truth in every story. Jennifer loves to research so every time she gets an idea of a new story she does a crazy Google session looking for places, old myths, names, folklores, magical items…anything that could spice up her story and make it more real for the readers. Jennifer is also part of Authors For Charity, an international author alliance, and team member in Epilepsy FI magazine. She is a pre-school teacher by profession.
1. You were born in Lebanon. Why did you move to Finland, and what is your first language?
Yes, I was born in Lebanon but I moved to Finland when I was 2 months old, so technically I’ve never really lived there. My first language is Finnish.
2. Do you cope well with the long Finnish winters and lack of sunlight?
No! I hate it! I love warmth and sun so Finnish winters are like a curse to me. Whenever it’s possible I try to escape to somewhere warm and stay as long as my financial situation allows.
3. Who is your favourite author?
Oh, gosh! There are so many! Hmm…Jennifer L. Armentrout is definitely in my top 3! She could literally write anything and I would read it.
4. You are an author of YA/NA Paranormal Romance books. Have you ever had a paranormal experience?
Yes. Several times. I think all paranormal writers have their demons. Mine is not always something I’d like to be around but a necessary evil to kick my writing going. Also I have a very vivid dream life. Half of my dreams are probably something someone would define as paranormal experiences, but for me they’re just scary and unnerving…
5. Have you finished the final part of the McLean Twins series?
I wish! I still have the last chapters to finish. They’re already half-done so it wouldn’t take much from me to just sit down and finish them, but since it is the final part each chapter requires so much from me that I feel drained after writing them…and right now I can’t be drained. I have so much going on in my normal life that I need to be at my best. But soon…I promise!
6. Which social media do you find is best for marketing your books?
7. Some of your books are published traditionally, and some are self-published. Do you have a literary agent?
No. I have an amazing team behind me; people who truly believe in my talents and are willing to move mountains to get me on top. I feel so blessed we’ve found each other as I’ve had my struggles when I first stepped onto this path, and I honestly don’t know where I’d be today without my team.
8. Do you prefer the traditional or self-publishing route?
Both have their perks. I think the publishing industry is changing so fast that the label ‘traditional’ is a bit misleading. Unless you’ve signed with one of the big fours you might have to work nearly as hard as the self-published authors. Perk is that you’ll get your books more easily on the shelves of a bookstore. If you self-publish your books the workload is enormous as you really have to do everything yourself. However, for me that is the biggest perk! Every choice I make is my own (and my team is rolling on the floor dying with laughter!). No seriously, I have a cover designer, but I chose her, and I always have the final say about the cover. I chose the cover models and the photographers. I chose the editors and proofreaders, my alpha and beta team, and even my marketing team. Bloggers found me and created some kind of a street team, which I’m forever grateful, as I could not survive without them! But my point is, that I chose my fabulous team (okay, truth to be told, some of them chose me…), and surrounded myself with like-minded people to whom I trust 100%. So yes, I think I stay independent unless someone from HarperCollins comes knocking on my door.
9. Paperback or Kindle e-book?
99% of my sold books are e-books but if I get to choose I always pick a paperback. I can’t help it but I just love to curl up in the corner of my couch and let myself to drown inside the story. Nothing beats the feeling of holding a freshly pressed book in my hands…it’s pure pleasure!
10. You give part of your royalties to a charity that helps families with epileptic children. Do you think epilepsy is inherited (my son had petit mal as a child, but nobody else in the family ever did)?
No, I don’t. Maybe if you have epilepsy in the family the risk to get it is a bit higher, but that’s a big maybe. My youngest daughter has FIRES epilepsy, which is a very rare form of epilepsy, but no one else in my family has or has ever had epilepsy.
11. Do you think epilepsy could be caused by childhood vaccinations?
Oh, God, I hope not!
12. Tell us a bit about the MasterKoda group of authors that you belong to. Can anybody join?
Anyone can join Master Koda’s Facebook group, which can be very useful for an author. It is not a place to promote your work but a place to share thoughts and help each other. Their motto is simple: Let the good go round. And honestly, I’ve never met more open-hearted and kind people than the people in Master Koda group. Now you’re wondering what is Master Koda, right?
Well, Master Koda is a publishing company, Master Koda Select Publishing. It is a traditional publishing company and in spite of what it might look like, I have not signed with them. However, they have somehow felt I’m worthy of adopting and have included me in their events and promotions. In return I try to help their authors whenever and wherever I can.
13. You are a trained pre-school teacher. Have you any desire to return to this profession?
Sometimes, yes. There are days when I would really like to have a child in my arms, but then reality kicks me in the face…I’ve been a full-time writer for years now and if I intend to continue delivering as many new books/year as I normally do, there is no way I can do anything else but write. Then again, I’m in my dream job, so no complaints here.
14. Do you prefer to be inside writing or outside walking your dogs in the forest?
Both. When I’m walking, I’m plotting and ‘discussing’ with my characters. When I’m done plotting I run back home and start writing. It’s a never-ending circle. Walk – Write – Walk – Write…
15. What is the one possession you own that you cannot do without?
My laptop! If my house is burning that would be the first thing I’d grab before running out.
16. Where in the world would you like to visit?
Everywhere! I love traveling! So no matter where you’ll take me, I’m in!
17. Are you religious?
OMG! This is a complicated one. I think I can say with a certainty that I am, as I do believe in God, but for me things aren’t always black and white. If some of the most religious persons could peek inside of my head they would probably burn me in the bonfire.
18. What type of music do you like to listen to?
Whatever suits my mood. When I’m plotting I need something strong and raw…like Linkin Park, Disturbed, Evanescence, Clawfinger, 3 Doors Down, Meg Myers…but when I want to relax I’d probably listen to Civil Twilight, Major Lazer, Imagine Dragons, Ed Sheeran, Charlene Soraia…
19. If you could turn back time, what age would you like to be?
Haha! Is this a trick question? If I say 21 does it mean I could stay 21 forever? Yes, I would definitely like to lose couple of years…and wrinkles…Although, I’d like to know what I know now and avoid some mistakes I made just because I was too ‘blue-eyed’ and naïve.
20. What’s the best thing that has ever happened to you?
Would it be too cheesy to say my family? Hmm…probably, so I’m going to say signing with Little Acorn Press. It taught me a lot about publishing industry, and connected me with a bunch of very talented authors. As we knocked our heads together we founded an author alliance called Authors For Charity, which gives all profits coming from its anthologies to charity. Last year we helped children’s epilepsy unit in Finland, this year the help will go to a cancer unit in England. How cool is that!
Thank you Jennifer, for agreeing to be interviewed. I also suffer from the walk/write, walk/write syndrome, and agree that walking is very good for plotting the next chapter!