Author Interview: Jennifer Worrell

Are there therapeutic benefits to modeling a character after someone you know?

It’s the only way to exact revenge on your enemies without sending yourself to prison.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

I wanted to be a novelist!  Then I realized there’s no money in it and I needed a day job too.  So I studied to be a pastry chef.  And then noticed a horrible pattern.

Have you ever tried to write a novel for a genre you rarely or never read?

Not a novel, but a short story.  I was invited to write a werewolf story for an anthology, but I only knew the basic lore.  I didn’t think I could deliver, since all I had was this vague idea for a race of humans with wolven ancestry, and a main character trying to eradicate every trace to deter attracting a mate…which stuck in my craw.  I ended up with a 16-page tale that got picked up by Underground Arcana.

How much research did you need to do for your book?

Enough to make it feel real.  If I don’t understand what the character does for a living, or what they do with their spare time, or what kind of people they are, I’m lost.  Sometimes I do months of research, which makes me anxious to get started on the story.

What are common traps for new authors?

Trying to incorporate all the rules and advice even though they contradict themselves.  Trying to make everything “perfect” to nab an agent.  Aiming for such lofty goals keeps you from seeing the big picture.

What book (or books) are you currently reading?

Without a Hero: Stories by T. Coraghessan Boyle, This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz, and the Murderbot series by Martha Wells.  I’m trying to stretch those out since the next installment doesn’t come until November. 

What books did you grow up reading?

Everything and anything!  My parents didn’t limit my reading and it was delicious.

What do the words “writer’s block” mean to you?

You’re trying to write a specific thing and the words just aren’t coming.  Or at least not the right words.  So it’s time to take up something else until they get in line.

What is the most difficult part of your writing process?

Getting organized.  And usually that’s my forte!  I have so many notes and ideas everywhere that trying to sweep everything into a neat pile is hard.  I don’t want to forget something that will cause significant rewrites to fill in plot holes.

When you’re writing an emotional or difficult scene, how do you set the mood?

I just need a lot of alone time.  It’s hard to immerse yourself when there’s a chance you’ll be interrupted, and it takes time to get in the proper mindset.  I tend to do those when I have the house to myself, or after everyone’s gone home from the office.  Sometimes I’ll find a quiet spot in a park instead.

Jenny’s debut novel, Edge of Sundown, is available on Amazon or by contacting her directly on her website,  More links, including Twitter, Facebook, and a great place to get pie in Chicago, can be found via

Jennifer Worrell (she)

Click here for my website, publication history, and other pertinent links.

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