Author Interview: Danielle L Jensen

Please start by telling us a little bit about yourself.

I live with my family in Calgary, Canada, and I spend most of my time chasing after my toddler and writing about fantastical things.

Now please share a little bit about your books.

Stolen Songbird front coverThe trilogy is about a young soprano named Cécile who is about to depart her family farm to join her mother on the opera stage in the big city. But before she can leave, trolls kidnap her and bond her to their crown prince, Tristan, in order to break the curse that has bound them to their underground kingdom for five centuries.

Except it doesn’t work.

Cécile is initially focused on escape, but she finds herself embroiled in the burgeoning revolution of the oppressed lower class of half-bloods who desire to overthrow their tyrannical king. A revolution that is lead by Prince Tristan himself. As she becomes more sympathetic to the trolls, and falls in love with Tristan, she has to decide whether freeing her friends is worth the risk of unleashing the trolls’ magic on the world. And she must live with the consequences of whatever path she chooses.

You were a finalist for the Best Debut Author with Stolen Songbird on Goodreads Choice. What was that like?

Incredible! Unlike most other awards, the Goodreads Choice nominations are based on reader response and reviews, and to have so many people love STOLEN SONGBIRD enough to vote it into the finals was not something I’d dreamed possible.

Do you have a favourite character in your books?

This surprises people, but my favourite character in the series is King Thibault. I’ve always known that he’s a troll with enormous depth, but much of that isn’t revealed until WARRIOR WITCH, which was one aspects of writing that novel that I enjoyed the most. He’s a hidden and guarded character, but his actions drive so much of the plot.

Music is obviously important for the character Cecile. Is music an important part of your life?

Not at all! I can’t sing, play an instrument, or even read music. I very rarely draw upon aspects of my own personality or life when I create my characters, and Cecile, in particular, is nothing like me.

What has surprised you most since getting published?

Probably the amount of time I’d spend on things that aren’t writing. Interviews, guest posts, read-alongs, events, social media, and giveaways take up a large portion of my workday, which wasn’t something I expected prior to publication.

Are there any authors who particularly inspire you?

I am blown away by Maggie Stiefvater’s prose – her writing is beautiful, and I aspire to be half that good some day. I admire the way Sarah J Maas creates such exceptional worlds that absolutely captivate her readers. I am continually in awe of Susan Dennard’s ability to find creative ways to engage with her readers, as well as the incredible amount of effort she puts towards helping aspiring writers with all the information on her website. My close friend Elise Kova, besides being an amazing writer, is a master of the business side of publishing, and she has inspired me to take more active control of certain aspects of my career.

If you could sit down for a chat with any author, living or dead, who would it be and why?

J.K. Rowling. Not so much because of Harry Potter, although I’m a huge fan, but because she’s created such an enormous and successful empire. I would love to pick her brain.

What advice would you give to someone just getting started writing books?Warrior Witch by Danielle L Jensen

Seek out criticism of your work and learn to embrace it. The big turning point in my writing career was when I stopped letting my pride get in the way of accepting and working with critiques. And check out Susan Dennard’s website – it has far better advice than I will ever give.

What are you working on at the moment?

I have other fantasy projects in the works, but they are not quite at the stage where I can talk about them, other than to say they exist 🙂

If you want to find out more about Danielle L Jensen and her books, check out her website at http://danielleljensen.com, or you can connect with her on Twitter or Facebook. Her latest book, Warrior Witch, is now available on Amazon.