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Thrall: Author Interview with Jennifer Quintenz

Tuesday, March 18, 2014
I'm delighted to have author Jennifer Quintez here on the blog today to talk about her Daughters of Lilith series!

by Jennifer Quintenz

Genre: YA MythologicalUrban Fantasy
Paperback: 304 Pages
Publication: May 16, 2012
by Secret Tree Press

Braedyn is a normal girl just trying to survive high school with her two devoted friends, Royal and Cassie. Together they’re doing a pretty good job of shrugging off the slings and arrows cast their way by the popular crowd when a new boy, Lucas, moves into the house next door. Suddenly Braedyn finds herself falling in love for the first time.

But as her sixteenth birthday approaches, Braedyn discovers humankind is at war with the Lilitu, an ancient race of enticing demons that prey on human souls. Her father is a member of the Guard fighting against the Lilitu - and so are the new neighbors, including her crush, Lucas.

As her world starts to unravel at the seams, Braedyn learns the right answers aren’t always clear or easy. And as for “good” and “evil” – it all depends on how we choose to act.

Inspired by the ancient Mesopotamian myths of Lilith and her offspring, Thrall explores first love, strong friendships, and taking on adult responsibilities against the backdrop of powerful supernatural forces and life-and-death stakes.

Author Interview

Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into writing.
Wow! I've been writing (and reading!) since I was a little kid - something my parents supported from day one. But I think I got more serious about writing (and illustrating) one summer when my sister and I taught our golden retriever, Rusty, how to pick apricots off the tree in the back yard. He'd pick them off, we'd get excited, then he'd jump up and pick off another one - yeah, no one ate those things after that. My dad - brace yourself, this might come as a shock - was not pleased. He encouraged my sister and I to turn our energies into writing and illustrating. In fact - for years - my sister and I couldn't get our allowance (even if we'd done all our chores!) until we'd written a poem or a short story for the week. So there you have it. It was either turn to writing, or continue to pursue my goal of de-fruiting the backyard.

What inspired the writing of Daughters of Lilith? Did you always know it would be a series?
Funny story... Actually, the Daughters of Lilith was originally written as a pilot for TV (I'm also a TV and film writer). I got many great meetings off the pilot, but heard a few times that the series similar to mine that were getting green-lit were based on existing properties. I thought, hm. I love reading. I love writing. I'll just create an "existing property." And WOW. The learning curve going from TV to novels was steep. When you're writing for TV, you have to try to say a lot with very few words, and you don't want to over-describe anything because - frankly - it's not your job to decide specifically what the characters are wearing, what rooms look like, or even (beyond a pretty general sketch) what they look like. That's left to casting directors, costume directors, set designers, directors, cinematographers - you just provide the blueprint. But when you're writing a novel, you become ALL of those things (and the actors, too - you have to live in your character's heads, deal with their motivations, experience their emotions, etc.)

So - to answer your question - I always planned it to be a series... one way or the other. ;)

What has your road to publication been like?
Amazing. Exhilirating. Frustrating. Many ups and downs. When I decided to turn Thrall into a series of novels, my awesome manager (Marc Manus!) was very supportive. He actually introduced me to several NY book agents, and I ended up working with a great team over at Trident as we sought out a traditional publisher for the series. When those efforts failed to bear fruit (something I'm very used to after working in Hollywood), the discussion became - "should I write a new book... or should I go indie and do this myself?"

I decided to publish the story on my own, designing my own covers, learning all about ebook formatting, etc. And the response has been so gratifying - I only wish I'd started publishing years ago!

How did you work the mythology surrounding Lilith into your world building?
It formed the foundation of everything, really. All the big mysteries that are yet to be revealed, everything really stems from the ancient myths of Lilith and her offspring. Whenever I had a story problem to overcome, I'd go back to the myth (and there are lots of variations over lots of cultures, so this is a very rich myth to drawn from) and see if there wasn't some other wrinkle I could introduce into the story.

What do you enjoy most about the writing process?
First drafts. I spend a long time outlining my draft before I write it to try to iron out all the plot issues before I get into it. Then I get to sit down and try to fall in love with the story, the world, the characters as I write it. When it's going well - it's just an unbeatable feeling. Of course, then you have to READ the first draft...

How would Braedyn describe herself in a tweet? Lucas?

Nice! Um...

Braedyn: Just your typical girl... who can turn herself invisible... and invade your dreams... and maybe mess with your head--but totally normal aside from that!

Lucas: Dealing with Weird since 2007.

If given the opportunity to play a role in Daughters of Lilith, what would you be doing in the story?
Wow - great question! Hm. HMMMM. I kind of love Karayan, the is-she-good-or-bad Lilitu who just wants to have fun but can't seem to completely walk away from the unfolding crisis. But, truth be told, I'm probably way more Cassie in nature - the shy, geeky, beats-to-her-own-drummer (though I only wish I had her fashion courage!) loyal friend.

What are you working on right now?
Funny you should ask... :) I'm actually getting ready to release Sacrifice (Daughters Of Lilith: Book 3), and outlining the final two books to the Daughters saga. Book 4 is titled Guardian and Book 5 is titled Kin.

About the Author

Jennifer Quintenz is an award-winning film and television writer, author, and graphic novelist. She has written for Twentieth Television, Intrepid Pictures, and Archaia Studios Press. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and son.

Connect with Jennifer
Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

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