Hi, all! I would like to introduce you to a recent, but good!, friend of mine, Author J.L. (Jennette) Mbewe! She’s a Christian fantasy author, and her debut novel, Secrets Kept, is now available!!
Hi, Jennette, I think this is your first official time on my blog! Welcome! Can you tell my readers a little about yourself?
Hey Emerald, yes it is, and thank you so much for inviting me! Well, I’m a writer, reader, mother, wife, artist, but not always in that order. I love chocolate, trees, rocks, seashells, stars, the Northern Lights, the outdoors (not in TX), exploring new food, and learning about different cultures. And recently I discovered I’m an ocean verses mountain person, although, if I could have both, that would be lovely. Oh, and I have swords, and two precious kiddos. 😉
Tell me, what’s it like writing fantasy? I’ve always love a good fantasy, but I’m too scared to write it myself.
Writing fantasy is the most awesome thing in the world, aside from cuddles with my babies, who aren’t babies anymore. When it comes to reading, I don’t like to be tethered to this reality, but to adventure beyond into realms of the unknown, and in doing so, understand more about me and the “real” world around me. To write, I still do research, but then add my own twist. There is a basis of reality to anchor us in the story, yet the fantastical parts are still believable. I think we should talk more about this fear of writing it. 😉 Although, I am afraid to write historical fiction. Can you imagine the pressure to get it right? I might one day.
As a Christian, how did you add in your faith to the novel? Do you think it’s an allegory akin to Narnia or more like a good vs. evil theme? Or am I missing something else that you might have had in mind?
Well, I don’t “add” my faith to my writing. It just kind of flows out of me into the story and characters. Speaking specifically about the World of Nälu and Secrets Kept, I started it as an allegory. I wanted to create a Pilgrim’s Progress and Lord of the Rings, but not as obvious. And it flopped, crashed, and burned. But from its ashes rose a story with characters who had motivations and goals. Elements of the allegory are still there, but I hope the principles of faith are in the actions of my characters and not forced and superficial. I see my writing more as a reflection, a shadow of things to come and that are. So a battle of good vs. evil type of a story.
Despite trying not to, we all put a little bit of ourselves into our novels. Do you have a character who acts like you?
Probably more than I realize! There are similar experiences that I drew on like dealing with claustrophobia or struggling with life, but then some things snuck in on me, and I didn’t realize they were there until recently. Like Ayianna’s dream to be one of the famed elven stargazers… Yeah, I LOVE staring up at the sky, a lot. Ha! But I am not Ayianna. She has a pet wolf. I am not a pet person, as much as I want to be. Guess, I haven’t found my “George” yet. 😉 Oh, wait… No, I’m not doing any kind of wish fulfilment either.
(For those who don’t know, George is my lovely Basset Hound who is my baby!)
Do you have a favorite writing/editing snack? Or a routine that you’d like to share for writing/editing?
Chocolate? Ha! No, I don’t have anything, but I need one! But I do chew my lips something awful. I started chewing gum to stem that bad habit. It’s not going so well. 😉
What’s the best part of writing? The worst?
I LOVE it all. From brainstorming, researching, writing, editing…. The worst??? When my feelings aren’t cooperating, and I get in that stage of “OH, my writing SUCKS!” phase, which is true. We all suck at the beginning, but if we can trick ourselves into keep on keeping on, we’ll get better.
Lastly, where can we stalk you?
Thank you for such awesome questions, and for having me on your blog today!
My cyberspace hang outs:
Google+ (But I’m still learning the ropes here!)
Welcome to the World of Nälu!
Johari lives in the shadow of her beautiful sister until a foreign king notices her, but in her haste to prove herself worthy of affection she finds herself compromised and on a difficult journey to make things right.
The teaching of the Guardians has guided Semine’s footsteps since her infancy. When her mentor shows up with information contrary to what she’s been taught, she doubts her decision to follow in their footsteps. She must decide if there is life beyond what she has always known or embrace a new, mysterious path and reject the Guardians’ legacy.
Elothryn keeps the darkest secret of Nälu: The cursed dagger of Raemoja. A weapon powerful enough to release the greatest evil from the underworld. For generations, his family has lived without incident until now. The hunters have his scent and will stop at nothing to reclaim the dagger. Elothryn and his son flee, seeking help, but will they find it?
Torn from her homeland and thrust into a betrothal against her wishes, Ayianna learns her family has a deadly secret that now has her on the run. She joins forces with Kael, an embittered half-elf, and Saeed, an elderly High Guardian, to seek answers to her father’s death, the destruction of Dagmar, and the plains people’s bizarre behavior.
Ayianna discovers there is more at stake here than just her mother’s disappearance and her familial duty to her betrothed. The sorceress has cursed the plains people, and it is a race against time to release them before the sorceress resurrects an ancient evil.
Find it at Amazon and Goodreads.
Meet the Author
Writing as J. L. Mbewe, Jennette is an author, artist, mother, wife, but not always in that order. Born and raised in Minnesota, she now braves the heat of Texas, but pines for the Northern Lights and the lakes of home every autumn. She loves trying to capture the abstract and make it concrete. She has two short stories published in The Clockwork Dragon anthology, and is busily creating worlds inhabited by all sorts of fantasy creatures and characters, all questing about and discovering true love amid lots of peril. Her debut novel Secrets Kept and her short stories set in the world of Nälu: Desert Rose, Dragon Thief, and Indestructible are now available. She is currently living her second childhood with a wonderful husband and two precious children who don’t seem to mind her eclectic collections of rocks, shells, and books, among other things. For more information about her journey as a writer mama and all things creative please visit her at http://www.jlmbewe.com/