Jennifer has three children who are experts at naming her characters, one loving, supportive husband, a dog with little-man syndrome, and three chickens (of whom she is secretly afraid).
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Four clans have been at war for centuries: the Kodiak, the Raven, the Wolf and the Ram. Through brutal war tactics, the Ram have dominated the region, inflicting death and destruction on their neighbors.
Seventeen-year-old Zo is a Wolf and a Healer who volunteers to infiltrate the Ram as a spy on behalf of the allied clans. She offers herself as a Ram slave, joining the people who are called the “nameless.” Hers is a suicide mission – Zo’s despair after losing her parents in a Ram raid has left her seeking both revenge and an end to her own misery. But after her younger sister follows her into Rams Gate, Zo must find a way to survive her dangerous mission and keep her sister safe.
What she doesn’t expect to find is the friendship of a young Ram whose life she saves, the confusing feelings she develops for a Ram soldier, and an underground nameless insurrection. Zo learns that revenge, loyalty and love are more complicated than she ever imagined in the first installment of this two-book series.
Hi Jennifer! Thank you for stopping by Magical Urban Fantasy Reads. I’m about half-way through NAMELESS, and I am loving it so far!
Can you tell us a little about each of the clans in the world of NAMELESS?
The four clans in the book were inspired by four of my favorite cultures/civilizations throughout history. The Ram Clan (which is featured more than any other in Book 1) was inspired by Ancient Sparta. The Kodiak by the Maori people, the Raven by the Navajo, and the Wolf Clan by the Vikings and Norse legend. As a lover of all things historical, I’d always wondered what it would be like to pluck different cultures from history and put them into the same world. Thus, NAMELESS was born.
The central characters in your story are very well developed. When you picture your characters in your mind’s eye, how do you describe each of their character traits?
Thank you! Creating realistic characters with motivation and internal (as well as external) conflict is very important to me, so I appreciate the compliment.
When I picture Zo, I see a girl who is fundamentally kind and compassionate, but past experiences have created a sort of hard leather shell around her heart. She’s slow to trust and defends those within her small circle of loved ones with fierce intensity… mostly because she can’t stand the thought of losing someone again.
Gryphon has also experienced loss, but in a very different way. When his father deserted the clan shortly after his birth, he left Gryphon a crummy inheritance: family dishonor, a broken mother, and a massive chip on his shoulder. Instead of letting this lead to his ruin, he used his anger to fuel his training and success within the clan.
In the creation of your story, what was the first to develop?
As mentioned before, I’d always wanted to write this type of story, however, the plot didn’t unfold in my mind until Zo’s character took shape.
A few years ago, a teenage girl very dear to me moved into our home. She’d just graduated from high school and had battled with severe anxiety and depression for years. Her life had taken a dark turn and we hoped we might provide a good change in scenery as she prepared to attend college. Watching her struggle with anxiety and depression changed me to the core. At times, when things were really bad, I feared that no matter how hard I tried to help her, defeating her inner-demons was impossible.
I created Zo not because my cool book concept needed a heroine so much as because I personally needed to put a character into the worst circumstances imaginable and see her not just survive, but fight back. I’m happy to report this girl is doing phenomenal things in her life right now. It really is a fundamental truth that out of great trials come tremendous blessings.
Here is a quick Q&A to get to know you!
Facebook or Twitter? I’m on the fence on this one. (Cop out! I know) If I say Facebook, does that make me old???
Most visited online website? Email, Amazon, and Pandora
Kindle or Nook? Kindle
Favorite food? Salmon
Morning or night? Night!
Strange quirks? I have this thing about people eating cereal. Even if they’re chewing with their mouths closed, I can’t be in the room with them because every slurp and sound involved shivers my spine.
Guilty pleasure? Old Fashion, Chocolate Glazed donuts with milk. *Sighs*
Preferred weapon? Bow and arrow
What do you like to do in your spare time other than writing? Read (obvious and boring, I know. But it’s my favorite!) I also enjoy anything random and adventurous include skiing (water and snow), mountain biking, horseback riding, hiking, etc…
Top fave movies? Count of Monte Cristo, the latest Les Miserables, Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves (old-school, Kevin Costner style),
Top authors that inspire you? Patrick Rothfuss (the guy is sick-talented), Libba Bray, Shannon Hale, Maggie Steifvator (Raven Boys blew my mind), and of course, J.K. Rolling
Mindy: Top 5 fave books? WOW! There is no way of answering that question! But I’ll try…
In no particular order: Under the Never Sky, The Books of Bayern series, A Great and Terrible Beauty, Raven Boys, and really anything by Sarah M. Eden.
Favorite TV show when you were a kid? Full House and old Nick at Night reruns (Anyone remember F-Troop?)
Thanks again for stopping by Magical Urban Fantasy Reads! Maybe when your next book comes out we can have you again!
I’d love that! Thank you so much for having me!
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