Jeanine Berry is a 2003 Eppie finalist and 2004 Eppie winner. And she's the author of The Secret Sky, which is one of three books in her fantasy series.
1. How did you become an author?
I've had stories spinning around in my head for as long as I can remember. I wrote my first short story in eighth grade. Like many an adolescent, I wrote poetry, some of which was later published. In college, I started to think about earning a living and turned my writing talents to journalism. After a career with newspapers and magazines, plus raising a family, life settled down a little and I was bitten again by the creative bug. I was intrigued by the newness of electronic publishing and sent a fantasy novel of mine to a small press publisher who did both paperback and electronic editions. That was my first published book, Dayspring Dawning.
2. What inspires you?
I like to write about things that matter to the human heart. My Dayspring series is all about faith. What do we believe, why do we believe it, and what do we do when we suspect our gods are lying to us? How far would you go to learn the truth? I like to explore philosophical questions, but not in some abstract way. I try to make the central conflict of vital importance in the life of my characters, while at the same time creating a unique and fascinating world for them to explore. One of the delights of fantasy is losing yourself in another universe.
3. What are you working on now? Future books?
I've started a new fantasy novel called The Thief of My Soul. The theme of this novel is that we each serve as a mirror for those around us. If you had a soul mate, what would you see in his or her soul? I'm also thinking about writing another book in my Dayspring series. There are three books in that series at the moment: The Secret Sky, Dayspring Dawning and Dayspring Destiny. Since these books span a thousand years of history, there's plenty of room for me to play with some new characters!
4. If you could have lunch with a literary figure (living or dead) who would it be? And why?
The first author who comes to mind is Mark Twain, actually. I'd pick him for purely selfish reasons. He might seem an odd choice, since he doesn't fit in my genre, which is fantasy and SF, but he's a great writer, so I'd be sure to learn something from him, and I think lunch with him would be a sheer delight.
5. What advice would you like to offer aspiring writers?
Don't give up. Looking back, I wish I would have shown a bit more determination years earlier. You read a lot about how hard it is to get published and not enough about how many do succeed by working at it, learning the ropes, and submitting time and time again. It can be done. It's not impossible.
6. What do you like to do besides writing?
My husband and I like to get outside, away from the computer, and play a round of golf. There's nothing quite like it to clear the mind.
7. Favorite movie? Vacation spot? Food?
I have so many favorite movies, it's almost impossible to pick just one. As a fantasy writer, I have to say the past few years have been especially blessed. I've gotten to see several great fantasy books come to life on the screen, including the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Harry Potter books. I'm also write SF and for some twisted reason, I enjoy those SF movies where the Earth is destroyed. Maybe it's the relief of walking out of the theater and seeing everything is really okay after all. Independence Day is probably my favorite there.
My favorite vacation spot is New England. The mountains and the sea, so close together, how can you beat that? My husband spent a couple of years in Thailand and introduced me to Thai food. At first, I thought my mouth was on fire, but these days I love it!
8. Anything you'd like to tell our readers? Upcoming contests? Booksignings? Events?
If you're interested in learning more about my coming books, please sign up for my newsletter. I offer excerpts and contests there each month. You can subscribe by sending a blank email to: Crossingtheimaginaryline-subscribe.yahoogroups.com
Thanks for sharing, Jeanine.
Below is a brief blurb for The Secret Sky:
The Secret Sky is the first book of my Dayspring series. It is available in ebook and paperback from Double Dragon Publishing, http://www.double-dragon-ebooks.com/
The Heart Stone. From the moment he learned of its existence, Aren Lohenrin, an adept of the Temple of the Sky Gods in Ruthher, knew he was destined to penetrate its secrets. The fist-sized purple crystal pulsed like a living thing with the immense knowledge the ancient Sky Gods had stored within it. The Heart Stone was too powerful for a human to touch. Yet when Aren stared into the stones shimmering violet depths, he heard it whisper his name. Plague had begun to stalk the streets of Ruthher and the death toll was mounting. Aren knew he must seek the secrets of the Heart Stone
even if it cost him his life. But even he could not foresee how a single act of defiance would change the world forever.
Ples give us the addy to your website url.
And your publishers name, release date, the name you write under and where your books can be found.
My publisher is Double Dragon Publishing (http://www.double-dragon-ebooks.com/) and I write under my own name, Jeanine Berry. My books can also be found on Amazon and at Fictionwise.
Any other important information?
The second book in my Dayspring Series was a 2003 Eppie finalist for Best Fantasy Novel, and the final book in the series won the 2004 Eppie for best fantasy novel. I've also been named as a Dream Realm award finalist for The Sex Gates, an SF book I co-wrote with Darrell Bain.