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Author Interview – J.E. McKnight – New Book Launch – Virtual Age

May 16, 2020
mandyevebarnett


Joe photo

1. Please tell us about your new YA novel – Virtual Age

A- Virtual Age takes place in a distant future. Our world is no longer able to support life so, in preparation for this, indoor cities were built where air and water is purified. The technology of virtual reality was adapted so people can work, play, travel, and enjoy a version of the outside world within the system. When you live your lives within a computer, you become susceptible to hacking – which could drain you of all your money as all money is accessed through computers – and your whole world could be altered and flipped upside down.

My main character is a thirteen year-old boy by the name of Aiden Murphy. He enjoyed the simple life of a teen – going to birthday parties, occasionally standing up to the school bully, and going with his family on vacations or trips to the beach. It was on one of these outings where Aiden finds himself trapped in the system, lost and all alone; unable to get home. He doesn’t know who to trust. He doesn’t know where to go. He doesn’t know what he is going to encounter within someone else’s program. He will be tested every step of the way.

Virtual Age

2. How did you come up with the idea?

A- I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of virtual reality and wanted to come up with a story centres around that concept. Actually, I remember when I came up with the idea and some points within the plot while at work. I was working for a commercial insulating company a few years ago. One day I was sent to a job and there was no material there for me to do any work so I spent 3 hours waiting around for the material and while I did, I came up with the concept and title of my book.

  1. Did you decide on writing a YA from the start?

A- I have had ideas for YA novels that I still want to write, however, this wasn’t one of them. I started it off as any of my other novels but then realized as I was writing that it was better suited as a YA.

  1. Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?

A- There are so many but one that stands out is Dimlyn – an inhabitant of the planet Seledania – she is strong, determined, stubbourn, kind, and generous. Her loyalty to her society is put to the test when she encounters a visitor from beyond the stars –a human – who is feared and hated by the whole of the society besides Dimlyn. She is willing to overlook his outer appearance despite the backlash she receives from the rest of the society. She was probably the most fun to write because she isn’t human.    

Arrival

  1. When did you write the manuscript?

A- I wrote the manuscript in November of 2018. I participate in NaNoWriMo every year. November is National Novel Writing Month and authors who sign up are challenged with writing 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days. 

  1. How many books have you written?

A- I have published 8 books so far. Book #9 is in editing and book #10 is ready to be edited.

  1. Which genre interests you the most?

A- I mostly write in the sci-fi/supernatural genres.

  1. Have you written more than one genre?

A- Aside from sci-fi/supernatural I have also written a psychological thriller, a superhero story and a collection of Christmas stories.

STOCKING

  1. Do your books have a specific message for your readers?

A- I don’t often think in terms of messages within the story but when I thought about my stories I began to realize most of them did carry a similar message- that being of tolerance. We need to treat each other with the love and compassion we want for ourselves. And don’t be too quick to judge.

  1. How many other writing projects do you have in progress?

A- Like I said I have two books in various stages of the editing process as well I have a prequel for my first novel – Time’s Hostage – I’m working on.

hostage

  1. Where can readers connect with you?

A- They can connect with me on my Facebook page: J E McKnight – author

Twitter: @jemcknight1975

And they can check out all my books on my website: jemcknight.com

E-books available on all sites.

ebook-sites

Bio:

Joe McKnight was born in Fort Saskatchewan and raised in the small Alberta farming community of Partridge Hill. He started his schooling in Ardrossan, where he developed a love of story-telling. His love of writing continued to grow throughout his school years. In 2004, while upgrading his English 30, Joe’s passion increased. It was during that same year he stumbled upon a writer’s circle (offered by the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County) that provided the support and encouragement he needed. He continues to grow in his writing and looks forward to many future literary ventures.

Joe has published several books: Time’s Hostage, Fly on the Wall, The Arrival, Powerless, The Other Secret, Stocking Stuffers, Unnatural Selection, and Virtual Age. He is currently working on a new manuscript.

Joe is also an accomplished artist and his artwork also appears on the cover of From a Solitary Drop – he was commissioned to design the illustration featured on the cover. 

Solitary Drop

VIRTUAL

New Book

Author Interview – Jenna Greene

July 16, 2019
mandyevebarnett


AuthorInterview

jenna-greene_orig

What inspired your latest novel?                                        

While I didn’t realize it at the time, the illness and subsequent death of my mother. There are many hints about connection to the afterlife in the novel.

How did you come up with the title?                 

It has a dual meaning. First of all, it describes a class of people in a dystopian society, but it also represents the journey of the main character, Lexil, as she overcomes challenges and becomes a new person.

Reborn

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

That your personality is not static, nor is your life. You can change and grow at any time and stage of your life.

How much of the book is realistic?

The essence of each character is. Their emotions are no different than any other person, but they are in extraordinary circumstances.

Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I think the character of Ceera, who is only five years old in the novel, represents myself when I was younger, as well as the innocence I see in all the children I work with. (I’m a teacher).

Where can readers find you on social media and do you have a blog?

While I do not have a blog, I am very active on social media. My website is www.jennagreene.ca and I can be found on Twitter (@jgreenewrites) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/jennabutrenchukgreene)

Do you have plans or ideas for your next book? Is it a sequel or a stand alone?

I always have a thousand projects in the works! I’m doing my best to finish the sequel to Reborn as fast as my fans desire. I am also collaborating with illustrators for some children’s picture books

Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?

That’s not fair! I have to pick a favourite? That’s like picking a favourite book. Nope! Not doing it!

Do you favor one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one?

I love YA! Read it! Write it! And fantasy has a special place in my heart, of course. But I’m trying to dabble into new genres.

Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer?

Some parts are planned, usually the beginning and the ending. The rest is filling in the middle, which is more fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants.

What is your best marketing tip?

Dive in! Be ready to stay active and try new things. Marketing starts long before the novel is released (or sometimes even written) and continues long after.

Do you find social media a great tool or a hindrance?

I think it’s very useful. It just takes a lot of time.

What do you enjoy most about writing?

Every part except editing!

What age did you start writing stories/poems?

Grade two. So… I must have been six or seven years old.

PRESS RELEASE

A FATE WORSE THAN DEATH?
NEW SERIES BY ACCLAIMED YOUNG ADULT FANTASY AUTHOR
LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA: Influenced by the illness and subsequent death of her mother, young adult author Jenna Greene pens the first in a new series, Reborn. In this coming of age fantasy, Lexil discovers through the marks on her skin that she is a Reborn–someone who has lived before. Because of this, and the intricate mythology of her world, she is sold at auction and forced to become a slave, abruptly throwing her life and everything she’s known into a chaotic spiral. At a time when Lexil is already struggling with the adversities of being a teenager, still reeling from the loss of parents, the effects of being portrayed as different take their toll. Lexil is out to understand and discover even more about who she is, and who she will become.
Intermixed with a unique and complex mythology, drawing from her own life experiences, and her ability to write truly authentic characters, Mrs. Greene tugs at our hearts when Lexil must save a young child, form a new ally with a charming boy named Finn, but most importantly, fight to survive.
Jenna is known for her talent of creating characters the audience can relate to whether they are young adults or adults, and this time, Lexil is no different. Her compelling writing style continues to captivate readers, asking tough questions and revealing the answers all while creating tension, true emotions, and imaginative world-building.
With five published novels to date, including her outstanding Imagine series, Jenna has a passion for writing that shines. Recently, in a spotlight feature in Pandora’s Box Gazette, Jenna stated:
“I don’t know how young I was when I identified as a writer. It was probably when I first started school and a teacher told my parents I had talent. Since then, I’ve always known writing was something I would pursue. There are stories in my head that I have the desire and ability to tell

 

Ambivalence, A Teenager’s Persona…

November 18, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Ambivalent – definition: uncertain or unable to decide about what course to follow

teenager

Ambivalence is widely viewed as a teenagers persona. Their conversation is liberally interspersed with ‘I don’t care’, ‘I’m bored’, ‘you don’t understand anything’, and many more. The ‘sudden’ change in a child for many parents is puzzling  and frustrating. No matter what they say or do it is never ‘right’. The reason for the changes are due to new massive hormonal  messages flooding the teenager’s brain in conjunction with the normal and current needs and experiences it has to process. In essence their brain is being reshaped, and reconstructed giving rise to personality changes and emotional instability.

It is essential that teenagers are exposed to encouraging, supportive and sound advice in this period as their personality will be shaped into their adult persona during this time. Negativity in any form will result in devastating results, whether physically, mentally or emotionally. The teenager years are the most venerable and it is the reason they need more love and encouragement. Let them experience new hobbies, research spirituality and get involved in organizations but with supervision and guidance. Above all love them.

Have you experienced the ‘teenager’ period? Are you in the midst of it? 

Can you share tips on how to deal with a teenager?

For my own experience I encouraged new hobbies, sports and interests. Got to know their friends and hang outs. Ensured they understood I would collect them from anywhere at any time if they needed me to. Required a text so I knew they were safe and unharmed. And loved them fiercely. My son is now 21 years and a delight. My daughter is 17 and we are coping with her growing up with understanding and love.

When we write for this age group or create a character from it, we need to understand the workings of their minds. As with all research for novels, the more we understand the better our work will be.

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