Interview with Jen

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Here's an interview with me, answering most of the questions you asked at the end of Chapter Nineteen. Many people asked the same question and some asked multiple questions, so sorry if I've doubled up or missed any.

Remember to come back tomorrow for a sneak peek of my new series! :D

@AbbieWriter:

How do you think of titles for your books?

I thought about the titles for months before I finally settled on As They Rise, While We Fall and Before It Fades. I had a list of titles that I liked, but they just didn’t feel right. Then I had the idea for As They Rise, and the other two just stemmed from that.

What makes you stick to your books/plot lines when writing a story?

For The Eva Series, I wrote detailed outlines of each chapter before I started writing the story. That kept me on track. For my new series, I’ve just spent about three weeks figuring out the plot. I worked on it every day, writing pages and pages of notes, crafting a story that was layered and made sense. Then I wrote a scene outline for the first book, and finally, I started writing it. Having that plot and outline ready makes it so much easier to write.

Do you make the covers to your stories or do you have people make them?

I purchased the images of the girl from iStockPhoto.com, then made the covers in Photoshop. But I think I’ll change the covers again, or edit them a little, before I publish the books later this year.

@ItllBeRainingUrBlood: How are you so good at making strong characters like those?

I think I just really try to get into their heads, to see what they see and feel what they feel, and write it as though I was experiencing everything myself.

@ImOkayNot: Would you ever make an Epilogue for this book?

I think the interview with Eva that I posted just before this interview serves as the Epilogue, as it gives glimpses of what Eva’s life is like after the outbreak.

@Muffinsareamazing: Will there be a new series for Eva?

No, not a new series. One day, I’d like to write a spin-off book about Lea, and I might decide to write a fourth Eva book, but right now I have no plans to write either. Right now, all my focus is on my new series.

@OxTumblrGirlxo: Will there be a new book four for Eva, if so what are your ideas for the story?
(I've got a question, if you’re not writing a fourth book may I write a fan book four? Thanks)

There may be a book four, but if I do decide to write it, it won’t be for a long time. I’ve got too many other stories I want to write first. I do have ideas for a fourth book, and I think it would involve Eva going back to Australia, but I’m not sure. As I said, I may not ever write it.

As for writing Eva fan fiction, a few readers have asked about that. I’m flattered that readers want to write fanfic about my characters! I’m fine with it, but only if it’s clearly specified that it is fanfic, because I’ve seen one or two people write a zombie story about Eva, and other Wattpadders thought it was the real book, and they got very confused. So, maybe at the beginning of the book, write that it is fanfic, so that readers know it’s not written by me.

@GumGumRules: If God gave you one wish what would it be?

Wow, what a tough question! I think I would wish that everyone in the world could do what they love, and get paid for it. We all just want to make our dreams come true, and I think if everyone was able to earn a living by doing what they love, the world would be a much happier place.

That’s why I really love seeing authors on Wattpad getting publishing deals, because that’s one more person getting paid for doing what they love most in the whole world. I think it’s important to celebrate the success of others. The more happy, successful people there are in this world, the better we’ll all be.

@Nellynoorules: If you could bring one character from your story to life, who would it be?

Dixon :)

@Bennios123: Do you encourage people to write books?

Absolutely! I encourage everyone to write, or to do whatever it is that makes you truly happy.

@FAB_FALLEN_FAIRIES: What kind of stories will you write and what kind are you into?

I think I will continue to write YA supernatural/paranormal stories, and maybe some more horror, and more romance. I’ve always been fascinated by the supernatural, such as zombies, ghosts, vampires, witches, etc. I like reading dystopian stories, but actually, most of the books I’ve read have been non-fiction.

@Isaac123098: Will the new series be a zombie apocalypse?

Nope. I’m trying something completely new :)

@NishkaNayak: What is your new book about?

It’s a YA Paranormal Romance series. I’ll be revealing much more about it tomorrow, in my next update.

@Randompuzzle: How do you find your inspiration and how do you work up the effort to start writing a new story?

My inspiration comes from everywhere. Dreams, random ideas, movies, books, tv shows, or even normal day-to-day things like seeing a bird sitting at my window. It all weaves together to inspire my writing.

When I’m really excited about a story idea, it’s pretty easy to start a new story. It’s going back and continuing to write every day that’s the hardest part. To do that, sometimes I go over my story outline or notes and get inspired that way, other days I make myself sit at my laptop until I write. Some days are good, and I write 2,000 words, other days suck, and I only write 100, or none at all. But the important thing is that I keep going back to it. That’s how things get done.

@MemphisTiger: Are you planning on getting this book published?

Yes! I plan to self publish The Eva Series before the end of 2015. But first, I want to go back and edit and expand the books.

@Alijdelise: What would be your plan of survival if any type of apocalypse did happen?

I would probably die of a panic attack on day one, haha! I think the best plan is to gather a ton of supplies and weapons, find a boat and sail as far away as possible.

@Mishacoco: Your zombie dystopian series is a hit, what genre do you think you will be focusing on now? And will you miss writing about Eva's journey and if so, what will you miss the most?

The next genre for me is Paranormal Romance. I think I will miss writing about Eva’s journey, but I’ll miss the characters the most. I really liked Eva and Jo’s friendship. But, I have new characters to hang out with now in my new series :)

@Toni_deBoss: Where's Dixion?

Lol, a few people have asked me this. Dixon is totally fine. He has been on the cruise ship the whole time, which I wrote about in the book. Dixon was being kept on the top deck of the ship. The ship that sunk was different from the cruise ship, it was a hospital carrier. Dixon wasn’t on it. I would never kill Dixon!

@CatShamieHood: Were you listening to a song to somewhat inspire you?

No, I find music distracting when I write. I always have to sing along to the lyrics, so it interrupts my writing. But, oddly enough, I like to have the TV on when I write. Having that as background noise helps me focus for some reason.

@Bookwormthe13tth: How did you come up with this amazing story, the characters, and such?

For years, I’d thought about writing a story, but I didn’t think I’d be any good. In fact, I didn’t even think I’d be able to finish one book. But one day, I just decided to try it. I thought a zombie story would be fun. Plus, my husband is a huge zombie fan, so I thought I’d write a fun story for him to read. I actually never liked zombies until I started writing about them. And as I started writing As They Rise, the story just came together.

@born-rebel: Were the characters Eva, Jo, Wyatt and Ben actually inspired from someone in real life?

A little. Eva and I have a few things in common: we’re both make-up artists, and we both worked in a fifties diner in Melbourne. And I added in qualities that I would like to have. In the first two stories, Jo is loosely based on someone I used to know, but as I wrote the third book, I wanted Jo to be strong and smart, not weak, so I changed her a little. Wyatt shares a few similarities with my husband, and Ben isn’t really like anyone I know in real life.

@Alanahb246: I would really like to know how you thought up such creative diversions between the characters ending. (Jo falling off a bridge onto a boat, Eva getting washed down a river, Eliiot. e.t.c) They are really creative and unlike some books they aren't far fetched and they seem believable. How?

Thank you! I’m so glad you think it’s believable, I hoped it would be :) Basically, I just asked myself “What’s the absolute worst thing that could happen to Eva/Jo/etc right now?” and then I wrote that. As everyone who reads my stories knows, I’m a big fan of twists and cliffhangers, so I like to be creative with them as much as possible.

@Ilikejellybeans104: Would you make them go back in another book 10 years later? Or would you just say that they blow up Australia with nuclear bombs?

If I ever write a fourth book, I think Eva would go back to Australia five to ten years later. I don’t think nuking Australia would be the smartest idea, as there are still a lot of natural resources there that the world relies on, not to mention all the people still there.

@RainSpirit: Where would you like to travel?

Everywhere! I’ve already been to the USA, China, Bali, Singapore, and Fiji. I’d love to go to Europe, and see more of the USA and Canada. I’d also love to spend some more time in Beijing, I love that city so much. I really love to travel and I plan to visit many, many more places.

@Purdyrainbows: Have you always known what the ending of the story will be or have you thought of multiple, going back between them?

I always thought it would end with Eva, Wyatt, Jo and Ben on the ship, sailing away from Australia. But then I decided to write a bit about life on the ship, too, and have the series end with the ship arriving in the UK.

@JessicaSP: Did you do any research about the zombie apocalypse before creating The Eva Series? If so, what (in your opinion) was the most useful piece of information you found?

I did a bit of research, but not much. Most of my research was for Before It Fades, when I was writing about the field hospital and all the different ships. I think the most useful was the information about medical treatments for outbreaks, which helped me create the field hospital, with the antiseptic shower, biohazard suits, treatment, etc.

@-Sonic-: Why did she fall for Wyatt?

They had been friends and worked at the diner together for a while, and I think their love just grew naturally over time. The more they got to know each other as friends, the more they started to fall in love.

@CassandraRoseKimberl:

How did you create the zombie virus in this story? Did you make it up? Or did you use different symptoms from other illnesses to create the zombie virus?

Some of it is made up, other parts of it are from the rabies virus and the flu.

How do you deal with negative critics?

It’s okay if it’s polite, useful opinions, but I don’t understand people who leave rude, nasty comments or hate speech. I have never, and will never, leave a nasty comment for anyone about anything, ever. I just couldn’t be so mean or hurt someone like that. Besides, leaving a nasty comment or message for someone only shows the world that you’re a nasty person, it doesn’t mean what you say is true.

I’m a huge supporter of equality in all its forms, and I really believe that you should treat others how you want to be treated, and I live by that belief. In all honesty, I think people who leave mean comments, toll others online, or bully others, must be very unhappy, and I feel sorry for them. Happy people don’t feel the need to be mean.

Do you ever doubt your writing?

Yes. I have moments when I feel like giving up completely because I think I just can’t do it. But I love writing too much to ever stop, even if no-one ever reads it.

@Seidelaurora: What is your favorite part of having written a book?

Hearing from readers. I love talking to my readers and getting to know everyone. I don’t even mean talking about my stories, I love talking to readers about our favorite TV shows, movies, whatever. Wattpadders are the coolest, kindest, funniest people!

@Fluidevans:

What tools do you use to develop your characters?

For The Eva Series, I wrote short characters bios for Eva, Jo, Wyatt and Ben. For my new series, I went a bit deeper and wrote bios, and also wrote about their external and internal goals, motivation, and conflict.

Do you map it out before you start writing your book?

Yep :) For The Eva Series, I had an overall outline and short chapter outlines, plus research notes. I’m doing even more mapping and plotting for the new series. I’ve created a scene by scene outline that details the main character’s goal, motivation and conflict and also notes what happens in that scene, and I also wrote the plot points in my overall outline. I’ve found that the more I plot and map out the story, the easier and quicker I can write it, and the less time I spend staring at a blank screen not knowing what to write.

Are your characters based on people you know?

I’ve taken some qualities from people I know, but no characters is exactly based off of people I know.

Do you use any recording devices?

Nope. I’m a very visual person and need to see my ideas on paper. I write a lot of notes on notepaper and in notebooks, and in the Notes app on my iPhone. I write my stories in the Scrivener app on my MacBook Air.

I'm sure you get more motivated when people compliment your work. How do you deal with the negative critics?

I’ve never had too many negative critics, which is nice. I’ve noticed much less negative comments on Before It Fades, and I don’t know if that’s because the writing/story is better or because there aren’t as many mean people on Wattpad as there used to be. But when I do get a rare negative comment, it hurts.

But I’m getting better at remembering that mean people are usually unhappy people, and it reminds me that what they say isn’t about me, it’s really about them. A friend of mine always says “What other people think or say about me is none of my business,” and I try to remember that. It’s like Taylor Swift says, all they’re ever gonna be is mean. I’m doing what I love everyday, I’m happy, I love my life, I like being me, and that’s all that matters.

Does it ever make you doubt your writing skills?

Sometimes, but it will never stop me from writing. I love it too much to ever give up, and the more I write, the better my stories will be. Besides, it doesn’t matter what you do in life, there’s always going to be someone who doesn’t like it, so you may as well do what makes you happy.

@Hadymarie: If you can pick any character (except Eva) in this book to be with you in a zombie apocalypse, who would it be and why?

Dixon, because he can rip zombie’s heads off, and he’s adorable.

@Jasmin_J_V: If a zombie apocalypse were possible, would you be a real life Eva?

Hell no! I wish I could be, but I think I would be too scared to do all the things she does to survive.

@Keira21: What is the most unforgettable moment you've ever experienced while writing The Eva Series?

Writing the very last chapter was pretty unforgettable. It felt weird, knowing it would be the last chapter in the series, and seeing how far Eva had come. Seeing the amazing response my stories have had on Wattpad has been pretty unforgettable, too! I didn’t join Wattpad to get reads, I just wanted to write, so to see how much The Eva Series is loved by awesome people from all over the world, and to have over 2 million reads for the series, it’s mind blowing. I’m grateful and excited about it every single day. Wattpad is my happy place :)

@Sherlockian89: Do you think the zombie apocalypse is possible and if so, where would you go to survive?

I’ve seen an episode of Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman about this, and I think it said a zombie virus was possible, but not probable, so yes, I believe it’s possible. But I don’t think it would ever happen. I don’t think they would be the kind of zombies that run around eating people. But if it did happen, I think I would find a boat and get away from anywhere that’s infected.

@StoriesByAOddAuthor: What or who inspired you to become a writer?

I’ve always enjoyed writing, but I never thought about actually becoming a writer until I joined Wattpad. Seeing how much people enjoyed my stories, that’s when I started to think I could be a professional writer. So, YOU inspired me to become a writer. Everyone who has read my stories has inspired me to go after my dream and write full-time. Thank you :)

@Spongebobisawesome: Did you face this in your dreams or something, or did you come up with it, or do you have an active imagination?

I have a very active imagination. At school, I was constantly daydreaming in class, and I still have moments where I just tune out and go into my own world without even realizing. A lot of my writing time is spent sitting at my laptop, staring out the window as I imagine what happens in the next scene, I see it like a movie playing in my mind, and then quickly write what I’m seeing.

@WynterFrost: If you were offered a movie deal for the series would you take it?

Hells yes! I think The Eva Series would make awesome movies!

@Chazt21: What book are you most proud of?

Before It Fades. I think it’s the most well-written out of all three books, and I like seeing Eva become stronger while also having moments of weakness. But, I think my new series is going to be even better.

@Chancermiller: Do you think that you created Eva to portray yourself?

A little, but not entirely. We share a few qualities, but mostly, she is stronger than I am.

Other questions I get asked a lot:

Can you read my story?

At the moment, I’m not taking any read requests as I am obsessed with writing my new series.

What are your favourite TV shows?

I have so many! I love Supernatural, The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Seinfeld... I watch a lot of TV, haha! Netflix has just come to Australia, and I just got it, so I'm sure I'll be watching even more TV! :)

Do you have a blog?

Yes, it's jenmariewilde.com.

Are you on Snapchat?

Yep! My username is jenmariewilde.

I'm new to Snapchat, so feel free to add me!

COMING TOMORROW:

A sneak peek of my brand new series – including the first chapter!

Before It Fades (The Eva Series #3)Read this story for FREE!