Interview with Jennifer Worrell
So, my second interview of 2021 is with Jennifer Worrell, a fantastic author published with Darkstroke. Her book, Edge of Sundown, looks to be a great read. I’ve only tackled the first chapter in preparation for the interview and am hooked. Let’s get to know more about Jennifer, shall we?
So many authors were storytellers before they penned their first novel. What is the first story you remember telling (not necessarily writing)?
I used to make up stories about my imaginary friend Jerry…which I’m pretty sure was the mouse from Tom & Jerry. So I did fanfiction before I knew it was a thing.
How many languages do you speak? Which is your favorite?
Only English. But I learned a few signs in ASL at a former job, and hope to become fluent one day.
You are asked what your least favorite color is, knowing that it will forever be erased from existence. Would you give your answer?
No, because I would probably set off some awful butterfly effect. But would anyone miss Barbie pink? Would the Dream House be a bland white stucco? We’ll never know.
Yes, it probably would set off a butterfly effect. And I would miss Barbie pink.
What are your hobbies (besides reading and writing)?
I am quite dull, so I’ll say baking (though less so now, sadly, with the plague shutting down bake sales). One of these days I want to take up guitar again, and learn how to make jewelry, and take dance or ice skating lessons.
You don't sound dull at all! I enjoy baking...cakes and cupcakes. That's about it. Apparently, I am a horrid cook. I mean, I can burn water, so...
What is your favorite sport to play? To watch? Or, what is your least favorite to play or watch?
What are sports?
Good one! There is a sport that I enjoy. It is called Kubb. Have you ever played it? Did you have to look it up before answering?
I did have to look it up! But it sounds fun!
The zombie apocalypse will happen in two days. You are fully stocked with food, water, and toilet paper. What is the one thing you will have stocked up on as your guilty pleasure?
Gummies. I can eat my weight in gummies. I would have said whiskey, but I should probably keep a clear head.
Most should definitely have a clear head if being chased by zombies, or you might throw all your gummies at them!
What movie sequel would you erase from history and why?
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. There already were two sequels to Raiders. Why replace Harrison Ford as the hero? So many questions.
Ok, another movie question. Star Wars or Star Trek?
Trek. But only the first 6 movies. One day I’ll catch up with the show.
Please don't hate me, but I enjoy the remakes, too.
You won the mythical lottery and are granted the use of a magical creature for one week. What creature would you pick and why?
A mermaid, but only if I get to take on the traits of one too. I always wished I could swim.
That is one thing you would have to ask the genie granting the wish. All those loopholes, eh?
What is one food you could never bring yourself to eat and why?
Balut. I love ducks, I love eggs, but…
Tell us your favorite "dad joke."
This is a literal “dad joke”! Many years ago, my sister-in-law was hosting Christmas dinner. She brought out a silver serving spoon for the mashed potatoes, a family heirloom from her grandmother and great aunt. After so many years, it was a little dented and misshapen, and my father-in-law said, “Looks like it’s fallen on bad tines.”
Bahahahaha! I wonder if he came up with that on the fly or if it sat simmering for years?
Cake or pie?
Definitely pie. Although ice cream cake is hard to beat.
Ice cream cake! It is hard to beat a slightly melting slice on a hot summer day.
Tell us about your latest book.
My first novel was released in November 2020. It’s about an author, Val Haverford, whose best-seller days are in the past. In order to recapture his glory days, he pens one last book: a dystopian conspiracy theory. He soon discovers his fictional extremists aren’t so imaginary after all—in fact, they believe he’s aware of their plans, and his book is an exposé designed to destroy them. They give him one chance to scrap the project—or Val may be destroyed instead.
This took me about 7 years to write because I am the slowest writer ever, and I took a lot of breaks to write flash fiction and essays too. I can’t write just one thing at a time!
You can find it at mybook.to/EdgeofSundown or etsy.com/shop/JWorrellWrites. It may not change your life, but I do love to give my readers something to think about. I feel like aging, quiet characters are underexplored, so I hope you dig it!
It sounds great. I enjoyed the first chapter…great set up, already intrigued by the MC, Val. Your writing style…love it!
When dystopian fiction becomes real… Val Haverford’s Sci-Fi and Western novels made him a household name. But that was then. A decade of creative stagnation and fading health has left him in the literary wilderness. Attempting to end his dry spell and secure his legacy, Val pens a dystopian conspiracy theory set in a tangential universe where alien invaders eliminate ‘undesirables’ perceived as drains on society. But as he digs deeper into violence plaguing his adopted home of Chicago, he discovers unsettling similarities between his work in progress and a life he thought he left behind. Soon he finds his fictional extremists are not only real—they’re intent on making sure his book never sees the light of day. As he pieces together haunting truths about his city and his motives, Val realizes his last chance to revive his career and reconcile the past could get him—and the people he loves—killed. Will he make the right choice? Or will it be too late? Edge of Sundown is a provocative story that shows how the desperation of lost opportunity can lead to drastic and unexpected consequences.
Final question...Do you have a favorite character that you created? Why or why not?
I wrote a flash story once from the POV of a crass, chain-smoking sword named Thrusty Stabbington that I’m really quite proud of. I had it up on Facebook, but they discontinued the Notes feature, so it will appear in a collection of short stories instead.
Thrusty Stabbington! Seriously? It sounds like a must-read for me! Where can I get a copy?
Thank you so much for joining me today, Jennifer. I wish you success on Edge of Sundown and your many other works. Now, I shall go back to reading your book.
Author bio stolen from Darkstroke: If Jennifer were to make a deal with the Devil, she’d ask to live—in good health—just until she’s finished reading all the books. She figures that’s pretty square.
In case other bibliophiles attempt the same scheme, she’s working hard to get all her ideas on paper. She writes multi-genre fiction and the occasional essay, and is currently working on a collection of shorts and two picture books that may or may not be suitable for children.
Edge of Sundown is her first novel. She’s always been drawn to “what-ifs” and flawed characters, and has never quite mastered the happy ending.
Jennifer is a member of Chicago Writers Association and Independent Writers of Chicago, and works at a private university library. To connect with her and find links to her published works, check out her website; Twitter or Facebook pages; and/or sign up for her monthly newsletter.
Links mentioned above: web: jenniferworrellwrites.com twitter: @JWorrellWrites facebook: @JWorrellWrites newsletter: https://www.subscribepage.com/o7d4i7