Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fun Interview with Jen Wylie


Jennifer Wylie was born and raised in Ontario, Canada. In a cosmic twist of fate she dislikes the snow and cold.

Before settling down to raise a family, she attained a BA from Queens University and worked in retail and sales.

Thanks to her mother she acquired a love of books at an early age and began writing in public school. She constantly has stories floating around in her head, and finds it amazing most people don’t. Jennifer writes various forms of fantasy, both novels and short stories. Sweet light is her debut novel to be published in 2011.

Jennifer resides in rural Ontario, Canada with her husband, two boys, Australian shepherd a flock of birds and a disagreeable amount of wildlife.

Onto the interview!

What would you do if you didn’t have to work?
Write of course :) I'd also read a lot more, edits, writing and marketing have me so busy I don't have as much time for it as I'd like. :)

There's never enough time in the day! What did you want to be when you were 10 years old?
Hmm.. I think at that age I wanted to be a vet. I changed my mind quite often though LOL

So did I! What makes you laugh?
Most things :) Though I do have my grumpy moments, I usually try to find the humor in any situation. I've a rather twisted/warp of sense of it too, so I find some things funny maybe other people wouldn't. My boys make me laugh a lot, just being cute, or when they have their silly moments. :)

Aw, sons are the best! If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
Oooh this is hard one! There are soo many cool powers out there :D I've thought of this before, and honestly it depends on my mood I guess. I'll like to be able to teleport. That would be very cool, I'd love to travel and distance wouldn't matter. I think that would be the most useful one for me. Just for fun, I think it would be cool to fly, or control the elements or or or... :D

The power to teleport would be awesome! If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
The Not-So-Boring Mom :D

LOL Great title! If you had six months with no obligations or financial constraints, what would you do with the time?
I'd love to travel (to warm places!) and just relax. I hear people do that so think it would be fun to try. Though I might die of boredom. I'm rather a go go go person. My mother is always telling me to sit down and relax when I visit :) I think this would be a perfect time to visit a lot of my friends too, I have so many great ones I've met online and would love to meet!

That would be great, I know I love to travel. If you won $20 million in the lottery, what would you do with the money?
Pay off debts, maybe buy myself a few things, like an awesome computer :D, and a new house, because I HATE my kitchen. Most of it I would save. I'm very frugal and like to hoard.

I'd love to use some in promoting my writing, and attending conventions etc. That would be a fun treat!

Conventions are awesome!! You can never go to enough. What kind of people do you dislike?
Mean people. I don't understand why some people are cruel for no reason. I also can't stand bad manners. My parents raised me to respect others and mind my manners. So many people don't even bother with please and thank you any more. Drives me nuts!

Oh, I know! I'm trying to teach son #1 manners. He says thank you all the time. Still working on please, though. :) What makes you angry?
I don't get angry a lot. I'm a rather happy toss rainbows and sunbeams girl :) People taking advantage of that does piss me off. As does mean or rude people, and of course the general unfairness of life. I also get angry when driving (though I wouldn't exactly call it road RAGE) I hate when people don't signal when turning, and when they drive 20 under the speed limit. Grrr.

And now for a little about Jen's latest work.

Series: Tales of Ever
#1 Banished

Short Story
Published March 1 2011 by Echelon Press

About the Series:

Tales of Ever is part of a new short story program being put out by Echelon Press. 

Electric Shorts is a pilot program for reluctant readers. Each series contains six short stories presented once per month as electronic downloads (eBooks), much the same as a television series. Geared for kids between the ages of seven and seventeen, each short story will include relevant material to attract and captivate the young and reluctant reader. From historical settings to future fantasy, across all genres, Electric Shorts will strive to satisfy all interests. Electric Shorts will be released every Tuesday, with a new installment of each series appearing once a month. At only $.99 each, the short stories are affordable for all walks of life. 

Tales of Ever is a fantasy series written for  young adults (13-17 year olds).

For advance review copies and requests for interviews and author events for any of the participating authors, contact Karen L. Syed at Echelon Press

Series Blurb:

Welcome to Ever.

Ever, a deadly realm where feared, powerful and dangerous magical beings are banished. Though very large, it is not a world but a magically created prison. You can’t break through its circular boundary. Who, or what, made Ever? I’ve no idea. They were powerful, and cruel. That is all I can tell you.

Ever is like and unlike every other world. Nothing is safe. Safety is a dream. Ever is a nightmare. Few survive their first day. Nothing is what it seems. If something appears safe, it isn’t. If something appears dangerous, well it is, but probably more so than you think.

Ever has no sun, no moon, no stars at night. Time is told by the ever changing color of the sky where portals open, dropping new inhabitants, or new terrors. Time does pass. Don’t worry, you won’t get old. You won’t live that long.

The landscape changes without reason form dessert to jungles. The flora isn’t safe at any time. There is food, if you can find it without getting eaten yourself. Most plants and animals are poisonous. So is the water.

Are you afraid? You should be. This is the end. It gets worse of course. Remember the portals? Do think angels come through? Rarely the innocent do. Mostly, it is people of evil, people too powerful to kill. Their magic works here. The creature’s are worse.

Do you understand? Well you will eventually, or you’ll die. There is no escaping Ever. Ever.

Banished Blurb:

My life was normal. It sucked, but it was normal. At least until I got this new power. I can control fire. It would be cool if it wasn’t so dangerous and if I knew how to use it. Pretty much my sucky life took a nose dive once I got it. Yup, everything gone. I suppose I should be thankful some uncle I never heard of took me in. Turns out the whole family isn’t normal and my power is a lot more dangerous than I thought. I thought things couldn’t get any worse. I was wrong. They banished me to Ever.
If I’m lucky, I might survive my first day.



I see it everywhere.

When did it start? I don't remember. A year ago? Maybe more. I see it more now than before.

Flames dance just out of sight. They flicker on school lockers, in windows, anywhere.

Now they hover over the road as I run.

I glare at my watch as I round the block. School sucked today. I've run farther and faster than I usually do, trying to push all my stupid problems away. I wonder if Mom waited for me.

Probably not.

The last year I've been unsettled. Sometimes I get these hot flashes. I don't understand why. Mom gets them sometimes, too. She says not to worry about it.

I can't tell her about seeing the fire, or about the dreams.

We do Yoga and that helps. So does running. I've done a lot of both over the last year.

It hasn't been the best year. Mom lost one of her jobs. She found another, but it doesn't pay as much. Lack of money really stresses her out.

I hope she'll let me get a decent job soon. Something other than yard work and babysitting. I want to help. Mom looks so tired lately. She is really starting to worry me.

In a few months I'll be sixteen. I haven't asked about getting my driver's license. I'm sure Mom won't bring it up either. We don't have money for a car, anyways. We don't even have money for lessons or the stupid license test.

What will I do if something happens to Mom?

I have no idea. We don't have any really close friends. A few people we sort of talk to, like our old neighbor Mrs. Green. No family either, at least not that Mom ever talks about.

I don't have any friends at school. Even though I go to a public school, most of the kids there have money. We don't, and it shows. People can be so fickle. Of course, I don't really try to make friends. I fall into the quiet and shy group. Years ago I gave up trying. Too many times I thought I'd found a friend and then got stabbed in the back.

Seeing fire sets me apart too. I know other people don't see it, not like I do. Some are obsessed with it. I watch them play with matches and lighters outside at school.

I'm not obsessed. What I see scares me.

I slow when I reach our falling down house. Flames dance on the metal mailbox. I look away and dash into the broken porch.

"I'm back!"

Mom doesn't answer, but I didn't expect her to.

She had started without me. Sitting on a mat, her body is twisted into a Yoga position.

I started Yoga when I was little because it was fun. Later, I did it to spend time with Mom. That was after Dad disappeared and Mom took a second job. The only thing Mom ever makes time for is her Yoga.

Tucking away how much that hurt, I join in quietly.

My thoughts don't want to calm. All I can think about is how unfair everything is. If Dad hadn't disappeared, we wouldn't be living like this.

I glance over at Mom, wondering if anyone knew the truth. The police listed him as a missing person.

Dad left work to come home one night and never arrived. They found his car in the next county. Someone had set it on fire too. At least Dad hadn't been in it. We still don't know what happened to him. Would Mom move on if she knew?

I feel another hot flash coming on and grimace. Breaking my stance, I pull at my T-shirt.

"Misha," Mom says quietly. "Find your center."

Mom never speaks during Yoga. Weird. "I'm fine."

Starting another position, I pull something in my side. Today so isn't a good day.

Last night the dreams had been bad. Fire roared through them, burning everything. Everyone.

Turning and flopping onto my butt, I fan my face. I don't want to remember. Heat spreads through me. Maybe water would help. Water puts out fire.

Mom stands and walks over before I can get up. "This is important," she says firmly.

"I said I'm fine."

Mom tosses her red hair over her shoulder and reaches out to me.

I don't want to be touched and push her hand away.

Mom shrieks in pain.

I stare in shock as the welts form on her hand. They look like fingerprints. They quickly blister into burns.

I jump to my feet. Reaching out again, I quickly stop myself. I panic. The heat within me grows worse. "What did I do? I'm sorry!"

Mom sucks in a deep breath. "It's alright, honey. Let me deal with this." She pauses at the door. "We'll talk in a minute."

I nod dumbly, having no idea what's going on. Had I done that? How?

Flames flicker out of the corner of my eye. Fire.

I run to the kitchen and get a glass of water. I drink two cups before Mom comes back. Her hand is bandaged. "What's going on?"

She sits at the table and puts her face in her hands. Her hair falls around her.

My hair is the same shade of red as my moms. It looks like pale fire. Ours is like wild fire, curls and waves going off in every direction. Mom keeps hers really long. I cut mine shoulder length a few months ago. Dad's hair was red too, but darker and straight.

Mom has flecks of gold in her green eyes like me. I don't remember Dads eyes.

She looks up at me. The gold flecks remind me of tiny flames. "I was hoping you'd be free of this."

"Free of what?"

She lowers one hand and holds it out, palm up.

I stare at her hand, confused. "What?"

Mom doesn't say anything.

A moment later a flame is dancing over her palm. She curls her fingers in and out, playing with it.

I do nothing but stare at the fire she created. It's impossible to look away from the flame.

Fear runs through me. Mom made this fire. I see fire, dream of fire. I just burned Mom.

"The current term for it is pyrokinesis," she says after a while. "The ability to start fire from nothing, to control it, has been around forever."

"So what, you're like a firestarter?" I've seen the Stephen King movie. I've even read the book. Perhaps that's what freaked me out. It wasn't a very happy story.

Mom nods. She isn't happy either.

"How..." I don't even know where to begin.

Mom sighs as she curls her fingers over the flames. They disappear. She leans back in her chair. "In science class, you've learned how everything is made up of atoms?"

I nod.

"We can manipulate atoms to an excited state until they burst into flame. We can create fire from nothing by doing the same with atoms in the air."

I don't know what to say. Is she serious?

"Like a microwave," she adds.

"And you're saying I can do this too?"

She grimaces. "Yes. The first signs are heat changes in your body." She shakes her head. "It's a very dangerous gift, Misha. More like a curse. It's not easy to control."

I think of Dad. Of his burned out car. "Dad?"

She nods. "He was like me. Like us."

"But did it kill him?" I can't stop thinking of that movie. Of the girl who could kill with her fire. I remember my dreams of fire out of control. At least I know his death hadn't been my fault. I just got this darn power. Hadn't I?

Mom looks away. "I don't know."

I sit down at the table. My feet just don't want to hold me anymore. "Okay. So what now? How the heck do I control this?"

She smiles a little. "You're growing up so fast."

I stick my tongue out at her.

"You've got to learn to control it. Keep practicing. Stay calm and steady."

It's fun when you suddenly understand something. "The Yoga!"

She nods. "It helps. I'll help you, now that I know..." her voice trails off and she looks away. She looks tired again.

I wonder if she's worried I'll burn the house down. If I'll hurt her.

Looking at her hand, I wince. I already had.

Mom smiles a little. "You won't need to worry about doing that again, honey. I just wasn't prepared. Our gift can't fully be explained by science. We can control fire as well, move it, strengthen it, put it out. We can protect ourselves from it."

"Maybe I should learn that first?"

She chuckles. "A good plan."

So began my lessons as a firestarter.

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Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Nicole and Jen .. talk about being busy .. the new project sounds an interesting idea for the kids - just what I'd have loved to have had when I spent hours reading ..

Great review .. thank you - Hilary

Aubrie said...

Great interview and great questions. Jump looks really good.

Amie B said...

enjoyable interview! and i agree - i don't like mean people either.
congrats on the new projects!

Jen Wylie said...

Thanks so much for stopping by everyone!
And thanks to Nicole for hosting me today!
Hope you all have a super day!

Carol Riggs said...

Great and fun interview, and very nice excerpt! Intriguing. Thanks, Jen and Nicole. :)

Donea Lee said...

Such a fun interview! Thanks, Ladies and congrats to Jennifer! I'd love to teleport, too. :)

Janet Johnson said...

Fun interview! Aren't boys the best for making you smile?

And how fun to be a part of this new format. I'd never heard of it. :)