Jen Greyson is a busy lady. Her New Adult novel, Lightning Rider, releases today - and trust me when I say that it's no easy task to release a book.
Lightning Rider features plenty of adventure, romance and kick-butt action scenes. I interviewed Jen about her new book, her writing world, and what makes her tick. Check it out!
Jen: A huge thank you to Summer here at Writing Belle for interviewing me and letting me come visit.
Me: Give us the rundown on Lightning Rider.
Jen: Lightning Rider is a new adult fantasy. It's about the first-ever female time traveler who has to go back to ancient Spain and kill a guy. She’s a Latina who teams up with a roman warrior to save the world. Along the way she has to learn who to trust and how to use her lightning bullwhips.
Me: Give us the rundown on yourself. Who are you and why are you a writer?
Jen: Well, I am a mama unleashing stories. I started writing about eight years ago and have a lot of fun with it. Lightning Rider is my first published novel. I am a huge fan of traveling and outdoors. If I get any sort of vacation, I am either headed out camping, or boating, or heading to Disney World to ride the Dueling Dragons. I absolutely love being in new places and I think that's one of many reasons why I set this book in Spain. It gives me a way to research a place and see it from a character's view point.
Me: What was the inspiration for Lightning Rider? Did you have to do a lot of research for the novel?
Jen: The inspiration for Lightning Rider came from a very quirky conversation that I had with my family during a family reunion. We were talking about my grandpa, who was into some off the wall stuff--astral projection and out-of-body experiences. I started thinking “what if?” . . . What if there was a family that was given the ability to time travel and change events? And the story took off from there.
I didn't originally plan on ancient Spain, but that was where the character led me, which turned into a lot of research on ancient Spain, on the hero, Viriato, and on Roman soldiers and the Roman occupation of Spain.
I love research and I get really geeked about it, so sometimes I end up doing more research than writing. But it's an amazing book and I had so much fun with it.
Me: How long did it take to write the book from cover to cover?
Jen: This book was one of those that just wouldn't die. I started writing it two years before I got the deal for it, and it looked nothing like it does now. I didn't love it, I put it aside, I worked on something else. But, I couldn't stop thinking about it, so I'd take it out and tweak it and it was just never quite right, and I finally burned the manuscript, then found it the next morning again on my desk!
At that point, I figured this thing wasn't ever going to go away, so I finished it. And finally found Evy's voice and wrote it from the right point of view, and everything just fell in line. So, total time on this book is seriously two years. Once I found the right story, from the right perspective, it took me about six months for version I submitted, then we did about another two months worth's of editing.
Me: I love strong independent heroines and I think Evy sounds like my kind of girl. How did you come up with her character?
Jen: That is a great question, and like I said, I got it wrong for a while, and she is incredibly stubborn and strong and independent and will get her way no matter what. So, I think there wasn't really a “coming up with” Evy--It was more about getting out of her way, and letting her tell the story. She's an amazing character. And it's been a blast to see her grow from a very self-centered, brash, aggressive girl to a thoughtful, vulnerable, woman. And I really hope readers like her, because I don't see her leaving me alone any time soon.
Me: I can't help it. I am curious about Constantine. Any juicy deets you can spill on this Roman warrior?
Jen: Ohhhhh Constantine . . . Constantine has been in this book from the very beginning, and he was really—when I look back on it now—he was really the pillar that cemented this story from the very beginning and he’s always been drawing Evy to him. And that's so characteristic of their relationship . . . his relationship with everyone, really. He's a pretty tortured guy, but things are going to get a lot better for him in book two (so there’s a teaser for everyone: he’s back, and he’s back in true Roman warrior style)
Me: Advice to aspiring authors?
Jen: Never give up. Be careful who you show your work to. Believe in the story. Never, ever, ever quit.
Me: Thanks so much for stopping by – best of luck in all of your writing endeavors!
Jen: Thanks for having me! I really enjoyed the interview, thanks for the great questions.
From the moment she decided on a degree in Equestrian Studies, Jen Greyson’s life has been one unscripted adventure after another. Leaving the cowboy state of Wyoming to train show horses in France, Switzerland, and Germany, she’s lived life without much of a plan, but always a book in her suitcase. Now a wife and mom to two young boys, she relies on her adventurous, passionate characters to be the risk- takers.
Jen also writes university courses and corporate training material when she’s not enjoying the wilds of the west via wakeboard or snowmobile. Her new adult fantasy, Lightning Rider, comes out May 31 and features a Latina heroine with some serious superpowers.
You can find Jen here:
About Lightning Rider:
Heiress to a time-traveling dynasty, Evy Rivera is finally claiming her birthright as a lightning rider. Problem is, she’s forced to learn it alongside Constantine, a prickly, obstinate Roman warrior who constantly challenges her to be the woman he sees in her.
Thrown back into ancient Spain, Evy must rely on guts and instinct to wield her lightning as a weapon and outsmart Ilif, her quasi-mentor who believes time traveling should be left to the Rivera men.
During her training, Evy and Constantine battle the push-pull of their explosive relationship, aware the 2,000-year span between their lives is an unavoidable hurdle.
Caught between a centuries-old battle rife with secrets, Evy must learn whom to trust before she risks everything and the wrong history repeats itself. When the heritage her parents have suppressed mingles with the past, Evy must find answers . . .
Which history is the right one? And who is she becoming?