Do you want to be transported to another land? Then maybe this next author I had the pleasure of interviewing will happily take you there. Jessica sounds like someone who will take you on a carpet ride, or better yet, a ride on a dragon to a new world to help you escape from your life for a few hours. Let’s get to know Jessica Turnbull more and learn about her books so then you can take that dragon ride to another land.
- What sparked your interest in writing?
I’ve been interested in writing for as long as I can remember, but the book series that made me want to write was Warriors, or Warrior Cats. I wrote fanfiction of this series for years, which helped me practice my writing style. If I hadn’t started reading Warriors, I don’t know whether I would be writing today.
2. Has anyone in your life inspired you to write?
My late grandfather always pushed me to continue writing as it made me happy. I dedicated my first book, Blood and Water, to him as a thank you. He read every single one of my stories when I was young and inspired me to keep writing. The first ever copy of Blood and Water used to sit on his shelf, which he loved to show off to his friends.
3. When did you decide to publish?
I knew I wanted to be an author when I was sixteen, but I didn’t chase that dream until I turned nineteen. I finished Blood and Water at seventeen and sat on it for four years before deciding I would take the plunge to try and get it published.
4. Are you an Indie Author or Traditional Author? Why did you choose the path you did?
I am an indie author, though I started off my author journey through querying literary agents. I queried about seventy of them, and all of them rejected me. Near the end I found myself wanting the rejections, to give me an excuse to go indie. I wanted complete control over my work, from the editing to the formatting. So, after a year of querying, I decided I would self-publish instead.
5. What is your first published book?
My first published book is the first book in the Elemental Dragons series, Blood and Water. It’s a young adult fantasy about dragons and teenagers with elemental powers. The protagonist, Hazel, just wants to fade into the background and be normal, but when dragon markings appear on her back, she has no chance of that happening. Her dragon companion, Aqueous, is less than normal either, as he is the first of his kind to be tamed. The two of them try to survive their anxiety of failing school while dodging the two political parties that are trying to recruit them. Instead, she has to figure out what her markings mean with her friends, before a previously extinct monster hunts her down.
6. Are you happy with how your books are coming out? Would you change anything?
I am happy with how my books are coming out currently. I love my covers and my editor is amazing; I was always afraid my books wouldn’t look professional enough compared to traditionally published titles, but I needn’t have worried, my books have been in good hands. The only thing I want to change in the future is the number of books I publish a year, going from two to three. But I don’t want to drain myself to the point where writing isn’t fun anymore, so for now that’s a long-term goal.
7. Will you continue to publish books for many years to come?
Yes! I’ve got plenty of books planned that I can’t wait to get out into the world. I have a mixture of standalone and series books, which I hope people will love as much as I do.
8. What genres inspire you to write?
The genre that got me started writing was fantasy, but as I got older, I became a lot more interested in sci-fi and horror as well. I’ve even started dabbling in post-apocalyptic too!
9. What is your favorite genre to write? What is your least favorite genre to write?
So far, my favourite to write is fantasy. I love writing about dragons and magic, which I will continue to write about for years to come! My least favourite genre to write is romance. I’m much better at writing action scenes than romantic ones. Although some of my books do contain romance, they’re not a huge plot point.
10. What challenges have you faced publishing?
The biggest challenge that I’ve faced publishing is overcoming my anxiety. I doubt myself a lot, and there have been times where I’ve thought that I’m not doing the right thing. Sometimes I even look at my own writing and think that no-one will want to read it, though people have told me they have enjoyed reading my books. This is something I have to work on myself, which is what put me off trying to get my book published for four years. Now that I’ve pushed the ‘publish’ button once, I’m going to make sure I keep doing it.
11. What challenges have you faced in writing?
My biggest challenge when writing is procrastination. It’s so easy to just say that I’ll write later and watch something on Netflix instead. I write best when I’m already in the ‘working’ state of mind. So, I’ve managed to combat this problem mostly through writing on my commute and during my lunch break at my full-time job.
12. Where do your ideas for your books come from? Where do you keep those ideas?
Honestly, I come up with most of my ideas when I’m asleep. I’ll have a dream that’s vaguely interesting and build on that. I keep all of my book ideas on my phone, so whenever I think of something new, I can quickly jot it down before I forget.
13. Are you also a bookworm and does reading other works help inspire your own writing?
I love reading, last year I read one hundred books! I mostly read in the genres I write in, but if a book catches my eye, I will take a look. I still read Warriors now and draw inspiration for my writing from there, I use the books to perfect my fight scenes.
14. Do you have a website where we can follow you?
Yes! My website is here: https://www.jessicaturnbull.com/
15. What is the link for your books so others may look and possibly purchase them from?
All of my books are available on Amazon in ebook and paperback. I currently have three published in the Elemental Dragons series, with the fourth and final one coming out in April 2021! Here are my ‘books’ page on my website, where you can take a look at my books and purchase them from Amazon:
I am looking forward to checking out her books and I hope you do too and see where her books take us on an adventure. She is like me with the whole publishing aspect as I struggle with self-doubt and thoughts of self-publishing. But Jessica overcame her fears, and I am sure I can too. She is an amazing person, strong, imaginative, and a great character. Definitely someone I am glad to have found on Twitter and thankful that I could interview her. So take the time to check out her website and her books on Amazon.