Interview with Jenn Lees, Author of The Crossing

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What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write The Crossing (Arlan’s Pledge Book One)?

I had just finished reading The Song of Albion by Stephen R. Lawhead, which has a strong Celtic flavour. Brilliant series. I had lived in Scotland for some years but was living in Nairobi at the time and perhaps yearning for Scotland a wee bit. That series of novels just sent my imagination going. This was long before I wrote creatively.

There’s a hill behind a Scottish village where a friend of ours used to live. There are the ruins of an Iron Age Fort at the top of this hill, and in my imaginings, a wild looking Celtic-type warrior on a ginormous horse would come bursting through from another world. This was years ago, and this story has been percolating in my subconscious ever since.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

Fantasy. I’ve always read fantasy, right from primary school age. I’ve never stopped reading it. I read other genres, but never feel as satisfied as when I’m in a fantasy story. And yes, I write fantasy. I have also written a time travel romance set in a futuristic Scotland in a dystopian setting… but really, it’s a fantasy.

I always have romantic elements in my storyline too. Got to have some romance going on. I have tried to write contemporary, but then everything turns out to be happening in a castle, and the heroine is a warrior and there’s magic and… wait! Now it’s a fantasy! So, I give in and write where my heart truly is.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

The Fool’s Quest Book Two of Fitz and the Fool by Robin Hobb. The Blinding Knife Book Two of Lightbringer by Brent Weeks. The Name of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. Portal Slayer Hidden Journey by my author friend S L Dooley.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

Ooh, that’s a hard one. So many of them I enjoyed. That makes it sound like they were easy to write. None were easy. But I think my favourite was when Arlan meets Rhiannon at the Celtic Festival. It’s the first time the reader will see Arlan, our leading man, and I think he comes across quite impressively. Rhiannon thinks he is. The thing is though, and she doesn’t know it, but they’ve already met. Well, he’s met her, but she’s not met him…yet.

Yeah, portals opening to worlds at varying points on a timeline… it can do your head in. Arlan is cheeky and comes right up to Rhiannon and gives her a passionate kiss on the lips. She quite likes it, but she’s having a twinge of guilt, because, well, should she enjoy this so much from a perfect stranger? But Arlan leaves an impression on Rhiannon that will change everything.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

No, but I require total silence when I write. (Just ask my husband.)

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

I believe we are creative beings made by a creative Being. So, I tap into that. I find I come most alive when I’m in the creating phase of writing. I try to encourage others to find where their particular creative gift/talent lies, and to go for it. You never know who or what you may find in the process.

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

We all have a part to play. A special something that we do which will make this world better, even if it’s just for one other person. Some of us have bigger tasks. They may not be any more important, but perhaps more crucial to the times in which we live. But we all have something that’s just for us to do. And we shouldn’t be afraid to do it… we may discover we thrive on it, and it ends up being the best thing we could ever do with our lives.

 

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