I met Jensen in the best writers group on Facebook—Writing Bad—for which she is Lead Admin and does a fabulous job. She is smart, funny, and a talented writer, and she loves Halloween as much as I do. She co-owns Pixie Forest Publishing with Donise Sheppard, putting out beautiful anthologies filled with other talented writers. Read her interview, follow her online, and buy those anthologies!
Tell me about your writing process, including schedule, environment, and inspirations tangible and abstract.
I usually listen to music beforehand (a playlist that fits the story I’m working on) but I can’t have it on while I’m writing or I get too distracted. I used to only write at night once my kids were in bed, but now they are both in school, so I have 2.5 hours a couple days a week to work on stuff during preschool, and I have been taking Sundays as personal time while my husband wrangles the kiddos.
I pull inspiration from all over. Dreams, music, people-watching, Pinterest, and weird things like browning meat on the stove.
Describe the publishing process from the perspective of the author versus the owner / editor. Explain how you created Pixie Forest Publishing with Donise.
I have only ever published anthologies at this point. I edited and formatted Shards of Survival, which is Writing Bad’s first anthology. You’ll find eight stories in it, including ones from Lael and myself 😉 I took that knowledge with me into PFP, but Donise has published her own books already, so even though we both edited, she did the formatting for Love Dust. I will probably do so for the next one, because it’s a lot of work and stressful.
We were talking one night about our publications and anthologies. We are both in Full Metal Horror and were just getting to know each other more. Then we both expressed interest in creating our own anthologies, something we had separately wanted to do for a while, and ended up joining forces to create PFP. With our combined followings and some great support from friends, PFP has really grown since April. We have a different set of strengths and they combine well, and PFP’s success so far is proof.
How did you build your support system—your tribe, and how did you become Lead Admin for the best writers group on Facebook?
Well, most of my tribe is online. I met them through groups, or a few I’ve known since school. A lot of my reading / writing tribe members are also my best friends. I was in a writing group / admin, but it was stagnant, so I went in search of a new one. I stumbled upon Writing Bad and joined, and within a couple weeks, there was an ad for new admin to help. I dissolved the stagnant group into WB and ended up applying to be admin. I’ve been an admin for well over a year now and we’ve grown a lot. We have a promotions group now too, and are constantly filling the website with resources and helpful articles.
How does your life influence your art and vice versa—what has led you to the delicious, delightful darkness? Do you scare your children?
LOL. They know I write, but they don’t really know what. The short story “Pancake Spiders” was inspired by my oldest son, and I read it to him regularly upon his request. I just censor it a bit to fit a five-year-old.
I’m not sure how life influences my writing. I know that I feed a little of myself and those I know into the characters I create. I read a lot. I observe a ton. It all gets woven into the stories and characters.
What do you love most about your creativity?
That it can elicit emotional responses from other people and myself! Read the ending of Ranch, the first book in my zombie apocalypse series, to two of my best friends / betas, and one literally walked out of the house. That is amazing.
I love the times where I go to reread a certain part of Ranch, and end up reading for chapters and chapters, because I get sucked into the story—even though I wrote it and have been re-reading and writing it for years.
Write a 50-word flash fiction, right here, right now!
“Katie!” Ward’s yell echoed across the ravine as the edge gave way beneath his daughter’s feet. She began to fall towards the rocky ledge he was sprawled out on, and he urged his useless, broken leg to work as he struggled to reach her before she tumbled past him.
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