It has come to my attention that I have quite a few new followers out there! 1,173 people are in some way or another following this blog, either subscribed to the blog itself or able to see the posts when I automagically share them to facebook… 1,173! What in the deep world?!? This is both exciting and somewhat baffling. All those people reading my words… which, as an author, is basically the whole idea, so EXCITING… and yet, at times, I can’t help but wonder why? Why are there people reading my words? And why are people from ALL OVER THE WORLD reading my words? Some of you are reading from as far away as Australia/New Zealand, and that’s really, really cool!
But it also means that some of you may not know me very well. So I thought it might be time to sort of re-introduce myself! AND it just so happens that I was recently (well, almost two months ago… but in blogging terms, that’s still pretty recent, right?) tagged by the lovely Mackenzie over at Smudged Thoughts (thanks, Kenzie!) for the “Get to Know Me Tag” created by Savannah Grace at Inspiring Writes and seriously, if you’re not following these two amazing bloggers, you SHOULD be! Go check out their blogs, you’ll thank me!
Okay, these things usually come with
rules guidelines. Let’s see…
- link back to the blogger who created this tag . . . check
- thank the bloggerly bean who tagged you . . . check
- share the tag graphic . . . *points above*
- tag eleven other bloggers . . . uuhhhh well, this is where we enter a gray area…
On to… dun dun DUN… THE QUESTIONS!
~ Vital Stats and Appearance ~
Name: Jenelle Leanne Schmidt
Nickname: Never really had one. Sadness. My mom decided to spell my name JENELLE just in case anyone ever shortened it… she liked “Jen” better than “Jan”… well… wouldn’t you know it? Nobody has ever called me “Jen” but I like the way it looks anyway, even if I do have to correct everyone who ever writes it down… ever. LOL
Birthday: November 17
Hair color/length: Brown with some very faint red and blond highlights. Usually I like it long, but every couple of years I get this mad desire to chop it all off. I’ve had it as short as Rapunzel’s at the end of Tangled, and I liked it, but oddly enough found it to be a TON more work at that length. My favorite is when it’s somewhere between that and just beyond shoulder-length.
Eye Color: Blue-ish gray. A friend of mine insists that my eyes change color depending on my mood, but she’s the only one to ever say that, so I’m not sure I believe her.
Braces/Piercings/Tattoos: I had braces in jr. high. No piercings or tattoos of any kind. Not even pierced ears. Needles terrify me, and I can’t even watch other people put in their earrings, even though I KNOW it doesn’t hurt once the piercing is already there… but it makes me queasy, so… probably never going to happen. Though every now and then I am tempted by a particularly beautiful pair of dangly earrings.
Right or Lefty: I am a lefty, though for a lot of things I’m pretty ambidextrous.
Ethnicity: All-American Mutt. A lot of Irish/French/German/English maybe some Scottish, and I’ve been told I’m 1/10th Native American. Shrug?
~ Firsts ~
First Novel Written: Pretty sure it was a story I co-wrote with my friend in grade school. We called it “Rogtu and Scamper” and it was about two incorrigible puppies named… Rogtu and Scamper. We each took a character and wrote chapters from that pup’s perspective. I maaaay still have a handwritten copy lying around somewhere… pretty sure we never finished more than a couple of chapters.
First Novel Completed: That would be the story I wrote as a birthday gift for the same friend. I was 12 and the story was called Snake Dancer. It was about two young girls who escaped from a terrible orphanage and went to live in the woods. They found and tamed a wild horse who happened to be super fast and eventually took him to win the Triple Crown. It was awesome.
Okay, it wasn’t awesome.
But it was fun to write.
Award for Writing: I haven’t won any awards for writing per se… but my Beauty and the Beast retelling novella “Stone Curse” won a spot in the Rooglewood Press “Five Enchanted Roses” anthology, which is still one of the most exciting occurrences of my author career to-date.
First Publication: King’s Warrior, the first book in my Minstrel’s Song YA Fantasy series. I published it back in 2012 and have since completed and released the entire four-book series.
Conference: Realm Makers 2018! I’ve kind of been aware of Realm Makers since it started up, and sort of longingly watched from a distance for a few years, wishing I could go… and then last year things timed out just perfectly and I DID GO! It was super fun and I got to meet so many of my online writing friends and now they are more like real life friends because I’ve actually met them, and that’s really cool.
Query/Pitch: I… have no idea? I did my first “in person” pitching at Realm Makers and it was horrible and terrifying and I don’t like it at all. Back in 2010-ish I did some querying for King’s Warrior, but quickly decided that I didn’t like writing queries and that I only had a very limited amount of time and could either spend it perfecting a query letter OR I could spend it writing the books I wanted to write and perfecting that skill. It wasn’t a hard decision.
~ Favorites ~
Novel (that you wrote): Hands down and without a doubt, that would have to be Minstrel’s Call. It is possible that one of the Turrim Archive books will surpass it, but right now, those are all in hideous rough draft form. I love them dearly, but Minstrel’s Call is the culmination of 17 years of writing and dreaming and driving towards the goal of having the Minstrel’s Song series finished. And it came together so epically and beautifully…
A close second would be Stone Curse. I am so stinkin’ proud of that story. And I worked SO HARD on it. So hard. I still remember reading through the galley proof, my own copy I had sent in side-by-side with it because I kept coming to lines that I thought had been edited because I didn’t believe I could have possibly written them!
Genre: Fantasy. It’s always fantasy. I like other speculative fiction, and I love fairy tales and retellings, and I enjoy reading other genres outside of speculative fiction upon occasion, but in the end, my favorite by a very wide margin, is fantasy.
Author(s): Tolkien, Lewis, MacDonald, Gwen Walker, Lawhead, Brooks, Weis/Hickman, Zahn
Writing Music: Totally depends on my mood and what I’m writing. Usually it’s either Christmas music, Celtic music, or soundtracks. Though lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Piano Guys and Lindsey Sterling while I write.
Time to Write: Anytime I have time. As a mom of four small hobbits, I can’t afford the luxury of a favorite time to write. Usually in the afternoons while they’re in quiet time/napping, or in the evenings after they go to bed.
Writing Snack/Drink: I don’t usually have a go-to snack. And usually I’m drinking water (because if I’m writing at night, anything else will probably prevent me from being able to fall asleep!)
Movie: The Princess Bride.
Writing Memory: My favorite writing memory is from back in 2001. My dad had challenged me to write a book during the summer – I would write 10 pages each day and at the end of the day he would read them out loud to the rest of the family. The goal was to finish the book before I returned to college. At the end of the summer, we were going on a family vacation, and I wanted to have the book done before then, but I also wanted to have enough pages stocked up so that he could continue reading while we were on vacation… so towards the end of the summer I started secretly writing a bit more than 10 pages a day so I had those last 50-60 pages to take with us up to a little cabin in the middle of nowhere in northern Minnesota. Each night, we’d go down to the dock with a flashlight and my dad finished reading my first novel to my extremely appreciative audience with the lapping water and the loons and the crickets playing a soundtrack to my story. One night, however, there was the biggest and most incredible meteor shower I’ve ever seen, so my dad paused on the reading so he could watch it with us!
Childhood Book: Picture book… I don’t even know. Maybe the Polar Express or Owl Moon? A lot of the picture books I love most seem to have come out more recently. Book that was read to me that I loved and can still read over and over? That’s easier! He Whistles for the Cricket by my grandma, Gwen Walker. Where the Red Fern Grows. The Hobbit. The Chronicles of Narnia. The Chronicles of Prydain. The Lord of the Rings. (Unlike Eustace, you can see, I grew up reading all the right sorts of books!)
~ Currently ~
Writing: I am currently working on the rough draft of the fifth and final book in my new series, The Turrim Archive. It’s fantasy/gaslamp set in a sort of Victorian-esque time frame, with airships and pirates, and *GASP!* NO DRAGONS!
Listening To: Generally I am either listening to anything by Brittany Jean or Shawn Newby. Unless I’m writing and need music without lyrics, in which case, see my answer above about favorite music to write to. Love listening to country music on the radio in the car. That’s… about it.
Watching: Lately it’s been a lot of Psych and Grand Tour. We’ve also been watching the new She-Ra on Netflix with the kids, which is totally cheesy but fun. And Star Trek: Voyager with the kids… which is “my” Star Trek – and the first Star Trek series I ever watched. I’m fairly certain it’s also the first tv series I watched with Derek after we got married, I’m pretty sure we watched Voyager before we watched Andromeda, but I can’t remember. We just finished watching TNG with the kids, which I’d seen before and enjoyed watching again, but when we started Voyager… it felt like coming home.
Learning: All the things. Most recently I’ve been re-learning what it means to have discipline with my writing schedule. I’ve been learning how to let myself write messy. I’ve been learning patience… which is a constant, ongoing lesson forever. Continuing to learn daily how to be a good wife and mom and teacher.
~ Future ~
Want To Be Published: Am published! Definitely want to publish more things!
Indie or Traditional: Indie. I mean… I suppose there’s always the consideration of a Big Five publisher offering me a contract… but I don’t know if I’d take it, honestly. I’d want to take a serious look at the contract and make sure that I still got to retain pretty firm control over what I wrote in terms of keeping my content clean and family-friendly.
Wildest Goal: I think it’d be really awesome to have my books turned into a high-budget mini-series. I’d love to have someone like Joss Whedon directing it… but again, I’d want to be involved in some of the big decisions to make sure that it gets done “correctly.”
~ Tagging ~
Eleven other bloggers? Seriously? Okay… here goes… most sincerest of apologies if you’ve already been tagged for this, or if you don’t do tags… feel free to ignore either way! But if you DO want to do the tag, I’d LOVE to come read your answers!
Deborah @Road of a Writer
Tracey @Adventure Awaits
Sarah @Light and Shadows
Kendra @Knitted by God’s Plan
Liz @The Ink Lizard
R.F. Gammon @The Writer’s Song
That’s not eleven. But I don’t think any of the other bloggers I read do tags… and most of the ones I do know are currently on hiatus anyway. But if you wish to steal this tag and do it… I hereby tag YOU! You’re IT!