I’m delighted to introduce my special guest this week, author Jenny Schwartz from Australia. Jenny’s novella (novelette really!) ‘Drawing Closer’ has just been published by Escape Publishing in Australia. Jenny writes steampunk, a truly fascinating genre of fiction based in the age of steam but often incorporating fantastical supernatural elements. ‘Drawing Closer’, however is contemporary romance. As Jenny’s latest release is short fiction, I was brimming over with questions to ask her about it, as I too write and have had short fiction published in print (although I’m trying to branch out into longer fiction).
1. Hi Jenny, great to have you here as my guest today. At 10,000 words, your new Escape Publications release (escape/release, OMG did you notice that) is quite a bit longer than a regular short story but quite a bit shorter than a novella too. As someone who has been recently writing short fiction for the print market, I’ve been finding that markets for short fiction are shrinking. Digital publication seems to have changed all that. Do you agree?
Hi Maria, I can’t tell you how excited I am to be visiting your blog and chatting about books,
books and more books—oh, and short stories!
I wish I didn’t have to agree with you on the shrinking paper market for short stories, but it seems like women’s magazines are definitely reducing or eliminating their short story sections.Magazines like “The People’s Friend” are still going strong, but it’s ages since I’ve submitted and sold anything to them. I love short stories, but I think the market has definitely moved to digital…and I’m following it!
For anyone interested in the market for short stories, I recommend Womagwriter’s blog. She’s amazingly generous in sharing her knowledge.
2. Ah, I’m also a follower of Womagwriter. She’s brilliant. The writing community is full of people who are generous about sharing their knowledge, I’ve found. Were your previous releases short fiction too?
Pretty much. I have three paranormal novellas (angels and djinn in the “Out of the Bottle” series) and two steampunk novellas (“The Bustlepunk Chronicles”) out with Carina Press. I seem to naturally write short. Both as a reader and an author, I love the emotional punchiness of shorter stories…all the intensity of longer fiction, but respecting the fact that so many of us are time poor.
3. Do you enjoy writing short fiction particularly and why?
I guess I’ve hinted at it earlier, but to flat out say it, my prediction is that shorter fiction will flourish in the digital world. It respects that lots of things are competing for our attention and time. It hooks you in and it’s totally, utterly a read-anywhere experience. It was the articles on cell-phone fiction in Japan a few years ago that really got me thinking about the rise of short fiction,
4. Are you also writing longer fiction?
Longer fiction is something I want to do. I have a few ideas, particularly in the steampunk world, that need more space than a novella provides. But my first love remains short fiction.
5. What’s your favourite book of all time and who is your favourite writer?
Picking one book is near impossible, but I’ll go with Barbara Hambly’s “Bride of the Rat God” just because the mix of early Hollywood and awesome paranormal inventions takes some beating.
My favourite author is easy: Terry Pratchett.
6. I’ll have to check out Terry Pratchett, I’m not at all familiar with this author’s work. Thanks for that piece of information, I love checking out new-for-me authors. Now Jenny, back to you. The question I wanted particularly to ask is: did you have to wait for a long time to be published?
Not really, but not because I’m amazingly successful. I took the baby steps to publication path. In fact, I’m still on it. I wrote a lot of really short short stories and submitted them to digital, magazines, often non-paying ones. I found the editors incredibly supportive. They helped me develop my craft and gradually my backlist of novellas has grown. I can’t say enough in praise of the generosity of editors—including Nas Dean, editor of “Drawing Closer”. Thanks, Nas J
7. What advice would you like to give to aspiring, yet unpublished writers out there?
My answer follows on from the previous question and is in praise and support of editors. My advice is not to be scared of editors, but to learn from everything they share with you. Some of my most memorable and helpful interactions with editors have been personalised rejections. Find the editors you really love, follow their blogs and tweets and learn from them. Your writing craft skills will benefit, plus you’ll be the first to hear of any opportunities to submit directly to your hero editors.
8. That’s interesting, I know that your editor for ‘Drawing Closer’ is our lovely mutual friend, Nas Dean. Jenny, tell me a little about ‘Drawing Closer’, as it’s your new release.
‘Drawing Closer’ is like a mini-Mills&Boon. I adore category romances and I wanted to see if I could write one in miniature…and one with a much-loved Australian setting. Fremantle is a centre for the Arts in Western Australia, and that was perfect for my potter hero, Nick, and my wicked sketch artist and painter, Zoe.
Thanks, again, Maria, for this chance to visit your blog and chat about my passion: writing. I
hope everyone enjoys ‘Drawing Closer’.
I will be giving away one Kindle copy of Drawing Closer to one commenter today.
Thanks for sharing with us today and thanks for the giveaway, Jenny.
Click here for reviews of ‘Drawing Closer’
FIND JENNY SCHWARTZ ON THE WEB:
Zoe Loyola has a secret. Just between her and her sketchbook, she loves sculptor Nick Gordon. Her drawings of him are hot and naked.
Nick has a secret, too. He’s being blackmailed. Protecting his family means ignoring his desire for Zoe.
But in the world of art, passion breaks every rule and secrets are made for sharing.