If it weren’t for the Internet, it’s likely self published authors wouldn’t be common. And because of the Internet, Indie authors and small presses gain an edge in the marketing pandemonium. One of the online venues for an author to get their name mentioned and their books read is the all famous blogging community. This odd and clumsy sounding word was first used in 1999 and has snowballed into a household name today.
There are bloggers for just about every genre you can imagine, and some that haven’t been invented yet. There are in-house bloggers who post the ins and outs of publishing and how to write better stories. Even big presses have taken up blogging on a more professional level. Being a small press and now a self-published author, I’m quite familiar with bloggers, and have become good friends with some of these energetic creative spirits!
The most advantageous bloggers for the indie are most often authors who know what a ruthless world that of publishing can be. These selfless writers read and post reviews, offer space on their sites for guest posts, interviews, and promotional material, and host blog tours, all with the generous intent of spotlighting their guests.
It amazes me how much time some of these people take to encourage and help authors who would otherwise be. . .well, pretty much unknown. Today I have one such blogger with me who spent an incredible amount of time and energy on her site. Jennifer Loiske concentrates on SF Fantasy and Paranormal novels on her blog. I had the opportunity to interview her.
Dianne Gardner for Amazing Stories. Tell us about your blog and who you designed it for.
Jennifer: My blog is the one thing where I can be myself. It is designed for like-minded people. The ones who love all things paranormal, sci-fi and fantasy. It’s both for readers and writers, a place where I share my favorite books, movies, TV-series. A tip site for those who are looking for their next great read, or an advice about writing and all things writing related.
AS: Who are some of your awesome authors that you’ve had on your blog and how do they contribute?
Jennifer: Some authors contact me to get interviewed, or to be featured on my blog. Some I contact and some are a part of my marketing teams’ blog tours. I am a tough host as I want the authors to also participate, whilst I’m shouting about them and their books. Normally I give them a list of things I want them to send me and after I’ve received the list, we’ll go from there. Sometimes even the authors don’t know what’s gonna happen next…and in my opinion that’s the best part. I’ll see how the readers respond and modify the direction after that. I’ve hosted both international bestseller authors and little known indie authors. For me the most important thing is that the author is interesting, current and loves to have fun with me and the readers. My guest authors are all active in social media and go with the code: give first. The good will always come back at you!
AS: What genre do you host on your blog?
Jennifer: Mostly paranormal, sci-fi and fantasy. However, occasionally I’m looking for a change and might try some other genres.
AS: What is the advantage of featuring different authors on your blog?
Jennifer: Definitely meeting new people and finding new books! I’m a bookaholic. Always looking for my next favorite author, so this is a win-win.
AS: What are some of the fun things you do on your blog. Give us some examples.
Jennifer: I use themes in my blog. So even when I’m hosting an author I try to stick to my themes. For example on Fridays I’ll go out on a date…with my favorite characters, of course, and so does my guests. I have lots of games, short stories, reviews etc. on my blog. I try to make it as fun and as interesting as possible. Sure, I have lazy days too. But I don’t stress about my blog, as nothing good comes out by force.
Jennifer: I write paranormal stories for teens and young adults. My stories are mirroring my personality. They’re unpredictable, fast paced, dark…sometimes sassy, never easy. I create my stories layer by layer, so a clever reader can pick up quite a few side plots, life lessons, and a hint of truth behind the paranormal activity. My characters are normally same aged as the target audience, their personalities reflecting every shade of human nature. My favorite is Samantha Green from the Immortal Blood series and the Blood Hunters series. She’s the embodiment of a young adult with all her drama and moods. Yet she is brave, kind and fair, even when her life takes her in to the strangest of situations, with some seriously troubled people… I think Samantha, or Sam as I normally call her, has managed to weasel her way not only into my heart but also in the hearts of the readers as she is the main reason why I decided to keep her and some other characters ‘alive’ in the Blood Hunters series, even when they were supposed to be only in the Immortal Blood series. Kudos for my readers for pushing me to keep her aboard!
AS: Jennifer recently sent me a lovely blog post addressing her love for magic and fantasy realms. I’d like to share a little with you, the readers.
“Magic has always been a part of my world. When I was a child my grandma used to read my future from the cards or from my hand. Usually it was about good luck and meeting a boy, and truth be told, young as I may have been, it was more like a play than something I really believed in.
Later, years after she’d passed away, I started to remember this and that about our time together. The little things she said, things she did everyday. You see, even if she might have not been a true believer, she sure had a pinch of magic in everything she did. Maybe it was then when my path was decided, maybe it happened sometimes later, but be as it may, magic came into my life. Lured its way in my stories, making my mind create a world full of fantasy. A world where little girls and boys could create a storm out of whisper, where dark forces were always waiting their chance to beat the light, and where anyone could be a hero, no matter where they came from or how strong they were. So in a way, I could say, the McLean Twins series, had been in me for years before I started to write it. The protagonists, Shannon and Ian, born out of my own experiences, from the people I know or have known. The father, Connor, being an incarnation of my childhood fears, and Simon, being the loyal friend who always stood by me no matter what stupidity I invented.
I played with myths and beliefs, adding supernatural creatures, such as spirits and demons in my story. I dug into the world of ancient witchcraft, following the path of some of the history’s most powerful witches. I added a family legacy and a promise of a better day inside my storyline, so that even in the darkest of moments there was always a glimpse of hope. After all, McLean Twins series is juvenile fantasy; suitable for age 12 and up children. So in spite of it being a mixture of dark fantasy, mythic fiction and urban fantasy, it never crossed the line. And so one day, not so long ago, the first part, Black Diamond, was ready. And before I knew it, my fingers were flying on the keyboard again, taking my teenage witches deeper and deeper into the adventurous world I’d made for them. Forcing them to fight against evil and learn the truth about the power of a family, whilst my readers were biting their nails off and waiting impatiently for the next part to be published…”
Jennifer Loiske lives in Finland in Naantali, which is a small sunny town on the southwest coast. She is a Teen/YA paranormal fiction author, with four exciting series available worldwide. McLean Twins series for teen readers, Immortal Blood series for mature young adult readers, Blood Hunters series, also for mature young adults, which is a follow up for Immortal Blood series and is created by the readers’ requests, and The Shape Shifter series for anyone age 16 and up.
Jennifer’s stories are full of creatures of the night. Vampires, demons, witches, shape shifters…but even if they are mostly fiction you can find a hint of a truth in every story. Jennifer loves to research so every time she gets an idea of a new story she does a crazy Google session looking for places, old myths, names, folklores, magical items…anything that could spice up her story and make it more real for the readers. Jennifer is also part of Authors For Charity, an international author alliance, and team member in Epilepsy FI magazine. She is a pre-school teacher by profession.