Today we welcome Jessica Fisette.
Book ‘Em: Tell us about you and your life outside of writing.
Jessica Fisette: I’m a mother to a three-year-old diva, with whom I spend most of my time riding bikes, speeding around the yard in her Barbie jeep, or running errands. If binge-watching Netflix is now considered a hobby, I may not be as pathetic as I used to believe. I love the small-town life, and a quiet evening is always appealing over a hyped-up social outing. I help admin a quite successful Facebook group—Writers Unite!—where writers of all skill levels and backgrounds are free to join and discuss the craft. I also freelance edit, and I review books for my blog. If any authors are interested, feel free to contact me through the Facebook link provided.
Book ‘Em: Which books have you written? What are they about and why did you choose to write them? Do your books have a message? Are they fiction or nonfiction?
Jessica Fisette: The singular message I try to convey in every story I write (unless it’s horror): “There was hope in the end.” No matter what I put my characters through, I want to always leave a tinge of hope in their hearts—a reason to keep fighting even when all seems lost. As I always try to write the emotions as true-to-life as possible, even with highly unrealistic circumstances, I believe if the protagonist can find just one reason to stand back up after being knocked down again and again, so can we.
I have published two novels and a short story: The Vanquished, Fire and Ice, and “Fragments” respectively. They all fall under the supernatural/fantasy category. I chose to write in this genre because getting swept away to another world helped me through more than a few difficult times in my childhood and added mystery and wonder to this world in my teenage years. I hope to give back to the writing community by sharing a few stories of my own.
Book ‘Em: Do you have a work in progress?
Jessica Fisette: I am currently working on Crimson Frost—the sequel to Fire and Ice and book two in The Aldurian Chronicles. I’m hoping to have it finished by the end of this year or January of the next.
Book ‘Em: What was the most difficult section/piece you ever wrote? What made it difficult?
Jessica Fisette: In Fire and Ice, the protagonist, Allie, loses so much in such a short amount of time. Writing her emotions—properly displaying her grief so the reader feels her pain—requires me to return to the memory of those initial moments after losing a loved one. Day one, you’re in shock. You can’t eat, sleep, or breathe. Day two, you wake up and the nightmare is still happening and you’re utterly powerless. Day three, you promise yourself if you can just survive this week, the weight on your chest will ease up and you’ll finally be able to breathe, or maybe even laugh again. Allie is in that phase for the beginning of Crimson Frost, and writing these scenes required me to reopen old wounds as I guided her to healing.
Book ‘Em: What sort of research do you do for your work?
Jessica Fisette: I don’t research nearly as much as I used to. However, since The Aldurian Chronicles contains quite a few fight scenes, and these guys are well trained, I have spent more than a few hours for each book watching a Russian martial artist teach self-defense for ideas on how to describe the characters’ moves. Since the characters are Elementals and electricity and fire are often used against their opponents, my browser history contains more than a few questionable searches regarding the two.
Book ‘Em: Which books and authors do you read for pleasure? Is there an author that inspires you?
Jessica Fisette: I haven’t honestly taken a lot of time to read this year, due to some personal, yet positive, life changes. When I do, I like to read mostly indie books so I can review them on my blog and help them get exposure. When I was a teen, I liked to find series that were good, but didn’t have too much publicity. They felt like hidden treasures no one knew about but me, and I could immerse myself in them without having someone tell me how it ended or give their opinion before I had a chance to form my own. Lynne Ewing’s Daughters of the Moon was like that for me, and the moment I found the series, it became a lifelong favorite.
Book ‘Em: Was there a person who encouraged you to write?
Jessica Fisette: I’ve been writing since I was in second grade when a teacher read one of my assignments and decided I should join the U.I.L. Creative Writing Team. I fell in love with the craft and decided, then, that I would be a published author one day. I spent hours at home writing story after story and having my family read them all. I’m sure I drove them crazy, but they didn’t let on. Even now, I am grateful to have that same support from those closest to me.
Book ‘Em: What would you say are your strengths as an author?
Jessica Fisette: My strength is the empathy I have for others and their situations. It helps me to really get inside my characters’ minds and feel what they’re feeling. Once I do, conveying those emotions to the reader on a deeper level becomes possible.
Book ‘Em: How often do you write, and do you write using a strict routine?
Jessica Fisette: I used to write much more often than I do now. Unfortunately, time has gotten away from me this year. I’ve recommitted to a routine of four hours a day/five days a week that I intend to stick to, so I hope to be much more productive in 2018.
Book ‘Em: Five years from now, where do you see yourself as a writer?
Jessica Fisette: I hope to be at least halfway finished with The Aldurian Chronicles and have completely finished The Soul Reaper trilogy, along with a couple more short stories under my belt.
Book ‘Em: If you could offer one piece of advice to a novice writer, what would it be?
Jessica Fisette: Learn all you can about the craft before you publish that first novel. Write for the fun of it, join social writing groups where you can learn from the more experienced, and never close your mind to constructive criticism. Even if you think your writing is perfect now, there is always room for improvement, and old eyes have a way of seeing things young ones haven’t even thought to look for.
Book ‘Em: What would you consider the best compliment a reader could give your book?
Jessica Fisette: The best compliment I could receive from a reader is that it made them feel—that for a moment, they became the character. If they went on the adventure, fought for their lives, formed relationships with the others … then I feel I’ve done what I set out to do. I brought the reader into a new world for four hours at a time, I offered an escape from whatever challenges they are facing, and I offered them hope.
Book ‘Em: Provide an excerpt of your writing that you would like to share with our members.
The winter air nipped at my nose and cheeks as I waited for the car to warm enough to use the heater. The trees passed by with slow intent and a tremor shot through my arms to my fingertips.
Stop it, Allie. Just don’t look at it. Speed up.
My commands were in vain, just like every time I’d traveled this road in the last two months. My eyes fell on the scene, and I gripped the steering wheel tighter. I stomped the gas and the motor roared as I sped to Emma’s.
The entire town had come together to help me clean up, but a pile of crumbled materials and destroyed possessions was the least of my problems. No one could bring back what I’d lost that day. –Crimson Frost: Excerpt from Chapter Three