A Conversation with Jen Crane, Author of RARE FORM (Descended of Dragons, #1–with a giveaway!)

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Thanks so much for agreeing to be with us today, Jen!

Thanks, Becky! I’m so happy to be here. I know that readers who love magic, adventure, romance…and dragons will love these books. Interviews like this one help me find new readers; thanks so much for your time and this fabulous audience!

 

What are 5 things should readers know about you?

  • I love to read, and wrote a series that I wanted to see myself.
  • I think a single book can be funny AND suspenseful AND romantic AND sad. Laughter, nail biting, and tears? My work here is done.
  • I love hearing from readers. Please always feel free to contact me or say hello online. Love it.
  • I grew up on a working cattle ranch—horses, cows, team roping—the whole shootin’ match. I worked in Washington, DC for a time and have had a fabulous career with some great stories—future book material.
  • I love a good plot twist. Think you know Stella’s secret by the name of this series? Think again.

LOL, love them all! Great list 🙂

 

Tell us all about your main characters—who are they? What makes them tick? Most importantly, what one thing would they need to have with them if stranded on a desert isle? 😉

The series’ main character is Stella Stonewall, a fiery redhead who’s always felt there was more to life, that something—maybe even the stars—called to her. Her single mother was an odd bird, and Stella had to fend for herself a lot throughout life. She finishes college with no real plans for the future. And maybe that’s serendipitous because Stella soon learns she belongs in another world, where people evolved from a variety of animals; not just apes. This alternate realm is filled with shifters and magic.  Stella’s understandably overwhelmed with the prospect of living in this new world, but she’s strong. She takes it on.
Desert isle must-have: Frizz control serum. Her auburn mane is beautiful but wild…like Stella herself.

Frizz control serum IS a must!

 

Rowan Gresham takes Stella from her world to his. He’s domineering, brooding, and as sexy as chocolate-dipped sin. He signs on to be Stella’s mentor as she learns to manipulate the animal form she was born with. Gresham seems rigid and controlled, but Stella’s warmth and wit soon open him up. Physically, Gresham is older than Stella—he’s handsome, refined, dangerous. Appears to be in his early 30’s compared to her 22 years.

Stella knows there’s more to Gresham than meets the eye, but she has no idea the breadth of his secrets.

Desert isle must-have: Nothin’, baby. He’s been there and done that. Give Gresham tree branches and five hours; he’ll build a shelter for both of you.

Fantastic!

 

Timbra Redfern is Stella’s new suite mate in the enchanted graduate school Radix Citadel for Supernatural Learning. Timbra is quiet, lovely, faithful. She’s witty, but only shows that side to Stella. Timbra is descended of deer, and has adorable little permanent protruding ears.

Desert isle must-have: A knife or spear, in the case she must defend herself. Deer aren’t equipped with many physical defenses.

What kind of requirements does an enchanted graduate school have?

 

Ewan Bristol is clever, fierce, noble. His chocolate curls and bottomless brown eyes lend his rugged face a softness that belies his sharp intellect. He may seem quiet, but his mind is always churning, and he knows what he wants.

Desert isle must-have: Stella.

Perfect!

 

 

Where did the inspiration for this book come from?

I have a dozen book ideas driving around in my head. This Descended of Dragons series is the one I let off the exit ramp. I love fantasy, whether it’s epic, paranormal, or urban. I wanted to write something I’d like to read, and this story, with its strong heroine, magical world, witty banter, and mythical creatures just came to me in a frenzy.

Sounds great!

 

How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?

I’ve always enjoyed writing, and even chose careers in which writing was my primary focus. But those tasks required I take complicated subject matter and reformat it for public consumption—federal laws, complicated grants, things of that nature. My past writing lent itself to brevity.  So I’ve had to re-learn creative writing.

I began writing a novel over two years ago. I decided it was “now or never,” and luckily my husband was super supportive. It’s been a long road, but I’m so glad these books have arrived at their destination. I love them. I hope others do, too.

Sounds great—very inspirational 🙂

 

What do you like best about being a writer? What is the most challenging part?

The best thing about being a writer is the self-fulfillment. Writing novels was my dream and, really, how many people get to live their dream? I love putting words on “paper,” and I love creating something magical that might take a reader from the stress of their everyday life for just a little while.

The most challenging part of being an author, in my opinion, isn’t the isolation because there are wonderful groups out there—both online and in-person. But I think the challenging part is realizing after you’ve written the book, that’s when the real work begins. It’s hard to get published; hard to get noticed; hard to wade through the business requirements of self-publishing. Authors are essentially running small businesses. It’s demanding and time-consuming. Also: totally worth it.

That’s all that matters!

 

What are you working on right now? What can readers look for from you in the next year?

I am (literally, later today) beginning Book 3 in the Descended of Dragons series. I’ve done some rough plotting, but haven’t yet begun the rest of Stella’s story. It’s tentatively titled Salted Wound, and I hope to release it in the spring of 2016.

Wow—great! Happy writing!

 

What authors and/or books have inspired you?

I’ve said that I love the fantasy and paranormal genres. I also love historical fiction and the classics.

Books/authors that have inspired me are Princess Bride/William Goldman, Mark Twain, Outlander series/Diana Gabaldon, Pride and Prejudice/Austen, Game of Thrones/George R.R. Martin, HP/JK Rowling, Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Maya Angelou. So many influences by gifted authors.

Fantastic list!

 

What are you currently reading? What are your thoughts about it so far?

I have this system, see, in which I read two fun and/or trashy novels followed by one classic, non-fiction, or educational book. I do this so my brain doesn’t rot…and so far so good.

I recently decided it was shameful I had never read Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’urbervilles. But I have to tell you, I wish I’d left it on my to-read list. I finished the book, but it was with much gnashing of the teeth. My eReader barely survived the many throws across the room.

Ugh. I do not have happy memories of that one in college!

 

If you had to “sell” this book in a single Tweet, what would you say?

Tough! But here goes:

 

Game of Thrones meets Legally Blond in this fun and sexy fantasy with a feisty heroine, magical shifters, dragons, & two love triangles.

Or how about this!?

Fiery but naive Stella must navigate a new world, new men, & a scaly new body before a mass-murdering sorcerer uses her as a weapon for doom.

Hard choice! They’re both excellent.

Keep reading to find out more about Jen and her brand new book…

 

AUTHOR BIO:Jen

Though she grew up on a working cattle ranch, Jen Crane has been in love with fantasy and science fiction since seeing a bootleg tape of Quantum Leap in the 90’s.

She has a master’s degree, and solid work histories in government and non-profit administration. She’s been published in reputable newspapers and magazines.

One day, though, she said, “Life’s too real for nonfiction. I’m gonna write about love and magic.”

Jen is happily living out her dream in The South with her husband and three children, striking that delicate balance between inspiration and frustration.

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Author links:

http://www.jencranebooks.com/

https://www.facebook.com/JenCraneBooks

https://twitter.com/JenCraneBooks

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14022629.Jen_Crane

 RF

Rare Form
by Jen Crane
(Descended of Dragons, #1)
Publication date: October 6th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Synopsis:

A Secret Past
Fiery redhead Stella Stonewall can’t decide between a margarita and a manhattan. The rest of her life? Please. Stella has never really fit in, and her pretty world comes crashing down when she learns it was never her world at all.

Rowan Gresham is domineering, brooding, and as sexy as chocolate-dipped sin. When he transports Stella to the magical realm of her parents she recognizes her rightful place immediately. Gresham’s motivations are less clear.

A Scorching Chemistry
The enigmatic Gresham aids in Stella’s metamorphosis and their chemistry ignites, though a long-time girlfriend and a significant age difference stand in the way.

A Battle for the Rest of Her Life
Stella’s life fast-tracks to extraordinary when she enrolls at Radix Citadel for Supernatural Learning, an enchanted college whose students turn furry on the regular. As Stella learns to navigate the magical new world of Thayer she must also find her animal form, a task as elusive as her ancestry. Stella soon faces an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn to manipulate an animal form she never knew she possessed.

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