Please tell us a little about yourself. Favorite hobbies, T.V. shows, foods, drinks? Do you have any pets? Kids?
I'm originally from Minnesota, live in Texas, and I'm married to a man from Zambia, Africa. A little multi-cultural thing going on there. We have two precious kiddos. One is the energizer bunny on steroids; the other one is a spit-fire daredevil. I love being creative whether it's writing, painting, baking, etc. I don't watch TV, and obviously, I love to read. And I collect rocks.
What was your favorite book as a teen?
My reading was all over the place when I was a teenager. I read anything and everything. But the three that stand out to me the most were: The Sword of Shannara books by Terry Brooks, Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, and Christy by Catherine Marshall. After I read Christy at the age of sixteen, I didn't read anything for a very long time, but that's another story for a different time. Ha!
When did you realize you wanted to become a writer?
Ever since I was little, I had wanted to become an author. I wrote and illustrated several construction paper books held together with staples, complete with an author picture on the back. And then I grew up and forgot about it. I still wrote though. I was always a writer, but it wasn't until 2003 that I really realized that, yes, this IS what I want to do, to be.
How do you write? What’s a normal writing day like for you?
For the most part, my writing time is flexible and fluid and must change with the seasons of life. Right now, I'm in the crazy momma-with-young-kids season. My firstborn just went off to preschool, and I'm finally adjusting to the new routine, I think. So while my youngest is napping, I'm working on anything related to writing, whether that's writing a blog post, editing, reading, researching, marketing, designing graphics, etc. And then after the kids go to bed, I squeeze some more time in as well.
What have you learned about yourself through your writing?
That in order to create dynamic, believable characters, I had to tear down the walls, rip open my heart, and bleed into them. Several years ago I was reading The Art of War for Writers by James Scott Bell. LOVE that book, and he confirmed something that was brewing inside my head. How do we put our passion into our story? Bell called it, "strength of feeling". I think it means we must strip away all the veils, tear down the walls, peel away the layers we use to protect us from the world, and then we can pour our heart into our writing. I've not been able to create dynamic characters, because I was unable to fully realize my feelings. When we strip down, we are vulnerable, we are real, and this is where growth happens. What's funny is this applies to writing, to relationships, to becoming a healthier person all around. Crazy, huh? Who knew writing a book would help us improve mentally and emotionally? Of course…that might not have been other's experience. And by no means, have I achieved this.
Does anyone else in your family have musical/writing/artistic skills?
Yes! Creativity knows no bounds in my family. From my parents, to my extended family, to my hubby and our children. My husband sang in an a cappella group for over twenty years, traveling all over the world. When he was in eighth grade and had to drop out of school, he taught himself how to sew to provide for his family back home. Now, he is a web programmer, and he designs websites and graphics. He taught himself how to play the piano, guitar, drums, and bass. He also writes and records songs. I tell everyone whatever he touches turns to gold. Ha!
What are your hopes for your future as an author?
I have so many awesome adventures to share with others, I hope to see them all in print one day. I hope I will be able to continue writing for as long as I live, connecting with readers all over the world, and encouraging others to pursue their dreams.
Writing as J. L. Mbewe, Jennette is an author, artist, mother, wife, but not always in that order. Born and raised in Minnesota, she now braves the heat of Texas, but pines for the Northern Lights and the lakes of home every autumn. She loves trying to capture the abstract and make it concrete. She has two short stories published in The Clockwork Dragon anthology, and is busily creating worlds inhabited by all sorts of fantasy creatures and characters, all questing about and discovering true love amid lots of peril. Her debut novel Secrets Kept and her short stories set in the world of Nälu: Desert Rose, Dragon Thief, and Indestructible are now available. She is currently living her second childhood with a wonderful husband and two precious children who don’t seem to mind her eclectic collections of rocks, shells, and books, among other things. For more information about her journey as a writer mama and all things creative please visit her at http://www.jlmbewe.com/
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Google+ (But I’m still learning the ropes here!)
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