Interview with author Linell Jeppsen
Earlier this month, laughing over needing a break from writing and judging the short story category for the Western Fictioneer's contest, Linell Jeppsen was more than willing to let me pick her brain for a few moments.
Wolfpack Publishing: You write westerns, science fiction and fantasy novels. Are those the genres that you enjoy reading the most?
Linell Jeppsen: I read all genres, but lately I’ve been leaning toward science fiction and fantasy. It’s a mood-swing thing, I guess!
WP: What is the best book you’ve read recently?
LJ: I have gotten into a new series called The Lunar Chronicles. The first is called Cinder, the second, Scarlet and the third, Cress. All of these science fiction novels are an interesting take on fairy tales… Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel. They are beautifully written and fascinating stories.
I am also a judge for the Western Fictioneer’s “Best Of” contest for 2014! I can’t give away my faves, but suffice it to say, there are a multitude of fantastic writers and some really breath-taking western short stories I now have to choose from! Whew!
WP: I see that you’re a bookstore owner. Can you tell me a little bit about how you got into that business?
LJ: I actually sold the bookstore to a friend of mine a couple of years ago (unfortunately). She had the needed funds to keep it going during the lean months, so we made out okay. It’s okay, though, brick and mortar stores are going the way of the Doo-Doo bird nowadays… happily, the only books I need to worry about selling are my own! *laughs*
WP: Tell us a little about how you got started as a writer.
LJ: I wrote my first novel over 25 years ago… Detour To Dusk. It is a vampire novel in the traditional sense of the word… meaning my vampires are scary and supernatural, NOT sexy, high-school beefcakes that young girls drool over! Honestly, after writing that first novel I pretty much put it in a box and kept on working a job that would pay the bills. It wasn’t until I was forced into early retirement, four years ago, that I decided to write for a living!
WP: Which of your books was the biggest labor of love?
LJ: Probably Deadman’s Lament. For one thing, I had always focused on sci-fi and fantasy. Writing a full-on western was very new for me. Plus- there is A LOT of research involved in writing historical fiction. (As long as I, more or less, obeyed the rules of physics, I could make up most of my sci-fi fantasy work) Then, after the book was so well received, I knew that I would be writing a series! Three novels and a short story later (and now working on a new phase of the series…) this really is a labor of love!
WP: Out of all the characters you have created and written about, who is your favorite and why?
LJ: Matthew Wilcox, the hero of the Deadman series and the upcoming Chance series. With nearly three hundred 4 and 5 star reviews, the readers seem to agree that Matthew is a protagonist worth rooting for. He is brave, honorable, and handsome… he is also flawed and haunted by events in his past. I want him, as an individual, to mirror everything that made our pioneer ancestors indomitable and magnificent!
WP: If you could meet one author, living or dead, who would it be and why?
LJ: Oh, there are too many to choose from! Honestly, though, if I had to choose, I would like to meet and chat with, James Lee Burke. That man knows how to make his words sing! I also hope to meet many western writers who belong to the Western Fictioneers and the Western Writers of America… one day soon, I hope!
WP: What is your take on social media these days?
LJ: Hmmm… a necessary evil??? Actually, some of the stuff on Facebook is fun and interesting. I also have made quite a few friends there… But, all forms of social media are filled with hazards. It is easy to misunderstand people when the only means of communication is a tiny dialogue box. Also, there are predators there (and everywhere) that can make a writer’s life miserable.
I try not to inundate my friends with too many ads (spam!).
I also try to be friendly at all times, which (for a fairly shy person) can be tough!
WP: I’m sure you’ve conducted your fair share of interviews. In your experience, what is your least favorite question to answer, and why?
LJ: LOL! Probably the one about social media! For the obvious reasons!
You can read more about the wonderful Linell Jeppsen here.