Atime2write - Fiona Tarr

Living A Creative Life

Author Spotlight with JR Frontera

I always find it interesting how authors choose the genre they write in. Sci-fi is something I have never been able to get my head around. I can read it and watch it at the movies, but writing it is just beyond my brain’s comprehension. With different time lines & science jargon, it is best left to those who obviously have a flair for it.

Meet JR (Jennifer) Frontera, my Sci-fi author spotlight for October. Jennifer has kindly offered her latest collection of Sci-fi short stories End of Line to all my readers who are interested in a little Sci-fi to go with their fantasy. Before we jump to the Freebies, I recently interviewed Jennifer to find out more about her writing and what got her started on the short story form.

Question:

I really admire the short story form. It’s something I have struggled with so I would love to know at what point you chose short stories over full length novel or novella form?

A: Mostly by accident. Lol. I am one of the slowest writers I know, and it was frustrating and disheartening to still be drafting one novel while the other writers I met with regularly had released two or three in the same span of time. I began to feel like I would never finish anything. So, I determined to try my hand at short stories. At first, I did them as exercises for a reoccurring feature on my blog called Writing Prompt Wednesday. I would search the internet for a random prompt, then write a super short story revolving around that prompt. It was so much fun that when a local convention ran a Story in a Bag contest, where you’d draw out 5 random prompts and write a story using those prompts in only one hour, I knew I had to try it out. Funny thing… my first try at that contest won Best in the Sci-Fi category by popular vote. I couldn’t believe it!! In four years of participating in that contest now, my stories have placed three times. In addition to this, I began sending out other short stories on sub to various Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America markets. Thus far, all rejections… although one story did make it to a 2nd read twice. So close! I seemed to do okay constructing short stories, so eventually I decided to gather up the ones I’d accumulated over the years and publish them in a collection, which is how End of Line came about. I still love writing short stories (in fact, sometimes I wonder if I should give up on full length novels) but unfortunately have not written any new ones for some time now. I think it’s about time to fix that!

 

Question:

Why did you choose Sci-fi as your genre?

A: I’ve always been a sci-fi nerd. I’m not entirely sure how that got started … my father was always into Star Trek and I remember him having Star Wars on the TV a lot as well. One of my grandfathers also had a large box of old sci-fi books that ended up at our house after he passed away… classics like Dune and Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series, as well as others you don’t hear people talk about much. I read several of them when I was younger and loved them. The sci-fi and fantasy genres have always appealed to me, I think because they allow you to truly explore the limits and possibilities of humanity and what we can do and where we can go. In these genres, literally anything is possible. Yes, it’s a bit more difficult to write because of the world-building, but in my opinion, sci-fi and fantasy allow me the best opportunity to showcase humanity in all it’s wonderfulness — and terribleness.

 

Question:

Tell us something about yourself you haven’t shared with your readers before?

A: I used to be so shy my mom would have to walk me to my classroom, and sometimes I’d throw up before school. 😛 (This was in first and second grade.) The struggle was real. Thankfully that got better after a year or two, whew!

 

Question:

When you aren’t writing, what will we likely find you doing?

A: Playing with my seven-year-old son. 🙂

 

Question:

Tell us a little more about Wordwraith Books LLC.

A: Wordwraith Books LLC is the publishing company I am co-partner of, along with my good friend and writing pal Kristin Helling. She and I and another author and good friend of mine, Rod Galindo, make up the management team for Wordwraith Books. We started an LLC a few years ago as a group effort in order to present ourselves as professional indie authors, both on Amazon and at local conventions and conferences. Our self-publishing is literally a business, and we treat it as such! I am so, so fortunate to have such amazing partners in this venture, too! Sharing the business with others could be a disaster, but luckily for me, Kristin and Rod are two peas in my same pod, and I am so thankful I have them. Three heads are better than one, after all, and having other partners in the business also means the expenses can be spread around a little, which makes it easier. Right now we are only publishing our own books through Wordwraith Books, and those of a very few other authors whom we know well, but there may come a day in the future we open up submissions to everyone. That would be fun! Throughout the year, Wordwraith Books attends several different conventions based in our home town of Kansas City, Missouri, and sometimes we travel, as well. Kristin and I will be at the 20Books Vegas conference at the Sam’s Town hotel November 3 through 5th, for example. We also host the occasional online workshop and various panels on the writing craft and self-publishing. One of our most popular workshops is the NaNoWriMo Prep workshop, which can be found here for anyone interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5&v=uOzZesV5H78 You can find out more about Wordwraith Books at www.wordwraiths.com (website revamp coming soon, btw!), or @wordwraiths on Twitter!

 

Question:

Do you have a ‘day job’ outside of writing?

A: I do indeed! One of the reasons I’m such a slow writer! (Though by no means the only reason.) I have a full time day job at a small software development company. Well, it started small, but we’re growing fast! You can learn more about my day job at www.summitimaging.com.

To get your copy of End of Line absolutely FREE, just click here.

 

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