Jessica Marie Baumgartner is a multi-published author whose most recent novel, Embracing Entropy, came out in March 2016. I’m really excited to introduce Embracing Entropy as it’s a space opera(something you won’t find much of around here) centered around a family trying to survive on a new planet. There’s a real lack of families who actually care about each other and help each other in genre fiction so I was thrilled to chat with Jessica about this novel and her writing process.
Please give her a warm welcome.
- Can you tell us a bit about the Embracing Entropy series?
Of course. This is a space opera novella trilogy, printed as one serialized novel, but also available as individual ebooks. It’s about what happens to a family when they have to leave Earth. The planet’s dying and they are at the mercy of a seemingly friendly alien race.
Here’s the actual blurb:
As Earth dies, leaving its inhabitants struggling to survive, an alien race offers an unimaginable option: to relocate humans to their own planet on the far end of the universe. The Campbells, one of the last surviving families, quickly realize humanity’s hope for survival may come with a price. Accepting a new way of life, acclimating to a new atmosphere, and trying to fight against a universe that seems set on tearing them apart offers many struggles. Can the Campbells make it through, together?
2. What part of the story for the Embracing Entropy series came to you first?
I’m a chronological thinker so I started at the beginning and worked my way through it. It wasn’t supposed to run as long, or be more than one story originally.
3. Why did you decide to publish the series as three novellas rather than one novel?
Haha great question. I had this crazy idea to try and bring back the serialized novel, like Dickens and most of the greats used to do. The idea of publishing the three novellas as ebooks, is still something that I think will catch on in the future, but it’s always fun to see your name in print too.
4. How much planning do you usually do before starting a book length project?
I used to try and outline everything, but this project especially refused to follow any directions I tried to give. The more I write, the less planning seems to help.
- Do you believe in writer’s block? Why/why not?
Not a bit. I believe in uninspired periods where life gets in the way of creativity, but I myself am always bursting with new ideas. I have notebooks full of stories I’ve been dying to write for ages.
- Can you tell us a bit about your editing process?
I have had to learn to like editing. Used to hate it. I totally disagree with Hemmingway, I prefer to write sober and edit tipsy, it’s the only way to survive the terror of going through my own work. Now when editing other people’s work, I love it and being sober is easy.
- What did you learn about writing while working on the Embracing Entropy series?
I learned to forget outlines and let the story direct me. Writing this was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life and it’s a bit hard to know that it’s completed.
- How do you define success as a writer?
I love this question. Some people measure success by popularity or sales, maybe I will too (if I ever become a best seller haha), but for me success is reaching out to your readers and really sharing your experiences; exploring the human connection. I constantly get messages from readers who love my work and I always respond. To me, that is writing success.
- If you could give an aspiring writer any one piece of advice what would it be?
Reach out to other writers. Learn what you can, help who you can, and know how to take criticism. The writing industry is rough. You have to learn to take a punch.
- What are you working on now that readers can look forward to?
I am currently wrapping up my short story collection. The insanely talented Dash Crowley is doing some artwork for it, and I hope my publisher will have it ready late this year/early next year. I’m also polishing two older novels that need reworking, and a couple of children’s books that will be fun to get out.
Jessica Marie Baumgartner is the author of: The Embracing Entropy Series, Siren’s Snare, Tale of Two Bookends, and My Family Is Different. Her stories have been featured in numerous publications such as Everyday Fiction, The Lorelei Signal, Fiction on the Web, The Horror Zine and many others. She is a member of the St. Louis Writer’s Guild and is always weaving new worlds in the webs of her tales. You can check her out at www.jessicamariebaumgartner.com
Purchase Embracing Entropy here! If you enjoyed this interview or have a suggestion for an author I can interview, please leave a comment below!