Interview with Author Jennifer Renson

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?
Hello, my name is Jennifer Renson and I love to write. I started writing as a child. I remember keeping diaries and coming up with short fictional stories. As I got older I developed story ideas and wrote poetry. While attending Monmouth University I participated in the university newspaper and literary magazine. I decided to write three poetry books and two books finally putting my writing skills to the test. Today I write articles for Lost Treasure Magazine and became a contributor for UnDead Walking. For years I read my poetry at Open Mic nights in New Jersey while attending comic conventions and having the opportunity to be filmed for The Walking Dead TWD100 videos. Aside from writing I love history, animals and sewing.
2) What inspired you to write your book?
Both Carousel and The Cottontail started with the villain of both books: Feletti. He was the first well thought out character that I wanted to create a story around. At the time I was on a real history kick, specifically Italy in the late 1490’s. By taking my favorite ride as a child and combining it with a very Tim Burton inspired fairy tale I was able to write Carousel. After I received warm feedback and interest in that world I created I decided to take a step back and write the prequel The Cottontail. 
3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?
I want readers to be swept away by the world I created in both books. To feel frightened when Feletti speaks, enamored when Princio and Marian/Victorio and Antoinette bond, awed by the carousel and the palace it resided in. As long as readers can imagine being a part of the books and enjoy them I have done my duty as a writer. 
4) What drew you into this particular genre?
I’ve always enjoyed fiction and fantasy books. Though I have been writing for years, Carousel was my first finished book. I wanted to write a completely different story than the others I’ve been working on. This was a true experiment to see how well I could write fantasy and I’m happy with the results. 
5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?
Though I love all my characters equally, Placido from Carousel has a special place in my heart. Although he’s not a main character, I named him after a relative in my family. I would love to pick Placido’s brain and find out what he would ask his deceased father. Placido was left with a huge responsibility of caring for his younger sister Marian after his father dies. Placido juggles being a older brother, father figure and running his newly opened toy shop. I truly want to know what he thinks of his father’s decision. I can almost picture it being a awkward conversation, having Placido sit, arms folded at his chest stuck between wanting his father to speak first and wanting answers.
6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?
I use a few social media sites and although I believe all of them help I would say Twitter has been the most helpful. It’s the most fun, engaging and has introduced me to new writers in a similar boat as myself.
7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?
Write what you want with passion and strength. No one is perfect and you will receive feedback, both good and bad. Do not let the bad reviews bring you down but raise you up. It’s important to differentiate between critics who will nitpick but offer advice to improve your writing and the bitter complaints that hold no water.
My own personal motto is, “There is no apology for passion”.
8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?
After ending my contract with my publisher I am going to self publish Carousel and The Cottontail. I am in the process of redoing the covers and once complete they will be available online. Be sure to keep your eyes open for them in the near future. My three poetry books: Uncharted, Eo: Go, walk, ride, sail, pass, travel and Delightfully Dark: A Collection of Poems and Tales are doing well and I hope to add a fourth book of poetry soon. I’ve been writing pieces for UnDead Walking and I hope it will lead to more writing opportunities. My first historical fiction book is undergoing edits. I’m not sure where my future will take me but I hope it will lead to more writing experiences.  
The Cottontail

The Cottontail by Jennifer Renson Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

An exciting prequel explores the dark origins of a monstrous villain and the impact he had on the emerging story in author Jennifer Renson’s The Cottontail. Here’s the synopsis:

Victorio is one of few children blessed to live in the palace under the rule of the King and Queen of the small but prosperous Kingdom of Lucca. The palace is a prison in the young boy’s eyes, as he desires to see the world and be of greater service. What Victorio doesn’t realize is he’s become the interest of the mysterious Feletti, who’s looking to expand his collection of dolls. The clock is ticking, and Victorio must escape the clutches of the mysterious doll maker as his influence spreads and another unforeseen danger approaches

This incredible prequel to Carousel, (read my review of that here), was an immensely impactful short story. The tale of Feletti and his dark deeds enraptured me as a reader. Getting to see life before Feletti and his rise of power in the kingdom of Lucca was fascinating to read. Getting to see life inside the former royal palace through the eyes of Victorio was a masterful choice, allowing players to see the privilege the royalty felt and how they viewed the commoners, and how this ultimately led them to their fates. Your heart went out to the children of the palace, who fought against this mindset but found themselves bound by law and tradition.

The setting was beautiful, bringing Lucca to life in such a short amount of time and making the reader feel as if they could walk through these larger than life palaces. The eerie nature of Feletti seeped through every page of his story, painting a vivid image in the reader’s mind as if it were playing on a television screen.

Overall I loved this story. Although a quick read, the story itself was both fun and an exciting new entry into this wonderful world of Lucca the author has created. It leaves me wanting more to say the least. If you haven’t yet be sure to pick up your copies of author Jennifer Renson’s The Cottontail today!

Rating: 10/10


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Carousel by Jennifer Renson Book Review

Special Note: This book was given to me by the author for a fair and honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

A young man returns to the home he never knew he had, and a young woman searches for purpose and adventure. Both come together and discover
things about themselves neither one knew in author Jennifer Renson’s book Carousel. Here is the synopsis:

After living in the countryside for years, Princio returns to his homeland, the tiny yet prosperous Kingdom of Lucca, upon the orders of his
dying grandfather. Living alone in the annexed building next to the palace, Princio is discovered by the kingdom’s chief doll maker, Feletti,
who purposely withholds his knowledge of Princio’s past in order to gain his trust and friendship. Princio believes Feletti to be a true friend
until he meets Marian, a girl with a penchant for cooking and a natural curiosity, and their chance meeting in the kingdom’s carousel sets off
a series of events with the potential to change everything. As Princio, Marian, and Feletti’s dark secrets begin to unfurl, their lives slowly
come to light – as love hangs delicately in the balance…

This story is a short and fast read, but still makes an impact with it’s strong character development and a mythology and setting that holds
endless possibilities. Written like a classic fable, this story artfully explores themes of society’s view of beauty, control over one’s
destiny and the power of friendship in just 88 pages. This YA Fantasy adventure is a whirlwind adventure, and brings to mind tales of faraway
Kingdoms like Camelot while still maintaining a connection to the real world.

Overall, this is a fantastic short read that is one of the strongest short YA fictions I’ve read this year, and a strong example of how a story
isn’t defined by page length, but by the strength of it’s characters and setting. This modern day fairy tale is a phenomenal read that is not
to be missed, so be sure to pick up your copy of Jennifer Renson’s “Carousel” today!

10/10 stars!

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YouTube: Jennifer Darling