So happy to be featuring a beautiful, talented lady that I got to meet in person at Realm Makers this year! Janeen Ippolito is an author, editor, author coach, teacher, and the Fearless Leader (president) of Uncommon Universes Press. You can find her on janeenippolito.com and writeinsideout.com!
Her novel LAWLESS just released! AND IT’S AMAZING! I just started it today! <3
The salvation of humans and dragons lies within a convicted murderer.
Dragonshifter Kesia Ironfire has one goal—to redeem her past by serving the cruel dragon Pinnacle as a soldier in the dragon-human war.
Then a rogue mission to spy on a new airship explodes into sickening green smoke. The same mysterious green smoke that was present the night of Kesia’s crime. When her dragon overlords deny any involvement, she and her tactical partner Zephryn Nightstalker try to investigate–and are sentenced to death.
Still searching for answers, Kesia and Zephryn flee to the human military capital, where Captain Shance Windkeeper has been furloughed after the destruction of his airship. Eager to discover what–and who–blew up his vessel, he agrees to help Kesia and Zephryn infiltrate High Command. In exchange, Kesia must pretend to be his betrothed so Shance can escape an arranged marriage. If only she knew what ‘betrothed’ and ‘arranged marriage’ meant.
But human social customs are the least of her worries. Dark secrets surface as Kesia delves deeper–secrets that challenge the facts of her crime and undermine the war itself.
And I got to have a super fun time interviewing her!
KS: What’s a little-known fact about you?
JI: In college I used to eat raw celery and raw broccoli dipped in whipped cream. I figured the veggies offset the heavy cream.
KS: Mmm! I think I’d just eat the whipped cream 😉 If you could meet one movie character, who would it be?
JI: Falkor the Luck Dragon from The Neverending Story. I really don’t think this needs an explanation.
KS: I LOVE FALKOR! Chocolate or Vanilla? (Is this a trick question? 😉 )
JI: Actually, I’m a chocolate-covered strawberry fan.
KS: Also YUMMMM! What novels have impacted your writing?
JI: Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons. P.G. Wodehouse books. Jane Austen books. Honor Harrington books. Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. Dave Barry books. And an assortment of Star Trek novels.
KS: So many good books! Who was your favorite character to write in Lawless and why?
JI: Oh man, you know I can’t answer this. They’ll HEAR! And seriously, I enjoy them all.
KS: Haha the struggle is real. What is the biggest way that Lawless has changed from the first draft?
JI: Oh dear. I’m not sure if I should answer this one either. Well, let’s just say I had a slightly more traditional route planned for the love triangle originally, something that would span multiple books, and a certain SOMEONE (*coughs*ZEPHRYN*coughs*) wouldn’t stand for it, and Kesia was just very sad. Couldn’t have that!
KS: Haha! I’m only a few chapters in and Zephryn is already a favorite xD What theme that has been woven into Lawless are you most passionate about?
JI: “You are more than the lies others have spoken over you.” This is a key part of Kesia Ironfire’s character arc, and I feel it deeply.
KS: Oh I LOVE that! What a powerful message 🙂 How do you find time to write?
JI: I don’t sleep! Haha, I actually did sacrifice some sleep to finish Lawless. I finished it at 4 am on a Sunday morning. Otherwise, discipline is the thing. And making it fun.
KS: For sure! What does your writing process look like?
JI: My brain has about fifty thousand puzzle pieces mixed up in it, and it’s my job to sort through those pieces into the puzzles (stories) where they belong. I do the sorting part in brainstorming and outlining. In The Ironfire Legacy I just happened to have sorted out five books worth of puzzles! WIN!
KS: You’re so set for a long series, then! You also are affiliated with the press that your novel is releasing from—can you tell us more about that?
JI: Uncommon Universes Press is a science fiction and fantasy press that features stories with unique world-building, complex characters, and impossible situations. I’m the president. I hear you thinking “Of COURSE her books got published.” Actually, I had to create a full proposal, including a five-book detailed outline, synopsis, proof of concept, and all the trimmings for my partners to peruse and decide upon. I’m honored and grateful that they took the risk!
KS: Wow! Amazing story, and the press sounds wonderful. What is it like being an author coach?
JI: Fantastic! I love getting to work with authors and bring out their best, whether it be in pre-drafting, editing, marketing, or accountability. I’ve been blessed with gifts in language arts, marketing, communication, and teaching, which I used for eight years in various classrooms and in entrepreneurial endeavors. I’m excited to use that experience now to help authors find and own their unique PUSH (Passion, Underlying Worldview, Self-Motivation, and Happiness Quotient) and polish up their stories to take on the market their way!
KS: Oooh! What a fun job–and I may need to take up your services eventually 🙂 What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
JI: Write from your gut, never stop learning, and don’t give up.
KS: <3 Thanks for joining me, Janeen! So wonderful having you. Check out her official bio below!
Janeen Ippolito is two authors for the price of one! She creates writing resources and writes speculative fiction with monsters, misfits, and mushy stuff. She’s also an experienced author coach, editor, teacher, and the Fearless Leader (president) of Uncommon Universes Press.
In her spare time, she enjoys sword-fighting, reading, geeky TV, and brownie batter. A lifelong misfit, she believes different is beautiful and that everyone has the ability to tell their story. Two of her goals are eating fried tarantulas and traveling to Antarctica. This extroverted writer loves getting connected, so find her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and at her two websites: janeenippolito.com and writeinsideout.com