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Creative Spotlight on Author Jennifer Anne Gordon
This post features questions answered by this amazing author that may or may not have been answered in the live chat. you can listen to it via the podcast link above or snag the video from YouTube at the link below. This Gothic Horror-loving author was a perfect guest to have on the show, and her answers to the questions for this Creative Spotlight on Author Jennifer Anne Gordon for this blog are delightful. Be sure to check out her work and order her book today.
Tell our readers briefly about yourself.
My name is Jennifer Anne Gordon, I am a dark fiction writer primarily, but I also dabble in creative nonfiction and memoir. I live in rural New Hampshire in a cool gothic haunted house with my husband and adorable dog, Lord Tubby. My day job is that I am a ballroom dance instructor. In the past, I have made my living as an artist, an actor, a burlesque performer, and a magician's assistant. I have a short collection coming out on August 1st called The Japanese Box and Other Stories. It's my first collection, and several of the pieces started out as memoir pieces and then turned into ghost stories.
Can you tell us about your most recent release? Album? Song? Art piece? Etc.?
I have a short collection coming out on August 1st called The Japanese Box and Other Stories. It's my first collection, and several of the pieces started out as memoir pieces and then turned into ghost stories.
What inspires you?
Memory, the past. I am a gothic girl at heart and am always exploring the way the past affects our present.
What is your creative work routine like? Do you balance it with another job?
Two days a week, I am a ballroom dancer, the rest of the time, I devote to writing (and playing with my dog and snacking)
Do you plan out your creations? What is your creative process like?
I used to be a pantser completely, never planning anything, but the longer I am in this business, I realize that a certain amount of planning needs to happen, or else I end up bogged down in the creative process.
Do you have a self-care routine, or do you want to have one? What do you do or wish that you did to take care of your mental health?
I am a big believer in better living through medication, and I have taken steps over the past couple of years to put my mental health first. I have cut out negative people and have learned to talk about my struggles openly as opposed to keeping things bottled up until I break.
What is your favorite creation thus far?
This is like picking a favorite child. I can't do it. I will say that my most successful work has been my award-winning debut novel Beautiful, Frightening, and Silent, so that has a special place in my heart always. But my new work, The Japanese Box, is my most personal work to date, and I am proud of myself for putting that out there in the world.
Do you have a character that is your favorite over others you've written into creation?
Sam and Omelia from my book Pretty/Ugly. I think about them every day, and even though I created them and they are fictional, I wonder a lot about what happened to them directly following the last page of that book.
Are there any recurring themes in your work?
Yes, I tend to write a lot of grief horror, so loss is a huge theme, as well as what happens to adults when they did not get the proper love and attention as a child. What happens when people don't have the emotional tools to deal with trauma and things like that. Also, I have to say that I use a lot of drowning or death near water as well. I blame Ophelia and the Lady of Shalott
What inspired you to write your memoir?
What does success look like to you, considering your creative passion?
I won't lie; I would love to be able to live comfortably with income from writing, but at the end of the day, the thing that really means the most is having the work out there and appreciated and not being forced into a box that you don't fit into.
What has been one of the biggest lessons you've learned since starting this journey?
You can't please everyone, and also that the publishing world moves a lot slower than anyone wants it to. So I am learning patience.
What advice would you share with new or aspiring authors/singers/artists/etc?
Listen to the voices in your head; even if what they are saying doesn't make sense, someday it will.
Where do you get your ideas for world-building?
I like to think it's the same world I am living in now, but the fictional world is a little darker, the wallpaper doesn't line up completely, and the corner shadows seem to draw you in.
What genre do you prefer to read?
What hobbies do you have?
Reading, photography, travel, and painting.
Do you have any outside experiences that influenced your work?
Everything influences my work. I draw a lot from my real life. But why I love the genres I do...well, I can blame that on reading Stephen King when I was 10 and had to hide behind my dollhouse to do it.
Where can our viewers/readers/listeners find you and your work?