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Author Interview

Jen Barton

I am a mom, author of the middle grade fantasy, Fiona Thorn and the Carapacem Spell, and a lover of life's ironies. I was born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania in 1971 and spent much of my life on the East Coast. In 2008, at age 36, I moved to California. With two cars my husband and I moved two dogs, two guinea pigs, a cornsnake and our 10-year old daughter across the country. I count the five day road trip, including a near escape by both dogs on Day 3, as one of my best experiences to date. In 2009, with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Philosophy from Millersville University, I realized my childhood dream to become a writer. One van full of bored kids, one long day of travel, and Fiona Thorn was born. I've been writing ever since. When not taxiing my teenage daughter hither and yon, I love reading (especially fantasy by George R. R. Martin), cooking (anything with pasta is a hit), and writing (magical worlds with obstinate teen girls is always a favorite). For more info. see www.fionathornbook.com

Story: Movin' On Up

Interview

Each week authors will be given a new question to answer which will lend additional insight into their story and writing process. Do you have a question you'd like to see the authors answer? Tweet it to @aNextAuthor!

Q:
What is the best writing advice you've ever heard?
A:
"Show, don't tell" is always there as I'm creating a scene or editing. I want the reader as close as possible to Anne Mercer. That increases the chances that they'll feel something, and ultimately that's my goal.
Q:
When you start a new story do you prepare an outline in advance or do you just jump right in?
A:
I jump right in...and then wish I'd done an outline. :) I love the potential of the first page, of not knowing what the characters are capable of yet. But an outline keeps me focused. I need that too.
Q:
How do you deal with writing criticism, apart from just ignoring it?
A:
Anything someone says about your writing is precious, especially as an indie author. It means they've taken the time to read your words. I've learned to embrace it, good and bad, as honest feedback.
Q:
America's Next Author has been running for almost 8 weeks. If you could re-submit now, would you change anything about your story?
A:
I would answer a small plot point question that was mentioned in a review. It was a valid point. Other than that, I'm still happy with it.

Reviews

Adele

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Wow! Great story. It really pulled at my emotional heart strings because sadly it is very true.

Susan Gale Wickes

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Your story is brilliant and beautiful. I found it moving and such a poignant reminder of what lies ahead. I like the way you share both the past and the present with the reader. Great job!

JulieNoble38

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Fab story, Jen, well done. Very sad in places but I see you go for real life, like myself. I used to care for my darling Granny so my mum could have a break, we managed to keep her at home until just a few days before she passed. For many years she was struggling with incontinence and speech problems, but her gentle presence was a support whether she realised it or not. I still have her favourite blanket, I tucked it over my baby girl tonight, aged 5, and told her why it was the best blanket in the house, just an hour before I read this. If you have time please will you have a look at my story, 'Taking Leave', I'd be interested in your thoughts. Best of luck in the competition!

Papa Bear

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Fabulous! Brilliant! A fun read.

Luke Swanson

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This is one of the better stories I've read in the contest. It's almost lyrical, very moving. I can't thank you enough for sharing this with us all.

Peter Lahanas

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Touching story, really well written and had my attention all the way through. Loved it.

Laurie

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Great read! Excellent job! You deserve to win this!!

FourLeaf Clover

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Great job! Loved the story!

ultramarine

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Great story! 5 stars!

zombiewraps

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fascinating and fun

Lori Paris

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I liked how the blanket tied everything together and what it symbolized to the old lady. I like the way it portrays the ramblings of an old person's mind but it's not something I would choose to read.

pua

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Great story! loved it

Trypsin

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Apropos word choice. A fantastic, thought-provoking read. You got my vote. :)

Nad

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I enjoyed the read. Good work.

Valerie S.

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This is a fantastic story! Beautifully written. I worked in a nursing home for 2 summers when I was in college (a long time ago!) and it really brought me back. Thank you, Jen! I hope you win this contest!

Neenie

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Yes, thought provoking on getting older.

Leila

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This story certainly get my vote - loved it! Keep it up!

Jen Tallman

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Great Read! I will be sharing with friends! 5 stars!

MarciaE

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Wow!!! Makes me think of my own mama!!!

The Girl Ninja

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Everyone has a story to tell inside them. Jen is now sharing hers to the world.

spiker20

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What a moving story about growing older. Loved it!

Rose Burke

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Heart warming and frightning all in one. A great story, almost shed a tear! I love how you switch back and forth between the present and the past. Overall a great read! If you get a chance check out my story This Girl and a Bartender, thanks!

Chelsea

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great story! good job

fuzzy

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great story

run2dmax

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A captivating piece of writing that is well worth your time.
AUTHOR RANK
Wildcard #5
DECEMBER 18th 2012
The winner of America's Next Author 2012 has been announced! [...]
DECEMBER 7th 2012
Questions and answers about the Battle Round. [...]
America's Next Author

#ANA2012 | What Fans Have To Say

About

America's Next Author is the first social writing contest. Friends, family, fans and publishing industry experts will read authors' submissions and nominate their favorite to be America's next major author. Everyone can participate!