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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

nasab5

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Great read

M1chelles friend

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wow you're an awesome writer!! no joke!

Ulaula

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Really nice story, love it! <3

Alex____

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Great!

1harman

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This is some of the best writing I've ever seen. The author has a brilliant way with words that absolutely nail the setting and the characters. I loved the phrases such as "my cage of routine" and "the turnover rate around here is pretty high." This definitely makes me want to read more of Jen's work. Congratulations! A read well worth the time!

Ramon

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I think this is one of the best stories that I have read in this contest. It touched virtually every emotion within me. I'm older, and I have a dad with Alzheimer's sitting in a home, slowly dying. Maybe that's part of the appeal for me. I can't say for sure. I do think this was really REALLY well written. I didn't see any of the mistakes that have been so prominent in a lot of the other stories. There is a missing plot point though- How did the old woman get the bag of blue pills originally? And why would the daughter be so casual about finding them and giving them back. Having dealt with a nursing home myself, I know that pills lying around is not something that is taken lightly.

Chopper

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A moving and memorable tale. Great work.

avidreader

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You definitely got my vote and kept my attention with your great story. keep it up!

BorisJ

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Read about your story in the Sun Gazette and really enjoyed it! Aging scares me and this triggered a lot of thoughts...

Goofy Goober

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I rather enjoyed the story it was very touching and thought provoking.

Ryssa Rae

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So great! Such a neat perspective and point of view. Completely captivating and intriguing! There's a couple grammatical errors, but nothing major. Other than that, really amazing :)

TwoDoor BuickMan

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Great perspective! As I get older, I often have thoughts of where and how my journey will end. This hits home!

Princess Di

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I love it, Jen!!

Kaducz

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A really compelling story told from an unexpected perspective. We often think we know someone from their outward appearance, or physical capabilities. The story really makes you think about that. One of the best short stories I have read.

Pati

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Very good read. Great expression of feeling and well-painted descriptions.

KateWilliamson

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Great read Jen

Sherry

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Loved the story. Made me think of my Mom who is in a nursing home and can not put her thoughts together. Wonder what is going on in her mind? Scary

Anga

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really liked it!!

football

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love it - keep writing

veroshka

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wow Jen, you got my vote

Livin' the dream

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Loved it!!

Cosmo

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A delightful blend of irony, humor and warmth. I thoroughly enjoyed "Movin On Up".

Aggador Spartacus

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The stream of consciousness Joycian style is extremely difficult, with the short paragraphs and myriad sentence fragments. I guess I’m not used to it, but the transitions and story line were difficult to follow. Kind of hyperactive and frenetic, but I’d expect an old woman in that condition to think slowly and serenely.

Sydney1967

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Wonderful story..Enjoyed! Could picture this as if it had happened to any of my past patients....

SuefromLouisiana

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Great Story!!!!! I love the character of Anne Mercer. I had no idea you were an author Jen. I vote a definite YES!
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!