Interview & Contest with J.F. Jenkins

Jen: Our YA spotlight continues as welcome J.F. Jenkins to the blog. J.F., will you please share a short bio with us?

J.F.: I’m 26, and I live in Minnesota with my husband, son, and two cats. When I’m not writing I’m either playing a video game, or working my other job as a Barista.

Jen: Tell us about Legend of the Oceina Dragon and where is can be purchased.

J.F.: Legend of the Oceina Dragon is a Young Adult, fantasy, romance story about a girl named Tai who is chosen to be sacrificed to the great dragon lord of the water. What she doesn’t realize is this sacrifice is in reality a wedding ceremony between her and the dragon. The dragon, Darien, can shape shift into a human form. He claims to have loved her for a long time, but Tai isn’t so easily convinced. If things couldn’t get worse, a rival dragon species is planning war against the water dragons. Together, they discover what it means to be in love, and how to rely on each other’s strengths in their time of need.

You can purchase the book through the publisher at:, or through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, or just about any major online book store.

Jen: At what age did you discover writing? When where you first published? Tell us your call story.

J.F.: I wrote my first story in third grade. It wasn’t long of course, but it was fun. In middle school I really started to dive into it. By high school I couldn’t stop. It was just something I had to do to keep myself sane. I have way too many story ideas, and if I don’t write them out, my brain doesn’t stop thinking about them. This book is my first published work. I have another book coming out hopefully soon. The long years of practice are finally paying off.

Jen: Are there any other writers, published or not, in your family?

J.F.: My family is mostly medical. My dad is a doctor, my mom is a nurse, my sister studied to be a nurse and now is a lawyer in a similar field. I’m kind of the black sheep of the family, though my dad might have a medical article or two published.

Jen: Do you have any “must haves” with you while you’re writing?

J.F.: Focus. That’s the big one. I like my writing gloves or pj’s too, and a snack – usually caramel corn.

Jen: What are your biggest motivations to write? What keeps you going?

J.F.: The big one is getting the story out. I just need to get it out. The next big motivation is writing for fans. I love hearing feedback on the story. Biggest high is when I give my story to my beta reader and she smashes the keys on her keyboard because I wrote a great moment.

Jen: Do you have a theme, object or person that appears in all of your stories?

J.F.: Not usually no. I just try to write the story as real as I can.

Jen: What is it about the YA genre that appeals to you?

J.F.: I like writing about young people. Teens to mid 20’s. I think it’s because this time of life is full of so much self discovery. It’s about making mistakes, finding our true identities, and growing up and accepting or rejecting our purpose.

Jen: Do you have a favorite character or one you most identify with?

J.F.: I have a character in another project. He’s kind of like me in a nutshell, or a side of me that people don’t realize I have.

Jen: What five authors or people, past or present, have been important to your writing? What question or comment have you always wanted to say to them?

J.F.: I can’t think of a question or comment I’ve want to ask or say, but authors who have been impacting me are:

  • Stephen King – following his journey has been incredibly encouraging to me.
  • J.K. Rowling – her world building skills are inspiring.
  • K. A. Applegate – helped me see the importance of diverse characters and mixing humor with drama.
  • Ally Carter – has taught me a lot about character voice and motivation
  • D.J. Machale – he’s taught me a lot about playing with style. I read his work and see all of the fun potential a book can have based on style alone.

Jen: Do you do anything to celebrate a sale, new contract or release?

J.F.: I put down my work for a day and play. Sometimes I’ll get myself a treat, but usually I make sure to have a nice nap, play some games, and just relax from a job well done.

Jen: What’s next for you?

J.F.: I have another YA series coming out through Astraea Press. It’s an urban fantasy involving all sorts of fun mythological creatures. I have a Dragon’s Saga short I just finished and am working on releasing, and of course I have sequels to write too. I’m also going to be starting a blog exclusive story soon.

Jen: Where can you be found on the web?

J.F.: My blog:, twitter: jfjenkinstweets, and facebook: J.F. Jenkins

Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?

J.F.: What are some of your favorite fantasy books?

Jen: I understand you have a contest for our readers.
J.F.: I’m going to be giving away a copy of my e-book as well as a hand written letter.

Jen:  To enter J.F.’s contest, you first need to leave a question or comment for her.  Then to finish your entry, you must either leave your email address in your comment or send a message to admin.bookblog AT  The winner will be announced on Sunday, June 12.

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