“If you work hard enough, great things happen!” – Jessica Prather
That is something Jessica Prather, author of the upcoming “The Traitor’s Crux”, told me in an interview I sent her. After 40+ rejections and years of hard work, Jessica has made her dream of publishing her first novel come true. Today, I bring you an exclusive interview prior to her book’s release brought you by Books That Shape Us:
As a new author, how do you feel that your dream of writing your own book is coming true?
“It’s both exciting AND terrifying! It’s such a weird feeling knowing that people will be reading my work. I’m so grateful that I get to share it with the world!”
Did you ever expect to write a book? How has your journey been so far?
“I’ve always loved writing! I have all these old notebooks from the first grade where I wrote all these bizarre little stories- I was a really weird kid. I would never have expected that it would end up where it has. I started The Traitor’s Crux a few years ago and never thought that it’d be published. It was sort of a “why not” moment, where I started sending it to agents. Honestly, it proves that you should never give up on your dreams. If you work hard enough, great things happen! It took me about 40+ rejections and lots of headaches to see that. I don’t think that I’ll ever thank Ben from Oftomes Publishing enough for taking this chance on my book- it means the world to me. Hopefully, readers love it too!”
Who has inspired you to write throughout your years as a reader?
“There are so many authors I admire. This is really cliché, but I remember reading Harry Potter when I was in first grade and just loving it. That really started my passion for literature. I also LOVE flowery prose like in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s work. A few other inspirations of mine are Maggie Stiefvater, Leigh Bardugo, and Markus Zusak.”
How did the idea for Traitor Crux come to you? What inspired you?
“A number of things, really. I’m a big sucker for magic in stories. I love it! I’m also a big history nerd- I read any historical novel I can get my hands on. TTC is inspired by events both past and current. History repeats itself in patterns- it’s one of the most important things a person can study.”
Do you relate to any of your characters? Do you believe there’s part of you in any of them?
“You know, I think there are pieces of me in a lot of them. I have a lot of Kenadee’s quiet personality. We’re both big-time worriers. Bryce and I are both a bit awkward. Tess is the type of person that I’d love to be. She’s like the human version of a unicorn: very bubbly and free-spirited. I don’t know that this is exactly a great thing, but there’s also some of me in Harlow. We’re kind of “no B.S.” type people. It kind of puts people off- I know I’ve had some friends that thought I was a b**** at first (I’ve learned to be really conscious about my face, because I could just be lost in thought and people will think I’m glaring. It’s awful, haha). I also share Harlow’s sarcastic sense of humor, though she’s a lot more cynical than I am.”
One of the things I’ve heard is the most complicated things to do is world-building. How was it for you? Did you have trouble making everything connect?
“Yeah, world-building is a bit of a struggle of mine. Luckily, I have an amazing editor who has really helped me refine the world that they live in. There’s a lot of little details that you have to be really mindful of, like technology and all that kind of stuff. It really makes you think!”
What message do you expect your readers to get from this series?
“Keep your eyes open. Like I said before, history repeats itself in patterns. These kinds of things don’t just happen overnight. To prevent it, you have to be aware, you have to take action. The worst thing you can do is turn the other cheek.”
Do you have any advice to new authors who would like to start their own novel?
“Stay with it! I’m a big believer in hard work. Dreams are great, but nothing happens if you don’t take action!”
From what I read in the book’s description, there will be references to George Orwell’s 1984, how did that book impact you and how will it impact The Traitor’s Crux plot?
“Oooh, I love 1984! That book still gives me the chills. I think TTC and 1984 are somewhat similar. They’re both gritty and dark, focusing on that idea of a “Big Brother” figure. TTC is a little more of a dictator-type figure, like Hitler or Stalin. It’s the idea of absolute control in a desperate, war-torn country, where people are looking for someone to blame. It asks a pretty scary question about what human beings are willing to do.”
Do you have any future plans? Are you thinking about writing something else?
“Oh definitely! I’ve actually had a YA fantasy in the works for some time now. It’s just been cast aside while I work on the TTC series. Maybe someday I’ll finish it and see where it goes!”
Would you like to add something else?
“I don’t think so! Thank you for this fun interview!”
Remember you can acquire her book “The Traitor’s Crux” (published by OfTomes Publishing) this November 7th!
Thanks again to Jessica Prather for letting me ask her these questions!
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