Our author of the month for April, 2020 is Jina S. Bazzar.
Jina is the author of the ‘Roxanne Fosch Files Book Series’ a set of four fantasy novels titled Heir of Ashes, Heir of Doom, Heir of Fury and The Curse ( A Novella).
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The Author: Jina S. Bazzar is a freelance writer, a blogger, a mother, a baker, a chocolate fiend, a coffee enthusiast, and sometimes a poet. She was born and raised in a quiet, small town in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she had a happy and fulfilling childhood.
Like most writers out there, her love of books began at a young age. Unlike most authors out there, she never aspired to become one. Soon after high school graduation she developed a chronic disease that caused gradual vision loss. She was blind at the age of twenty-three, and reading became one of many things she could no longer do.
This was until she started working for an organization for women with disabilities and learned about screen readers. After she quit her job, she picked up reading with vengeance, but soon realized it was no longer enough, and so she started writing, this time with an aim to pursue a career. She is now the author of the Roxanne Fosch Files series which consist of Heir of Ashes, Heir of Doom, Heir of Fury and The Curse ( A Novella) creations born from her love of anything fairy, of action-packed stories and a touch of romance. Besides fiction, she has written dozens of articles for Conscious Talk magazine, on topics of health, food, poetry and the writer’s life.
When she is not writing or networking on social media, you can find her in the kitchen, listening to loud music while baking (often misshapen) goodies, or cooking favorite dishes. Her inspiration comes from almost anything, a discussion, a friend, an animal or plant, events, memories, music, etc – in other words, from life itself.
Jina has given us the opportunity to have a sneek peek into her world of writing by answering the 10 questions below.
1. What were the early influences on your writing and how do they manifest in your work?
Jina: I guess reading influenced my writing. Though I read a variety of genres, I was more focused on fantasy, the endless possibilities, and that’s probably the reason I began writing in that genre.
2. What is the biggest surprise you experienced after becoming a writer?
Jina: That I could actually do it. In fact, after I finished Heir of Ashes, I believed it was a fluke, a once-in-a-lifetime deal, and so I wrote the second book, Heir of Doom, to prove to myself that I could. But the fact that people read and enjoy the story comes second closest.
3. What books have fortified you as a writer?
Jina: I’m an eclectic reader. I enjoy a good fantasy as much as the next romance, or mystery or thriller. Anything well written tends to captivate me. As for fortify, I’d say the more I read, the better writer I am. For one, it gives me a broader view, another, the more I read, the better I can detect mistakes, or think of a better way to write a scene in a book I’m reading. This helps me keep my writing sharp and avoid writing what annoyed me in someone else’s story, or make the same mistakes they made.
4. Do you feel like it’s most important to have A) Strong characters B) Mind-blowing Plot twists or C) Epic settings?
Jina: I think it depends on the story being told. Strong plots + strong characters in a great setting = a great book. Now, if the characters are great, but the plot not so much, the story wouldn’t captivate the reader. The same goes for the opposite, a great plot without strong characters wouldn’t make for a good story. The setting, though, it doesn’t have to be great, but without being at least plausible, the story would suffer.
5. When you write a story, do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
Jina: Both, actually. Some scenes go according to plan, others, the characters may decide what I want isn’t working out. And yes, if the latter happens, sometimes I have to pick the thread and go back, or forward, and change the whole idea to fit that scene accordingly.
6. What gave you the inspiration to write your book series – The Roxanne Fosch Files?
Jina: I’m a pantser, meaning I write by the seat of my pants. I decide I want to write, and I sit and let the story pour out. To be clearer, I imagined Roxanne and an ability or two, put her in a dangerous situation and let my imagination run. Of course, for the second book, Heir of Doom, and the third, Heir of Fury, I had to be mindful of the previous book(s) and not let the story run amok to avoid contradictions, as well as pick up threads from the previous story and tie them up so not to leave anything (scene or secondary character) hanging.
7. Have you written any other books that are not yet published?
Jina: I have. There’s a short story for middle graders about a flying horse and a desperate girl in an adventurous quest for a cure to an illness – to be published later in 2020. And there’s a romantic suspense standalone I’m currently editing about a rock star who put his celebrity days behind in lieu of a quieter life, and a multi-million heiress who lost everything and is starting from zero. The latter will be published in 2021.
8. What is something memorable you have heard from your readers/fans?
Jina: Hmmm. There are a few where my books are compared to some bestselling series, i.e., Sookie Stackhouse, Supernaturals, and Throne of Glass. But if I’m honest, all the reviews, even the negative ones, are memorable in a way or another (I know I’ll think of something after this post goes live ;).
9. What one thing will you give up to become a better writer?
Jina: Now that’s a hard question. Let me see – my free time, I suppose, could be a fair exchange.
10. What behind-the-scenes tidbit in your life would probably surprise your readers the most?
Jina: I’d like to say that while most writers grew up wanting to one day become a writer, I wasn’t one of them. However, most readers who get to know me are more surprised with the fact that I’m blind.
**Special thanks to Jina Bazzar for granting this interview. Wishing you all the best in your career as a writer.
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