Jennifer Becker is one of the debut authors of Through Fire & Ruin, the first book in a New Adult fantasy series. She has been an avid reader for most of her life and has always craved telling her own stories. Jennifer earned her MA degree in film production in the UK and has since been working in the film industry in her home country, Austria, while independently working on her own writing projects. The two things she can talk about forever are good books and TV shows. When she’s not obsessing over a great story or a ship, she’s most likely working on her creative endeavours such as her novel.
Let’s get started with a quick rapid fire.
Q1. If you could be transformed into one animal, which one would you choose?
A cat. I would just sleep the whole day. Glorious.
Q2. Finish the phrase “the way to my heart is…”
Candy. Or books.
Q3. Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?
Very much an introvert.
Q4. Do you watch shows one episode at a time or binge whole seasons?
Binge. Most likely while I procrastinate.
Q5. Would you rather travel to the past or to the future?
Future. But I think both wouldn’t be a good idea, only in books and movies.
Q6. What is your last Google search?
Book related: looking up recipes as I can’t cook much. Other: hotels in London.
Q7. What object do you misplace or lose the most?
My favorite hair tie.
Q8. What is the kindest thing someone ever did for you?
I can’t think of one specific thing, but I would say my mum has done countless kind things for me.
Q9. If given the chance to start your life over, would you take it?
No, I would be too afraid that changing one thing would snowball into changing everything.
Q10. What is the best present you have ever received?
My parents got me a cake with my book cover for release day and I really loved it.
Q11. Describe your style in one word.
Mhm sweaters and jeans? So…basic?
Q12. If you were to devote the rest of your life to philanthropy, what cause would you choose?
There are too many to choose from but maybe something about education and mentoring young people.
It’s time for a more detailed conversation, Jennifer.
You’ve answered our rapid fire brilliantly, Jennifer. Now, it’s time for our readers to know more about the person behind the book.
Q. There’s a grand stage surrounded by fifty thousand people listening to authors introducing themselves. They are bored and restless of listening to introductions all day. It’s your turn. How would you introduce yourself?
Awkwardly, that’s for sure. I would try to cling to whatever makes me different from the other authors who introduced themselves before me. But speeches aren’t my thing, so I’d most likely fail, but maybe that would make me stay in the audience’s mind: My awkwardness.
Q. Well, that will keep you in our thoughts. So, what books did you grow up reading?
I always loved fantasy and paranormal books, but a good contemporary romance is also great. What really got me into fantasy was The Mortal Instruments series.
Q. Interesting. Has writing and publishing a book changed the way you see yourself?
I think it’s given me more confidence. It’s a lot of hard work and dedication to self-publish a book. It made me realize that if I put my mind to it, I can achieve a lot.
Q. Would you share something about yourself that your readers don’t know (yet)?
I think the first thing I ever finished writing was an alternative episode of Charmed (TV show) when I was in middle school. It was bad.
Q. Now comes the most anticipated question that every author must answer. How do you process and deal with negative book reviews?
I haven’t had to deal with this too much yet, but I will have a short rant session with my co-author and then I try to move on. We’ll end up joking about those reviews later on.
Q. What comes first for you — the plot or the characters — and why?
Ultimately the characters but when I come up with ideas it does start with a rough plot idea first usually. But it’s the characters people root for and they drive the plot.
Q. How do you develop your plot and characters?
That’s the most fun. My co-author and I have long brainstorming sessions where we throw around ideas. I often get ideas when I’m in the tube and I bring those to the brainstorming sessions. It’s quite a long process, but when everything comes together and you know how to make your characters shine and those plot twists deliver, that’s a damn good feeling.
Q. What does literary success look like to you?
I would say there’s different successes. Anytime a reader loves my book, it’s a success, but I wouldn’t say I’ve made it by all means. I don’t have a specific number in my head but I do associate sales and profits with literary success. Hope to get there one day!
Q. Let’s talk about your book. Tell us about it. No major spoilers.
Through Fire & Ruin is the first book in a new adult fantasy romance trilogy. It’s written in dual POV and follows Lora, who crosses over into the fae land, and Amira, a fae princess who is trying to leave her past behind her.
It’s full of badass characters, fae, witches, villains you’ll definitely hate, intriguing love interests, magic, court politics, power games, fancy parties, and romance—I love adding in romance. This one has the enemies-to-lovers trope and all the tension that goes with it.
Q. What part of the book did you have the hardest time writing?
Any scenes that involve a lot of characters. Those are difficult because you can’t lose focus on where everyone is/what they’re doing but you also have to stay in the right POV. It gets quite tricky to balance it all.
Q. If you could meet your characters, what would you say to them?
Sorry I’ve put you through hell…but also not sorry.
Q. What is your writing process like? Are you more of a plotter or a pantser?
Plotter. When you’re co-writing a book you have to figure out, at least broadly, what happens in each chapter otherwise it would be utter chaos.
Q. Let’s talk about the process of writing. When you’re writing an emotional or difficult scene, how do you set the mood?
The right music really helps. And I put my phone away to not be distracted.
Q. What has helped or hindered you most when writing a book?
I hindered myself by procrastinating or doubting myself. What helped me is the support of friends, family, my amazing beta readers and everyone who said kind things about my writing.
Q. It’s been fun. Now, before we wrap this up, do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
I would say keep going and don’t let doubts hold you back. It’s not an easy road and there will be setbacks, but if you love it, then don’t let your fears hold you back and keep writing.