Each Monday I would like to take some time to get to know some of our favorite authors. My hope is that this will help readers connect with the authors.
Today I would like to introduce you to: J. J. Fischer!
I had the pleasure of meeting Jasmine a little over a week ago. When I read about her upcoming book I knew that I needed to read it! I look forward to getting to know her more and helping you guys get to know her too!
Jasmine’s writing dream began with the anthology of zoo animals she painstakingly wrote and illustrated at age five, to rather limited acclaim. Thankfully, her writing (but not her drawing) has improved since then. She is a clinically-trained psychologist but no, she cannot read your mind. When she isn’t killing defenseless house plants, pretending she can play the piano, eating peanut butter out of the jar, or memorizing funny film quotes, she and her husband David are attempting to prevent their warring pet chickens from forming factions and re-enacting Divergent. Honestly, it’s a miracle she finds the time to write any books.
To help us get to know her, I have given her some questions and here are her responses:
Q: How long have you been writing?
A: I’ve been writing forever, if you count my childhood scrawls and that amazing anthology of zoo animals I painstakingly wrote and illustrated during kindergarten, to rather limited acclaim. But I “officially” began writing in 2006, when I was fourteen, during a family holiday around Australia. On the west coast, in a place called Jurien Bay, I had a dream that became the opening scene of my debut novel. It contained pretty much every cliché known to man, and eventually found its way to the electronic trash can, but by that time I’d seriously caught the writing bug.
During high school, I wrote every chance I had; rather bizarrely, usually at night during thunderstorms, but I kept my book a secret from all but my immediate family. Seeing the film Miss Potter—about the life of author-illustrator Beatrix Potter—inspired me to take my writing more seriously. But, honestly, the first ten years’ worth of writing is pretty dodgy. I hope those drafts never see the light of day.
Q: What are you currently working on?
A: Since finishing my first novel in 2018 (which took 12.5 years all up!), I’ve become a tad prolific. I’m currently working on my sixth novel, the middle installment of a fantasy series called The Nightingale Trilogy. It’s set in a post-apocalyptic world where nostalgic memories are bought and sold as currency and people pay a price to selectively forget their past. I’m absolutely loving it so far and hope to share it with the world either in 2021 or 2022.
Q: What are some of your writing must haves? (Drink, snack, supplies, etc.)
A: Ooh, good question. I tend to eat rather mindlessly, so I try not to snack while I’m writing. But peppermint tea is a winner… actually, every tea is kind of a winner for me. Do you have T2 in America? It’s absolutely amazing. Other than that, my list of essentials is pretty short – just my trusty laptop and keeping my phone on silent so I don’t get distracted and start doom scrolling on Facebook 😉
Q: What is your favorite time period to write about? Or read about?
A: This is a bit strange coming from a fantasy writer, but I absolutely love to read historical fiction – Tamera Alexander and Joanna Davidson Politano are some of my all-time favourite authors. I love stories set in the American frontier or Regency England or pre-Industrial Revolution England… pirates and treasure are an all-time favourite (you can thank my childhood love of Enid Blyton for that) and I also adore medieval fantasy. Honestly, probably the only thing I don’t enjoy so much is contemporary fiction – but I can probably be swayed on that point too 😉
As for what I want to write – it’s basically just fantasy, fantasy, fantasy. That being said, I’d love to write a romantic comedy one day, and I’m working on a couple of children’s books at the moment.
Q: What are some of your favorite books?
A: The Mark of The Lion trilogy by Francine Rivers is up there, as is Christy by Catherine Marshall. Oh, it’s so hard to narrow down. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and The Princess Bride by William Goldman are also amazing.
Q: If you could spend a day with one fictional character, who would you pick and what would you do?
A: Look, I’m a big fan of Maximus from Tangled, but you probably mean a human character, right? Or humanoid? In that case, I’m a little obsessed with Korg the rock monster from Thor 3. So I’d buy him lunch and ask him all about the revolution that failed because he didn’t print enough pamphlets and only his Mum and her boyfriend turned up (whom he hates).
I have saved my favorite question for last!
Q: What would you like readers to take away from your books?
A: I think the best stories are the ones that change us. The ones where we close the book and walk away, but we cannot help but be irrevocably changed—transformed, even. I’ve read hundreds of books—maybe thousands—but I continually come back to the stories that provoke deep emotion from me. The stories that frustrate and inspire and challenge and encourage me, that maybe even rock the foundations of my comfortable world.
Perhaps it’s too ambitious a goal, but I really hope that every one of my stories impacts my readers in some way. My faith is the cornerstone of my life—without it, I would not be the person I am today—and so faith is really what colours my stories. Many books indelibly imprint on the mind—and fewer still make their mark on the heart—but I also want to write fiction that feeds the soul. My books celebrate hope, courage, love, and perseverance in the midst of suffering, violence, oppression, and hatred. They feature characters who seek to triumph in the midst of adversity and struggle.
It has recently become fashionable to have a “life verse”—a Bible verse that speaks into a significant part of one’s life. In all honesty, my “life verse” has to be Psalm 42:7: “Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.” As a character in my second book muses—inspired by this very verse—the deep in us is only an echo of the depth of God. I could write my entire life and not uncover even a little corner of the richness of the Author of life. But to reflect that depth is my calling, and it is my honest delight to honour it.
To connect with Heather, please click on any of the following links: her website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, and Amazon.
I’m also featuring her newest release, The Sword in His Hand. It releases on February 9th. I’m really looking forward to reading it! Be sure to add it to your Goodreads shelf!
About the book:
“One is an opportunity. Two is a threat. Three is an invasion.”
For hundreds of years, strange things have been washing up on the shores of Darcentaria. But when a young foreign woman named El is found unconscious on the beach amidst the burning wreckage of a strange metal craft, the villagers of Odessa are immediately suspicious—is she an agent of the Dalriadan Empire, their cruel oppressors for as long as they can remember? Or does she come from the Outside, the vast and legendary lands beyond their borders from which no man or woman alive has ever returned?
Torsten Eiselher, a talented young swordsman, has spent the last nine years of his life wrongfully imprisoned by his uncle, the Empire’s ruler. Betrayed and deceived at every turn, Torsten has survived by keeping a firm grip on his sword—and by staying well away from anything to do with the Outside. But when his young sister is murdered, Torsten finds himself irrevocably drawn to El despite her Outsider heritage—and he begins to question everything he has been told about her world.
Intrigued by the existence of a powerful and dangerously advanced world within his reach, the Empire’s ruler, Jurien Arminius, launches a hunt for El and the two Outsiders that arrived with her—the ones who could help him win his war against Torsten and the rebellion that threatens to topple his Empire.
Suddenly, Torsten is forced to choose between defeating his long-term enemy or saving the woman he has come to love . . .
Jasmine has also include some character art!