An Interview with Jessica Wolf, author of The Shipmaster’s Daughter—coming 2016
Amanda: Thank you so much for making the time for this interview. I’m excited to learn more about you.
Jessica: Thank you so much for having me! It’s a thrill to talk to you!
Q: So, tell me a bit about yourself as a writer.
I started writing early. There’s notebooks with stories about gnomes and giants from when I was about six years old hidden in my drawers somewhere. Gradually my interests in what to write evolved into what they are now, but I’ve always come back to the written word.
Q: How do you classify your work? (gene, tone, characters?)
I like to write about people. Plot doesn’t necessarily drive who I am as a writer because I’m so caught up in creating characters readers can relate to and understand. My goal every time I sit down to write is to take a character from Point A to Point B is who they are. But I also love historical fiction. There’s something magical about getting to step back in time for awhile.
Q: Give us a brief overview of your book.
Oh boy! The Shipmaster’s Daughter is all about finding out what you’re made of but also accepting your flaws. Luciana Renaldi is shipwrecked in England and she uses the opportunity to make something of herself, to not only be known as the shipmaster’s daughter. And it’s also about love, and learning that love is messy and complicated and life-changing.
Q: Tell me about your female characters. What inspires them? What motivates them?
There are three main female characters in The Shipmaster’s Daughter: Luciana, Esther, and Alianna. Luciana is head-strong and obstinate, but she perseveres through everything she does. She’s determined to be the best she can be under any circumstances. Esther is young and inquisitive. She gets herself into trouble often, but has an honest disposition at the end of the day. Alianna is the opposite of Luciana. She’s refined and poised and graceful. She knows how English society works and thrives in it.
Q: Do you think your female characters make good role models? Why?
If I were a mother I would want my daughter to look up to Luciana. I so admire her strength and honesty and her commitment to her goals. There are times I wish I was more like her.
Q: What sets your work apart?
I try my very best to be as honest and as life-like as possible. I want my characters to feel real and tangible, not contrived and locked into a genre’s stereotypes.
Q: Where can readers buy your book?
Readers can buy my book on Amazon come September in paperback and Kindle form.
Q: What are you working on now?
Right now I’m working on a rewrite of the first novel I ever wrote, also historical fiction. I’m also planning something a little different, a grimdark fantasy.
Q: What inspired you to start writing?
Oh gosh, this is a toughy because I don’t remember a time I wasn’t writing. I’ve always seemed to be elbow-deep in some sort of story or idea.
Q: What are your writing habits/rituals?
I really like to use Pinterest to start collecting images that correspond to my idea before I start writing. I scribble down notes as to where the story is going and then sit down in my pjs and write.
Q: What keeps you motivated?
The idea of holding a book in my hand that’s all mine.
Q: Do you publish with a traditional publisher, independent publisher, or self-publish. Why?
I self-publish because writing is not intended to be my main source of income. I currently work at Chick-Fil-A but after college I want to be an English teacher while still publishing books.
Q: Tell me about your publishing experience.
As I am still in the publishing experience right now I can only say I’m currently in the season of waiting–waiting for a cover, waiting to speak with my editor, waiting to format.
Q: What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Go for it! If you have an idea in the back of your mind but you’re not sure if you’re “good enough”, go for it! Writing is incredible because you can start out making the biggest mistakes in the book, but over time and effort you get better and better. Anyone can write a book. It just takes practice.
Q: If they made a movie out of your book, who would direct it? Star in it? What changes do you think they’d make?
In a perfect world Stephen Spielberg would direct because I like to go big or go home. Tom Mison would most definitely play Reed, and Camilla Belle would play Luciana. As for changes, they might change something regarding Reed’s looks.
Q: If you were transported into a book/series as a character, what would it be and why?
I would probably want to be Anne from Anne of Green Gables. I’ve always, always loved her spirit and zest for life.
Q: If you could tell your readers one thing, what would it be?
Be honest with me. I want to know how I can write the best stories possible.
Bio: Jessica Wolf is a Texas native and Pennsylvania transplant. She is currently a high-school senior with plans to study English with a focus in teaching come Fall. Her favorite pastimes include reading, writing, and binge-watching shows on Netflix.