I’m interviewing Jennifer Ott, author of literary fiction “Edge of Civilization” on my blog today. Hey, Jennifer!
1) Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I am a combination of the two. Usually I outline, but I don’t force myself to follow. I honor the writing “roll.” When inspiration strikes, you just need to let it flow and when I’m done I look at all my work and see how it fits within the outline. I published a book recently that bounced back from present to past tense. The present day part of the book was highly plotted; the past sections were all writings that just flowed from me naturally. It worked out well and is considered to be my best book.
2) Where did you get the inspiration for Edge of Civilization?
When I was younger when my mother worked as a psych nurse at a mental institution. She told me that due to government budget cut backs, many Vietnam Veterans who were suffering PTSD were released from the hospital and ended up homeless because they could not adapt back into society. I felt so sorry for the men that so many look down upon and not knowing these same men gave their lives and their minds for our country.
3) Is this part of a series?
4) What is your daily page or word count record?
I don’t keep track at all of daily word count. I believe it is not about how much you write, but in being focused in what you are writing. I took screen writing classes and it was drilled into me to make everything count – plot, story, character, dialog. If it doesn’t suit the story or the scene, it doesn’t belong. When I’m writing I am very much in focus with what I’m writing and the relevance to the story. I believe being focused in writing your story, will keep readers completely engaged.
5) Please tell us a little about Edge of Civilization!
It is the of a displaced Vietnam Vet in his elder years. He has a call to find his way back to civilization and meets an array of characters that help lead him home.
6) What is your favorite story of all time?
That’s a hard question. I don’t know if I have just one. I would have to say any John Steinbeck book. I love “Sweet Thursday.”
7) What are you working on right now?
I wrote and published six books last year. I am taking a break. : )
Edge of Civilization
Author: Jennifer Ott
Genre: Literary Fiction
Earl Hollsopple lived on the edge of civilization in a deserted shack for nearly forty years. His life was one beautiful night of stargazing after another, until a helicopter flies overhead, and exposed his meager world. It is a sign; it is time for him to return to civilization.
Unknowingly, Earl’s journey parallels another he had deeply repressed, and that is his return from the Vietnam War. The lone survivor of a plane crash, Earl waits for rescue that never comes. He is left to find his way home alone.
On his quests, old Earl and young Earl learn lessons of survival, overcoming isolation and handling conflicts; his travels teach him not just about himself, but humankind. Reaching pivotal points in both journeys, Earl meets fateful loves, leading to destinies that are ultimately intertwined.
Everything in life circles until we are able to answer the riddles that plaque man and humanity. Only until we take the journey, solve the problems of our own existence, do we find our way home.
Inspiration comes from watching way too much Monty Python. The abstract and the absurd way of looking at normal life, not only offers humor, but questions many problems in society in a light-hearted manner. If we can laugh at ourselves, if we can laugh at life, problems do not seem quite so difficult to tackle. In fact, problems are not as complicated as they seem; everything is very simple. If you can laugh at it, write about it and read about it, most likely one would think about it.
Author Jennifer Ott has written several satire fiction, Wild Horses, The Tourist and two non-fiction books Love and Handicapping and Ooh Baby Compound Me! She recently published, Serenidipidus and Edge of Civilization. She also is the host of the SuperJenius Internet Radio show on Artist First radio Network.
Jennifer Ott lives in Long Beach, California, enjoys the sun, the sand, the surf and lots of Mexican food.
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