Author Interview – Jennifer Becker

Author of Through Fire and Ruin.

Today, I am talking with fantasy author Jennifer Becker about her debut novel Through Fire and Ruin.

Helen: Welcome Jennifer, I am so excited that we get to chat about your first ever book today!! Tell us about Through Fire & Ruin.

Jennifer: Through Fire & Ruin is the first book in a New Adult fantasy trilogy. It’s written in dual POV and follows Lora, who crosses over into the fae land from the human world after a deadly virus sweeps Earth, 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.

Through Fire & Ruin covers themes such as promises, lies, trust, holding onto hope and accepting oneself.

Helen: It sounds amazing, and I love your cover. It’s beautiful and very atmospheric.

Jennifer: The cover symbolizes the fae and human land and how both mirror each other in some ways. The colours are based on the royal colours of the fae kingdom Turosian, where most of the story takes place. In the fae world of Liraen, a shooting star symbolizes ruin, which fits the theme of the book (which is also why it’s also part of the title). I really love how the cover turned out and the moody, dramatic, epic vibe it has.

Helen: I am so thrilled to be talking to you about your debut novel. Congratulations on finishing and publishing it. Such a great achievement. What made you write this particular story?

Jennifer: The idea started during the first lockdown back in 2020. With the whole Covid situation, I had this image in my mind of a girl trying to find a cure for a virus in the fae land and then things evolved from there. The plot and characters changed a lot during our brainstorming sessions, but Lora and her goal has always remained the same.

Helen: Lockdown inspired many creative projects. I think it made people really think about what was happening around them. What made you first start writing?

Jennifer: I’ve pretty much always been an avid reader but I didn’t start writing regularly until a few years ago, actually. When I was in school, I would write a bit every now and then, but nothing was ever finished. I had this thought in my head that writing a book would be crazy and I could never pull it off. Then during my studies (I was a film student), I got into writing scripts which was the first time I saw myself as a writer. Then Corona happened and as it did for everyone else, life changed. The lockdown was a very weird and depressing time. One day, I was talking to one of my best friends, Alice, and we kind of jokingly decided to come up with an idea for a book and write something for fun. The idea of publishing wasn’t even on the table at first. It was all just for fun and maybe that’s why I wasn’t afraid to try. It quickly became much more than a fun story that would never see the light of day. I’ve grown attached to our characters and their stories. I’ve put parts of myself into it and seeing people relate to it and enjoy the story means the world. I really can’t imagine not writing now. Now I’m really in it.

Helen: That’s so great. A writing buddy keeps you accountable and having someone to sound ideas against is amazing. Though I think there is an art to co-writing a book! What is your preferred genre to write?

Jennifer: I write fantasy romance. Fantasy and its unlimited possibilities is so much fun to write and romance just makes it even more exciting!

Helen: If you didn’t write fantasy which genre would you like to try?

Jennifer: There’s something about a cute contemporary romance novel. When I’m feeling down and I don’t have much time to read, I always tend to pick up a contemporary romance— preferably one that I can finish reading in one sitting. I love writing dialogue and I love writing anything romance related, so I can picture myself writing in this genre too one day.

Helen: I know this can be a tough question, but who is your favourite character from your book?

Jennifer: My MC Lora. She was the first character we came up with and I’ve grown really attached to her. I’ve put parts of myself in her and I want to see her happy. But if that was always the case, it would be a pretty boring book 😉 I love how fierce she is, even when she’s terrified.

Helen: A powerful female MC, excellent. If your Main Character, Lora, could answer, why would she say we should read your book? 

Jennifer: You should read this book to follow me as I go on an insane adventure in the fae land. I have to find myself and see my own strength, while navigating through a lot of darkness. I think that’s something a lot of us can relate to.

If you love stories with fae, court politics, badass female characters, dual POV (who are not love interests), slow-burn romance with some spice, plot twists, a mix of urban and high fantasy, then this is the book for you.

Helen: Ooh she sounds convincing! So as you revel in the excitement of launching your first book, what’s next? Do you have another project oin the works?

Jennifer: My co-author Alice and I are currently working on book 2 of the Through Fire & Ruin series which I’m already so excited about sharing, even though it won’t be out until 2023. Book 2 will have more POVs which has been fun but challenging to write. It’s definitely shaking up character dynamics and the stakes are higher than ever! I can’t wait to hear what everyone thinks of it.

Helen: Sounds like you are very busy! How do you fit writing in your daily life?

Jennifer: I wish I had a good answer to this, but honestly I’m still trying to figure out how to juggle my job, my writing, my other creative projects, and my remaining social life haha It’s a struggle that I know many indie authors share. For now, I fit it in by sacrificing sleep and being a workaholic.

Helen: Could you share three random facts about yourself?

Jennifer: I’m a film grad (but really I should have a degree in binge-watching Netflix haha)

I eat way too much popcorn but don’t regret it.

I have a habit of listening to one song on repeat until I get sick of it.

Helen: Do you have time to read in your busy life? Who are your favourite authors?

Jennifer: Some of my favourite authors include Jennifer L. Armentrout, Cassandra Clare, Sarah J. Maas, Holly Black and Leigh Bardugo.

Helen: Excellent choices. Being a debut author, do you have any advice for aspiring writers hoping to be in your position one day?

Jennifer: You can tell yourself a million reasons not to try, not to write that book. Finding time is hard, really hard. But the thing is, once you’ve given it a real try—once you’ve made time to try—if you love it, you’ll somehow keep making time for it. Don’t let your fears hold you back, and write.

Helen: Thank you, Jennifer, for that great advice and for spending time with me today. Just to close, did you have anything else you wanted to share with your readers?

Jennifer: As an author, I can’t help but have expectations for my novel. But no matter if it does well or not, I hope readers will go through all the emotions. I hope they have fun with the banter between characters and laugh at the jokes. I hope they swoon over the romance and get frustrated in a good way about the slow-burn. I hope they feel for the characters and feel sad when bad things happen. I hope they feel amped up at the fight scenes. I hope they feel uncomfortable and angry at some scenes. And I hope they feel impatient to get book 2 once they get to the ending 😉

About the Author:

Jennifer Becker

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.

You can find her on:

Website

Instagram

Tiktok

You can purchase Through Fire and Ruin here:

Link to book on Amazon UK: eBook | Paperback | Hardcover

Link to book on Amazon US: eBook | Paperback | Hardcover

As an Amazon Associate I may earn commission from purchases made using these links.

If you enjoy fantasy romance books then you will love my new release SoulBreather, part of the Realm of Darkness Anthology, or on preorder here, and my epic fantasy Sentinal series. As a new threat against Remargaren is discovered, only one man can wake the ancient guards who can protect them, only he doesn’t know how. Start the adventure and stay for the journey. Sign up to my newsletter and download a free novella called Sentinals Stirring and get notified when my next books are published.

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Ambassador for the Alliance of Independent Authors.

I am very pleased to announce that I am now a UK ambassador for the Alliance of Independent Authors (Alli).

With a membership made up of authors from across the world, ALLi Ambassadors enable the ALLi organisation to think globally and act locally. Our Ambassadors are knowledgeable, motivated, experienced and professional ALLi members who help us to champion independent authors and forge new links across our core territories: Australia & New Zealand, Canada, Europe, South Africa, the United States of America and the United Kingdom.

ALLi’s Mission is to foster excellence and ethics in self-publishing.

•We empower authors through community and collaborationauthor forums, contract advice, sample agreements, contacts and networking, literary agency representation, and a member care desk.

•We advise, through our Self-Publishing Advice Center—blog, podcasts, emails, magazine, guidebooks.

•We monitor the self-publishing sectorwatchdog desk and approved partner program.

•We campaign and advocate for independent authors throughout the publishing and creative industries globally.

Member Benefits

•Discounts on self-publishing services

•Approved partner directory and database of services e.g. editors

•Free guidebooks, member magazine and resources

•Sample contracts & agreements and a contract review service

•Watchdog desk

•Dedicated literary agent & rights services

•Private member forums—ask questions and receive helpful advice from ALLi team, advisors, ambassadors and members

How ALLi Ambassadors can help you:

They tell us what our global campaigns can do, locally

Our Ambassadors can share with us which awards or other opportunities are closed to indies, in their own countries, so that we can help open up more doors for indie authors. Often our Ambassadors work hard to get through a door… so they can leave it open for future indie authors to follow in their footsteps. A win for one indie is a win for us all.

They share ALLi’s knowledge and expertise

The Ambassadors share important information to authors in their areas. Sometimes individually, sometimes through writing associations, festivals, literary events and charities, they can provide up to date information and useful guidance for authors everywhere.

Organization Partner Badge

Ask them about our Organization Membership for writing associations

We have developed a category of Organization Membership to ensure good quality self-publishing information can reach even more authors. Our great value membership for writing associations means an organisation can partner with us, bringing their own author members high quality self-publishing resources. 

They can arrange for fantastic speakers at your literary events

Many of our Ambassadors are accomplished speakers and workshop facilitators, who can run self-publishing workshops or speak about their own books. If you need a speaker for your literary event, do get in touch: they can tell you about great indie authors in your area, or speak at the event themselves.

If you want to know more about ALLi, its member benefits, or how to join (affiliate link), then please do not hesitate to contact me on helen.garraway@hotmail.com, or access the ALLi website.


If you would like to stay in contact and follow my writing career, then sign up to my newsletter and download a free novella called Sentinals Stirring and get notified when my next books are published.

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The Alliance of Independent Authors - Author Member

Author Interview – The Author Accountability Podcast

Join me as I chat with indie author Rhianne Williams on her Author Accountability podcast, about my Sentinal series and all things writing.

Topics discussed:

  • Realising you want to be a writer ⁠
  • What inspired my book
  • Who my favourite character is ⁠ (only I heard cover lol!)
  • What tools I use ⁠
  • Why I chose self publishing over traditional
  • What mistakes were made along the road ⁠
  • An insight into what I am working on now ⁠
  • Advice for other writers⁠

Link to podcast.

The Sentinal Series

Immerse yourself in this epic fantasy series of ancient myths and legends. Set in the world of Remargaren, a world guarded by the goddess Lady Leyandrii and her sister Marguerite, evil is stirring, an evil that would ensnare and beguile her people as slaves.

Desperate to protect them she reaches out to one man who will become her Captain and wake her sleeping guardians. Only the guardians, her personal gurad, have been sleeping in the tall sentinal trees for three thousand years, and noone really believes there are people inside. And even if there are, her new Captain has no idea how to wake them.

Start the adventure with Sentinals Awaken.

Next Book Release: Sentinals Banished

Release Day: February 23rd, 2023

Preorder Link: Sentinals Banished

Add to Goodreads: Sentinals Banished

Launch Giveaway

I am running a Kingsumo Giveaway until launch day. All you have to do is follow the link to the Kingsumo page and enter the draw, addional actions are available for extra entries, so please do sign up to my newsletter, follow me on Goodreads and shelve Sentinals Banished and/or join my Sentinals Readers Group over on Facebook. Chance to win a bookish swag box full of Sentinal goodies, including a signed paperback copy of Sentinals Banished.

Open Internationally. 18+ only. One winner. Prize must be claimed within 48 hours. See Giveaway for full terms and conditions.

Good Luck!

Cover Reveal – Sentinals Banished

Book Five of the Sentinal Series

Pre-order Sentinals Banished

Add to Goodreads: Sentinals Banished

Release Day: February 23rd, 2023

So excited to reveal the cover of Sentinals Banished, Book Five of the Sentinal series.

Book Description

Book Five of the Sentinal Series, Sentinals Banished is set seventeen years after the fourth book, Sentinals Across Time.

Sentinal Birlerion has watched from the shadows for so long he doesn’t know how to stop. Always there when the Lady’s Captain needed him. He did what was necessary to keep those he loved from harm.

When the king banishes the Lady’s Captain, Jerrol Haven, from Vespiri and disbands the Sentinal guard, the Sentinals are at a loss, some bitter, some eager to retire, all angry at the king’s decision.

Birlerion moves to Old Vespers to watch over Jerrol’s daughter as she begins her journey to become a King’s Ranger.

Old Vespers is in turmoil, the King unpredictable, and the Sentinals are unwelcome. Unexplained deaths are occurring, and bodies begin to appear in the city streets. As Birlerion continues his search for the place he can call home, he has to step out of the shadows as he is drawn into a tangled web of deceit and lies. He must hunt down those responsible before anyone else goes missing.

If you are interested in reading an ARC of Sentinals Banished in December, then sign up to my ARC team. (👀 Link in my Linktr.ee/HelenGarraway )

The Sentinal Series

Immerse yourself in this epic fantasy series of ancient myths and legends. Set in the world of Remargaren, a world guarded by the goddess Lady Leyandrii and her sister Marguerite, evil is stirring, an evil that would ensnare and beguile her people as slaves.

Desperate to protect them she reaches out to one man who will become her Captain and wake her sleeping guardians. Only the guardians, her personal gurad, have been sleeping in the tall sentinal trees for three thousand years, and noone really believes there are people inside. And even if there are, her new Captain has no idea how to wake them.

Start the adventure with Sentinals Awaken.

Launch Giveaway

I am running a Kingsumo Giveaway until launch day. All you have to do is follow the link to the Kingsumo page and enter the draw, addional actions are available for extra entries, so please do sign up to my newsletter, follow me on Goodreads and shelve Sentinals Banished and/or join my Sentinals Readers Group over on Facebook. Chance to win a bookish swag box full of Sentinal goodies, including a signed paperback copy of Sentinals Banished.

Open Internationally. 18+ only. One winner. Prize must be claimed within 48 hours. See Giveaway for full terms and conditions.

Good Luck!

Change is a constant.

The phrase, ‘Change is a constant’ feels like a contradiction, but it isn’t, it’s reality. Change happens all around us, constantly. In the UK it seems that everything has changed, from the monarch to prime minister and now the company I work for. Yesterday was the first day of a new reality for me. The company I work for was acquired and Tuesday was ‘Day One’. We are now the new company.

The last week has been a series of goodbyes from people I have worked with for years. Another well known saying is that ‘change begets change’. And massive changes like an acquisition makes people think about where they want to be. Some choose to leave, others don’t have the choice. Uplifting for those making positive changes in their lives, lowering for those leaving and also for those left behind and feeling depressed at the loss of valued colleagues.

Photo by Hakon Grimstad

Photo by Håkon Grimstad on Unsplash

I am a writer who also works full time. I am also one of those who stays put. I have been at my company for over seventeen years, not in the same job, nor the same department, but I have moved around, learnt new skills, met new people, all within the same company, and I take my knowledge with me.

For me, I would love to be a full time writer, but very few independent authors reach those starry heights, and so we have to work in a full time job to make the ends meet, and pay to publish our books. There is no big publishing house sitting behind us funding the expenses. They come out of of the independent author’s pocket.

So, be impressed at the rate some of these independent authors release books. One book a year is an an amazing accomplishment, more than that, we shoud be praising their dedication. It is a major achievement. Sometimes it is difficult to remember that. Support those independent authors for following their dreams, that drive to create and share the results. Appreciate and recognise their bravery, because it is not easy putting your work out there for others to critique.

Back to day one, the start of a new adventure, part scary, part exciting, but still change. As an author every emotion is a learning experience. Something to be captured and used at a later date. Nothing in life goes to waste! So onwards, ride the change, embrace the new opportunity and lets write!

Thank you once again for your interest in my books, and for joining me on this journey. Welcome to the wonderful world of Remargaren and many others I can’t wait to introduce you to.  I hope you stay for all the exciting adventures that are surely coming your way.

And don’t forget…

If you enjoy fantasy books then you will love my epic fantasy Sentinal series. Sign up to my newsletter and download a free novella called Sentinals Stirring and get notified when my next books are published.

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Book Review Alert: Shifter Battles by Molly Webb

Reviewed: November 1st, 2022
Releases: June 8th, 2022
Genre: Urban Fantasy

I turned my back on my family. But I’ll kill to protect those I love…

Someone is hunting the shifters of Hollowmore and I’m the only one that can stop the killing. My name is Thea: monster hunter, daughter of the most powerful Arcanshifter and, since leaving my clan, the ultimate outsider.

My only ally, Marcus, is even more of an outsider than me. If anyone learns he’s a dragon shifter, the tattered remains of his clan will be wiped out. The last thing he wants is to risk exposure by helping me. The last thing I want is trouble with dragons – or the distraction of his smoldering eyes.

But a young dragon shifter is one of the latest victims, so Marcus is involved whether he likes it or not. I guess we’re working together. This should be… interesting.

From the secret councils of the shifter clans to the slums of Goblin Town, I’ll turn over every rock in Hollowmore if I have to. Someone is killing my people.

And when I find them, I’m going to make them pay…Read my thoughts...

Book Review Alert: Which Way the Cast Jumps by Ava Silvers

Reviewed: October 22nd, 2022
Released: October 4th, 2022 (Part of the Realm of Darkness anthology)
Genre: Romantic Fantasy

When an undead witch discovers that all is not well in her new world, she has to put aside the loss of her magical powers and discover who has cursed the vampires and what it means.

Added to that, a hot warlock shows up on her doorstep like some stray cat, and has decided he might like to stay to drink the cream.

If you are a fan of Ava Silvers’ Witches of Shadow Hollow then you are in for a treat. This is the story of Hazel’s sister Willow, and having met Willow first (not having read Ava’s other books yet, though I aim to put that right shortly,) I am sure they are just as good. Read my thoughts...

Book Review Alert: All Hallows Airship by Liz Delton

Reviewed: October 15th, 2022 (ARC)
Releases: October 25th, 2022
Genre: Steampunk Fantasy (Novella)

A catastrophic blast. A haunting memory. And she only has one chance to prove her family’s innocence.

All Caz Coppersdown has ever wanted is to be a journalist for the Soldark Times. But the chances of her parents letting her pursue a breaking story are slim. Secluded after a childhood illness, Caz finally gets to leave Soldark for a trip to the country to her great aunt’s estate, but she quickly finds out there isn’t anything newsworthy there—unless you count her aunt’s upcoming All Hallows Eve soiree.

Until the local airshow clashes with her aunt’s party plans—causing more than just pumpkins to be destroyed. When Caz meets one of the airship pilots and discovers something about her family’s past, Caz might have just found her big story.

But she’ll need to dig for the facts quickly, because the constables are looking for a culprit, and old ghosts are making themselves known on this All Hallows Eve. Read my thoughts...

Book Review Alert: Emissary by A.L. Morrow

Reviewed: October11th, 2022
Releases: October 4th, 2022 (Part of the Realm of Darkness anthology)
Genre: MM Romantic Fantasy

Death comes for us all, even those we love.
The line between angel and demon is razor thin. Kai knows this firsthand. As an Emissary of death, darkness follows him like a shadow, leaving him touch-starved and lonely.

Tormented by the error in judgment that killed his only love, he accepts an assignment to redeem himself: hunting down the demons destroying the mortal realm. But fate takes a turn, and Kai finds himself drawn to one of his targets instead.

Demonic martial arts expert Byron Black has struggled to survive his entire life. He has fought for every breath he’s taken and each bite
he’s eaten, yet in the instant when his demise finally seems inevitable, death incarnate steps forward and spares him. Kai is as beautiful as he is terrifying, and although Byron suspects the angel’s interest in him is more than it appears, he can’t stay away.

Together, the pair search for answers regarding who wants Byron dead—and why—but uncovering the truth might destroy them both in the process. Can Kai defeat his inner demons to save the one that has crawled into his bed? Read my thoughts...

Book Review Alert: The Mage’s Curse by Bethany Adams

Reviewed: Octobe 6th, 2022
Releases: October 4th, 2022 (Part of the Realm of Darkness anthology)
Genre: Romantic Fantasy

After a simple dinner with a god went very, very wrong, fae mage Chalmys was cursed to remain locked in his tiny realm. Until, that is, he could find someone to tell his story. All of his story.

There are only two problems: Revealing the truth of his birth will put his mother at grave risk, and he has to send his story through dreams.

Chalmys thought the second would be the easiest to overcome, but after centuries of tangled tales gone wrong, he has nearly given up hope.

Until the night he connects with Holly. Now he has to convince her to risk everything to set him free. If only a certain god doesn’t interfere … Read my thoughts