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 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.
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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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