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November 14, 2012

Writer Wednesday: Jennifer Loiske

I’ve always been a loner and a bit of a tomboy. When I was a child kids like me were called ‘key-children’ as our parents worked late and our first priority was always to remember to carry a key to our houses around our necks. I didn’t have many friends, as I preferred walking alone in the woods and spending time with my German shepherd, to the company of my classmates. I’ve always found my peace before the clear forest ponds and the wind whispering softly on my ear where my eyes can often catch a wild fox or a hawk enjoying the freedom that nature has offered them. So no wonder that, when at age 6, I discovered the magical world of libraries I practically gulped down every available children’s audio book over and over again and let myself drown in the adventurous world of Tarzan, The Jungle Book and Ronia the Robber’s Daughter, which really rocked my world. The forest, animals and head-spinning adventures started to mix within my mind and when I finally learned how to write I was a lost cause. I wrote everywhere and all the time and yet it never occurred to me that one day I could be earning my living by writing stories.

As the years went by an idea of a novel series started to whirl in my mind. A series that could be both fantasy and educational. And the more I thought about it the more ‘alive’ it appeared to me and in 2003 I became so obsessed with the story that I had no other option but to start writing it. The first book of my Shape Shifter series, IMMINENCE, was about to be born. I spent almost three years sketching the storyline for the six books in that series. I read every available book about wolves in Finnish and in English and spent hour after hour on the internet hungry to learn everything about wolves and in the end I could have written a fantasy book about wolves as well, I had so much material about them. However, I settled to put bits and pieces about them into the story so every detail about wolves in IMMINENCE and the following sequels are true.

Anyway, life changes and during my sketching process something terrible happened. My younger daughter suffered a brain fever and was very near to dying. She never fully recovered and as a result of the brain fever she developed very severe epilepsy. My heart was breaking for her and the pain was so raw that I needed to put it into my story. I started to re-sketch.

I wanted to add epilepsy to my story. And I wanted to spread epilepsy awareness. The more I learned about epilepsy the more I wanted to share the knowledge and help others. So I decided to give most of my hopefully-soon-to-become royalties to the charity and the new storyline mixed shape shifting, wolves and epilepsy. I wanted to help readers to understand better this disorder that was so new to myself, too, and I also wanted to give hope for the ones that have epilepsy in their life so… ta-daa a heroine with severe epilepsy was created. I meant this series to be a Young Adult series, and it’s categorized as YA too, but I receive emails from around the world from readers of all ages (15+) and especially adults saying they are loving IMMINENCE.

I think I’ve made all the possible mistakes along my writing carrier but after six very long years IMMINENCE was finally published in spring 2012. I could easily fill a couple of pages to explain all the ups and downs on the road but one thing is sure; after I decided to go indie, I’m never going back to anything else (I’d like to say that these are my final words but don’t blame me if Penguin or Harper Collins come knocking on my door and I eat my words). SEDUCTION, the second part of my Shape Shifter series is also available on Amazon and B&N and the third part, CHANGE, will be published in spring 2013.

About the Author:

Jennifer Loiske was born in 1972. She lives in Finland in Naantali, which is a small sunny town on the southwest coast. She is a pre-school teacher by profession but she stayed at home when her youngest daughter suffered brain fever, which developed severe epilepsy in 2004. She is a workaholic Teen/Young Adult author, who loves dark fantasy, teen movies, chips and candies and warm sunny days. She’s also very keen on charity work and a big part of her royalties goes to the charity; mainly to help families with epileptic children but also to the epilepsy units in the hospitals.

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