Writer’s Desk with JJ Fischer
Jasmine’s writing dream began with the anthology of zoo animals she painstakingly wrote and illustrated at age five, to rather limited acclaim. Thankfully, her writing (but not her drawing) has improved since then. Jasmine began writing her first proper novel at age fourteen, which eventually became her debut fantasy series, The Darcentaria Duology, which was published in 2021.
Jasmine completed her Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Creative Writing in 2012. Also a qualified psychologist with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in clinical psychology, Jasmine’s dream is to write stories that weave together her love for Jesus, her passion for mental health, and her struggles with chronic illness.
When she isn’t killing defenseless house plants, Jasmine enjoys devouring books, dabbling in floristry, playing the piano, eating peanut butter out of the jar, and wishing it rained more often. Jasmine is married to David, and together they make their home a couple of hours north of Sydney, Australia. You can stalk her on social media or visit her official website at www.jjfischer.com, where she’s always open to swapping good memes, talking about chickens, or complaining about Luke Skywalker.
More about the award-winning Calor and the sequel Lumen
What if you could edit memories with a single touch?
The world-that-was is gone, lost to everything except living memory . . . but remembering comes at a terrible price. Sixty-two years after the apocalypse, a new society has emerged from the ashes of the old world where highly valued memories are traded and nostalgia is worth dying—and even killing—for.
Enslaved by a cruel master, Sephone Winter is forced to use her rare ability to manipulate memories to numb the darkest secrets of the ruling aristocracy.
Then Lord Adamo appears, speaking of a powerful relic capable of permanently erasing memories and recovering Sephone’s own lost childhood. But not everything about the young lord is as it seems, and soon Sephone must choose between helping Lord Adamo forget his past or journeying deep into the land of Lethe, where the truth about who she really is might finally be revealed . . . and a long desired future restored.\
The Nightingale Trilogy is a fantasy transformation of Hans Christian Andersen’s beloved 1843 tale The Nightingale, with echoes of the myths of Hades and Persephone.
What if erasing the past cost more than you were willing to pay?
Having narrowly escaped their enemies, Sephone, Dorian, and Cass continue their search for the elusive Silvertongue, the only one with knowledge of the Reliquary’s whereabouts. But time is running out for Sephone, and with Dorian accused of high treason, the quest takes on a new urgency.
As secrets from each of their pasts drive a wedge between them, Sephone invests all her hopes in finding her homeland, Lethe—where her family may yet be alive. But nothing about Lethe is as she expects, and disappointment, betrayal, and danger await her at every turn.
When the truth about the Reliquary’s curse comes to light, the fragile bonds between the unlikely companions are tested like never before. Meanwhile, Dorian faces a terrible choice: to save the life of one who is beginning to mean more to him than the past he’s so desperate to forget or to save his beloved Caldera from dangers outside and within.
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Q&A with JJ Fischer
ARCF: What is your writing process like?
JJF: I’m halfway between a plotter (planning everything out meticulously) and a pantser (writing via discovery, or by the seat of my pants). After I’ve sketched out the broad brushstrokes of my idea, I usually start with a working plot document, where I brainstorm major plot points, the setting, core themes, and the character cast—though I try to not have everything all worked out, as that takes away from the fun of “discovering” the story. I usually know the end before I start writing, though sometimes my stories can surprise me with the direction they take!
ARCF: What is your writing Kryptonite?
JJF: Look, I can get pretty distracted by Pinterest and great memes…but I trained myself to write without the Internet, so I’m MOSTLY pretty disciplined when I’m penning a story.
ARCF: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
JJF: I think I would encourage them to just keep going—keep practicing, keep drafting, keep refining those skills, and reveling in the process of writing. I spent twelve and a half years writing my first book, and I discarded many, many drafts in the process. But it’s those years of practice that helped me to be the writer I am today.
ARCF: What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
JJF: I love making maps for my fantasy worlds, so the Inkarnate map-making software has been pretty useful to me!
ARCF: What did you edit out of Lumen?
JJF: My editors guided me to take out some of the more romance-centric parts of the story to strengthen the fantasy aspects and spiritual themes. I’m so glad they did—not because romance is bad (there’s still plenty in there), but because I think this particular story is stronger for it.
ARCF: What is the most difficult thing about being an author?
JJF: Definitely the marketing and social media side. All I want to do is write, write, write…but being a published author is more like write, market, market. Like many authors, it doesn’t come naturally so me so I’ve had to learn a lot of things out of necessity!
ARCF: As a writer, what or who would you choose as your mascot?
JJF: Ooh, I love this question. I’m a big fan of the humorous sidekick, like King Julien or the Penguins from Madagascar, or Korg in Thor: Ragnarok. I also love Olaf from Frozen, of course.
ARCF: Which book that you’ve written is your favorite?
JJF: Lumen is my favorite book of The Nightingale Trilogy! It never felt like a typical second (middle) book, and I felt like I was much more comfortable in the world and with the characters as I wrote it.
ARCF: Which of your books was the most fun to write?
JJF: From The Nightingale Trilogy, again, probably Lumen. Cass (one of the main characters) really came into his own in this book, and while he doesn’t have his own POV, it was so fun writing his lines.
ARCF: Which was the most difficult — and why?
JJF: Probably Book 3—the next one after Lumen. Halfway through writing it, my husband was diagnosed with cancer, and I put my writing on hold for a while so I could focus on supporting him through his chemotherapy.
ARCF: If you could meet your characters, what would you say to them?
JJF: Hehe, probably: “I’m so sorry for all I’m putting you through…but I promise it’s going to work out okay for you in the end…well, most of you.” 😉
ARCF: What is coming up next for you?
JJF: I’m currently writing Book 3 of a five-book series I’ve been working on, on and off, for the past few years. I can’t wait to share it with you!