Jennifer Estep: Freaking Awesome Urban & Epic Fantasy - With A Twist!

Jennifer Estep is one of those authors who quietly go about their lives creating absolutely amazing stories that repeatedly hit the New York Times and every other best-selling list without people actually knowing a lot about the author, herself.  Her work stands out, her gift is immense, but her name is not always familiar.  That may be because Jennifer consistently chooses to focus on the stories. Or, it may be that her quiet, unassuming but sweet personality doesn’t shout at the world.  It requires a person to actually approach Jennifer.  If one does take that moment, however, they will find an incredibly sweet, warm and giving person - a true Southern lady who loves to cook, does yoga like a master and would give you the shirt off her back if needed.  It is for those lucky people that the name of Jennifer Estep is truly  cherished.

InD: You live in the South. Were you born and raised there?
JE: Born and bred! I'm a Southern girl. My whole family is here, and it is a really nice place to live. It is really pretty and green, although I can do without the heat and humidity of the summer time.
InD:  I have heard that. Okay. I’ve read that growing up you loved the library. Tell me about that. What are your first memories of learning and loving to read?
JE: You know, I don't ever remember not being able to read. I will credit my mom for that. Every week when I was a kid, she would take me to the library and I would get a whole bunch of books for the week, and then I would come home and read them all. We would do that pretty much every single week. If we didn't get to go to the library one week, I was very disappointed.  Sometimes, I would read 5 to 10 books a week in the summer. I guess that was just how I fell in love with books and reading in the first place.
InD: Did you gravitate to a certain type of book?
JE: I have always loved books with action and adventure. Our library was fairly small, so if I found a series that I liked, I would read it over and over and over again. I actually fell in love with historical westerns by Dana Fuller Ross one summer. I can't remember the exact name of the series, but every book was named after a different state, like Texas, Tennessee, and Oregon—that type of thing. When I was in high school, I got more into fantasy books like the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy and "The Hobbit," and authors like David Eddings and Terry Brooks. That's when I really started to think that I would like to write my own fantasy books one day. Also, growing up, I loved watching the old “Wonder Woman” TV show with Lynda Carter and “Batman” with Adam West. The campy, fun aspects of those shows really spoke to me.
InD: Then you went on to college as an English major. Was it in the back of your mind that you wanted to write, or was it, “I love this, but I don't know what to do with it?”
JE: Well, everybody thought that I wanted to teach English because I was an English major, but I was like, “No, I don't want to teach English. I want to write books.” But being an English major is good in that it teaches you to think critically about writing and things like that. But, if you don't want to be a teacher, it’s like, “Where else are you going to work with an English degree?” So I decided to do a double major in journalism, which really went well with an English degree, and after college I went to work at a daily newspaper.

Read the entire interview in the October 2018 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

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