Author Interview: Jennifer Hines & Mindy Bigham

Consider this an early Christmas present, from me to you!

The two lovely ladies, Jennifer Hines and Mary Bigham, sat down for a nice chat about the series, Sacred Promises, they co-wrote. Read my review of Sacred Promises here.

Tell your readers something unique about yourself.

Jennifer: This can be a difficult question to answer about one’s self so we decided to answer for each other. Mindy says it’s my imagination. That it can sometimes go way out there. Personally, I think it’s the crazy things I do with my kids, like teaching them to write legibly with their feet.

Mindy: Jen says it’s my non-judgmental and limitless friendship, and that those are very rare qualities that make me unique.

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Mindy (L) and Jennifer (R)

Jennifer: This one I blame completely on Mindy. She has been my inspiration and the one responsible for the literary monster I’ve become. I loved reading when I younger, but once I had kids the only books I seemed to have time to read were more along the lines of Dr. Seuss. Then after relentlessly trying to get me to read a series about sparkly vampires my excuses of not having any free time finally fell away, and I gave in. Reading four books in five days was only the beginning. We started perusing the book stores at lunchtime in search of new series to read.

A few months later I woke up from a dream and thought oh, that would make a good book, and so I got up and started writing it down. I brought it to Mindy to ask what she thought and the rest is history. We’ve been writing together ever since.

Mindy: I have always enjoyed reading. I can always pick up a good book and just relax and get lost in a story. I had Jen read a series (after about a week of convincing her that she could find time) and not long after we decided we can do this. It’s my hope everyone enjoys our stories and wants to read more.

How did you connect and start writing together?

Jennifer: Some of this I kind of explained in the previous question, but I’ll add on to it. We’ve worked together at the same company for a long time, and though we’re in different departments our personalities drew us together. We’ve been best friends ever since. In some ways we’re the same and other we’re polar opposites. I think that’s why we work so well together. And it sometimes makes our collaboration process very interesting.

Mindy:  Writing together is something we both really enjoy, and I like to think I bring out the best in Jen as she also does me as our minds can tend to drift off to daily living. We keep each other’s minds going, and keep each other on track with writing, editing and finishing in a timely manner. Sometimes we both need a push from each other.

What inspired your debut novel, Sacred Promises? What makes it special?

Jennifer: Abbey and Kaleb started as characters in my head and they developed into something greater than I had initially imagined. Together, Mindy and I decided this one would be perfect for our debut. It has an intriguing storyline and we thought readers would enjoy it.

Mindy: We actually started a series before writing Sacred Promises, but are not completely happy with it yet. Once we started writing Sacred Promises we just fell in love with the storyline and knew this was the one to start with.

Jennifer: The characters make Sacred Promises special. They have a life all their own, which pull readers into their world…or at least that’s my opinion, though it may be a little bias.

Mindy: I’d like to say we both truly love all the characters and have instantly formed a bond to each and every one of them since from the very beginning as I hope our readers do as well.

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Book 1

Jennifer: My mind has a difficult time thinking in “small” terms. There were so many things I wanted to happen that they simply wouldn’t fit into only a single book.

Mindy: I love to read series. Single books are too short for me to read or write. Guess I like more details.

Jennifer: There will be three books in the Sacred Promises series. The first one is an introduction into Abbey’s world. The second, Warrior’s Oath which is scheduled to come out early Fall 2013, will dive more into the hardships Abbey will have to overcome in order to become the greatness she’s destined for. The final book (yet to be named) will wrap up all the lingering mysteries that occur in the first two books.

Mindy: I think the series could go on and on and as much as I would love for it too I think  three books provides enough for the readers to be satisfied once finished…I hope.

What’s the best part about writing this series?

Jennifer: For me, it’s the characters. I love how they develop from what I thought they were in my head, to what they actually become once they were on paper.

Mindy: I agree, but I also love the interaction between Abbey and Kaleb, and the struggles they must face. They want to be normal and have a normal relationship but have so much responsibility on their shoulders.

Could you tell us a little about your main character, Abbey?

Jennifer: Abbey is a normal teen, or so she wishes. She’s born into a position that doesn’t give her many options as to what she can do. Her responsibilities outweigh her personal wants and desires, and leave her stuck in a constant battle with herself to do what’s right.

Mindy: She wants to be a normal teen, but has so much responsibility, and tries not to forget that. It’s awesome to watch her grow as a person as the story unfolds.

Do you have any other books in the works? What are your future goals as writers?

Yes. Warrior’s Oath (Book #2 of the Sacred Promises series) is currently in the editing stage with book three in layout form. We also have an adult paranormal romance series called Dreama’s Destiny coming out in late Fall 2013.

Jennifer: I would love to make it to the NY Times Best Seller’s List, but until that time comes I plan on continuing to write books that also stimulate the reader in me. There’s nothing like reading your finished book and getting caught up in it like you’ve never read it before.

Mindy: I agree. I just want to continue to write and have people enjoy what they are reading and just relax. However Jen and I are not really the relaxing type and have more books planned long before we finish one. As long as our imagination works we will continue to write.

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Book 2

Jennifer: The literary and publishing worlds are always evolving. Whether you want to be a published author or an indie one, the options available today are limitless. My advice would be to never take criticism to heart, yet use it constructively in order to grow as an author. Always follow your dreams and never give up on something you love doing.

Mindy: Do what you love. If you love to write, don’t stop. Get some reviews so you have honest unbiased opinions. Never give up on anything that you love doing, even if it is just for fun.

Where do you like to write?

Jennifer: I love to lock myself in my bedroom, put in my earbuds, and leave reality behind.

Mindy: In reality, anywhere it is quiet in my house. Having children can make you be creative with where you find that so majority of the time I am in my room. However, in my dream world I am sitting on a beach listening to the waves.

Which do you prefer: longhand or laptop?

Jennifer: Definitely laptop. Although any time an idea pops into my head I have to write it down. Because of that I have sticky notes and papers up all over the walls surrounding my desk at home.

Mindy: Laptop, but when one is not around I usually use the notepad in my phone.

What is your favorite genre to read?

Jennifer: I love YA, but I’m also becoming addicted to paranormal romance. Anything with magic, vampires, werewolves, shifters, etc. mixed with a good love story and I’m very interested.

Mindy: I agree with Jen on this one.

What are you currently reading?

Jennifer: I just started the Mortal Instruments series: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. My son wants to go see the movie, but before I can take him I had to read the books first.

Mindy: I have books that I would love to read and have them marked on Goodreads, but we have just started the editing process with Warrior’s Oath, and have Dreama’s Destiny to finish so they will have to wait a little while.

Who are a few of your favorite authors? What are a few of your favorite books?

Jenifer: Richelle Mead, Lauren Kate, Tina Folsom, and Maya Banks

Mindy: Richelle Mead, Sylvia Day, Maya Banks and even a little James Patterson

Jennifer: I loved the Night World series by L.J. Smith, but I’m still waiting on the final book that’ll tie it all together. My favorite YA series has to be Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead, along with the spin-off series Bloodlines. Oh, and I loved Tina Folsom‘s Scanguards Vampires series. Those books rate pretty on high on my “will definitely reread” list.

Mindy: My favorite has to be the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead, along with the spin-off series Bloodlines. I recently fell in love with The Breathless Trilogy by Maya Banks, this is a series that I wish would have gone on and on.

What is the best thing that ever happened to you?

Jennifer: Without trying to get all sentimental, I’d have to say it was meeting Mindy. She and I have a friendship that goes beyond most. She’s always been there when I needed her and I wouldn’t be where I am today without her in my life.

Mindy: Awww, I agree with Jen. We have a very “sacred” friendship that most people never get to experience in their lifetimes. The best thing is we can work together doing what we love and still make time to hang out or go on vacation. We keep everything balanced to make sure our friendship stays grounded. I would not be where I am today, or doing this interview, if it wasn’t for Jen and our shared love of reading and writing. (Good thing I finally got her to read that sparkly vampire series…lol)

Look for my review of Warrior’s Oath soon! 

Find the authors: Website| Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads – Hines | | Goodreads – Bigham

 

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