Updated: Aug 4
This Writer Wednesday, the spotlight shines on contemporary fantasy author Jessika Grewe Glover!
Reading and publishing Jessika’s interview was absolutely fascinating, from learning about her mother-in-law’s cottage just outside the real-life “Hundred Acre Wood,” to the fact that SHE IS A CHOCOLATIER. My mouth watered the entire time I was working on her interview.
A quick note:
During this interview, you might note that many of the questions include the word “we” as if “we” asked them. Well, we did. This detail is meant to include you, my dear reader, and I do hope you enjoy each interview published to this blog!
Additionally, please note that each interview answer is the author's own words and the interviews in The Intuitive Storyteller blog are intended for informational and educational purposes only.
Jessika Grewe Glover is a Los Angeles-based author, personal trainer, and chocolatier. Her debut novel, Another Beast’s Skin, a contemporary fantasy, released in November 2021. The second and third books in the series release in March and October, respectively. She is a lifelong writer and Miami native, married to an Englishman. Together they have two teens and a rescue bulldog.
Book Two, A Braiding of Darkness, is available now!
About A Braiding of Darkness
In the wake of the Elders’ betrayal, Cadeyrn is forced to shift into his inner beast, making him flee the Queen’s Isle and become entrapped by a vindictive former lover and a scheming succubus.
Neysa’s search for her missing mate leads her deeper down a path of betrayal and self-doubt, taking her to Heilig, the ancestral lands of her mother’s kin. Her uncle, King Konstantín, has called upon Neysa to aid in ridding their lands of an army of phantomes, restless spirits of the dead, plaguing Heilig.
What Neysa doesn’t know, is that her life may be forfeit in order to vanquish the phantomes and their blight upon the lands. The relativity of time itself is stretched when an ancient timepiece forged of both realms, becomes a weapon to separate the fae realm’s major players. The clock moves the tapestry of fate from Heilig and Aoifsing, to the timeless streets of London. Deception embedded deep within the ties which bind Neysa’s family will fray their trust in her and her relationship to a powerful goddess. Left with only the tenuous trust of a former enemy and the realization that Neysa may have given up any chance she ever had at love, she must battle time itself before everyone they know is purged.
And now, the interview:
Jessika, when did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
Quite early on. I used to write on any scrap of paper I could get my hands on. Poetry, short stories, etc. My mom worked for Pan Am and had to fly a lot. She would often take me along and I had both long haul flights and extended time in airports waiting for her, so I would write in my journal, on Pan Am cocktail napkins, receipts, you name it. I wrote my “first” novel at twelve.
Tell us about the person(s) or event(s) that inspired you to write your latest work.
In the summer of 2018, I took my kids to see my in-laws in the UK and stayed in my mother-in-law’s 16th century cottage. The cottage itself was one of my favorite places and the town in which my mother-in-law, Ming Sai, lives is both on the edge of the Ashdown Forest (Hundred Acre Wood from Winnie the Pooh), and situated on ley lines. So, the idea for Another Beast’s Skin formed around this possibly magical cottage.
What is your favorite genre to write and why do these types of stories appeal to you?
I’ve found I am comfortable writing most genres, but they all end up with some magical/supernatural thread in them. If I can merge history, science, and magic with a sprinkling of obscure literary references, I am happiest. Something in me has always called to the fantastical, and as a writer, we must answer those calls as they are certainly a part of who we are.
Do you have a furry familiar? Tell us about them!
Yes! I have a rescue bulldog named Coco. She adopted us when she was a year old and she [turned] nine on January 29. Our birthdays are two days apart and we are both equal parts energy and solid chill vibes. She never leaves my side.
Tell us about your writing schedule and/or a ritual that is necessary for establishing and sustaining your writing mood and endurance.
I don’t necessarily have a schedule. I wrote Another Beast’s Skin mostly between 4 and 6 am because I used to have early morning personal training clients. Now, I carve out afternoon and evening times to write and love sitting in my bean bag in my office to write. Ideally, I have my notebook and research handy, a candle lit, and Coco by my side, but I can write anywhere as long as I can drown out extraneous sounds.
Why do you write? How does the act of storytelling affect you?
I write because it is intrinsic to my being. I am a writer. It is a part of me. My catharsis, my release, my excitement, and healing all go into my prose (and poetry). Storytelling is a way of taking the intangible remoteness of living and making it into a tangible sort of soul we can share (or not) with others. Storytelling is a basic form of magic.
Storytelling is a basic form of magic.
Think about yourself back when you first started writing. If you could travel back in time, what would you say to that version of you (about the writing process, publishing, the world, etc.) that might help prepare them for today?
As far as when I started writing ABS, I would tell myself to find other writers. The support, both emotional and technical, is so necessary. I’d also tell myself to trust myself and stiffen my spine. And don’t read reviews.
What are your recommendations for fueling your writing energy and promoting inspiration?
My trick is making my promotion into a sort of artist’s portfolio. I try to make my posts offer some sort of aesthetic beauty (not me, mind you—the overall effect) and thought provocation. If I’m concentrating on making it a portfolio, it’s less likely to feel to me like I’m self-promoting. The result of having lovely photos and a place to engage with the wonderful people of the reading/writing community is reward enough.
How intuitive are you and does your intuition affect your writing?
I feel I’m quite intuitive. Mostly, though, I’m super observant. I notice everything and those observational skills are what makes me a good writer.
Tell us about your long-term writing and publishing goals.
World domination? No, seriously, I would love to have a financially successful writing career and be able to support my family through my writing. ABS would make a rather awesome TV series and video game, just saying… I also have another book waiting for publication and a work in progress I am crazy excited about. I’d love to have an agent to run the interference for me.
For what or whom are you most grateful right now and why?
My family and best friends. Honestly, from the doggo currently on my legs, to my husband and kids asleep upstairs, to my besties, Poppy and Heidi, and my beautiful mum. My cup is full.
Besides writing, what activities bring you joy?
I make chocolate! I can bang out a detailed chocolate dragon (I have a reel on my IG). Plus, travel is sort of my lifeblood, too. To be able to visit different places and immerse myself in local streets and forest is my own enchantment.
Which book are you reading right now?
Go Tell the Bees That I’m Gone, by Diana Gabaldon
What’s the best book you’ve read in the past year?
This Is How You Lose the Time War , by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone and A Court of Silver Flames, by Sarah J. Maas
Fill in the blank: Magic is...
Magic is tapping into the hidden corners of desire and allowing them to come alive.
Stay connected with Jessika! Here’s where you can find her:
Next up, I'm publishing a special story—my own meet cute—about how I met my husband and how he and his family inspired my book, The Missing Lamb.
In her more than thirty years as a storyteller and visual designer, Amanda “Mandy” Hughes has written and designed over a dozen works of upmarket, literary, and women’s fiction under pen names A. Lee Hughes and Mandy Lee.
Mandy is the founder of Haint Blue Creative, a space for readers and storytellers to explore, learn, and create. Although she earned a Bachelor and Master of Science in Psychology, she has yet to figure out her family, much less herself.
When she’s not writing, Mandy loves going to the movies, theater, traveling, nature walks, birdwatching, margarita-making, and binge-watching The Office. She is a tarot enthusiast who uses the cards to promote wellness and enhance creativity. She lives in Georgia with her husband and four boys, two of whom are furrier than the others (but not by much). Visit her website at haintbluecreative.com and follow her on Instagram @haintbluecreative or on Facebook at @haintbluebooks.