After over 23 years in the field of journalism, writer Jennifer Alsever is jumping into the YA Fantasy world with her debut novel Ember Burning. This book is the first in a trilogy called the Trinity Forest Series, and it follows the wild and terrifying adventure of Ember Trouve, a once lively and ambitious girl now overcome with sorrow in the wake of her parents’ death. In an effort to escape her own grief-stricken mind, Ember ventures into the dangerous, mysterious Trinity Forest, where local legends claim otherworldly forces rest waiting for their next victim, and once you enter Trinity, there’s no going back…
I interviewed Jennifer Alsever to learn more about the inspiration for this series and what it’s like breaking into the YA genre.
Describe your series in 3 words
Fresh, contemplative, suspenseful
What was your initial inspiration for the book? How did the world of Trinity come to be?
I had a dream that I was running through a forest wearing a backpack— but I wasn’t myself. It was like a movie. I went through a gate and then came upon a number of people — who ultimately became characters in the book. They whispered that I could never leave while the outside world continued to spin on, and that there was a mystery behind the place. The final version of Trinity evolved over time with edits and reader input, but the original setting and the story came to me very easily without much deliberation, planning or outlining.
Tell us about your main character, Ember — what is greatest strength? What do you like best about her?
I would say Ember’s greatest strength is her determination. However, she’s a flawed character who doesn’t always see the true depth of her internal strength.
This is your first novel — what was the most challenging part about writing fiction?Because I’ve been a journalist for so many years, I’ve had to get to the point quickly, delivering the most important information to readers in a tight space. The challenge for me with fiction was slowing down the pace of my writing, taking time to let readers really experience— touch, taste, smell, see— a scene. I have been surprised, however, how easily the characters do what they want and how easily the story flows from my fingertips. It’s as if they are real people, doing as they wish.
What drew you to the YA genre?
Over the last decade, I have enjoyed young adult novels and been inspired by the creativity and fantasy they allow, comparatively to most adult books. They also straddle that really important phase in life where you’re on the brink of adulthood— both a tough and exciting time for people. Memories of my own teen and young adult years remain very clear to me, so it was really fun to create characters for this genre.
What advice do you have for young writers?
I would tell people to learn, study the craft, write often and allow other people to read their work. I feel I’ve grown as a writer because I’ve been open to criticism and input. Outsiders— both writers and readers— can tell you what works and what doesn’t. I’m still learning, and I will continue to do so as long as I write.
You get Ember Burning in paperback & on Kindle at Amazon.com, and be sure to check out Alsever’s website, www.trinityforestseries.com , which offers lots of bonus content and material about Trinity and the author!
AND look for the next chapters in the Trinity Series — Oshun Rising released on August 28, and Venus Shining which will be available this November!