Q&A With Author Jennifer Milius

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Do you get writer’s block? If so, what techniques get you writing again?

Yes, sometimes. I have learned to accept that “block” as an opportunity to shift my focus because maybe that part of the story is not ready to be written yet, but I have faith that the ideas and the words will come. That also means that I need to be flexible and patient. In the meantime, I work on other pieces or another area of the story, focus on marketing, read other books, and enjoy other activities that do inspire me. To that end, I tend to have several pieces going at the same time, but in different stages.

How do you plan your stories? Do you use storyboards?

All of my writing starts with the characters. I love getting to know them and bringing out their individual personalities. For the Einstein and Moo children’s book series, which is about my two kitties, I observe what they do and write about their adventures. For my other stories that are outside of this series, I write a lot of notes about the plot and background while considering what needs to be researched versus created. I also don’t write in any particular order, so I use storyboards to flesh out the plot and visualize the story coming to life.

When you begin to write a story, do you know how it’s going to end?

Yes, because I have an overall vision for each story I write. I visualize the end and work through the plot to figure out the key events, but I leave it open enough to allow the story to change as I go. The more complex the storyline, the more time I spend considering how to get to that ending while enabling the characters to be challenged and keeping readers engaged throughout.

Do you imagine the world you’re going to write about before you write it? Or does it come to you through the story?

It’s a little bit of both for me. I spend a lot of time envisioning the world before I begin writing. It needs to feel real to me, so I treat it like a character to get to know. If I am creating the world versus using something that exists, I will sketch out what that looks like to further visualize it. Once I get into the story, more of it will come to me as I write.

Have you ever tried writing in a café? How did you find that experience?

Yes. In some cases it was stimulating, and in others it was suffocating. When the café felt relaxed and peaceful, then it was a good place to spend time working, even if there were other people present or music playing. Sometimes the same place can be invigorating or distracting depending on a given day or time of day. For me, a little activity around me, especially some low relaxing music, is good.

Author Bio

Jen Milius’ love for storytelling, animals, and helping people inspired her to write about her two adorable cats, Einstein and Moo. Einstein and the Leaf and Moo and the Case of the Mistaken Identity are the first two books of the series called “Einstein and Moo”, and releasing April 2015 is Einstein, Moo and the Quest for the Catnip. Jen enjoys spending time with her husband and stepdaughter, yoga, cooking, and listening to music.

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When you begin to write a story, do you know how it’s going to end?