Hello again, and welcome back!
It's another Monday author interview, and for this one we're switching things up!
Meet C. Jennings Ponders! C. Jennings Penders has been writing since he was in grammar school. Playing around with five hand written novels in the early 1980s, he always carried a pen and notebook wherever he traveled.
Joining his first writing group in 1989, he began seeing his short stories appear in the small press SF/F magazines in the early 1990s. In 2010 he stopped writing fiction and started a spiritual blog called Wisdom and Life.
Fiction called again in 2016-2017 and he he started writing about Block Island, one of his favorite places. Arrivals and Departures is the culmination of his Block Island fiction. A sequel called For the Love of Block Island completed in January 2022 will be published soon. C. Jennings completed his fifth book scheduled to be released after For the Love… is a sideways continuation of his Block Island series. This one, called Love is Chaos is set in the neighborhood he grew up in. Social Media Threads Facebook
I’m finding I spend about eighty percent of my social time on Threads because that’s where I get the bulk of my engagement.
Star Trek or Star Wars? Star Trek TOS movies over TNG Voyage Home is my favorite TNG slightly over TOS. Favorite Voyager episode is The 37s A few TNG Faves: Inner Light Tapestry I-Borg
DCU or MCU? MCU but LOVE Nolan’s Batman series
Firefly – gone too soon or overrated? Firefly is amazing. So sad it was cancelled.
Reboots – a great idea or a lack of creativity? Don’t like reboots. Give me original ideas.
A book you’re looking forward to release (by someone else)? Anything by Jonathan Carroll
Coffee, tea, or cacao? Coffee
Favorite hangover recovery recipe? I don’t drink
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? In the mid 1970s while in middle school I remember writing my first story called Green Island about UFOs landing on the island. That’s when the bug hit me.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing? I write whenever I can. If it’s twenty minutes before work that’s fine. Or hours at a time that’s fine as well. When I have uninterrupted time I have word goal. Time goals don’t work for me because an hour can go by and nothing gets accomplished. I attempt to write one thousand words each time I write.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? I’m a pantser. I never know where my stories will go. I let my characters take control. They tell me what they want. The voices in my head tell me where they go.
When did you write your first book and how old were you? In 1979, I was 15 and wrote (with pen and paper) The Murder of Our Elders. It has since been lost to time.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? I listen to music, typically pop-rock
Is there a trope you find yourself going back to in multiple works? Or one you avoid? In my last three books, one published in 2020 and the two connected books coming soon I have used past life/reincarnation themes. It’s a belief I strongly hold.
What does your family think of your writing? My family doesn’t really talk about my writing. It kind of disappoints me
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? Always in the book field whether writing or selling. Interestingly enough I reached that goal. I worked at RJ Julia Booksellers in Madison, Connecticut for seven years before being hired at the local library in Madison where I’ve been since 1996. I’m surrounded by books wherever I am.
What is the first book that made you cry? What Dreams May Come by Richard Matheson is a book that EVERYONE should read. It changed my entire perspective of life and death. I’ve read it multiple times and eac time I break down.
Does writing energize or exhaust you? Writing energizes me. I HAVE to write. It’s like breathing for me and it has always been cathartic.
What is your writing Kryptonite? Procrastination is my biggest challenge.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer? Gary Braver gave me a glowing review of Arrivals and Departures. Each time I read what he wrote I get emotional. His review pushes me to be better with my next book.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be? Don’t let anyone tell you it can’t be done. Follow your own path. And let no one stand in your way. I had too many people tell me no. I let the no’s motivate me. Now that I’ve been published multiple times I can say I have proven the naysayers wrong.
Are you traditionally or self published? Or both? Do you feel there are advantages to one over the other? I’m now traditionally published by a micro house in Guilford Connecticut. Having a micro publisher is advantageous for me, because I still get published and my publisher allows me the freedom to write what I want. He doesn’t dictate what he wants.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have? The Ames Plot Eclipse One Summer Lena Murder of Our Elders
What does literary success look like to you? I just want to see my books in print so I can say: See? I can do this.
What do you have coming next? For the Love of Block Island is the next book coming. It’s a sequel to Arrivals and Departures. For the Lov…will hopefully be available mid January early February 2024