September 2016 First Friday Breakfast with Author Jenna Rhodes

On the first Friday of September 2016 (okay, too excited to wait), we are having breakfast with author Jenna Rhodes.

Jenna Rhodes (a pseudonym used by R. A. V. Salsitz), was born in Phoenix, Arizona and is a writer of science fiction, fantasy, and mystery novels. She also writes under the names Emily Drake, Anne Knight, Elizabeth Forrest, Charles Ingrid, Rhondi Vilott Salsitz, R.A.V. Salsitz, Rhondi Vilott, and Rhondi Greening. Rhodes has been writing since she was in 3rd grade. She has published over 50 books and short stories. She can be found at

Her books in the Books in The Elven Ways series:

For this warm September breakfast, I’m having smoked trout soufflé with a white peach and blueberries, and iced chamomile ginger tea. Jenna, what are you having?

Freshly squeezed orange juice (we have 2 trees in our backyard, one navel and the other valencia), one eggs florentine (two muffins’ worth seems excessive), watermelon spears on the side.

imageSounds wonderful! So tell us about your writing process from concept to draft to revision.

Idea concepts usually come to me with a character, or two or three. This character will have unusual circumstances which will have to be explored, understood and solved. Often I can see the end clearly, and it’s the getting there that is the fun when I outline the book.

When I am writing, I try to do at least 2000 words a day. My day starts with reviewing what I’ve done the day before, the easiest way for me to get back into the voice and rhythm, and then onto the new stuff. As far as outlining goes, I fall in between a pantser and a thorough outliner. I’ll often have a situation set up but not strictly so that when I roll into it, there can be surprises and plot reversals as they occur to me. My beta readers have dropped out (one is working on finishing her PhD and the other is busy being a single Mom and neither have time for 600 page rough drafts), and I don’t have an agent, so revisions are a challenge. It’s always best to have fresh eyes. Luckily I have a great editor/publisher all rolled into one with Sheila Gilbert of DAW Books.

Tell us about The Elven Ways series. 

imageTHE QUEEN OF STORM AND SHADOW is the fourth and finishing book in the quadrology, The Elven Ways, an epic fantasy series. Mysteries had to be solved, destinies met, and love realized. Book one, THE FOUR FORGES, written under the pen name of Jenna Rhodes, got a starred review in PW, and the others have been reviewed well in general. I hope my readers like the ending we’ve reached.

More iced tea, Jenna?  What did you find fun/intriguing about writing THE QUEEN OF STORM AND SHADOW, and what was difficult?

Two different worlds of magic collide, and I had fun setting up the invading magic users and the impact they have on the world to which they’ve been exiled. They’re a talented but arrogant bunch, and as the natives on Kerith often say, “It’s better to have Death come to your door than a Vaelinar.” The series in itself was difficult because it *was* a series. Each book has to be written as a stand-alone and also as a continuation. I had to find innovative ways to instruct the new reader as to what had gone before without boring those who had kept up with the series. It’s a joy for me, though, to unfolded the mysteries of each book, and hopefully with rewarding surprises.

Tell us about your next project and when it may be published.

I’m currently working on a contemporary suspense thriller, a couple of short romantic suspense novels for indie pub, and a YA/New Adult urban fantasy for DAW Books which hasn’t been assigned a release date (or pen name) yet, because I’m only half done on it. The Thriller I’ve titled The Demon Supper Club, the shorties untitled as of yet, and the YA/NA has a working title of THE LATE, GREAT WIZARD. The YA has the possibility of being a series as well. I intend to have all done by year’s end.

Wow!  Thank you for visiting with us, Jenna.

Dear reader, I hope you check out her books.  Let me pour us another virtual iced tea before you rush off to Amazon to buy a book in her Elven series or pre-order THE QUEEN OF STORM AND SHADOW.  I did!

Follow Jenna Rhodes at:

Twitter: @RhondiVilott

You can order her books at your local bookstore or on Amazon by clicking:

Her books in the Books in The Elven Ways series:

Happy reading!

About mlknowlden

In 2011, I left engineering to write full-time. Between the years 1992 and 2011, I’ve published 14 stories with Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine that have featured the hypochondriac detective Micky Cardex and two stories that did not. The 1998 story “No, Thank You, John” was nominated for a Shamus award. Many of these stories have been included in anthologies and translated in multiple languages. With Neal Shusterman, I’ve also published a science fiction story for the More Amazing Stories anthology (Tor) published in 1998 and co-authored with Neal Shusterman an X-Files Young Adult novel (DARK MATTER) for HarperCollins in 1999 under the name Easton Royce. For Simon & Schuster in July 2012, we published an e-novella UNSTRUNG in Neal's UNWIND world. I have graduate degrees in English and Electrical Engineering.
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