2014 Snapshot Archive: Jennifer Fallon

First published at Tsana Dolichva’s blog.

Jennifer Fallon is the author of 17 full-length bestselling novels and a number of published short stories in genres ranging from horror to science fiction.

In addition to 4 complete fantasy series – The Demon Child trilogy, The Hythrun Chronicles, the Second Sons Trilogy,The Tide Lords Quadrilogy and the Rift Runners series – Fallon has written both a tie-novel and short fiction for the TV series, Stargate SG1, an official Zorro story, a novella for the Legends of Australian Fantasy Anthology and has a superhero – The Violet Valet (CHICKS IN CAPES).

Fallon has a Masters Degree from the Creative Arts faculty of QUT. A computer trainer and application specialist, Fallon currently works in the IT industry and spends at least a month each year working at Scott Base in Antarctica.

You’ve recently released a lot of your books through Snapping Turtle Books and under the name JJ Fallon. Are those two developments related? And can you tell us a bit about why?

The JJ Fallon moniker was a joint decision between me and the publishers, in part to reach a greater audience. I know people try to scoff at the notion, but there truly is a gender bias when it comes to female fantasy writers and the idea that if a woman wrote it, it must be a romance. Robin Hobb and Lian Hearn both published under their own names but didn’t truly hit the big time until they chose gender non-specific pseudonyms. It’s sad but true I have to say, and so far it seems to be working.

As for Snapping Turtle, I know the people involved in starting up this company very well and given some of the appalling stories I could tell you about my treatment at the hands of some of the “big name” publishers, I was more than happy to go with a small publisher who shares the same vision for my work as I do. I still have contractual obligations to some HaperCollins Australia and Tor in the US, but any future works not related to those series that other publishers hold an ongoing right to, will be through Snapping Turtle. They’re looking for manuscripts by the way, if any of your readers want to submit something. Details and submission are via their website.

The final instalment in the Rift Runners trilogy, Reunion, came out last year. In the series you play with a lot of different worlds. Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration for that set-up?

I like the idea of messing with history and I wanted to play in the real world for a bit. I was able to achieve both with this series. I also liked the idea of how everything is contextual. Darragh can do things in the Druid world that end up with Ren getting arrested in our world for the same thing. Also, ninja leprechaun. What more can I say?

With the most recent series of novels complete what are you working on next? What can readers look forward to?

I am going back to the world of the Hythrun Chronicles. The new series is called the War of the Gods, and the first book, The Lyre Thief, will be out next year.

Here is the blurb:

Her Serene Highness, Rakaia, Princess of Fardohnya, is off to Hythria, where her eldest sister, Adrina, is now the High Princess, to find herself a husband, and escape the inevitable bloodbath in the harem when her brother takes the throne.

However Rakaia has a dangerous secret, far more deadly than the prospect of marrying some decrepit old Hythrun Warlord to seal a trade deal. If she can just convince her baseborn sister, Charisee, to play along with her escape plan, she might actually get away with her life.

But when the demon child does a deal with Death to bring Brakandaran the Halfbreed back from the afterlife, the unthinkable happens. Adrina must somehow stop the peace treaty unravelling and enlist the help of the assassin Kiam Miar to bring her sister safely home.

…And in far off Medalon, someone has stolen a tiny golden lyre from the Temple of the Gods in the Citadel. The missing lyre and the thief who stole it will eventually touch all their lives in ways none of them could ever imagine.

What Australian works have you loved recently?

A couple of new authors Snapping Turtle is putting out – Ryn Lilley and Ashley Capes. Both Aussie, both great writers. I recommend both highly!

Have recent changes in the publishing industry influenced the way you work? What do you think you will be publishing/writing/reading in five years from now?

I think ebooks are the way of the future and that traditional publishers have yet to work out that trying to price an ebook to match a hard copy edition is ridiculous. I have this discussion with them all the time:) I am yet to win the argument. I also think they have no idea how to leverage social media effectively, which is why most of the new writing “millionaires” are independently published. They are living in a world where size doesn’t matter so much, and still trying to control it. As book stores close and the only place you can find the books you want is online, (when was the last time you saw all 18 of my books on a single shelf in a bookshop?), the electronic format will rule. A few years ago, I sold 1 ebook for every 10 print copies. Now it’s the other way around.


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