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Jessica Eise Interview

Welcome to Ink & Magick. I'm your friendly neighborhood witch. What kind of spell can I get for you (or your character) today?

I'll take the spell, please! I'd like more time to write. Can you make that spell for me, my Friendly Neighborhood Witch? I'm getting my PhD right now, and juggling that with my fiction writing is always a challenge. Once and a while, I have to take time off from fiction during particularly heavy work stints (like research trips to the Colombia!), but I always return to my writing. It's a magnetic pull for me, really.

Wow, your PhD! That's quite the endeavor. Well, time spells are dangerous and difficult to come by. I suggest you get plenty of sleep, and drink a cup of ginger tea a day (it boosts the immune system and relieves stress). Also, here is a spell to help you stay focused:

You will need an orange candle and a quiet place.

1. Before lighting the candle, charge it with your intention. Say what you need from the spell. For instance, "I need to stay focused on writing today."

2. Light the candle. Imagine how the flame and heat radiates your intention and spreads it into the air, the sky, and the universe.

3. Say “Help me reclaim my mind and my energy, and give me back the power to focus.”

Now, why don't you tell me a little about your sci-fi novel, Renee.

On a brisk fall morning while out for a jog, Renee blacks out and disappears without a trace. One millennium in the future, a team of scientists stare in horror at the bloodied corpse that materializes in their lab. Breaking the trance, an assistant darts forward to scan the body's oxygen levels. "It's alive!" she yells desperately. Stunned by their discovery, the team fights to keep her alive. Yet their fragile guest begins to awaken genetic memories they had long forgotten, setting in motion an unstoppable chain of events.


My eyelids feel glued together. My mouth is dry. Pain pounds through my skull, as if I’ve been run over by a dump truck. Cracking one eye open, I try to take a look around. My God, it is bright. Is this a hangover? If so, it is the mother of all hangovers.

This is not my bed.

A sick feeling settles into the pit of my stomach. Fear keeps my eyes open despite the pain of the bright light.

White material of some kind, shimmering and smooth, is spread across my body. It’s almost incandescent and nearly weightless. It hugs tightly up against the curves of my legs and torso. What is this fabric? I’ve never felt anything like it.

I move my left hand weakly. The material shimmers and slides away effortlessly, reminding me of rippling water. Caught up in the motion of the fabric, it takes me a moment to notice my exposed hand.

Bile rushes up my throat and chokes me. What is wrong with my hand? What is wrong with my hand?

The skin is pale, so pale. There are no lines. None at all. The creases from bending my knuckles and joints are all gone. The only hint that the joints are even still there is a slightly rounded shape from the bones jutting out.

Nausea sweeps through me. My hands are long, skinny fingers wrapped up like bony sausages in a tight, white casing.

Shaking in fear, I muster the courage to try and lift my hand and bend my fingers. I ball up my hand hard and fast, digging the tips of my fingers hard into my palm. It hurts, but the skin doesn’t tear. It’s malleable, just like it’s always been.

Tucking my hands back under the blankets, I breathe quickly in and out. Bits and pieces of my memory start flooding back. Going for a run, an accident of some kind…

"Jesus Christ!" I exclaim, and try to sit up. Weak and exhausted, I slump back down. The blanket slides off my body. I gag again, swallowing bile. My whole body is covered in freakish skin. All my hair, scars, freckles, lines… all are gone. Through the delicate, sheer whiteness of this new skin, I can see every blue vein crisscrossing up and down my body.

Whoa. Freaky. Which one of your characters surprised you?

The scientist, YunJon. He leads the team who accidentally rip Renee through time. YunJon discovers he's got more spine than he thought he did, and surprises himself (and me!) with his courage. He goes through something of an awakening. He starts to fall in love, to understand that love exists, and he suddenly sees that there are many more layers to life than he had previously thought. A society he had once been able to accept is no longer palatable to him.

We'll have to look out for that character development. Who is your favorite or least favorite character and why?

There's a creepy psychopathic governmental observer. He's not a main character, but nonetheless writing him was a major cringe. The government wields him like a tool, taking advantage of his lack of empathy to do dirty work.

That's...unsettling to say the least. If you could time-travel, would you travel to the future or the past? Where would you like to go, and why would you choose that time period?

I'd go to the future! If I went to the past, I'd probably catch some plague and croak within the month. What's more, I have terrible eyesight. How could I possibly survive the past without my glasses and contacts? Imagine. I break my glasses in the first week and then I'm, what, blind for the rest of my short life before catching the plague and biting it?

Rats, fleas, and plague, oh my! Dear Readers, remember these warnings should you ever get the chance to time travel. What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?

It would be fantastic if you'd give it a read! It's available on Amazon and Kindle. Also, it means so much to me if you would write a review. I read all my reviews and take them very seriously. I actually tweaked the plot of the sequel based on some stellar feedback from a reader!

Leave reviews...or pie. What can we expect from you next?

I'm writing the sequel to Renee as we speak. It's called Continent 7, and I anticipate it will be out in the fall of 2018. Right now, I'm halfway through the first draft, and I'll get that finished up in May. Then it's editing, editing, editing and production, production, production, so it will be done in time for the fall. Continent 7 tells the story of what happens next in the lives of Renee and the team. I can't tell you anymore because I don't want to give away Renee to anyone who hasn't read it yet!

Jessica Eise is an author and Ross Fellow in the Purdue University Brian Lamb School of Communication doctoral program. She blogs regularly here on communication, research and life and has published several books spanning nonfiction and fiction genres. Jessica formerly served as director of communications for Purdue’s Department of Agricultural Economics, new media specialist in DC and international media consultant. She has a master’s in journalism and international relations from New York University and a bachelor’s in political science and international studies from Saint Louis University. Jessica’s pursuits have carried her across the nation and globe and afforded her opportunities such as interviewing two presidents, reporting on the legacy of US intervention in Nicaragua and writing on the former home to the dodo bird, the island of Mauritius. She speaks fluent Spanish, some German and a smattering of Arabic.

You can connect with Jessica on Facebook and Twitter. You can get Renee on Amazon, and don't forget to leave that review on Goodreads!

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    D. Lieber has a wanderlust that would make a butterfly envious. When she isn’t planning her next physical adventure, she’s recklessly jumping from one fictional world to another. Her love of reading led her to earn a Bachelor’s in English from Wright State University.

    Beyond her skeptic and slightly pessimistic mind, Lieber wants to believe. She has been many places—from Canada to England, France to Italy, Germany to Russia—believing that a better world comes from putting a face on “other.” She is a romantic idealist at heart, always fighting to keep her feet on the ground and her head in the clouds.

    Lieber lives in Wisconsin with her husband (John) and cats (Yin and Nox).

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