Monday, December 19, 2022


I want to thank Jennifer Ivy Walker for taking the time for this interview!


Enthralled with legends of medieval knights and ladies, dark fairy tales and fantasies about Druids, wizards and magic, Jennifer Ivy Walker always dreamed of becoming a writer. She fell in love with French in junior high school, continuing her study of the language throughout college, eventually becoming a high school teacher and college professor of French.

As a high school teacher, she took her students every year to the annual French competition, where they performed a play she had written, "Yseult la Belle et Tristan la Bête"--an imaginative blend of the medieval French legend of "Tristan et Yseult" and the fairy tale "Beauty and the Beast", enhanced with fantasy elements of a Celtic fairy and a wicked witch.

Her debut novel, "The Wild Rose and the Sea Raven"--the first of a trilogy-- is a blend of her love for medieval legends, the romantic French language, and paranormal fantasy. It is a retelling of the medieval French romance of "Tristan et Yseult", interwoven with Arthurian myth, dark fairy tales from the enchanted Forest of Brocéliande, and otherworldly elements such as Avalonian Elves, Druids, forest fairies and magic.

Explore her realm of Medieval French Fantasy. She hopes her novels will enchant you.

When and how did you know you wanted to be a writer? 

I knew I wanted to be a writer when I was 11 years old. I loved writing stories and always received very positive encouragement from my English teachers.

Did you have any influencing writers growing up? 

Not so much growing up but definitely in my young adult years.  

Victor Hugo and French Romanticism profoundly affected me, as did the medieval legend of “Tristan et Yseult”, which I adapted into the trilogy of paranormal fantasy medieval romance.

Are any of your characters based on people in real life? 

My heroine, Issylte, is based in many ways on myself. She is deaf in one ear, as I am, is a healer who specializes in herbs, and is a naturalist who loves the forest, like I do.

Where do you draw your book inspirations from? 

I did a lot of research into French myths and legends from the enchanted Forest of Brocéliande.  

I wove together Arthurian myth, dark fairy tales, and delved into my own imagination, adding in real places I visited in France and virtually “visiting” the places I encountered in the legends and myths through Google Earth.

Do you use have a basic outline when starting a new story or do you let the characters lead the way? 

I always outline my stories and they evolve as I write them.

When you are picturing the characters in your book, do you have a cheater photo for inspiration? 

No, but I can visualize them clearly in my mind.

Many people read as a form of escape and relaxation.  What is your favorite way to sit back and relax? 

I love to read as well.  

I also love long walks on the beach (I live in Florida so I can walk daily year-round).  

I also sew and create Renaissance Denim Couture (I have an Etsy shop: where I upcycle vintage denim and give it new life with French bohémienne flair.

Who are your favorite current authors to read? 

Sarah J. Maas, Katherine Arden, Jennifer L. Armentrout, Kristin Hannah, Naomi Novik, Charissa Weaks

What are your favorite books by others? 

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer0Bradley, Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

Do the locations in the stories have any meaning to you? 

Yes!  I have been to nearly all of the places in my trilogy—many of them are places in France I have visited in the past. Many of the others I visited “virtually” through Google Earth so that I could give accurate descriptions in my world building.

Do you write in single or multiple POV? 

Multiple, including the POV of the villain(s)!

What do you find to be your best research tool? 

The Internet—I can even access French sites for research.

Do you write under a pen name?  Also, do you write under more than one name?

I have not written under a pseudonym yet.  I might-- if I write in a different genre.

What genre do you write and why is this your preference? 

I write paranormal romance medieval French fantasy. 

I love dark fairy tales, stories of valiant knights who suffer an impossible love for a woman they cannot have.  I love Druids, dragons, fairies, and shapeshifters—I have all of that in my trilogy.  

And, because I am a French teacher, I have a lot of French in my stories as well.

Tell me something about yourself outside of writing.  Jobs, accomplishments, family, quirky trait...what led to you being you? 

I won a National Endowment of the Humanities scholarship for teachers to travel to Provence, in the south of France and participate in the month-long Festival d’Avignon—the world’s largest Festival of Theater. 

I performed in plays, studied theater, observed every type of theatrical performance from one man puppet shows, to classical tragedies, to musicals and comedies.  

It profoundly influenced me as a teacher, and I wrote a play for my students to perform at the State French Competition. That play was the basis for my trilogy!

What advice would you give to an aspiring writer? 

I found LOTS of great help with free online classes through Reedsy. I learned about POV, character development, world building, writing dialogue—I wholeheartedly recommend them.

How do you deal and process negative book reviews? 

I cry, go for long beach walks, and create a beautiful jean skirt with lots of lace and ruffles.  Then I get back to writing.

What is the most difficult part of your writing process? 

Dealing with loud noise distractions, such as the TV or the construction crews building the house nest door.

What do you need in your writer’s space to keep you focused? 

My computer, paper, pencil, and plants in my window. (I smile when I look at them.)

What is your naughty indulgence as you are writing? 

I snack on pretzels. Sometimes chocolate.  Sometimes both together.

If you could spend a day with another popular author, whom would you choose?  And why? 

Sarah J. Maas.  

I would love to chat with her about her deliciously dark heroes, such as Rhysand.

What is your schedule like when you are writing?  Do you have a favorite writing snack or drink? 

I try to write every day, but that doesn’t always happen.  I survive on coffee!

Do you listen to music when you write – what kind of music is your favorite? 

No, I love music, but I need quiet to focus and concentrate. My favorite music is smooth jazz.

Have pets ever gotten in the way of your writing? 

Absolutely!  My golden retriever Ziggy is very needy.  

I have to stop writing many times a day to take him out, or feed him, or take him for a walk.  Or just cuddle him.

What is your kryptonite as a writer?  What totally puts you off your game? 

Getting a bad review.  Fortunately, I’ve only had one. (So far.)  But it stopped me from writing for several days.

Have you ever killed off a character that your readers loved? 

Yes—it’s hard to do, but much more true-to-life.

How do you celebrate after typing THE END? 

A glorious beach walk!


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