The Book Blog Tour
The Todor Trilogy Book II
Jenna Newell Hiott
Disintegration: The Todor Trilogy, Book Two
By Jenna Newell Hiott
Genre: Epic Fantasy, Metaphysical Fantasy, Visionary Fiction
Aerie has fallen and the land of Todor is on the brink of war. Famine and decay have touched every corner of the land. If Todor is to survive, Gemynd, Numa and Soman must fully embrace their powers, even as they continue to uncover more secrets and lies. Can Soman survive the aftermath of his role in the destruction of Aerie? Will Numa’s love for Gemynd endure even after she sees the horrors of the Iturtian pit? And is Gemynd his father’s puppet or his protégé? The betrayals of the past weigh heavy, but can the three move beyond them in order to work for the good of Todor? Or will their inability to forgive propel them into war? Thundering toward an epic conclusion, Disintegration is the second book in the Todor trilogy. In it, author Jenna Newell Hiott paints a stunning portrait of humanity at its rawest, giving a revealing glimpse of how it fares when everything teeters on the brink of destruction.
Author, healer, all-around kook, Jenna Newell Hiott boasts of having a limitless imagination, unless it’s nap time. While many of us had an imaginary friend as children, Jenna had an entire imaginary family—complete with a second set of parents and three siblings—all of whom lived in a make-believe world of Jenna’s own creation. One could say she’s been writing fantasy fiction since she was old enough to use words. And she never outgrew it. Out of this hyperactive imagination, Jenna created the land of Todor: a world of magic, intrigue, and power plays.
Hi Jenna & Welcome to my blog
What inspired you to start writing novels for your chosen genre?
Not quite two years ago, I was working on a novel that showcased the marginalization of women in 1950s America. Prior to that, my novels had all been historical fiction with a strong love-story theme and I was searching for a way to add some kind of deeper meaning to my work. I had thought this political/feminist angle was the way to go, but it didn’t feel right to me. To be blunt, I had no passion for it. Every bit of it felt forced. So I put the work down for a few days and decided to give my writing mind a rest. You know how the best ideas always come to you when you’re thinking of something else? That’s exactly what happened to me. I was in the kitchen, making dinner, not really thinking about anything at all. I began chopping vegetables, and the repetitive rhythm of it put me in a sort of meditative state. Then, in a flash, I saw the entire Todor Trilogy in a vision before my eyes. The world of Todor came alive in my imagination along with every character in it. I watched the whole story play out along with layer after layer of deeper meaning. There was no question. This was the work I was meant to write.
I had originally thought the work fit perfectly into the fantasy genre, which, technically it does, but then a few months ago I discovered an amazing new genre called Visionary Fiction. Books in this genre all guide readers to an experience of emotional or spiritual growth or awakening. Visionary Fiction books are all about the deeper meaning. So, at last, the Todor Trilogy has found a home!
What are you reading at the moment & would you recommend it to us?
Right now I am reading The Eleventh Ring (Bartholomew the Adventurer, Book 1) by Tom Hoffman and would HIGHLY recommend it! I only started reading it yesterday, but am already enthralled with the story and in love with Bartholomew. This work is a perfect example of the Visionary Fiction genre, and my life has already expanded because of it.
If you could Time Travel, what year would you visit and why?
What a great question! And also a tough question! I am a lover of history and would be thrilled to go back and see any previous time period with my own eyes. If I had to pick just one, I suppose today I would say that I’d like to go back and meet Abraham. I have spent years studying the world’s religions and one question to which I have never found a satisfactory answer is “Why circumcision?” So, I’d like to get Abraham’s take on the whole thing.
What is your preferred method of writing:- The plot pre-planned from day one, or just go with the flow and see what happens next?
I like the plot pre-planned from day one. In the past, I always outlined the whole book, then wrote the book starting with the first chapter and moving through to the last chapter. But I recently started using the writing software called Scrivener and have found the freedom to write scenes as they come to me. I’ve still got the plot/characterization outline to refer to, but I no longer feel tied to having to write the book in such a linear fashion. I’m having a great time with it!
Are there any tips or tricks you use to get to know your characters?
My characters are my beloved friends. Once they come to exist in my mind, they are always with me and I mostly get to know them as I would any non-imaginary friend. But, with my characters, I also become an utter voyeur. I spend hours silently watching them and observing their behaviours until I know exactly how they would react in any situation. I would never watch my real friends this way. That would be creepy.
Do you like to write while listening to music and if so, does your book have particular playlist you’d like to share?
I don’t listen to music while I’m actually writing, but I do listen while I’m watching the scenes play out in my head, before I write them down. For Revelation, I had the following playlist. Most of the songs pertain to a specific scene in the book (I won’t give spoilers, but if you want to guess which song goes with which scene, shoot me an email and I’ll let you know if you’re right. firstname.lastname@example.org )
A Thousand Years (Christina Perri)
My Immortal (Evanescence)
E.T. (Katy Perry)
Poison & Wine (The Civil Wars)
Black (Pearl Jam)
White Blank Page (Mumford & Sons)
Your Winter (Sister Hazel)
Home (Philip Phillips)
I Will Wait (Mumford & Sons)
Mad World (Michael Andrews & Gary Jules)
I Will Follow You Into the Dark (Death cab for cutie)
The Beautiful People (Marilyn Manson)
Do you have any weird writing rituals? (Such as, you can only start writing after you’ve scoffed all the choc-chip cookies and drank 3 cups of coffee or only after you’ve listened to a certain song or playlist?)
I don’t know that it’s very weird, but I usually need to go for a run or walk before I sit down to write. While I’m running I listen to the music I mention before and watch the movie version of the book play out. Then when I get back home, I’m all ready to sit and write it down.
Do you have any input in the Cover design of your novel?
Yes, I designed the cover myself. I knew what I wanted the covers of all three books of the trilogy to be long before I began the publishing process.
What is the best thing about writing for you?
It nourishes my soul. My life would be incomplete and empty without it.
How many novels/books do you typically read in a month?
Unlike a lot of authors, I am not an avid reader. I love reading, I just haven’t made it a priority. Also, I am not a fast reader. When I read, I have to conjure a visual image of everything so that takes some time. I recently started a fun program, created by a man named Brian Johnson, called Blissiplines. The basic idea is that you commit to daily disciplines that will bring bliss into your life. On my list of Blissiplines, I added ‘read 25 pages a day’, so I’m thinking that will increase the number of books I read in a month. I’m excited about the possibility!
Which of the following suits you best?
a. Thrill Seeker
b. Mildly Meek
c. Totally Chilled
Probably a totally chilled thrill seeker. I think I come across as a fairly laid back kinda gal, but those who know me well know that I love a little fire in my life too.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
I’m a night owl who wants to be a morning person. I love having time to take mornings at a slow pace…to linger over a cup of tea and watch the sun rise, to journal and meditate before my daily activity begins. BUT, I often have a natural burst of creative energy somewhere around 10:00 pm. I love darkness, and the energy from the moon and stars seems to seep into my cells and rev me up.
Many thanks for joining me today and I'll be back before you know it with more deliciously tempting novels to entice you.