The Literary Vixen presents…
Joining us today is Jodi Gallegos! Author of The High Crown Chronicles.
What inspired you to start writing?
I’ve used writing as my primary form of creative expression for as long as I can remember. I was the scriptwriter for a 3rd grade play–fired because I wouldn’t compromise my story-telling for the sake of a “short play”. Sadly I never considered I could be an author until I was in my 30’s. At that point I began to study the craft and the business so I could seriously pursue being a published author.
What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
I love to keep a project journal on hand. It’s a very basic notebook (sometimes a thematic appearing journal) in which I keep all my plot and character ideas and notes. I will print images from my project Pinterest boards and decoupage them on the cover of the notebook (or inside if it’s a fancy journal). That way all my images are right there with my notes. The notes inside are chaotic, but as much a I’ve tried a more organized method, this is what works best for me—and I have an awesome keepsake when the book is done.
How do you deal with emotional impact of a book (on yourself) as you are writing the story?
I cry–sometimes a lot. I’ve had to kill characters that I feel deeply attached to and no matter how many times I’ve read the passage, I still cry when they die. When I’m writing, I try to stay in the emotional mood of the project, so I’ll watch very dark, moody programs and listen to angry music. When the project is over, I have to reset from the deep emotions. I’ll binge-watch The Office or Friends and crank happy music to balance myself out again.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I’ve written seven. Four are published (with another coming soon!). The High Crown Chronicles is my favorite. Maybe because it’s the book I spent the most time with. From the first word to publication was about 8 years of writing, editing, revising, and re-revising.
How much ‘world building’ takes place before you start writing?
I do so much world building before I even start to write. My starting point is very early on—when the story is just a thought. I’ll journal and brainstorm all the aspects of the characters, setting, and plot line. I love doing research, so I’ll spend weeks to months researching every aspect I can think of to enrich my story: location, foliage, currency, construction, diet, clothing, folklore. I like to have meaningful names for my characters and locations, so even if I don’t remember how I came to them, there was always a reason I chose them. I tend to draw from root words, Greek and Latin, and mythology/literature. I also research names to find meanings that reflect what I imagine to be core personality traits of my characters. Before I begin writing, I usually have maps, a playlist of music that keeps me in the right frame of mind, and a Pinterest board of images set up, so I have an image of the world and characters in my head. So, you see, I can really spend a lot of time—usually months—world-building!
Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?
I don’t hear from them as much as I’d like (but I think we all feel that way!). A few have reached out to say how much they enjoyed my books or are looking forward to the next. It’s always a little rush when someone does take the time to reach out. It’s nice and nice things are growing harder to come by lately, so I always try to respond and acknowledge their messages when I get them.
What book is currently on your bedside table?
I have a massive tome of Edgar Allen Poe stories and poems. It’s so big I should probably use it for bicep curls after reading.
Describe yourself in three words.
Introverted, awkward, and adventurous.
If your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it?
Zoey Deutch for Malory
Max Irons for Jamis
Zendaya as Isobel
A younger, but comparatively intense Johnathon Rhys Myers type for Josef
What advice would you give to other authors?
To keep at it. Consistently work to improve your skill, keep up on what’s happening in the industry, read widely, keep writing, and above all keep believing in yourself. Making connections with others is imperative to doing all of those things. Some of the best lessons I’ve learned about the art and business of writing, I learned from being critiqued by others and chatting with them. Just because someone is still unpublished doesn’t mean their feedback isn’t insightful. And when you do become published, pay it back by helping others: do the free critiques, pimp the books of others, share their good news and celebrate it with them.
What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?
I just want everyone to know my books are really good (lol—how could I pass up that opportunity). In all honesty, I just want everyone to know that I’m passionate about my books. I’m not afraid to explore some darker emotions and ideas and each book is a reflection of some part of who I am on some level.
Thank you Jodi Gallegos for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her series, The High Crown Chronicles today!
While the war between the kingdoms grows, the long-forgotten gods are beginning to take notice. And one of them has been waiting for this moment for a very long time…
Malory has survived betrayal, an assassination attempt, and the Battle of Allondale. But months later, with the Unified Kingdoms at war, she is a queen in name only. All she rules is in ruins and her enemies won’t stop until she and Jamis are dead and their lands claimed.
Hidden deep in the forested Argralands, Malory—along with Jamis, Kennard, Katherine, Josef, and Isobel—has been systematically raiding the resources of Roarke and his allies. As Malory and Jamis work to bolster their troops so they can finally conquer their enemies, a new threat emerges that leaves all the kingdoms at risk. But ever-shifting alliances and a broken unification leave Malory questioning loyalties—even among those closest to her. Can Malory build her armies before a devastating loss brings her to the brink of her own ruin?
Queen of the Ruins picks up seamlessly where The High Crown Chronicles left off and draws the reader more deeply into this world of stunning imagery, dynamic characters, and shifting political alliances. A blend of dark, vengeful tone and deeply emotional moments will draw readers through this action-packed novel and leave their hearts thundering until the final page.
Jodi is a YA and Adult author, black belt, and registered nurse. She lives with her husband, three sons and an evolving herd of undisciplined animals in Colorado. She has a well-earned fear of bears but tolerates the Teddy and Gummy variety. She has been obsessed with books, both reading and writing them, for most of her life and prefers the written word to having actual conversations. The most current projected completion date of her To Be Read book collection is May 17, 2176.