Into the Shadows Shadows Ascending Trilogy Book 1 by Jenn D. Young Genre: Paranormal Romance
I’ve lived my life on the run. Always looking over my shoulder. Waiting for the day that they would find me. Everyone I have ever loved has been ripped from me until I have nothing left but memories and dreams.
His voice haunts me.
Makes me yearn for him.
My demon prince from my dreams.
But will I ever find him?
And if I do, will I be able to maintain control over these abilities that are manifesting or will they control me?
My time has come. To leave the shadows and learn to control these new powers that have been awakened within me. With my mate, Vincent, at my side, we will work together to battle the forces that are hellbent on bring about the end of the world.
While fighting our intensifying bond, I am thrust into a world of where one of our closest friends is taken captive by The Syndicate.
Will our newly formed bond survive the upcoming battle, or will our enemies destroy us?
Lorelei is finally mine. Secure in my arms and bound to me, but we are in the middle of an impending war with Lorelei right at the center of it. Old enemies emerge to capture my oldest and dearest friend and I must do everything in my power to get him back. With Lorelei at my side, I feel invisible, but her powers are growing so rapidly she doesn’t know how to control them.
Am I strong enough to protect her or will they capture her again?
I am a native of Washington, currently living in Arizona. I have always dreamed of writing about the characters that have been floating around in my head. Ever since the age of 14, I have been obsessed with romance novels and reading them as fast as I could get my hands on them. My first love is Paranormal Romance, but I enjoy stories from all across the genre. You can typically find me listening to music or an audiobook, reading, or hanging out with my dogs Hermes and Loki.
Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I am a quirky, easily excitable nerdy girl who is very awkward, yet passionate about books. I’ve always had a really overactive imagination and have TONS of stories floating around in my head. In the beginning of 2019, I started getting more involved in the book community online as I was trying to reinvent myself. I became more outgoing and made some great friends in the community that urged me along. It was through a group that I had an opportunity to join a box set anthology and had my first work published in November. I had my first solo release in February and now I have four books out there to my name. It has been an incredible journey and I have met so many wonderful people along the way.
What is something unique/quirky about you?
I am easily excited and love books, authors and narrators and supporting them. I can be pretty loud out in social media land, but in person, I totally clam up. Then there is a lot of mumbled words and crazy tangents. I am totally awkward.
Tell us something really interesting that's happened to you!
I am a HUGE audiobook fan. I’ve been listening for about a year or so and love interacting with my favorite narrators online through fan groups and things like that. The best thing is actually getting to meet them at some of the book events! I went to LoveNVegas last October and met a ton of them there then in February I went to LoveNQueenMary and met several more including one of my all time favorite narrators, who actually is going to be the male POV for Into The Shadows when it comes to Audio this summer! I have a great picture of me and him together and I adore it.
What are some of your pet peeves?
Popping bubble gum, folding laundry, scraping silverware on plates/bowls, my dogs when the don’t listen, :P
Where were you born/grew up at?
I was born, raised and lived for almost 28 years in Washington, about 30 miles south of Seattle. Somehow I ended up outside of Phoenix, Arizona 2 and a half years ago and now am dying in the heat.
Who is your hero and why?
Absolutely my mom. She has been through so much in her life and she lives each day to the fullest. I am in awe of her strength of character each and every time I talk with her. She is my best friend and I love her so much.
What are you passionate about these days?
Books, Audiobooks, Music and my dogs.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
Listen to music or audiobooks. A lot of the time I will take a really hot bath and just relax with one of those two things and let everything that happened during the day just wash away.
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
To have any of the would be a crazy dream. I was just ecstatic to get Into the Shadows under contract for audiobook production!
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
Probably my dog Loki! He is a half husky, half lab and he is usually by my side when I am writing or in my general area most of the time.
What inspired you to write this book?
Into the Shadows was a concept that I had come up with way back when I was in high school. I’ve had these characters floating around in my head for over 15 years and at the beginning of 2019, I decided I was going to sit down and start to write about Lorelei and Vincent’s journey. The main inspiration that I had was music. I discovered my favorite band, Lord of The Lost at the end of 2018 and their music shaped the book and my characters. I even dedicated the book to the members of the band, because I know without their music I wouldn’t have had that ‘Ah-ha!’ moment that I needed to actually get the words written. One of my greatest memories is when I went to Germany in December of 2019, I was able to meet the band after one of their shows and I told them how much they inspired me and that I was dedicating the book to them. They were so grateful and I got hugs from each member of the band.
What can we expect from you in the future?
I have a really overactive imagination and WAY too many story ideas so there will be a lot for me in the future. More from the Shadows universe, that is for SURE. Embrace the Shadows will tie up Lorelei and Vincent’s trilogy, but there are so many other characters that need to be explored that I am going to be writing about. I also have a novella I did that is a contemporary romance involving an online zodiac dating website called Signs of Love that I will be expanding on and putting out as well.
Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?
Totally. And they usually end up being their books, or the concepts for their books. I am planning to make a full world out of this universe so most of the characters are going to get their own single book.
How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?
They have been in my head for so many years and evolved so many times that I don’t even remember how I came up with the exact concepts anymore!
Where did you come up with the names in the story?
So Vincent was named after Vincent Valentine from Final Fantasy VII, no joke. So I think it is crazy that now when I’m finally publishing them that the remake it coming out!! Lorelei was renamed after I started writing as I didn’t care for her previous name. She was based off the Lord of The Lost song, “Loreley” which is more the traditional German way of spelling the name, but I wanted to make it more Americanized. After I listened to the song, it absolutely fit to be her song and her name.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
The whole journey. Actually getting the words on the paper and then seeing where the characters have taken me. How they have evolved and became where they are at now. Then when I actually got the paperback in my hand, I broke down and cried. It was such an amazing moment and the feeling was so incredible.
Tell us about your main characters- what makes them tick?
Lorelei is very headstrong Nephilim. She doesn’t want to have to depend on anyone or anything, but she is so entwined in Vincent that she can’t separate herself from him. In book two, she struggles to try and find her balance and who she is while coping with her powers that are starting to overwhelm her.
Vincent is a badass Demon and Seraphim hybrid. He is motivated to protect those around him that he considers family, which isn’t many people. Lorelei is his world and has been since she came into his life. He is driven by the need to protect her and keep her safe from harm.
How did you come up with the title of your first novel?
My ex-husband helped me to come up with the title. I am awful as coming up with titles, and usually ask for help from friends or authors I chat with to brainstorm for titles!
Who designed your book covers?
These two were designed by Megan Parker of EmCat designs. She has been fabulous to work with and helped me so much when I was such a little newbie to the custom covers game. I didn’t give her a whole lot to work with on Into The Shadows and she came up with a great concept and then knocked it out of the park with Out of The Shadows. The cover for the final book in the trilogy, Embrace the Shadows is EPIC. <3
Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I’ve learned a lot about my voice, and who I am as a writer. I always want to learn and grow and to explore who I am. I think I grow stronger with each book that I write.
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I always pictured Lindsey Stirling for Lorelei and then Chris Harms, the lead singer of my favorite band as Vincent. They were a lot of inspiration for me.
Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I love injecting a dash of humor and sarcasm into my books. While you may get all the feels, you are guaranteed to laugh at one point or another with the characters I have. Especially Nicolae. He is a smartass. It pisses Vincent off so much and I love it.
What is your favorite part of this book and why?
I loved writing the first book, Into The Shadows, but I think I loved Out of The Shadows even more. It told the story of their bond, the trials they faced together and boy, is it HOT. I love the emotion of it.
If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
I love Vincent, but I think I would love to hang out with Nicolae, his badass Nightmare demon second in command. He is such a sarcastic jerk, but also a big giant softie that would just have me laughing all day. We probably would hang out, talk music and I would make him play for me or we would play video games.
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
Lorelei is actually my alter ego and always has been me, but more assertive. I base a lot of her reactions to things on the way that I would react to situations, she is probably the character that I am closest to and most passionate about. Vincent was originally loosely based on a friend I had from high school, but he evolved and changed so much from when I first came up with the concept that he is more based on the lead singer of my favorite band now.
Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
They like to do what they want ALL the time! I can’t keep them in line that I just gave up on trying to do strict plotting or have a solid plan or outline. I am a total pantster, meaning that I had a basic concept of the story, but I really let the characters take me where they want to go. A lot of the times, it is where they demand to go.
Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
It gets you on all fronts. There is all of the feels. Lorelei goes through quite a journey as she grows up, before she actually meets Vincent and there are a lot of intense areas that will get you. But there is also passion, intrigue and that dash of sarcasm and humor. The chemistry between Lorelei and Vincent is intense and overwhelming and in book two, it bubbles over and there are so many passionate moments that they share.
Have you written any other books that are not published?
I have a prequel for a new series I am writing that I just finished, but hasn’t been published yet. It is pretty fun as it has Demons, Angels and will be a Reverse Harem outside of the Prequel which is young adult.
What did you edit out of this book?
Into the Shadows went through a lot of edits because it was my first book. I ended up totally re-writing the entire first third of the book because I was just getting my voice and style together and had to scrap what I had originally wrote because it was not very good.
Fun Facts/Behind the Scenes/Did You Know?'-type tidbits about the author, the book or the writing
process of the book.
I make dedicated playlists for most of my books! They are included in each of the Shadows books and I love putting them together from the music that inspires me and makes me think of the characters and story. It totally helps me get in the zone, especially if I am moving between different projects.
What are your top 10 favorite books/authors?
Authors: Lexi C. Foss, Jane Henry, Cora Reilly, LK Shaw, Patricia D. Eddy, Lily Archer, Amy Daws and Stasia Black.
What book do you think everyone should read?
Anything by Lexi C. Foss. Seriously that woman is a goddess.
How long have you been writing?
I feel like I have been scribbling down random ideas or writing horrible fanfic since I was in middle school. I have a binder filled with random scribblings from when I was 13-18 years old that is pretty interesting to go through sometimes.
Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
I had the frame work and the barebones (Names, what type of supernatural they were) but their personalities don’t come out until I actually start writing and have scenes with them in it. There was one character Leo, that you read more about in book 2, Out of The Shadows, that his personality totally emerged and I was a bit shocked about it.
Do you see writing as a career?
I absolutely do. It is both a passion and a career. You have to put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into it and there is a lot of hours that you spend writing, editing, marketing and talking to readers.
What are you most excited about in the future?
AUDIOBOOKS! Into The Shadows will be recorded this summer and I have my ultimate dream team narrating it in Sarah Puckett and Tim Paige. They are absolutely PERFECT for Lorelei and Vincent and I can’t want to dive into the audio world and to hear them bring my characters to life.
Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?
I am a HUGE reader. It was through joining reader groups and talking with other authors that I gained the confidence to put myself out there to start my self-publishing journey! I love anything romance. From the sweet rom-coms to super dark romance and everything in between.
Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
It depending on what process I am in. If I am in an intense scene, I will listen to instrumental music like Lindsey Stirling or Apocalyptica. If I am editing, I need silence to really concentrate. I tend to get wrapped up in music and start singing, so most of the time if I am not in a grove, I need the stuff without words.
Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
Typically one at a time, sometimes two, but I have TONS of ideas running in the back of my mind that I jot down random notes for.
Pen or type writer or computer?
Computer. My hands cramp way too badly when I try to do hand written work. I will randomly jot down notes sometimes, but more often than not, I will take it as a note in my phone.
What made you want to become an author and do you feel it was the right decision?
I wanted to share my stories with the world. To get my characters out there and tell their stories. I wanted to provide to readers what I got from my favorite authors: That escape from reality. A place to go to where I could forget about the day to day stuff and just throw myself in a book. I know it was the right decision because I have never been happier about it. I am finally doing the thing that I have always dreamed of.
What makes a good story?
Layered and dynamic characters, compelling plot and feelings. I love books that get you on all fronts, but then make you happy in the end!
What are they currently reading?
Just finished X-Clan: The Experiment by Lexi C. Foss and now reading Love Notes by LK Shaw.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
SOCIAL MEDIA. I have notorious squirrel brain so every little notification or ping, I’m like ooo, what is that!? Then I run off to look and totally lose my train of thought.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
A combination of both I think. I want to deliver an enjoyable story that readers love and enjoy, but have something to put my own spin on it. I don’t like doing the same old thing, I like to be unique. But I always deliver a happily ever after with some awesome characters that are usually pretty snarky, so I hope that draws people to me.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Be more confident in yourself, you are good enough, you can do it. Make it happen. Make your dreams come true and don’t be trapped.
What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
Making them be realistic enough. I think sometimes I want them to be ‘too good’ but I like strong alpha characters that have that alpha hole attitude that sometimes I struggle with not making them badass enough.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
From start to publish, it is a few months. I’ve had a decent amount release in a short amount of time because I had it all done and store up for a bit and had been waiting on editing, etc for it to come through. Scheduling and timelines are something that I’ve learned a lot about through my journey!
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Absolutely. I had a period of about a month from Dec 2019-Jan 2020 where I didn’t write much of anything. I was struggling emotionally and couldn’t draw on my imagination to give me those words and ideas to keep moving forward. I was absolutely stuck, but then I shifted my focus and moved to a different project and was able to bounce back and forth and finish my two WIP’s that I had.
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