Interview with Jennifer Ott, author of 'Time of Useful Consciousness'

Jennifer Ott is a prolific author who published numerous titles in various genres from literary fiction, women’s fiction, satire, dystopian fantasy, romance, crime drama and two satirical nonfiction titles. She will soon release her women’s fiction/historical fiction novel, "Time of Useful Consciousness."  

Under the pen name Mahima Martel, her romance novel, “Saying Goodbye,” received honorable mention at last year’s Best Beach Book Contest and her literary fiction novella, “Edge of Civilization” has been highly recommended by the Vietnam Veterans Association of America.  

She has been named head online course writer for the “The Friendly Universe.”  Her radio show, The SuperJenius Show on the Artist First Radio Network can be heard first Thursday of every month at 11:00PM EST.
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About the Book:

Louisa Unger, a young German woman in Post-War World II Germany kills a man in cold blood. In her mind, freedom and preservation cause her to pull the trigger.

Arrested by the American Allied forces and confined to a military prison, she greets the man investigating her crime, Colonel Taylor with biting sarcasm and scorn. Despite her offense, her fate is up to her - give up her countrymen for her freedom. She decides to play the loyalty card and remain
in prison.

Among her conversations with Colonel Taylor, Louisa weaves her tale of the events by evading any real information. While imprisoned, she relives her experience of reuniting with her estranged brother Freddy, falling in love with Kris, a former reconnaissance pilot and learning to fly to a plane. She recounts in fairy tale fashion of monsters cloaked in shadows and lessons learned by incorrigible children, which does nothing but frustrate Colonel Taylor, who has no clue as to why she would protect evil men.

Seduced into the bliss of romance and flying, Louisa fails to recognize any threat. She grows immersed in the life of a smuggler, a pilot and a lover, something she would have never anticipated while hiding during air raids. It is hard to come back down to earth, when soaring so high.

After Louisa recounts the whole story to Colonel Taylor, there are still puzzle pieces missing. Still she relays no names and gives up no one. While Colonel Taylor sifts through all the information, one piece of evidence bears light, and it is something he never expects. Louisa holds onto heartache. Once Colonel Taylor reunites her with her lost love, is he able to get her to divulge secrets...most of them.

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Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

Jennifer Ott: I began writing the book twenty years ago. The inspiration came from two books, Odessa File by Frederick Forsyth and Armageddon by Leon Uris which described the conditions Post World War II Germany. I was drawn to the drama of the stories, as well as the suspense of German leaders who returned under assumed identities. I combined the history with my love of flying airplanes.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

Jennifer Ott: Well, it took me twenty years, so I’d say it was hard. I did extensive research on the era, reading many books, watching documentaries and even talking to Germans who lived through the war and survived. I even took the time and expense to learn how to fly a plane so I could write it with authority. The hardest part was finding the perfect story structure. Once I finally had the plot down, the rest was rather easy.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

Jennifer Ott: I self-publish. In some instances it is harder doing it all myself. I don’t have access to the distribution and marketing as some publishing companies, however I do love the publishing process. I love working with editors as it helps me improve my craft. I have worked with cover artists and since I have a degree in fine arts, I now create some of my own covers and even create for fellow authors. I have even learned from eBook and paperback formatters. I have become a one-woman show, but even so, I have lots to learn.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

Jennifer Ott:  Yes. I’m not an overnight success. I think that is the assumption of most first time authors/publishers. The easy part is writing. The hard part is the marketing and selling especially in a very saturated market.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

Jennifer Ott: I am in the final draft stages of a vampire/historical drama. It is with a beta reader now. I would hope to get it out by Halloween but I do not want to rush it. I am also working on a situation comedy and the next book in my Citizens of Civilization series.

Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

Jennifer Ott: Facebook.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

Jennifer Ott: Most all of my books tell stories through a different perspective. In Time of Useful Consciousness, the reader will see through the eyes of Germans in Post World War II. They will see their hardships, their fears and pains and to what extent they will go to restore hope and faith in their country, each other and themselves.
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Jennifer Ott: Thank you for the opportunity interview. I wish everyone happy reading.

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