Posted by: Thomas Drinkard | March 2, 2011

Dragons Aplenty! Interview with J. F. Jenkins, Author of Legend of The Oceina Dragon

Do dragons exist?  If they don’t, they should.  Today, I’m introducing J. F. Jenkins, a member of the Independent Author Network whose book, Legend of The Oceina Dragon we’ll explore.

T. Hello, please give us a bit of biography.

J. I’m a twenty-six year old Minnesotan who’s been writing for over half of my life. I’m a wife and a mother of one baby and two cats. My day job is being a barista, and I love every minute of it.

T. When did you start writing?

J. I started writing consistently at about the age of twelve. I’d written a few really short things earlier than that, but I got into the art form in middle school to pass the time during classes. I would write self-insert fanfiction about the X-Files and pass it around to my friends. It was hilariously awful, but I had a lot of fun. A couple of years later I started writing my own original stories. Sometimes I’d write with friends, and sometimes on my own. I finished my first full-length novel the summer of 8th grade. It’s about 80,000 words of pure crap, but I was naturally proud of myself. Over the years, I continued to grow, and now I’m publishing my first novel!

T. Was there a favorite writing teacher or mentor? Tell us about him/her.

J. My favorite writing mentor was a professor I had in college. He taught me so many great things about style and technique, the power of reading your work out loud (it does wonders!), and humility because we did critiques in front of the entire class. He’d sit at the front, read the student’s story out loud, and everyone who wanted to say something did. It was an eye opening experience. A quote I carry with me often that he always said: “You can’t make this **** up.” Best writing advice I’ve ever gotten.

T. Please tell us about your current book; genre and blurb.

J. My current book is a young adult, fantasy and romance.

Darien Oceina is the youngest son of the Great Dragon Lord of the Water. For years he’s loved and cherished Tai Dawson from afar. Tai is a simple, ordinary girl who doesn¹t even know Darien exists. On his eighteenth birthday, he chooses her as his wife. But there’s one problem: She thinks his choice means she’s going to be offered as a sacrifice to the Dragon Lord, but instead, she’s forced to move to his home, far away, to give up her life and be his bride.
When she first sees Darien after the ceremony, she doesn’t expect to feel anything but hatred toward him. The two are struggling with the complications of a new marriage when their nation is attacked by a rival dragon species. Together they learn to love one another while they struggle to stay one step ahead in a game where the prize is their survival.

T. Do you have a sequel or prequel in mind or in progress?

J. I do. I have a companion novel I’m currently editing. I call it a companion novel because the events it take place simultaneously with this current book to explain what’s happening through the eyes of ‘the other side’. I have a couple of short stories too that elaborate on the cultural differences in my world I’ve created. There will be a sequel, and probably two more books following that. It’s an elaborate world.

T. What are your writing habits? Are you an outliner or do you write by the seat of your pants?

J. I do a little bit of both. I have a basic outline I’ll follow just to remind myself where I’m supposed to be going. I almost always have the beginning and the end figured out, and one or two major events for the middle. What I do is write it down in my little notebook and cross things off as I go, adding and taking away as necessary. Beyond that, I fly by the seat of my pants and it all falls into place as I go.

T. What are your ideas about the future of digital publishing?

J. I’m a fan of digital publishing. I think it’s necessary in this world of advancing technology, but I also am sad to see the hard copy beginning to fade out. I believe it’s important for publishers to offer affordable and easily accessible versions of both for their readers.

T. Anything else to share?

J. You can find out more about my work and me by visiting my blog: I’m also on Twitter and Facebook.

T. Thank you.


  1. Fabulous interview! I’m so glad that you’ve got more books planned in the series! And I loved your cover…congrats on the release…

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