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Interview with author Jenelle Leanne Schmidt

Updated: Mar 13

Author Jennelle Leanne Schmidt

Today, I want to introduce our guest author Jenelle Leanne Schmidt!

Jenelle, welcome!

Can you tell us what genre(s) you primarily write? Fantasy.

What type of books do you write?


When did you start writing?

2001, the summer after my freshman year of college was when I started getting serious about writing actual books.

That's fantastic! I wish I'd started earlier.

How many books have you written to date?


That's awesome. How many have you published?


Jenelle, can you recall what first inspired you to write?

My grandma wrote a book that my dad used to read to us before bedtime. It was one of the few books he read to us more than once. It's still one of my favorites. I just sort of figured that if she could write and finish a book, maybe so could I.

Also, my dad told me that if I wanted to be a writer I should be writing. And I trusted him to tell me the truth about whether or not what I wrote was any good.

That's such an awesome story. My grandmother was a key inspiration for me too!

Do you consider your work to be Noblebright?



Because my stories generally chase after glimmers of hope and themes of redemption.

I love that! Is your faith prominent in your writing? If so, why?

It depends on the story. I would say that my faith is usually evident in my writing, but not always prominent. Some stories call for a more obvious link. In one of my stories, the main character's father has a Bible and she recalls stories that he has read to her and they strengthen her on her quest. In other stories, in worlds more removed from ours, I know that my worldview is still probably pretty clear, but not necessarily obvious. I totally get that.

So what are some of the most prominent influences (literature, art, entertainment, etc.) in your writing?

The Princess Bride, The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Prydain, George MacDonald, Stephen R. Lawhead, Timothy Zahn, and movies like "Dreamer" and "Miracle" would be among my top influences in my writing and probably in my life as well.

How do you incorporate those influences into your work without be derivative?

It helps to have a wide variety of influences, it spreads everything out a bit.


But seriously, I try to let my own personality shine through my writing a little bit, too. The stories I love definitely have influence on the types of stories I want to tell, but my voice is my own, and my personality and my sense of humor are my own as well, and I don't lock those things in a box while I write.

So, what are some of the major themes that readers will find in your work?

Family is a huge theme in most of my books. It is a goal of mine to try and portray strong families in fantasy where the parents aren't all dead or stupid in my stories.

Redemption and Forgiveness are other themes that often crop up.

Courage: what it is and what it looks like is a major theme that I like to explore as well.

Your point about family is good, because now that I think of it, many books do focus on either dead or wicked family members—save for perhaps the popular found family trope.

What book of yours should we be reading today?

The Orb and the Airship.

I have this one! We got it from your Kickstarter last year. Using just five words, give us a taste of what we can expect in that book.

Airship pirates, adventure, kidnapping, magic.

And where can we find The Orb and the Airship?

Jenelle, what is the best way for us to follow you, and your work?

Thank you for joining us today, Jennelle! Any parting thoughts?

Thanks for having me!

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