Welcome to WOLF NOTES, where interview questions stray from the rest of the pack. It’s nice to know the usual stuff like where an author gets their inspiration and why they write, but sometimes we need a little fun in our lives.
Give a big wolf welcome to Jennifer Della’Zanna
Jennifer Della’Zanna is a freelance writer in Woodbine, MD. She has published more than 40 feature articles for magazines and websites on topics as diverse as firearms, movies, and healthcare. She wrote and teaches several online courses in the allied healthcare fields and is the associate editor for Plexus, a trade magazine for the medical transcription industry. She contributed six articles to the Encyclopedia of Sex, Love and Courtship in the Medieval World (Greenwood Publishing Group, a division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2007). Jennifer completed a Master’s of Fine Arts in Writing Popular Fiction at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA. Her agent is currently shopping around her first novel, and she has had her short fiction published at www.dailysciencefiction.com and in the book Chasing Magic: A CWPH Fantasy Anthology (CWPH, 2017).
Wolf: Welcome to wolf notes, Jennifer. If you could be any animal in the universe, what would it be and why?
Jennifer: I’m really going to have to steal my mom’s answer to this. I would be a bear. I could eat whatever I want without worrying about gaining weight, sleep all winter, and have a fur coat nobody would have an issue with me wearing.
Wolf: And no one would bother you. What is the strangest food you’ve ever eaten?
Jennifer: So, I grew up in the country, on a homestead, and everybody in our family hunted (including me). My grandmother pickled the deer hearts. I love pickled deer heart. I know, it sounds awful, but we all thought it was awesome!
Wolf: It sounds pretty darn good to me too. My grandma used to make tongue for the holidays. I loved it. You’ve just been turned into a plant. Describe yourself.
Jennifer: Close to the ground, easily overlooked. Very useful. I would have to have multiple purposes. So, even though I’m often not noticed by most, people in the know would be on the lookout for me.
Wolf: I’d definitely keep an eye out. Do you consider yourself a cat person, or a dog person?
Jennifer: I like cats, but I’m definitely a dog person, and I prefer big dogs. I tend to step on little dogs. Our first two dogs were a German Shepherd/Akita mix and a yellow lab. Now we have a Shiloh Shepherd. All of them were gorgeous because my husband has exceptionally fine taste in dogs, but our current dog, Bandit, just won the BJ’s pet contest and had his photo shoot recently. Of course, now he has a celebrity complex!
Wolf: I remember seeing Bandit’s picture. Cute dog. Which of your characters is your favorite?
Jennifer: My book is set in ancient Egypt, and it’s historical, in that it is set in a real world with real events, but I bring the gods back. I love to play with mythology. One of my characters is the Egyptian god Set, who started as their trickster god but really became an evil character in later mythology. Our devil is based a lot on Set. In my book, though he is looked on as evil at that point (which is something I’ve taken a bit of liberty with), I wrote him in such a way that he may not be as bad as everybody thinks he is. But he is most certainly a rake and likes to bolster his bad-boy reputation any way he can. And he stole my heart.
Wolf: The world is about to end. (I don’t think Set had anything to do with it.) What is the first thing you do?
Jennifer: Go to sleep.
Wolf: What story are you working on now?
Jennifer: I’m working on a short story to submit to the anthology Razor’s Edge (http://www.zombiesneedbrains.com/), which I think has the coolest premise I’ve read in a long time. It’s going to be historical military fantasy. How’s that for a genre?
Wolf: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Jennifer: Well, I do a lot of reading, of course. I take my daughter back and forth to dance and voice and acting lessons. My biggest hobby right now, though, is working out. I have a trainer who is absolutely insane (http://btxrmaster.com/) and has me doing things I never thought I could do and lifting weights I never thought I could lift. He calls me The Mighty Midget (I’m 4’11”). It’s very empowering and a good opposite habit for the very sedentary life of a writer.