Meet the Author: Jina S. Bazzar
Hello Readers, and welcome to another installment of Meet the Author!
Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Jina Bazzar, Fantasy, Romance, and Suspense author.
Welcome to the fold, Jina!
I met Jina on Facebook long ago, and she’s always been such a kind and supporting fellow author. I simply couldn’t resist the opportunity to pick her brain on her current works and creative process. Alright, let’s move on with the review, shall we?
Jina S. Bazzar
Jina Bazzar is a Palestinian author, born and raised in Brazil.
Like most writers, her love of books began at a young age. Unlike most writers, she never aspired to become one.
It was only years after she became blind that she tried her hand at writing, giving voice to all the wild, rambling thoughts in her mind.
She now lives in Palestine with her family, taking inspiration from the smallest things in life. When she’s not writing or networking on social media, you can find her in the kitchen, baking while
listening to (often very loud) music.
Hi Jina, thanks so much for doing this with me. To keep things interesting, I like to ask my interviewees a random question to get the blood flowing. Here’s yours!
Through an unknown magic you are teleported to the world of a book you’ve recently read. Where have you ended up?
Jina: Velaris, from A Court of Thorns and Roses, by Sarah J. Maas. Most make-believe places in books are plagued with war and monsters (at least most books I read), but Velaris is a wonderful place, filled with happy people. So much so that only its citizens know about its existence (to prevent an influx of people and corruption, as well as for protection). To everyone else, Velaris, (or The Court of Night as outsiders know it), believe the place to be in another location, and to be a nightmarish court, fraught with violence.
Jonny: Wow, what a change of scenery from your typical reads! I don’t think I’d know what to do in such a happy setting since I’m used to blood, guts, and scary stuff. Enjoy some deep, calming breaths while it lasts, I suppose.
Woosh! I’ve been transported to D. Wallace Peach’s The Ferryman and the Sea Witch. Oh lordy, I’m terrified of the ocean! As long as I’m in the city of Brid Clarion or Haf Killick I’ll be okay, but put me on a boat and I’ll probably be seasick the entire time. Not to mention the dire fate I’ll suffer from the merrow if I fall overboard. Get me outta here!
Jina and the Writing Process
What genre is your favorite to write in? Why?
Jina: Fantasy. Because the possibilities are endless. There’s absolutely nothing that doesn’t work in fantasy, no imagined creature, no imagined plot, or world, or character that I can’t work with. The only limit is the one we give ourselves, and those walls can always be smashed to pieces with well placed blows, right?
Jonny: Great point. I honestly think there’s no wrong direction to go with fantasy or writing in general. It all depends how you look at it, and I think an open, positive viewpoint like yours is the way to go.
I personally love writing horror because it’s simply my favorite, and I’d say the possibilities are endless there too. There’s a lot of fun sub genres, and you can also borrow elements from fantasy, scifi, or any other genre if it suits the story and makes it cohesive.
What first inspired you to start writing?
Jina: A reading slump, some nine years ago. I was bored, I couldn’t find the perfect book, so I decided to write my own. Sadly, I was on the third book (it was to be a trilogy) when I decided to give the first book a read. It was cringe-worthy, and it’s still very well buried. I just don’t have the heart to delete it. Imagine a mother killing her own baby just because it was ugly? It’s unthinkable, and so heartless.
Jonny: Oh, I love that! Many times, our first manuscript doesn’t work out in the long run. That happened to me too. I worked on my first urban fantasy book for years. It helped me grow so much and refine my craft, but ultimately I can’t bring myself to breathe new life into it. It’s just not who I am anymore, but I’ll never delete my baby! It’s something we can look back on and remember fondly as a foundation for where we are now.
What do you find most challenging about writing?
Jina: Finding enough time. I’ve always thrived in chaos, and although I don’t mind some routines, organizing my day into neat slots never worked for me. It’s just too dull, to have my life managed down to the tiniest detail.
So I write in intervals, whenever I find myself some free time. Fifteen minutes here, half an hour there, five minutes in between this and that. My only regret is that the more books I write, the less time I have for blogging. The contrary is also true, the more time I use for blogging, the less I have for writing. I have yet to find a balance I can work with. Any ideas are welcome.
Jonny: You hit the nail on the head with this one! Over the years I’ve come to realize time is the most important element around writing. There just isn’t enough of it to go around, especially with all the extra pieces attached to writing like blogging, marketing, networking, etc. Mainly I just focus on certain things each week to divide and conquer while doing a base level of writing time and self promotion. One week I may focus more strongly on networking, while the next I’ll focus on growing my audience or fine tuning my marketing approach. It really never ends.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
Jina: I’ve published five so far, but have written eight, plus an MG short story I still need to publish. I’m currently working on the next trilogy, Shadow Walker, which I plan to rapid release early fall this year.
My favorite of the bunch is Heir of Fury, the last book in The Roxanne Fosch Files trilogy (published on 2020). Sometimes when I’m in a reading slump, I pick up this book to read.
Jonny: Congratulations on your successes! I’m sure you’ll share many more great stories with the world in time. Also, definitely keep me posted on that MG short story. I’d love to read it, as well as any of your other books. Sometimes it’s really therapeutic to pick up your older works and give it a readthrough. I’ll do that with Reaper from time to time.
Fun Facts About Jina
What’s your favorite place that you’ve travelled to?
Jina: Hmmm, every place I’ve visited has a special memory attached to, something that’s been cherished and retold throughout the years. I believe that no matter how many more places I visit, the same will be true about them as well.
Jonny: I think that’s a great way to look at travel. I haven’t really traveled much in the past year, but I’m going on a hiking trip with some close friends in the fall in Colorado that I can’t wait for. I’m also trying to visit Minneapolis, MN as soon as possible as well. Travel is definitely a necessity to clear my head and reboot every now and then.
Are pineapples on pizza blasphemy or no?
Jina: Before I tried it, yes, absolutely. Pineapple is not only a fruit, but a sweet as well (I don’t’ enjoy sweets mixed with salt – it’s always either or for me). But then hubbie–mistakenly – ordered one, and because it was either eat that or go to bed without dinner, I tried a slice. And yum. I always tell people don’t knock it till you try it.
Jonny: Haha, that’s fair. Maybe I should just jump off the deep end and order a Hawaiian pizza. I do like combining sweet and savory in the right circumstance, I can just be very stubborn to my old ways. Looks like I have a pizza experiment to do!
If you had to choose one type of food to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Jina: Mm, chips? I should probably say something healthy like kale, or dates, but since one thing, no matter how healthy, will not sustain me, I might as well enjoy it. Potato chips, in case you’re wondering.
Jonny: Oh, interesting! Well, there is a lot of versatility with flavor of potato chips, so that seems like a really smart choice. One time, I tried some kale nacho chips, and they were amazing! Expensive, but amazing.
I’ll go with food with seaweed or seaweed flavor to it. I have no idea why I’m so addicted to it, but it’s something I constantly crave.
What kind of music touches your soul?
Jina: The sad ones. I’ve always been told I have an old soul, and my music taste matches it. Songs from the 80s and 90s are always on my playlists. Air Supply, All 4 One, Boys II Men and so on.
Jonny: I wouldn’t have guessed! I adore anything 80s and 90s. I don’t do karaoke much these days, but if I do, those decades are usually my go to’s, especially summery 90s hits. Outside of nostalgic stuff, I am almost always listening to ambient music (no words). It is just so relaxing for me that I can’t do without. It’s also great for writing.
What did you read as a kid? What stuck with you the most?
Jina: I read anything I could get my grubby hands on. In elementary, it was mostly comic books, alphabet poetry, and so on. Later it was, well, everything else–books, newspapers, my mother’s Reader’s Digest collection (I enjoyed their humor column a lot). What stuck with me, probably because it was a shock to my 14 year old system, was L.A. Confidential, by James Ellroy.
Jonny: Haha, same here! I vaguely recall enjoying Hank the Cowdog very early on. I also remember reading Reader’s Digest at some point, but I was hooked on Disney Adventures magazines! That evolved into Animorphs, Goosebumps, and X-Men comics in middle school, and then Anne Rice pretty much rocked my high school years. It’s so interesting to see how our tastes change over time.
Jina and Her Works
Tell us about your most recent book. How did you come up with the title for it?
Jina: Usually, I finish a book before I settle on a title. For my first book, Heir of Ashes (The Roxanne Fosch Files), the file was marked as “untitled” for half of the first draft, then “magic” for the first few revisions. The second book was simply titled by the name of the character, then called Susan, until I changed it to Roxanne. Yes, I have trouble doling out names.
But for the book I’m currently working on, Shadow Walker (Shadow Walker 01), the title came with the idea of the story, when it was just a page long history about the magic system, so there’s hope for me yet.
Jonny: Totally understandable. Sometimes you just need to write things out before the title comes to you. I’m a mixed bag on titles. Sometimes I immediately know what the title will be at the start of the project, other times it takes me a while. You’re not alone on names either. My first iteration of my new paranormal story had completely different names before I came up with better ones.
What inspired you to write this book in particular? Is it part of a series?
Jina: I was working on a romantic suspense, From Fame to Ruin (published 2021), when the magical system for Shadow Walker came to mind. As a pantser, I don’t plot an outline, but I put down the basis (as a mental note). For Shadow Walker, and because I was still working on the previous book, I wrote the idea down. It was supposed to be a standalone, but when I got to the 100K word mark and was still about halfway through the story, I decided to make it a duology. Now, as I revise, the story is a trilogy.
Jonny: I can’t wait to see how Shadow Walker turns out! Very excited for you with this project. I also get a lot of ideas for new projects while working on an existing one. It’s crazy how that works, but as long as the ideas keep coming we’re still in business!
It looks like our time here it almost up. Before we go, can you tell us what kind of research goes into writing your books?
Jina: I do my researches in a need-to-write it basis. For example, I’m writing a scene that needs details that I don’t have, I head on to Mr. Google.
Mostly, I research location and try to keep fictional places as close to reality as possible. The weather in that place, the vegetation, street names, demographics, and so on takes the bulk of my research.
Jonny: That’s a great strategy, especially when writing on locations that are present in this world. I’ve had to rely on Google and other online resources for my current WIP since it’s based in South America and I’ve never been there before. It can take a while to find the details you’re looking for, but the effort really does pay off. I’ve also started to read books on a specific topic pertaining to a story if there’s an expert on the matter, that or reading fictional books similar to what I’d be writing for inspiration.
Thanks again for doing this with me, Jina, and don’t be a stranger! Best of luck with your future writing projects!
That’s a Wrap!
Alrighty bookworms, that wraps up my interview with Jina Bazzar. I had a great time chatting it up with her, and I hope you enjoyed the experience too!
If you’d like to learn more about Jina and her works, she can be reached at the social media links provided below.
Thank you for stopping by, and have a great day!
Social Media Links