Monday, August 27, 2012

Getting to Know Jodee Steffensen

Thought for Today
Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.
~E.L. Doctorow

Today I would like to feature a beautiful friend and fellow URWA President (I'm up next year) Jodee Steffensen and her new novelette, Wordtrapped (Metamyths).

About the story
Everyone loves Echo, but she talks too much.
Everyone loves Narcissus, especially Narcissus.
When Hera discovers the nymph's deceit, she curses Echo to repeat only the words she hears. The curse devastates Echo when she falls in love with Narcissus. He never says the words Echo needs to express her feelings, until he sees his reflection in the sacred pond.
Can Echo save Narcissus from himself

I really enjoyed reading Wordtrapped. It was an original and fun take on the Greek gods. I asked Jodee if she would answer a few questions and help us get to know her better.

Tell a little about yourself. When did you start writing? 
I started writing in the 7th grade when I wrote a script for my favorite TV show, "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea." I wrote it longhand on one of my school spiral notebooks and sent it in (didn't think to save a copy). I was sure they'd love it and ask me to come onto the set to help them shoot! But they never answered and the show was canceled the next season. I don't think I had anything to do with the cancellation, but it still haunts me:-) After that, I couldn't seem to stop writing and I won a couple of contests, which was encouraging. After college, I started working in theater and I began to write scripts. Some friends and I even started a small production company and filmed a couple of shorts, which were shown on the local community television channel. But it was an expensive hobby. When I joined URWA, I found direction and it's helped tremendously. I've learned from everyone. I try to write every day now.
How did you come up with Wordtrapped? 
I'm a teacher and needed to write some short scripts my students could practice reading with. Unfortunately, when I approached publishers with the idea, they weren't thrilled. But I got a chance to try using them in the classroom and got some very candid advice from my students. I chose myths because it's important for students to know the stories, which are referenced so much in literature. When self-publishing became an option, I read that some authors started out with short stories. With the new Common Core, it just seemed practical to produce three versions of the each myth: a short story, a poem, and one of the scripts I had already written. That would give a teacher enough material to develop a unit for mythology. "Wordtrapped" is based on Echo and Narcissus and was the most popular script among my students. Now I'm hoping young adults will love the stories as well.
Are you working on any current projects? 
Absolutely! I want to complete a series of five myths and then put out a compilation. I'm having a great time finding a relevant theme in each myth that secondary students would find interesting. I'm nearly done with a story based on Icarus and Daedalus.After I get the myths done, I'm pulling out my novels. I hope I can get those ready for publishing by the end of next year (2013). 
Where can readers purchase your novelette? 
Anywhere they want to in e-book form. You can find "Wordtrapped" on Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, and other e-readers. It's a huge thrill to see my books come up when people search for "Jodee Steffensen!" I hope to take the next step (offering them in print) soon.

1 comment:

Tiffinie Helmer said...

23Jodee, this idea sound very interesting. I love mythology. What writer doesn't? Congrats for jumping into the deep end of the pool of self publishing!