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New Faces – Jessi Roberts


Photo from Jessi Roberts

I’m excited to have another New Face this week! I met Jessi Roberts at Realm Makers this year. We compared notes on traveling to the East Coast from remote western locations.

What is your name?

Jessi L. Roberts

What is your alter ego? Student, parent, day job, etc. or are you a full-time writer?

I help on our family ranch in Eastern Montana.

What do you write?

I mostly write science fiction, most of which is space opera at the moment. I’ve got a couple novels, novellas, and a few short stories.

How long have you been writing?

About ten years, but I’ve been making up stories since I could talk.

Do you write for a Christian audience or general market?

Normally the Christian audience, though a few of my short stories could be general market.

Do you integrate your faith into your writing?


If so, how?

Normally, I let it come out in the story, but I try not to force it.

Do you have certain themes that you gravitate to in your writing?

There are quite a bit of politics in my current space opera universe.

Have you had anything published? Short stories, poems, flash fiction, articles?

I have two flash fiction stories that were published in Havok Magazine, and I’d like to try to publish a few more in other magazines.

Describe your current WIP or more than one (make it a short elevator pitch)

I’m currently working on three stories set in the same universe. Two are about Krys, a bounty hunter who has to choose if she’ll uphold the law or oppose it. I can’t say much about the sequel without spoiling the first story.

Tell us about your protagonist.

Krys is a teenage girl who has a bad encounter with space pirates and gets turned into a cyborg.

Tell us about your antagonist.

Sorry, not spoiling that.

Tell us about your story world

My storyworld, currently dubbed “my spaceverse” is set in a region of space that’s separate from Earth. The Humans there have been away from Earth so long they don’t have any relation to it. (Think Star Wars.) The main governing body is a huge company that took over three of the four planets in the region. Because of the way the politics work, bounty hunters are the only form of law enforcement, and slavery is the main punishment for crimes.

What is some bad writing advice you’ve received?

I think someone once said they’d heard it was a good idea to submit stuff to agents, even if the agents weren’t interested in that genre.

What is the best writing advice you’ve received?

Probably to set goals, and to go to writers conferences.

Have you been to a writer’s conference, if so, which ones?

Yes. The Florida Christian Writers Conference and Realm Makers.

What was the best part about attending?

Getting to meet other writers. It’s good to be able to have a circle of friends.

What are your favorite writing books/resources?

I do like K. M. Weiland’s website, which has tons of stuff on character arcs and whatnot. I’ve also learned a lot from Bryan Davis, who runs the Author’s Chair blog.

Do you pants, plot, or something in between?

I have found I do better at plotting, due to it helping me avoid writer’s block. For short fiction, I will still go seat of the pants.

What tools do you use to write? Pen, paper, Word, Scrivener, etc.

Scrivener all the way.

Who is your favorite super hero?

I like Razer from the Green Lantern Animated series. I’ll probably remember someone else I like once I send this to you.

Who is your favorite character from science fiction?

My preferences change regularly. I like too many Star Wars characters to list. I also like Cinder and Cress from The Lunar Chronicles, and some characters from Artemis Fowl.

Who is your favorite character from fantasy?

Vin from Mistborn is pretty cool, but so is Wayne. Sanderson has a lot of cool characters. Also, Ripred from the Underland Chronicles. (Yes, I’m talking about a giant rat. I have a soft spot for furry things.)

What is your favorite science fiction book?

It changes depending on what I’ve read recently.

What is your favorite fantasy book?

Probably something by Brandon Sanderson, at least at this moment, but that changes too.

What is your favorite other speculative fiction book? Paranormal, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, fairytale, dystopian, supernatural?
I do like the Leviathan Trilogy by Scott Westerfeld. Razorland is a good dystopian trilogy.

What is your favorite fairytale?

Does the Tale of Sir Marrok count?

Who is your favorite princess?

Princes Leia, of course.

Who is your favorite prince?

Emperor Eland Venture from Mistborn, if he counts.

What is your favorite science fiction movie?

Star Wars

What is your favorite fantasy movie?

Lord of the Rings

What is your favorite other speculative fiction movie? Paranormal, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, fairytale, dystopian, supernatural

Hunger Games

Where to find Jessi

You can find Jessi at her website at https://jessilroberts.wordpress.com/

Thank you Jessi for the interview. And yes, Emperor Elend Venture totally counts! The messy-haired intellectual won me over too. I recently discovered Brandon Sanderson. Oh my word, he’s one of my absolute favorites. I love Wax and Wayne, but must say, I’m Team Wax.

I’m a Lunar Chronicles fan too, especially Cinder and Cress. I love Kai and Carswell too. More cool “princes”.

About Gretchen E K Engel

Chemical engineer by day, spec fiction writer by night

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