Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.” —Groucho Marx

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Battlefield by J F Jenkins--Book Tour








Cadence, JD, and Orlando couldn’t be more different from one another. Under normal circumstances, the three wouldn’t so much as say hi to each other if they could get away with it. Then an alien crashes through the roof of their local mall, and everything changes. Not only do the three teens gain new abilities, but they’re also chosen to help fight in an intergalactic war where the next chosen battlefield is Earth.
Reluctant at first, they change their minds when the fight hits close to home. Teenagers from school start to go missing, and some are dead. Together they must learn to work together and solve the mystery behind these disappearances before more lives are lost.
J.F. Jenkins lives in Minneapolis where she spends most of her time creating and plotting world domination – something that has been in the works for roughly 13 years.
In her free time she works as the local coffee wench and dominates the minions of the pixilated world on her PS3.
She’s also got a little man (J Walk) and a little man trapped in a big man’s body (J Dawg) to take care of along with her two fur babies Ushi and Tibu.



 Blog - http://jfjenkinswrites.wordpress.com/
Goodreads - http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4692735.J_F_Jenkins


Breathing Life Into Characters

The first character to be made from my “Battlefield” series was JD. When I first saw him in my mind, I pictured a young man of Hispanic origins wearing his boxers over his jeans, a t-shirt, and a long flowing cape, beaming in front of a group of photographers reporting on his most recent good deed.

Next to him was another young man, pale, slightly taller, with shaggy dark hair wearing some rather fancy clothes and a fedora hat to help hide his identity, Orlando. He stood coolly by his companion, trying to act as if their heroics wasn't a big deal.

Lingering towards the back was a girl, Cadence, dark skinned, beautiful like a model, but so incredibly shy. She tried to hide her face, not wanting to be a part of the massive media outbreak.

That night as I thought about this image, trying to figure out who these people even were, I had a dream about an alien crashing through the roof of my mall and that was how the story was born. But the story itself is more about the characters journey than it is an actual intergalactic war. And those characters were people I had to really dive into further.

The first thing to come was the personality. All of them had diverse personalities, itching to be explored. The fun one, the shy one, the cool one, and the alien who's the driving force to get them all to work together when they otherwise probably would
have never said so much as “hello” when passing in the halls.

After finding the personalities, which is the easiest part of the process, comes the task of diving into the back story. Why do the characters act the way they do? And it's so much more than coming up with all of the good stuff. Insecurities need to be explored as well. What kind of walls, motivations, and fears propel them forward?

Finally, comes the name. Well, in some cases, the name is the first thing to come if I'm being honest. But the name doesn't impact the development much. It's just a hint that was given from the character when they were introducing themselves to me. Some characters start with a “hi my name is ___” approach, and others would rather tell their whole life story before telling me what to call them. In the case of “Battlefield” the names came last.

The quirky one goes by the name of JD, or otherwise James-Deacon Baxter Smith. I contemplated adding on a “the third” or something else like that, but decided not to. His name comes from his large family, paying tribute to his ancestors. Because he's the fun loving, quirky guy, he doesn't quite like the formal version of his name. That's “boring”.

The shy girl is Cadence Marie Sinclair. A long sweet name to go with a sweet girl. She likes her formal name more than any nicknames that have come her way. For whatever reason, it suits her best.

Our loner goes by Orlando Torgen Holmes. A unique name to say the least, but his parents are a bit strange. I can't go into the full reasons behind his name because of spoilers unfortunately. Part of it is family, some of it is heritage, and some of it has to do with his parents work. He tends to go by his full name the most, but will allow a nickname from people he cares about the most.

Then of course there comes my alien, Alan, who's real name is so complicated I have to copy and paste it into the document every time I want to use it. In face when I'm writing, I usually make a special note in my document every time I need to use it. Something like (ALANFULLNAME) and I'll change it later. Naturally, my publisher told me to change it because it was too complicated. I told them I wasn't going to bend on this because the name is an important part of his culture. Plus he's an alien. He's got to have a different kind of naming system than what we use here on Earth! On his home planet, they essentially go: Family name first, middle second, personal name last. And it's all mushed together into one word. For example, my name would be: JenkinfranciJillia or something like that.

And they refer to each other by that full name naturally. On occasion, if it's a person who is dear to them, they'll use only the personal name. Sometimes as a form of respect to a loved one or mentor they'll refer to each other by the family name as well. In the book, Alan is referred to by his family name because it was the only part the teens could figure out. For those who are curious, his name is: Alanmendiquixanimackle.

Complicated, but it fits his character well.

Thank you so much Ms Jenkins for sharing this information with us.   Inquiring minds are always thirsty for how authors develop their stories and characters!


 For me, Battlefield was an enjoyable read.   It is straight out fantasy fiction, but it was told in a believable manner, and it was easy to lose myself in the story.   I liked our three teen main characters....their characters were done exceptionally well and I liked all three.   I was not as enamoured with their alien, Alan with a long surname.  Maybe he was supposed to be a weaker character, but it wasn't until near the end, that he seemed to grow into his position of leader.  I did enjoy the storyline, there was enough action and adventure and enough of the main characters trying to determine how much of themselves to give to the cause.  Because kids their age were dying and disappearing, they committed and agreed to help in the battleground Earth fight.   I assume there will be a sequel or maybe even more as the book ended abruptly with Orlando's date with the perky Tait, blonde cheerleader.   I wonder if he should trust her?   Hmmmm....good book!  I rate this book 4 winks out of 5!



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Disclaimer:  I read for my pleasure.   I may receive ARC copies for review purposes, but I am not compensated for my reviews .  I like to read and I like to share my reviews.   I post my thoughts without prejudice or bias.  The words are mine and I write reviews based on my humble opinion.  I will admit, I seldom meet a book I don't like.


1 comment:

Giedre said...

This book looks interesting and I love stories with aliens. Oh, and my favorite genre is young adult, so this book is just for me ;)