It was the night of G-Dragon’s local stop on his 2017 world tour when I met author Jennie Bennett at one of my favorite norebang in metro-Houston, Texas. Hopping out of cars, loud and fangirling from the experience, my friends and I randomly met Bennett and her friends, realized we attended the same concert and then decided to share a large table and recap.
Jennie Bennet, as her byline states, “is a mother of four crazy yet incredible children, and wife to a handsome and kind husband.” (There’s also their cool dog named Charlie.) As we both began our journey into the Hallyu Wave in 2012, I went by way of K-pop, she journeyed by way of K-dramas. That journey inspired the release of four K-pop inspired novels: Kidnapped Idol, Undercover Fan, Snowflake Kisses, and Celebrity Superhero.
Recently, Bennett published a new eBook (if you visit her website and sign up for her newsletter, you can receive your choice of her work for free!) entitled, Celebrity Superhero.
MACG MAGAZINE (MM): Where are you from, or, live now? Has it had any influence on your creative process?
Jennie Bennett (JB): I’m from Utah, but I live in Houston now, and yes, both have had a huge influence on me. Utah is full of other Young Adult (YA) writers and it really gave me the support I needed to get started in writing, but Houston is so diverse and full of history and culture that it’s really taken my writing to the next level.
MM: How did you get started on your craft?
JB: Since I was a young child I was a daydreamer. As a teenager, I became a reader. My secret wish was to write, but I never told anyone. Then in 2011, I started a blog about my writing journey. That changed everything. Suddenly I wasn’t someone with a dream, I was someone who was doing something about it. And folks, dreams can come true.
MM: What was your inspiration for your most recent project?
JB: My trip to South Korea last fall (2017). Before I went, I started a story about a girl who was falling in love with a K-drama actor. After I came back, I remembered I’d always wanted to write a boy-next-door/best-friend romance, so I gave my main character a choice between the popular star and the boy next door. You’ll have to read it to figure out who she chooses…
MM: What are you excited for your supporters to experience?
JB: I cannot wait for all the books I’m releasing this year! I’m really pleased with how my YA Fantasy, Princess of the Deep came together, and I can’t wait for readers to get invested in that. I’m currently editing my last K-pop romance #fangirlproblems and I totally forgot how much fun it is. I have something exciting coming out this summer (more on that later) and I’m finally releasing two stories that I’ve written and rewritten and can’t let go of. And yes, they’ll be full-length novels. I’m a busy lady!
MM: What does your work/most recent project mean to you?
JB: I sometimes confuse my work with my identity because the two are so closely connected. On days I’m not writing/working, I feel it. There’s this emotional balance between me and my creativity where if I don’t take care of both I’m a hot mess.
MM: Are there any surprises/unexpected things in the works?
JB: Not totally a surprise as I’ve told a few people, but my boy-next-door story, The End of Summer is coming out in a box set with other K-drama, K-pop influenced authors this summer. We’re hoping to release My Korean Crush around K-Con LA, so look forward to that!
MM: What keeps you inspired?
JB: Music. Books. Television. Lately, I’ve been listening to musical scores as I run and that has really influenced me emotionally. If you haven’t listened to Dear Evan Hansen, do it.
MM: If there is one thing that you could say to people wanting to do what you do, what would it be?
JB: If you want to do/be anything, you have to put in the work. Hollywood lies—nothing falls into your lap. If you want something, learn about it, practice, and don’t give up. Even if you think it sucks, or if you hate yourself for not being good enough, don’t stop. Each time you finish something, you grow. Grow as much as you can.
Jennie Bennett’s body of work on Amazon