J was a Penn State Honors and Scholars student majoring in English and Communication, and a Pennsylvania Governor’s School for Creative Writing Semi-Finalist. The author has been published (under pseudonyms) in several anthologies, a small press magazine, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. J was one of the thirty-two selected for the honor of competing in Write Club 2014. The Creative Writing Institute held a contest that resulted in J Lenni Dorner being published in the anthology “WRONG!: A themed anthology 2014” in December 2014.
J weaves fantasy with lore to unhinge your mind.
Socialize online with J Lenni Dorner:
“WRONG!: A themed anthology 2014” features the winners of a writing contest. Entrants were to use the lines, “I have a list and a map. What could possibly go wrong?,” in the story. Stories had to be under 2,000 words. Proceeds from sales of “WRONG!: A themed anthology 2014” will benefit cancer patients in writing courses.
J was also inspired by a humorous image on Pinterest. Combining the required lines and that image, J wrote EGOT and the Pond King.
The Dagger in the Darkrise
Suppose the gift of choice was taken from you. What you’re wearing now, what you last ate, the job you have – imagine having no say in any of it. Alison refuses to live a life that she hasn’t selected for herself. It starts with a ceremony that will tell her what position she’ll get and if she’ll marry. The story climaxes the night her dad is killed, her soul is traded away, and her most intimate choice is stolen. She must embrace the most feared, forbidden ways to fight in the Darkrise, risking it all for the precious gift of choice.
This young woman turns down the opportunity to marry the prince, preparing instead to lead the army. She discovers that the family of the woman her father was to marry is plotting to destroy the kingdom. The future will always come, so she must decide if her path will be the result of her own choices, or someone else’s. The Dagger in the Darkrise is a dark, high fantasy novel with approximately 90,000 words.
(Work in Progress)
Even if you make a mistake, it’s better than making no attempt at all.
What are you reading now?
“Write Great Fiction: Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint,” “The War of the Flowers” by Tad Williams, “The Other Normals” by Ned Vizzini, and “The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms” by N.K. Jemisin.
The last one is the January 2015 selection for the Fantasy Faction book club.
Do you have any tips on overcoming writer’s block?
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling (it’s the longest one)
Wired for Story: The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence by Lisa Cron
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Tell me one odd thing about you.
I have lived in a part of Pennsylvania where the belief that photography can steal the soul of a person is still prevalent.
My Lenni Lenape people also hold the belief that a name is sacred. Our people use nicknames or only part of our true name in social settings. (We refer to each other according to the relationship- Mother, Father, Brother, Friend, etc.) Each person for thousands of years has had a unique name. The common custom today of a baby being named shortly after birth by the parents is very different from our ways. A child would be about seven years of age when brought to the Name Giver, who is a person selected by the Great Spirit (or God). The true name may be given at once, or may take years, for the Name Giver must have a vision to discover what it should be. No other may ever have that name. It dies along with our body and travels with our spirit. A witch could kill simply by using our true name. It is believed that knowledge of the true name could also trap a soul.
So please, feel free to just call me J, and to enjoy the sunrise image I use to identify myself online.
Have you ever been involved in a collaborative project with another author? If not, is it something you would like to do in future?
Yes, I’m working on a fantasy project with another author right now. A fellow writer and I are also kicking around the idea of an advice book for high-school aged teenagers – your basic list of “no one told me” items that come up when you turn 18. Nothing preachy sounding, like do this or don’t do that, more of a “Here’s how credit works,” and “Why you can get rejected simply by only applying to one college.” We’re strongly considering taking it to Twitter for input. (Drop thoughts in comments if you happen to have any!)
What advice would you give other writers?