Interview With the Author of The Nether After

Q: What is the book’s genre/category? 

Jodi: I write YA Dieselpunk. Since most people don’t even know what dieselpunk is, we’ll mark it as Asian Dark Fantasy.

Q: Month/year of release?


Jodi: March 2017

Q: Publisher?

Jodi: Independently Published through Spirit Gate Studios.

Q: Please describe what the story/book is about in one sentence.


Jodi: A Fifteen-year-old necromancer is searching for his abducted mother in the netherworld.


Q: I know what steampunk is but what is dieselpunk?


Jodi: Dieselpunk is steampunks less prim and proper younger brother. Dieselpunk take’s place in a more industrial era where world war is looming. People are starving over the depression prohibition and gangsters are starting to pop up.  You’re dealing with everything from world war one to the two-year aftermath of world war two.


Q: Where do you write from?


Jodi: This is an embarrassing question for me. I need absolute quiet to write; I have ADD and a touch of dyslexia, and that means I must remove all distractions when working. The only problem is my husband is an avid video gamer. So, to avoid the sound of him swinging swords at orcs normally I write late at night in my writing dungeon.

Q: Writing dungeon sounds kinky?

Jodi: It’s a lot less sexy than it sounds. My basement is set up as a server room. So, my writing dungeon is four gray walls devoid of natural light, and the only thing I hear is the hum of multiple computer servers. The only thing else of interest in there is stacks of old artwork that I need to repaint and piles of art supplies.


Q: Oh, you’re an artist too?


Jodi: Author/illustrator baby! I would have put more art in the Nether After; I was worried about the price point for consumers.


Q: What led up to you creating the Nether After?


Jodi: Three big moments in my life went into writing this book. The first being adopted and not knowing who and where my birth mother was. Faust anxiety and frustration with finding his mother was my own.  

The second event was my grandfather dying.  

By far the biggest event was my husband coming down with squamous cell carcinoma. If you’ve never been to chemo treatment facility, it’s eerily quiet except for people getting sick. Your put in a large room filled with fifteen to twenty people who are having medicine pumped into them for several hours. Depending on the type of cancer they have a few patients get sick during the treatment. Luckily my husband is built like a tank. He never became nauseous or lightheaded. He spent most of the time sleeping through the treatments. While he was sleeping, I was writing.


Q: Can I ask how your husband is doing now?


Jodi: Mike is now in remission and has been for the last five years.  


Q: What was the time frame for writing this book?  Tell us an interesting detail or two, if applicable.


Jodi: I wrote the first draft of Nether After in 2013, and it was on paper within a year. I spent two years being shredded by writing groups because I didn’t fit the formulas for any of the literary genres. After a few dozen agents turned down my full manuscripts, I knew I had a problem. I reworked the entire novel. Changing from third to the first person, making the work more marketable. I’ve ended up with three books out of the one 200,000-word book. What I’ve learned is no agent wants to see a fantasy novel the size of War and Peace hit their desk. You can’t make money off work that size it cost too much to print it. Unless you’re already a known author, it’s too big of a gamble to publish that kind of work.