Interview with Jena Baxter, author of Reflections

Born in Ojai, and raised in the San Fernando Valley, California, Jena always loved to read, and dreamed of writing a novel. Having the ability, but lacking the confidence to do so, she enrolled in the UCLA Writer's Extension, and soon her first novel was in process.

Jena writes YA, historical fantasy, and paranormal romance. She is also a screenwriter, and reads for a screenwriting contest annually. She spends her free time with her husband, amazon parrot, and toy maltese. You can visit her website at

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About The Book

Title: Reflections
Author: Jena Baxter
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing / Jenabaxterbooks
Publication Date: October 31, 2013
Pages: 320
ISBN: 978-0991167715
Genre: YA / Historical Fantasy

When Juliette has a domestic servant beaten for pursuing a young man above her station, she finds herself cursed by a witch to live in a world behind her own mirror. She is unable to leave except on the first night of a full moon.

Juliette is forced to seek what food and shelter the new world provides with the help of a unicorn, a man who is half bear, and a centaur. Together they struggle to survive against lions, wolves, and the challenges of watching their friends live and die through the back of the mirror, as their own world, family and friends moves on without them.

Reflections begins in Regency era London, and ends in Clover Springs, California, an all but abandoned Gold Rush town.

A tale of love, friendship, and facing unavoidable challenges.

Can you tell us what your book is about?

Reflections is about a spoiled girl in the Regency Era sent to a fantasy world within her mirror, after she beats a servant out of jealousy. She watches her family and friends through the mirror, but they can’t see or hear her. Juliette is forced to live on her own with the help of a unicorn, a man who is half bear, and a female centaur.

Why did you write your book?

It’s based on a ritual from the Victorian Era. When people died the clocks were stopped, windows opened, and all mirrors covered, so the deceased wouldn’t become trapped in the mirror. Intrigued, I called a friend and we started plotting.

Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

My main character is a teenage girl named Juliette. She’s rude, spoiled, and treats her servants terrible. A witch curses her to a fantasy world she created but allows Juliette to walk the human world only on the first night of a full moon. She gets sick when she tries to go home and wakes up in the fantasy world the following morning. Juliette goes through a lot of changes but learns how to survive, and what it is to be and have a good friend.

The witch who cursed Juliette enjoyed collecting exotic magical creatures:

Colovere is a unicorn and Juliette’s wisest friend. Tricked by the Witch, he entered the fantasy world to search for his missing mate.

Tolor is a beran or half man and half bear. He is in love with the beautiful centaur Selene, but in the wild they are natural enemies. Tolor is also able to leave the first night of the full moon, to satisfy his natural bloodlust.

Selene is a centaur. Stolen from her family as a filly, she is the most reluctant to befriend or deal with Juliette. She sees her as spoiled and helpless after the girl throws rocks at Colovere and cannot take care of herself.

Emily is the servant beaten by Juliette. They were friends as children, but Juliette’s Mother interfered. Though Emily must go on with her own life, their friendship remains in her heart through this life and beyond.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

They are based on imagination, but sometimes I have to think out personality types to stay true to the character.

Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel or do you discover it as you write?

I used to write as I went, but then I took classes at the UCLA Writer’s Extension, and learned how to plan. Things still change as I write my way through though.

Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?

Yes, Reflections is based on the Regency Era, a fantasy world and the California Gold Rush.

Have you suffered from writer’s block and what do you do to get back on track?

I don’t suffer from writer’s block. If an issue arises, I turn to an author friend. Planning in advance also helps.

What do you like the most about being an author?

I’ve always loved the creative imagination in all forms of art. Writing is that place for me.

What is the most pivotal point of a writer’s life?

Learning to take criticism. It can be difficult hearing something doesn’t work when you spent many hours writing and plotting it out.

What kind of advice would you give other fiction authors?

Avoid the arguments about instinct versus craft and learn everything you can about writing. There are reasons why some things don’t work well. There are resources all around us.