A signature to remember


Personal meet and greet with author Jennifer Lynn Barnes on August 31, 2022

People usually have a variety of exciting things on their bucket list ranging from travel, to new adventures, such as cliff diving or riding a hot air balloon. Meeting an author was something on my own personal bucket list.


On August 31, author of the Inheritance Games series, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, visited the Barnes and Nobles at Stonebriar mall, and discussed her inspiration for writing and her writing process for the Inheritance Games series with fellow author Rose Brock. She also conducted a signing afterwards. Barnes is an Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma and has a PhD in Psychology.


The discussion was in a Q&A format with fellow author Rose Brock and allowed for audience members to ask questions at the end of the discussion. This allowed Barnes to provide advice for young writers and answer some long-awaited questions [such as if she would make another book in the Inheritance Games universe]. One piece of advice she gave was to avoid worrying about originality when writing because the central idea might have been repeated, but people’s own words will always be original. On the other hand, one question that she answered was if she would ever write another book in the Inheritance Games series. She replied by explaining how she wrote the last book to be a finale, but she is open to revisit the series because of her love for the characters and the Inheritance Games universe. 


During the discussion, Barnes explained her process for writing, and the inspiration for her characters. Barnes detailed how she has three main questions she strives to answer in each book she makes. This writing process allows her to provide a sense of closure for her readers as they finish the book, and allows each book’s mystery to come to a satisfying conclusion. 


As she created her characters and built their personalities, she drew inspiration from various pop culture icons. For example, her inspiration for the character Grayson Hawthorne was the character Elijah Mikaelson from the TV series The Originals. She also discussed what Hawthrone brother she related most to, which was her character Grayson, because of his inner reflections and attitudes. Also, she shared her favorite character to write, which was Xander Hawthrone, who brightened the page and had a great dynamic with fellow characters in the book. Although, not all of the characters had a set personality from the beginning. She explained how her ideas for eldest Hawthorne brother Nash were just the words “motorcycle” and “cowboy”. 


Also, writing does not come without its challenges. She would run into some minor issues including the dilemma most authors encounter such as writer’s block. Barnes detailed her three types of writing block which were a subplot which did not fit the book, feeling burnt out, and the realization that writing is hard. Some ways she combats these issues were by changing the subplot, taking a break from writing until she felt ready to write again, and accepting that writing is challenging at times. 


After her enlightening discussion, my friends and I lined up and prepared to meet Barnes for the first time. The book signing was a great way to meet Barnes and have a quick conversation with her allowing us to share our own personal anecdotes and love for her books. The process was efficient and the Barnes and Nobles staff was eager to help. 


Overall, the night was an incredible experience and I know that the event will have a special place in my heart. Looking back on the memories I made, I’m very grateful I was able to experience meeting Barnes. It’s not every day you get to meet someone who has inspired you and encouraged you to continue reading and creating your own works of art, which may seem like a very risky gamble, but is all worth it in the end.