Gensler uses visual storyboards to map out stories in a three-act structure. As much planning as she does, though, Gensler said she still has to allow the story to unfold organically.
“I don’t always have the ending completely figured out, that’s a little bit of a gray area,” she said. “Even though I’m a planner I still have to be flexible to let certain things go that don’t seem natural and don’t fit. I am very in awe — there are lots of published, successful writers that start at the beginning and write and see where it takes them, but that’s terrifying to me. I have to have a roadmap.”
Though Gensler’s writing career for the future is uncertain, Gensler will continue to summon the inspiration her student’s provided her. In fact, she continues to wear a bracelet that reads “channel your brave” as a reminder.
She’s doing just that as she works on her next story, a novel for middle grade age children about a group of young filmmakers, set in her home state of Tennessee. Gensler is also hoping to develop a sequel for “The Dark Between.”
“I’ll just keep writing — writing the best that I can,” she said.
When she’s not immersed in writing, Gensler conducts area school, library and book club author visits. She also conducts visits via Skype for locations that are either out of the area or can’t afford the required honorarium.
During the visits Gensler holds writing workshops, discusses the inspiration behind her novels or conducts a Q&A. As a former teacher, Gensler enjoys connecting with aspiring authors, both young and old.
Gensler said she enjoys the visits the most when it is a group that is particularly engaged and interested in the writing process. Those are the groups that ask the most interesting questions and gain the most insight into the publishing industry.