Today, we're welcoming back Jenny B. Jones with her second installment in the Katie Parker Productions young adult series. My granddaughter who doesn't like to read that much loved book one. I'll be giving her book two in this series, too.
I write humor because I love to make people laugh and love to keep things o the light side. There are enough downers in the world—the news, work, daily life. And I write YA because I have a heart for teenagers. And probably because I’ve yet to totally relinquish my own youth. Despite the Miss Clairol…and the Retinol cream.
How has being published changed your life?
I’m a lot, lot busier. I rarely have any downtime, and when I do, I’m thinking about what I should be working on next. The time commitment is intense. And the photographers and paparazzi who hang outside my house and stalk me. They just will not leave girls like Britney Spears and me alone!
Right! What are you reading right now?
I’m currently reading an Anthony Horowitz YA book and a Janet Evanovich novel.
What is your current work in progress?
Right now I’m writing the second book in my new YA series for Thomas Nelson. But I’m counting the day until my next book, The Big Picture, hits the shelves. It’s the third and final installment in the Katie Parker Production series.
What would be your dream vacation?
I’ve actually been tackling my dream vacation list. Last year I went to Europe and had an amazing time. I highly recommend it! And I just got back from Oahu a few days ago. Next on the list is a trip to Ireland and Scotland. I love to travel, but ironically I absolutely hate to fly. I’m such a weeny.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
So far I’ve kept it pretty southern—locations I know like Arkansas and Oklahoma. I’m also incorporating my travels in there, so my latest series that I’m working on is also based in New York City, a place I love!
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Without a doubt, it would be Carol Burnett. She is my hero. I would just spend the entire time gushing about her greatness, her influence in my life, and begging her to do the Tarzan yell. I grew up watching The Carol Burnett show, and she really influenced me in terms of comedy and a love for farce. She is the reason we have shows like Saturday Night Life and other sketch comedy. I think the woman is flat-out brilliant.
My husband and I totally agree with that. What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I don’t get a lot of time for hobbies anymore, but like I mentioned, I love to travel. I’m a big movie buff, so I take in a lot of movies. As a former drama teacher, I am crazy about musicals and theater. Is eating a hobby? I tend to do a lot of that…
Wow, I've been a drama teacher, too. What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Just writing in general. I read about the occasional author who just writes in a creative storm daily. I have no idea what that is like. Writing is really hard for me. I spend more time sitting and staring at a blank screen than I do the productive writing part. And unfortunately I work best under pressure (though it drives me nuts), so I get more creative as the time draws near to a deadline. I used to think you had to have this complete novel in your head in order to qualify as a writer or to justify sitting down at the computer. SO not true. If that’s what you’re waiting for, you have to just park your tail in the seat and write. Even if it’s a single sentence or a blip of an idea.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Surrender your gifts, talents, and dreams to God. A turning point came for me when I just said, “God, here’s my dream of being a writer. Take it. It’s yours. Just give me something to fill its place. If I wake up tomorrow and want to be a vet, then I’ll go with it.” A few months later my ship came in and I had a contract. And practically speaking, invest in your future career—go to conferences, read the books recommended for writers, and try to write daily—even if it’s just a really well constructed email. Some days that’s all I accomplish—well, that and my chocolate consumption quota.
On the Loose is the second book in the Katie Parker Production series. Here’s the book blurb:
Six months into her stay with her foster parents, Katie Parker is finally adjusting to her new family. But after a tornado rips through the town of In Between, nothing is ever the same again. When her foster mom, Millie, is diagnosed with cancer, Katie begins to doubt if God really does care. What will happen to Katie? Could she possibly have to leave In Between and the family she's come to depend on? Things spiral even further out of control when Katie humorously juggles a science fair project, a malfunctioning best friend, spring break plans, and holding the attention of her own Prince Charming. It's going to take more than a glass slipper and some fairy dust to fix Katie Parker's problems. But will help come in time?
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Hopefully my revamped website will be up and running by this time. It’s at www.jennybjones.com .
And you can find my blog at http://jennybjones.blogspot.com. Please stop by there. I’m giving away five copies of book three, The Big Picture, all next week!
Jenny, thank you for spending this time with us.
Readers, check out her web site and blog. Want a copy of On the Loose? Leave a comment.