Arkansas Author: Jenny B. Jones
Name: Jenny B. Jones
Location: Northwest Arkansas
Occupation(s): full time author; part-time teacher at Bentonville High School
What books/series have you written? Give a short synopsis of each series
including the focus, theme, etc.
I’ve written two award-winning YA series, including the Katie Parker Production series, about a teenager adjusting to life with her new foster family and one crazy grandma. There’s also A Charmed Life series, about a Gossip Girl-type who gets her life turned upside when her mother moves them to a small town in Oklahoma where Bella must live with her pro-wrestling stepdad and sons. Bella is a school newspaper reporter and an amateur sleuth. It’s Gossip Girl meets Green Acres meets Nancy Drew.
Just Between You and Me, a Women of Faith Novel and Carol Award winner, is a romantic comedy about a woman who has to return to her hometown after many years away and face all the people and secrets she had intended to never run into again.
And then Save the Date…
Tell us about your latest book, Save the Date. What’s it about?
Save the Date just released. It’s a romantic comedy about Lucy Wiltshire, who is struggling to keep the doors of her girls’ home open and prays for a miracle. Alex Sinclair, football star, American celebrity, and known playboy, is running for Congress and needs to look like he’s settling down. In the midst of catastrophe, their paths cross, and Alex makes a proposal Lucy will never forget: to pose as his fiancée until his campaign is over in exchange for his saving her group home.
As if maintaining a farce of an engagement isn’t hard enough, secrets begin to surface for both of them, and each new challenge only throws them together more and draws them unexpectedly closer.
They have such a good strategy, but it begins to unravel right before them. When it comes to love and lies, nothing ever goes according to plan. Will Alex and Lucy scrap their own playbook and follow God’s? (Um, are bridesmaid dresses hideous and a curse on all who wear them?) Save the Date is about an engagement that goes too far and a couple who have a chance at love that only comes once in a lifetime.
What inspires you to write what you do?
I get inspiration from everywhere. My biggest motivator is desperation. If a deadline is closing in on me, I tend to get a little more creative out of sheer necessity. I get ideas from students, TV, movies, real life. I get some of my best ideas from not thinking. Twice I’ve been to the movies and totally tuned out, and thought of major plot details as my brain went on autopilot. I would like to say that I am just full of ideas, more ideas than time, but that’s just not true. Coming up with things, with a complete plot I can be proud of is a real struggle for me.
How did you go about becoming an author?
For me, it’s a total faith and miracle story. I started writing this young adult story that would not leave my head. I had maybe twenty pages before I decided to go to a Christian writing conference. I just wanted to do something proactive about pursuing writing, and I wanted to soak up all I could at this conference. I went with zero experience and only about five percent of a completed manuscript. But I also took some crazy faith that somehow, some way, something big was going to come of this trip. I met with an author who critiqued my pages. She then referred me to a publisher, and six months later, I had my first contract for what would become the books In Between and On the Loose.
What advice do you have for other people in Arkansas who want to be an
Do your homework. Google queries, proposals, agents. Invest in yourself, your craft, and your dream and go to some writers conferences. Read author, agent and publisher blogs. Write every day and read every day.
Any other thoughts?
I blog at www.jennybjones.com as well as www.southernbelleview.blogspot.com, a new blog about the life of a Southern girl. I share that blog home with authors Lisa Wingate, Rachel Hauck, Beth Webb Hart, and Marybeth Whalen. I’m on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/jenny.b.jones. I pretty much live on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jenbjones
Experienced reporter who is now an entrepreneur. Jamie's Notebook offers writing services including press releases, corporate blogging and feature writing.