Welcome to the She's Novel monthly feature!
If you're new here, every month I choose one extraordinary Novel Lady or Gent to celebrate on the blog. This June, I'm praising the lovely Jenny Bravo, creative writing blogger and author extraordinaire!
I first met Jenny back in March when she introduced herself to me on Twitter. Not long thereafter, she sent me the sweetest email ever. Seriously, she's such a charmer! It turns out that we have a lot in common, including a love for blogging, novel writing, and quirky humor.
We formed a fast friendship that's still going strong!
Jenny's blog, Blots & Plots, is one of my favorite reads. It speaks to both the reader and the writer in me! Jenny publishes posts on writing, editing and self-publishing for authors looking to step up their game.
She also serializes Those Were The Days, the prequel to her newly-released debut novel, so that readers can get a peek inside the #TATM world (for free!). Yeah, she's awesome.
Speaking of her debut novel, Jenny is a self-publishing superstar who just released These Are the Moments, a heart-breaking love story that aligns itself with the works of John Green and Rainbow Rowell.
"Do people ever really change? Do two people, who can never make it work, actually make it right?" I've just ordered my copy and I cannot wait to devour it! Without further ado, let's hear from Jenny herself!
You've recently become a published author. Congratulations! Tell us what you write.
I write contemporary fiction for the new adult and young adult age group. My first novel is told in two timelines, branching from the YA to NA range. One of my greatest influences is Rainbow Rowell. Interesting tidbit? I wrote my entire first draft with looseleaf paper and pen. It's amazing how much you get done without a delete key!
These Are The Moments is your first book. Would you mind giving us a summary?
Thank you for asking! My first book, These Are the Moments, was just published last month. It tells the story of a boy and girl who keep falling in and out of love. Ten years after they first met, Wendy Lake's best friend gets engaged, which forces this old love, Simon Guidry, back into her life.
The story is told in the present, flashing back to their love story. I've been blessed with an amazing support for this book, since I've been documenting its progress on my blog, Blots & Plots, using the hashtag #TATM.
When did you start writing? Have you always written stories or did you discover your passion later in life?
I started writing out loud. All I wanted to do growing up was tell stories to anyone who would listen to me. I'd invent these elaborate tales about the world around me about fairies and princesses and mermaid lagoons.
Slowly, I started to write them down. And in college, halfway through a biology major, I realized that this was my calling. I told my family that I was becoming an English major and they've been cheering me on ever since.
What is the best piece of writing advice you have ever received?
This one is always tough for me. "It's a work-in-progress." And I mean this about your career, not just your writing samples. I've spent months researching, and this is the advice that gave me the most relief.
It's okay to not know what you're doing. It's okay to feel like you and your writing are not perfect. When you think of the long life of writing ahead of you, be inspired by all of the knowledge and experience that await you.
You self-published These Are The Moments, right? Would you tell us about your self-publishing experience?
I discovered self-publishing through Ksenia Anske. I fell in love with her honesty and passion for the experience, and I knew I had to try it myself. I loved the idea of making my own rules and this has led me to meet some incredible creatives. I've established a fantastic publishing team and made great friends. Self-publishing inspired me to be braver than I realized I could be.
I love your blog, Blots & Plots! Would you mind giving new readers the elevator pitch?
I created my blog, Blots & Plots, in the winter of 2013. I'd read about "author platforms" and decided to sign up. But now? It's so much more. Blots & Plots is two-fold: a writing/publishing advice archive and a history of my self-publishing journey. For writers, you can learn about the self-publishing experience in detail, as well as craft tips. For readers, I provide writing samples, serializing a prequel to my book weekly.
Have you checked out These Are the Moments, yet? Here's the book blurb:
"You can't go back. You can't go back. You can't go back. Ten years ago, Wendy Lake fell in love with Simon Guidry, who grew up and went away. Now, not much has changed. She's back at home, back from college, almost back to normal.
Until Wendy's best friend gets engaged, sending Simon ricocheting back into her life, and leaving Wendy with the questions she's been struggling to ignore. Do people ever really change? Do two people, who can never make it work, actually make it right? And most importantly, does she even want to?"
You can purchase your physical or digital copy now. And be sure to connect with other readers using the #TATM hashtag! You can also connect with Jenny on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google +.
And don't forget to go stalk all of her amazing posts over at Blots & Plots. You're gonna love it!
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Kristen Kieffer is a writer of fantasy fiction and the creative writing coach behind She's Novel. She's made it her mission to help aspiring authors write sensational novels because obliterating expectations is her jam. Her other passions? Coffee and Tolkien, of course!