10 June 2015

Interview: Jen Brooks author of In A World Just Right

In A World Just Right by Jen Brooks 
Synopsis: Imagination takes on new meaning for a uniquely talented teen in this debut novel that is a breathtaking blend of contemporary, fantasy, and romance.

Sometimes Jonathan Aubrey wishes he could just disappear. And as luck—or fate—would have it, he can. Ever since coming out of a coma as a kid, he has been able to create alternate worlds. Worlds where he is a superhero, or a ladies’ man, or simply a better version of himself. That’s the world he’s been escaping to most since sophomore year, a world where he has everything he doesn’t have in real life: friends, a place of honor on the track team, passing grades, and most importantly, Kylie Simms as his girlfriend.

But when Jonathan confuses his worlds senior year and tries to kiss the real Kylie Simms, everything unravels. The real Kylie actually notices Jonathan … and begins obsessing over him. The fantasy version of Kylie struggles to love Jonathan as she was created to do, and the consequences are disastrous. As his worlds collide, Jonathan must confront the truth of his power and figure out where he actually belongs—before he loses both Kylies forever.

Meet Jen! (Introduction Taken From Goodreads)

 Jennifer Brooks was born and raised in the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts. After high school she matriculated at Dartmouth College to become a research scientist, but by the end of her sophomore year she felt a calling to the teaching profession. After graduation and fourteen years of teaching high school English, she answered a second calling to write full time while raising her new son. Her journey began with two theses for an MA and later an MFA in writing popular fiction at Seton Hill University.

A competitive hurdler and jumper in high school and college, she coached thirty-one seasons of cross-country and track and field, which is why runners show up so frequently in her stories. Jen has also had a lifelong relationship with books–as a youngster checking out a dozen at a time from the library, and as an adult buying books to build her own personal library. She has always been attracted to the science fiction and fantasy genres and claims Star Wars is the single greatest fiction influence in her life. She also enjoys British literature and says Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse is her favorite book of all time, which is why lighthouses also make appearances in her stories.

Running, Hiking, Traveling, and Gardening are Jen’s favorite activities when she’s not writing. She lives with her husband and son on the North Shore of Massachusetts where she writes from her office overlooking their little backyard pond. 

The Interview: 

What are the hardest/most rewarding parts about being a writer?
Lately I’ve found that the hardest part about being a writer is managing all the actual non-writing parts that go along with promoting a book. The most rewarding part is interacting with wonderful people, be they authors, fans, bloggers, or any others in the industry.

What advice can you give new writers just starting out?
For new writer just starting out, I would recommend to do all you can to learn about the craft of writing. This includes reading a lot of published books and analyzing what works (and what doesn’t) in them, studying articles/books on how to write a novel (or taking a class where you can interact with others and discuss craft), and practicing your writing (which means writing something every day, whether it is part of a long project, or simply a writing exercise).

What made you want to write young adult?
I started out as an adult science fiction and fantasy writer whose protagonists tended to be young, and my critique partners suggested that since the protagonists in both of my completed manuscripts were teens that I should try to write a book aimed at that age group. The fact that I was a high school teacher and interacting with teens daily helped. I like writing stories that address moral or ethical issues that encourage discussion, and those kinds of discussions, for me, were the best part of teaching.

What motivates you to sit down and write?
I love storytelling. It is an inner motivation.

Lastly, Do any of you have street teams, or beta readers, or even just a newsletter that me or my followers can sign up to be a part of for upcoming releases?
Anyone can sign up for my newsletter on the home page of my website: www.jenbrookswriter.com. I have a small street team that I would love to grow, so if anyone reads and enjoys In A World Just Right and is interested in being a part of my street team community, they should email me directly (jen@jenbrookswriter.com) and I will give them some more info.

Thank you so much to everyone for stopping by! I hope you liked this interview with Jen. Let me know down below if you have read In A World Just Right, and if you liked it!

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