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Blog: This Writing Life


  • Writer's pictureMelissa Stoller

3 Question Interview - JESSICA REINO

Jessica Reino is on the blog today to share her thoughts about stories, creativity, and inspiration! I think you'll be inspired and also smile while reading her thoughts as I did. Welcome to my Spork Sister and friend:

STORIES – Discuss what inspires your ideas and stories, and share the process about your latest projects.

Thank you so much for letting me be a part of your blog Melissa! This is such a great way to get to know fellow creatives and get a behind-the-scenes look into the writing process.

Even though I am outgoing now, that was not always the case. Growing up I was very introverted and was more of an observer of life. I credit my family, especially my sister, for helping me come out of my shell. But, the plus side of being so introverted when I was younger is that I have now grown into what I call an extroverted observer, which is great for inspiring stories! I love observing the world around me, how things work, and the many talents that each person holds. My greatest inspiration is interacting with my kids. I love having conversations with them about their interests and trying to make sense of the world through their eyes. It’s great for storytelling.

My latest project SYMPHONY HOLLOW, illustrated by the talented Emma Graham and coming out in November, is a picture book that was inspired by such a conversation with my oldest son. We were talking about music, classical music in particular, and it was a beautiful day. The sun was out and a huge bumblebee buzzed by us and that’s when the character of Bee-Thoven came to life. I can’t wait for you all to meet him!

CREATIVITY - How do you showcase your creative side through writing/illustrating and other pursuits?

This is such a great question! I’m definitely an ideas woman so to speak, and I have tons of stories running through my head at any given moment. If I don’t write some part of those ideas down I think I would burst. I find it so important to have that creative outlet whether it is writing a few sentences or sitting down for an hour to write a chapter in a novel. I write in multiple genres and I think that helps with the creative process for me to be able to bounce back and forth.

In addition to my writing, I also work as a freelance editor and have taken a strong interest in substantive editing. I love brainstorming ideas around with other authors and helping them to see their manuscript more clearly through solidifying plot points and character arcs. It’s another fun way to use my creative side.

CONNECTION - How do you connect to your young readers through your writing/illustrating, and how do you stay connected to the KidLit community?

I think I connect with young readers through my picture book writing because I’m still a kid at heart. I am only five feet tall and on several occasions just playing and goofing around with my own kids, I have been asked by three or four year-olds if I was a grown up or a kid because they weren’t sure. I took that as a great compliment! I love asking young readers what interests them and what they would like to read about. I think children are way more perceptive and have a greater capacity for understanding than some adults realize. I try to honor that in my books and in my interactions with them. I can’t wait for readings and school visits for SYMPHONY HOLLOW so that we can read and make our own music. It’s going to be so fun!

As for how I stay connected within the kidlit community, I have been blessed to be surrounded by wonderful people. I have an amazing critique group that have seen the best and worst of my work and continue to push me to write my best.

Social media has also been a great way to stay connected and quite frankly, been a life saver. I have two young children and it can be hard to attend conferences and meetings so it’s wonderful to stay connected and interact on social media, especially Twitter and Facebook. The kidlit community is so welcoming and there is always someone available to answer questions or bounce an idea off of or just be there for support.

And, of course, other authors like you who have been wonderful with your encouraging words and the opportunity to be interviewed on your blog. Thanks so much for having me Melissa!

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It's been my pleasure, Jessica. I'm so glad we had the chance to chat! I really look forward to reading SYMPHONY HOLLOW and all your books!


Jessica Reino is the author of “Food Allergies: Ultimate Teen Guide” (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015), "Symphony Hollow" (Spork, An imprint of Clear Fork Publishing, November, 2017), and " Bro-ton Brothers Series" (Spork, an imprint of Clear Fork Publishing, 2018). She is a member of SCBWI New England, The Women's Fiction Writers Association, and The Editorial Freelancers Association.


Her website:

Facebook Author book page:


Instagram: jnrlitauthor


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