You're in for a treat today! I have the lovely Jenna Grodzicki on my blog! Jenna is my Spork sister and one of my fabulous critique partners. I connected with Jenna as a writing pal through the 12 x 12 Picture Book Challenge (hi to all my amazing Cps!) and then through our publisher, Clear Fork Publishing/Spork. I spend most of my summer at the beach, so I can't wait to read Jenna's upcoming picture book about a friendly shark named Finn. Read on to learn more about Jenna and her books!
Here's what Jenna thinks about STORIES . . . CREATIVITY . . . and CONNECTION:
Hi Melissa! Thank you so much for having me on your blog. You are a wonderful critique partner, Spork sister, and friend. I’m super excited to be here!
The inspiration for my upcoming picture book, FINN FINDS A FRIEND (Clear Fork Publishing, October 2017), came from our many vacations on Cape Cod. We spend four weeks there every summer, and there are always many shark sightings. This got me thinking, What if the sharks that show up every July are misunderstood? What if they’re really just looking for friends? A discussion about these sharks with my husband led to my second book, coming October 24, 2017! I can’t wait for the world to meet Finn.
I currently have several works in progress, including one non-fiction picture book that I’m very excited about. I find inspiration everywhere, especially from my children and husband and other life experiences. But my ideas can also come from out of nowhere. I’ve even woken up in the middle of the night with an idea I just have to write down!
I am most creative when I am writing. I try to think of stories that will make my children laugh, or they’ll want to read again and again. Unlike my brother and sister, I have zero artistic ability! As a side note, my daughter and I like to make videos together using her Beanie Boos. We have our own YouTube channel, called Tessa’s World. I guess you could say that’s another creative pursuit of mine!
Being a library media specialist for the past couple of years made it easy for me to stay connected to young readers. I worked with approximately 560 students in grades K-5 each week, so I have a good handle on what books are the most popular at any given moment. The support I received from them when my first book (PIXIE’S ADVENTURE, eTreasures Publishing) released in March was amazing. Additionally, my own children make for excellent test readers. My daughter, in particular, has given me some great feedback. She has no problem telling me if something doesn’t make sense!
Being an active member of the kidlit community has been invaluable to my writing. I’m a member of both SCBWI and 12x12. I’ve gone to several writing conferences and retreats, including NESCBWI and Kristen Fulton’s WOW Retreat. I’m in two critique groups, including our fabulous online group, Melissa, and I’ve made so many amazing friends along the way. I couldn’t do what I do without the support of this community.
I’m also excited to launch my blog, KidLit Coffee Talk. I think this will be another way for me to connect with the children’s writing community.
Thank you, Melissa, for giving me the opportunity to be on your blog!
Jenna lives in Connecticut with her husband, two crazy awesome kids, and a cat named Pixie. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Boston College and a Master’s in Education from the University of New England. Her first book, PIXIE’S ADVENTURE, was awarded two Honorable Mentions in the 2017 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards. She recently traded in her librarian hat to become a full time writer. At all hours of the day (and night) she can be found at her desk, drinking iced coffee and working on her next story.
Connect with Jenna at:
Facebook – Jenna Grodzicki
Twitter - @jennawritesPB
Instagram - @jennawritesPB