Authorial Mom Sarah: Welcome to the Authorial Moms blog, Jennifer! Tell us a little about yourself. How many kids do you have? How old are they?
|Author Jennifer Anderson |
Jennifer Anderson: Hello *waves*. I am so nervous. Does my hair look okay? First off, Sarah, do you think we should shine light on the obvious question? Yes, we have the same last name but we are not related. We did go to high school together and we do share a love of Jelly Bellys, but our Anderson branches are on different trees. Anyhow, I have 2 kids: my daughter is almost 10 and my son is 7. Not only am I a full-time mom and writer but I have some how found the time to work full-time as well.
AMS: What do you write? How many books have you written/published? How old are they?
JA: I write YA, although I recently wrote a sweet romance which will be featured in an anthology due out this year. My first YA novella, Ice Princess, will be out April 29th as part of the Honey Creek line for Turquoise Morning Press (which is an awesome place to be at!!) and my plan is for the following books in the series to follow sometime next year. I do have 2 full YA Paranormal novels sitting in my computer gathering cobwebs but those will most likely remain untouched. Those were the first things I'd ever written and as much as I love them, they need a lot of work. Who knows, I might dust them off one day.
AMS: Tell me about a typical day. How do you write with kids around? Or do you have to ship them off to school or grandparents’ houses to get anything done?
JA: Well, since I do work full time and my kids are involved in everything I tend to write after they've gone to bed. Sometimes life cooperates and I'm able to write before the vampires (I love Paranormal!) come out to play but that's not as often as I like. My hubs tries, when we aren't running around everywhere, to give me a few hours here and there, especially now that I've given myself a deadline. However, I always have a pen and pad of paper with me and even last week while sitting at volleyball practice, I outlined the entire 3rd book in my series. You never know when inspiration will strike. It's funny, I planned my entire summer to work from home which I'd hoped would allow me time to write more but one thing lead to another and I found myself on vacation writing everyday trying to at least get 1000 words or so at each sitting.
AMS: Did you write before you had kids, or after? What changed with your writing when you had kids?
JA: I didn't set out on my life's journey planning to be a writer. Heck, it wasn't even a stop along the way. I've always been a creative person and found I enjoyed journalling and writing letters. To me, they were the best way I could express myself. And then a few years ago, a light bulb turned on and I was like "I want try and write a story". At the time I'd just started at a new company, both my kids were in school/preschool and I'd found my love of YA. So I set pen to paper, literally, and took a side road on my path.
AMS: How old will one or more of your children have to be before they’re allowed to read your books?
JA: Since my books are YA and I don't mention any sexual scenes, I think once she's in high school, I'll let her. Noticed how I said her? My stories are a bit girlie and I think they appeal to females more, although if my son wants to take a go at it, I won't discourage him. I really think it depends on child and whether they can understand the emotions and are mature enough to know what's going on.
AMS: Becoming an author means having a public persona. How do you combine motherhood with the demands of a public life? Do you feature your kids, keep them shielded under pseudonyms, or leave them out of the equation entirely? Have they asserted their opinion(s) on this matter?
JA: Great question. So far, my kids think Mom's pretty cool for what she's doing. "You're writing a book? A book book!" And I like that they're proud of me. I want them to see that if you work at something you believe in you can have positive results. As of now, I'm writing under my real name but if I feel like taking a whack at writing romance, I might consider changing. It will really depend on how old the kids are and how comfortable we'll all feel with mommy's name plastered across partially bare bodies on a book cover.
AMS: Most Moms I know have a limited amount of free time. Give me a few reasons why they should dedicate some of that time to your characters. What’s in it for us?
JA: My characters are real. Sure, they're young and in high school and most of their drama isn't as relevant to most moms day to day life, but we were all there once. And fiction is a great place to escape to unwind and just not think. I'm super busy but I always find time to curl up with a book. I can blow through some in a day or two depending on length. Reading, to me, is a great way to take care of yourself. Grab my book on the way to get a pedi or jump on a stationary bike and flip through a few of my pages. Better yet, grab my book on the way to the beach or the park and discover a new town and new people with drama all their own.
AMS: Let’s have a little fun with fill-in-the-blanks. “The floor of my kitchen is so ___ you can ___ it.”
JA: The floor of my kitchen is so shiny you can see all the wrinkles and gray hairs my children have given me in it.
AMS: What’s up next for you? Where can we find you and your books online?
JA: A short, sweet romance I wrote will be out November 2011 by TMP in a Veteran's Anthology available through their website. You can visit www.turquoisemorningpress.com and get more info on all the places you can purchase. January marks the launch of Honey Creek by TMP and my YA will be out April 2011. I don't have the dates of the other 2 books in the series but all info will be available on the TMP website. Come check me out on Twitter at JenniA8677, my blog at musingsfromthepeanutgallery.blogspot.com and soon they'll be links on the TMP website that will take you to the world of Honey Creek, Ohio. Thanks again for having me on the Authorial Moms blog! It was a blast. Hope to see you all at any upcoming conventions or shows.
AMS: Thanks so much, Jennifer, for stopping by! Readers, tune in next month to read about how Jennifer got 'The Call!'