I’m delighted to introduce you to one of our newest Eastern Penn Points contributors, debut author Jennie K. Brown! I invited her for a Cafe Chat so we could get to know her little bit better. Make sure you say hi and welcome her in the comments! Here comes Jennie!
Lindsay: Hi there, Jennie, and welcome to the Eastern Penn Points Cafe….AND the blog team! We’re so excited to have you joining us as a regular contributor around here. So, as we settle into our cozy booth, what will you have to drink?
Jennie: I’m so excited to be part of this awesome blog! I’d love some hazelnut coffee.
Lindsay: You’ve got it. Anything to munch on?
Jennie: Heck yes. Right now I’m munching on my biggest food weakness – Fritos Brand Honey BBQ Twists. Mmmmmm…
Lindsay: Well, first off, congratulations on your book deal for POPPY MAYBERRY, THE MONDAY, coming out in August 2016 with Tantrum Books, and the sequel, too! Can you give us a little teaser so we know what the first book is about?
Jennie: Thank you! Of course! It’s a middle-grade novel about a town where special powers are determined by the day of one’s birth and a girl (Poppy) whose telekinesis skills need a bit of work. Because of this, Poppy gets sent to a remedial summer camp – Power Academy – where she is teamed up with her arch nemesis, mind-reading Thursday Ellie Preston, to solve a mystery and to combat the awful Headmistress Larriby and her equally awful side-kick Mr. Grimeley!
Lindsay: Love it! How did you celebrate getting a contract?
Jennie: My husband got a bottle of bubbly to celebrate the day the offer came. Also, we had a celebratory dinner with awesome friends!
Lindsay: How did your students react to the news that their teacher is a published author?
Jennie: They were so excited, and immediately started asking me questions… How did you get an agent? Can I have a copy? When does it come out? How long does it take to write a book? How long is your book? Will there be a movie? Will there be a TV show? How many sequels will there be? Announcing the book deal opened up a door for great writing and reading conversations in my classes!
Lindsay: They must be so proud of you! What was the submission and acquisitions process like for you?
Jennie This is a tough one to answer. It was stressful, exciting, anxiety-ridden, etc. My journey definitely had its twists and turns. In the middle of revising Poppy after a round of publisher rejections, my first agent (who was wonderful) announced that she was leaving the publishing industry. I was then agent-less. Because I had a newly revised novel, I actually submitted Poppy to Tantrum Books without an agent and was offered a publishing contract just a week later! THEN I found my next agent – Bill Contardi. He negotiated the contract, which resulted in my 2-book deal!
Lindsay: Okay, I am hyperventilating for you….what a roller coaster! So glad you hung in there through the process. What advice would you give for writers getting ready to submit their manuscripts?
Jennie: You will be rejected, but don’t give up hope. I was rejected by agents, revised, got an agent, was rejected by multiple publishers, revised, lost an agent, got an offer, found a new agent, and then landed my 2-BOOK DEAL! J There will be many pitfalls along the way – just don’t give up!
Lindsay: Thanks! All righty, enough with the serious stuff. Your Fairy Godmother appears with her magic wand, telling you that until midnight, you are allowed to jump into any one book and live the life of one of the characters. Who do you choose?
Jennie: Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice.
Lindsay: Do you change your own ending?
Jennie: Sort of (and I hope this isn’t cheating). I would definitely marry Mr. Darcy, but it would be the Darcy portrayed by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation.
Lindsay: Nope, not cheating. Poof! You get to be married to Colin Firth til midnight. Enjoy!
And now, for rapid-fire favorites! Name your favorite….
Midnight snack (for after the magic wears off and Colin disappears): Honey BBQ Fritos, of course.
Piece of playground equipment (now or as a kid!) Merry-go-round! (Actually got my first black eye falling off one!)
“Classic” to teach Macbeth
Modern YA book to teach The Outsiders
Thing to do on a Sunday afternoon Hang out with my husband and son. Make good food!
Type of shoe Comfy
Okay, now I can’t resist showing everyone the picture of your adorable little boy in his Halloween costume….Tricketh or Treateth?
All treats for you, little guy!
Book-turned-movie Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Lindsay: Thanks so much for stopping by to chat with us, Jennie! We’re looking forward to getting to know you even better!
Jennie: Thanks for having me, Lindsay! Super excited to contribute to this awesome blog!