Jen B. Wild is the talented author of Henry Winterbottom and the Feeling Rainbow. Today I share my exclusive author interview with Jen. Wild shares how she began her writing journey and her goals for the future- enjoy!
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I loved to write poetry since I was a teen. I believe writing is one of the most effective ways to express emotions and imagination.
Can you share your journey to becoming a published author?
I loved reading and writing in Spanish as a teenager and have journals filled with poetry. Once I came to the United States, I stopped creative writing as I had to work hard just to master conversational English. Then nursing and the medical professional standard of writing was another hurdle that limited my creative endeavors. Professional duties, building a home life and raising children became my priorities. However, after dealing with anxiety and postpartum depression, I rediscovered my passion for writing as a way to cope with my feelings.
What do you find to be the biggest challenge, as an author?
Trusting my world view will make sense to others. I am constantly worried that my viewpoint may not translate when I put a story together. I want to reach people of all ages with my words, but I have to have faith in the reader’s natural empathetic response.
What do you find most rewarding, as an author?
Seeing children relate to kids my character Henry (who definitely has some of my unique outlook on life). Emotional openness was not a topic of discussion when I was growing up, so being able to normalize thinking, talking about, and expressing emotions for children is rewarding.
Share with us a daily habit of yours that helps you reach your goals.
Thanks to my family, I have had the luxury of working from home which allows me to spend quality time with my children and reconnect with my inner child. Taking time out of each day to look at the outside world with wonder helps rekindle that child-like sense of awe that helps spark children’s imagination.
What is one piece of advice you would share with an aspiring author?
It doesn’t matter where you’re from, what you have or have not done with your life up to this point. The moment that you put pen to paper or start typing, you are an author. The democratization of technology makes barriers to getting published much less formidable then in the past. If I did it, so can you.
Finish these sentences:
I am most grateful for... my family. I am where I am because of them.
If I could give my 18 year-old self one piece of advice it would be... take more literature classes and, don’t throw away those poems you wrote. They were good!
My favorite thing about being a writer is... Being able to day dream as part of my job. I can think of silly things and run them by my kids before I type them down and it counts as work.
My least favorite thing about being a writer is... editing. That is why I let my husband do it.
My goals for the future are... to write a series of books about Henry and his friends that help children and teens acquire the skills they need for adulthood in a fun way.
I love living a creative life because... when you use your imagination, you can be whoever you want, do whatever you want and it helps with my anxiety. I find peace when I write. It makes me serene and mindful.
The last book I read was... The Girl Out of the Box: Ruthless by Robert J Crane. He is brilliant. I think he will run out of names for his characters before he runs out of plot ideas.
My favorite book, ever, is... Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. A classic of Spanish-language literature that holds up in both English and Spanish.
Outside of writing, my favorite hobby is... reading! I love to reading thrillers, science fiction books (Post-Human series by David Simpson rocks) books, and stories about NASA (I might have been an astronaut if not for my fear of heights and Ecuador’s limited space exploration program).
The most important thing to do if you want to achieve your goals is... accept the inevitability of failure. If you achieve your goal on your first try, you almost certainly aimed too low.
A few more questions...
Tell us about your books (genre, where we can find them, etc.)
Henry Winterbottom and the Feeling Rainbow is an illustrated children’s book that can be found on Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Nobles/Nook, and your local independent book store under life lessons, family life, emotions for ages 4 to 8
Where can readers find you (i.e. website, social media, etc.)?
Anything else you'd like to add...
At the end of the printed book there is a blank page for kids to draw their own book illustration. They can post it on social media (with an adult’s help) with #feelingrainbow #henrywinterbottom
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