Thursday, 20 February 2014

Q&A with Jenny Hale

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I'm so happy to have Jenny Hale on the blog today. her debut novel Coming Home For Christmas is such a lovely and adorable read and really worth reading.
Thank you SO much Jenny for answering my question, I couldn't be happier. xxx

When I graduated college, one of my friends said, “Look out for this one; she’s going to be an author one day.” Despite being an avid reader and a natural storyteller, it wasn’t until that very moment that the idea of writing novels occurred to me.
Sometimes our friends can see the things that we can’t.
While I didn’t start straight away, that comment sowed a seed and several years, two children, and hundreds of thousands of words later, I completed a novel that I felt was worthy of publication. The result is Coming Home for Christmas - a heart-warming story about friends, family, and the magic of love at Christmas.
I am currently at work on my second novel, also under contract.


1.    Did you always dream of being a writer?

I’ve always been a storyteller, and I’ve always kept journals, written poetry, and participated in literary activities in school growing up (like our school newspaper).  It didn’t occur to me to write down stories until adulthood. 

2.    Coming Home for Christmas is your debut novel. How did it feel when it was published?

I was completely surprised.  I’d been submitting the manuscript Stateside and getting good feedback but no offers.  I wondered if, perhaps, since I enjoy reading British authors, my manuscript may be written in a way that would be appealing to the UK market, so I sent it to Bookouture for feedback from the UK.  When I got the email, I was excited just to get feedback and floored to find a contract offer. 

3.    What does your family think about you being a writer?

My husband is very supportive and proud.  My seven-year-old thinks I’m famous, and my four-year-old isn’t impressed, thinking that everyone’s mommy has books with her name on them.  (When I started writing book two for Bookouture, my seven-year-old said, “You’re writing another one?  You want to do all that work again?”)

4.    You’re also an English teacher, what do you love about teaching?

I teach children, ages five to ten, who come to school speaking other languages than English.  I love getting them when they don’t know a word of English and working with them until they see me in the hallways and say, “Hi, Mrs. Hale!”  That is so rewarding.  I also work with them in small groups, so I really get to know their little personalities, and it allows me to teach to their interests.  So, in short, I love the kids.

5.    What was your inspiration for Coming Home For Christmas?

I like to start with a title; usually I search idioms and sayings on the internet.  Coming Home for Christmas was originally called Flipped for You.  I thought of a play on words and came up with the flip of a coin.  (She could literally flip a coin and “flip” for someone at the same time.)  Then, I thought about the theme, “Chance.”  What if a girl met someone by chance?  So the inspiration for the characters was an idiom.  The inspiration for the Ashford Estate was Charles City, Virginia’s Westover Plantation.  You can see a slideshow of it here:

6.    Any news on your second novel?

I’ve finished the first draft of a second novel, but the publisher has not seen it yet.  I’m polishing it up, and, fingers crossed, it should go to editing shortly. 

7.    Where and when do you write your stories?

Right now, I write my stories in the hallway between my two boys’ rooms while they sleep.  I put them to bed and then sit with my laptop.  I’m their nightlight.

8.    What do you do and enjoy when you’re not writing?

Reading.  And, when I can’t read, reading.  Oh, and reading.  Just kidding.  I like other things like shopping for books...  That’s what I ENJOY doing.  What I actually DO (and enjoy) is chase my lovely children around all day.  One peek at my Twitter feed can fill you in on our antics.

9.    Who is your favourite author and why?

This is always the hardest question because there are so many fantastic authors.  I find things I love about so many authors’ writing styles that I have trouble picking one.  I do love Sophie Kinsella, Jill Mansell, and Emily Giffin to name a few.

10.   How did the cover for your book develop, it’s beautiful!

The publisher handled the cover art.  I agree that it is beautiful. 

11.  If you were shipwrecked on a desert island what 3 books would you want with you?

The thought of having only three books fills me with anxiety, but if I have to choose, I’d say, Can You Keep a Secret? and Remember Me? (Both by Sophie Kinsella) and Water for Elephants (Sara Gruen)

12.  If you could plan the perfect holiday, what would it be?

It would be in New York or London.  I’d spend a couple of weeks sightseeing.

 13.  Coffee or tea?  Coffee! (...but I love tea too!)

14.   Paperback or e-reader?  Both!  Any!  All!

15.   Mountains or the sea?  Sea

16.   Summer or winter?  Both (That’s why I live in Virginia—great seasons!)

17.   Sweet or salty?  Sweet

Jenny Hale on Twitter: @jhaleauthor


No comments:

Post a Comment