Yeah, so....welcome to the blog of Judith Tewes, young adult contemporary fiction author. Here be edgy stories with a side of snark.

Take Tewes with Jen McConnel

Every odd Tuesday (because Tuesdays aren't odd enough), I feature a different young adult fiction author YOU should know - from best-sellers to debuts. And what better way to do this than asking them TWO fun questions. Short, sweet, and sassy - just the way I like interviews.

Today, I'm happy to feature fellow Bloomsbury Spark author, Jen McConnel who hails from North Carolina, holds a MS in Library Science from Clarion University of Pennsylvania, and teaches college writing composition and yoga.

The questions:

1. I love that, as per your website, you were once, "a middle school teacher, a librarian, and a bookseller". As a library technician myself, working in an elementary school, I know the value of being surrounded by students and the books they read. How has your time on the literacy front lines influenced your writing?

Great question! The short answer is; how hasn't it? I started writing YA while I was teaching middle school, and I always picture my eighth graders when I write or revise. When I was a bookseller, I was encouraged to indulge my reading addiction (and put my paycheck back into the store), and I took recommendations from the people I worked with as well as the customers.  My reading list is still longer than is humanly possible, but I love it.  My time in the library added to my addiction, and also gave me the chance to
talk with teens about the kind of books they connect with. I'm so grateful for my past-life work, since it's the foundation I base my current work on.

2. Darlena, the main character in your recent YA paranormal release, Daughter of Chaos, is the "...walking personification of pandemonium, turmoil, and bedlam". Wowza - she must have some mad skills. ;) In your writing, which do you align with more pantser / chaos or plotter / order?

This question made me laugh; I'd never put two and two together, but it's no wonder I write about chaos and pandemonium. I'm a total pantser when I'm drafting, but unlike Darlena, I have the opportunity to re-think my bad decisions while I'm revising.  If she ever learns to control her magic, she'll be wicked powerful, but in DAUGHTER, Darlena's a bit of a loose cannon. I love her.

Follow Jen via her website, as well as on Twitter, and Pinterest. And check out her upcoming Swoon Romance title, BEAUTIFUL CURSE:

Sixteen-year-old Mya Jones is cursed.

She is, hands down, the most beautiful creature on earth. But beauty can wound, and Mya finds herself reviled and shunned by her peers. If there is even a chance that she could start over, Mya longs to take it, no matter the risks.

So when the strange Mr. Merk offers her a new life away from home, Mya is hesitant but hopeful. Only she didn't count on the mysterious Ross, or her feelings for him.

BEAUTIFUL CURSE is a contemporary retelling of the myth of Psyche and Cupid.


  1. Jen McConnel said...:

    Thanks so much for hosting me today! :)

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