As a longtime follower of the League blog, I’m thrilled to have been asked to join this inspiring, talented group. I’m an American living in Germany with my illustrator husband Daniel Jennewein and three fancy Sacred Birman cats. In addition to writing books, I work as a freelance advertising copywriter, I love to travel and I blog at Presenting Lenore.
For my League introduction post, I thought I’d go to twitter and put out a general call for questions. Here’s what I got.
From @bermudaonion How long have you been writing fiction?
From @ReadersInk At what age did you start writing stories, or telling them?
I dabbled in creative writing throughout my schooling, penning several short stories for assignments, literary magazines and writing contests (In 8th grade, I even made it to the state semi-finals of Ohio’s Power of the Pen competition). My friends and I used to write terrible plays and act them out for the neighborhood. I wrote 2/3 of a novel in high school (I allude to it in LEVEL 2). LEVEL 2 is my first completed manuscript, and I started writing it in November 2010.
From @novaren What was your journey to becoming an author?
Daniel and I used to joke about moving to a secluded cabin in the woods where he’d illustrate and I’d write novels. The writing novels part always seemed like a pipe dream though. I’d heard how hard it was to break into publishing. Once I started blogging about books and meeting real life authors, I slowly started to think about writing LEVEL 2. It wasn’t until I had my “Pompeii epiphany” (where I finally figured out how to execute my idea), that I really committed.
I chatted with BEFORE I FALL Author Lauren Oliver about LEVEL 2 and the fact that she took me seriously, gave me advice and told me to go for it was a real confidence booster. By the time SCBWI New York conference rolled around at the end of January 2011, I had five chapters written and soon after caught the eye of an agent. It’s been a whirlwind since then.
From @TiffanySchmidt Do you have any writing rituals?
Not really. I usually write between 2-11 pm because I’m useless in the morning. I start with a loose synopsis as a guideline, but not much is set in stone. I’m a pretty slow drafter because I prefer to write in scene order and I can’t bring myself to move on until I have something right. I really need to work on that!
From @BethFishReads How long have you lived in Europe? What took you there? Do you plan to stay there?
I moved to Germany in March 2000 for an internship, planning to stay only six months. I ended up meeting Daniel and not moving back. As far as staying here, only time will tell!
From @BrokeandBookish What is your favorite place you've ever travelled?
This is as impossible to answer as saying what my favorite book is! I've been to over 55 countries now, and every trip has been enriching in some way. That said, there are a few destinations I'd love to return to asap: Iceland (for the breathtaking nature), the Galapagos Islands (for the fascinating wildlife) and the Greek Islands (for the food).
That's all for now - but I guess you'll be hearing a lot more from me on Tuesdays in the months to come!