Q&A With Jenna Greene

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Q&A With Jenna Greene 

Another guest Mickey Mikkelson connected me with is author Jenna Greene. Jenna is the author of An Owl Without A Name & the Young Adult Reborn Series. When Jenna isn’t writing, she teaches first and second graders. It all sounds so exciting and impressive doesn’t it?

Q: Jenna, would you please tell the readers of the blog about your recent release An Owl Without A Name? Where did the idea come from for the book? 

A: While many of my stories come from dreams or my imagination, this story is unique because it comes from real life. A few months after moving to our acreage, my husband discovered an injured juvenile owl while mowing the lawn. We didn’t know how to help the creature, so we contacted the Alberta Birds of Prey Center, which is a fifteen-minute drive from our house. A man named Colin came and captured the creature to take to the center for veterinary care and rehabilitation. Before he left us, however, he shared some information with us about the owl. While my husband thought the owl was a Snowy Owl, and thus nicknamed it “Snowy”, we learned it was actually a Great Horned Owl. My daughter wanted to name the animal “Owlette” from the cartoon PJ Masks, but we also learned the owl was male, not female.

After this short incident, I wondered what the event was like from the owl’s point of view. He’s in his tree nest one minute, on the ground surrounded by strangers the next. He’s given names, none of which suit him. He neither knows where he is being taken, nor what has happened to him. 

That’s a terrific start to any story.

Q: What made you choose to write children and young adult books? 

A: I started writing when I was seventeen, which meant I was a young adult. I couldn’t write adult characters, because I’d never been one. A handful of years later, I was teaching middle school, reading YA literature, and penning stories for young adults. When my daughter came along, I designed a few picture books for her entertainment. Now she’s older, and ready for chapter books, and I’ve switched grades to the middle-grade audience. Everything just seems to fit.

Q: What advice would you give to parents on how to get their children to become readers themselves? I think it’s sad that children aren’t reading as much as they should be and instead are glued to their electronics. 

A:Until my daughter was 6 months old, I sang to her. As soon as she could sit up, I began reading stories to her. Before she was one year old, she understood how to flip pages, or lift flaps on interactive stories. Though she is a developing reader now, I still read to her. (And she reads to me). I try to choose a variety of stories – some we read for laughter, others to demonstrate problem-solving, and some for information. Books are readily available in our house. Reading time is sacred. And I model reading as well. I read and write and display my books so that literature and literacy are a natural part of our household.

Q: You have a podcast where you interviewed authors from around the world. Were you ever star struck speaking with these authors? Who have you interviewed and who will you speak with in the future?

A: While the podcast has not been active in over a year, it was a privilege to co-host it while it ran. I thought I’d be star-struck, but talking to fellow authors allowed a feeling of commiseration. Apparently, everyone gets ‘writer’s block’ now and then, and each one has a different strategy for overcoming it. There are no ‘wrong’ writing styles, as I’ve spoken to pansers, plotters, hybrids, and everyone along the continuum. Some people write every day. Others don’t. Writers come in all breeds and styles. Art doesn’t have one proper route.

Q: What is your advice to anyone wanting to create a podcast?

A: Just start one. LOL. Find a topic you want to speak on and give it a try. I loved having a co-host. That way, if I ever got stumped, there was someone to help fill in the dead air. And someone to bounce ideas off of.