Welcome to the first EVER “Have You Met…” feature!!! This feature will include authors and special guests who generously took the time and effort to answer a few questions for you, Reader…JUST FOR YOU.
And who better to kick it off than Jennifer Ann Shore? – I personally met Jennifer through the interwebs. We both contributed to a book list hosted by The Uncorked Librarian and have remained in contact ever since. I couldn’t be more excited to have Jennifer as the first guest.
Meet Jennifer Ann Shore
Jennifer Ann Shore is a writer and an Amazon bestselling author based in Seattle, Washington.
She has written two novels: “New Wave,” a young adult dystopian, and “The Extended Summer of Anna and Jeremy,” a young adult romance — published in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
In her decade of working in journalism, marketing, and book publishing, she has won numerous awards for her work, from companies such as Hearst and SIIA.
Be sure to visit her website and follow her on Twitter (@JenniferAShore), Instagram (@shorely) or your preferred social media channel to stay in touch.
Why did you choose writing or why did writing choose you?
Most authors that I talk to say that it was a natural progression from an early love of reading into writing, and that was kind of the case for me — just a little delayed.
Growing up, I had a lot of trouble with reading and writing, although my mom was fantastic about us reading books together and trying to correct my awful spelling through puzzles and games, but I don’t think it was until middle school that everything started to really click for me.
I’ve done a bit of soul-searching on this topic and have pinpointed it to two things: I read “Wonder” by Rachel Vail, the first book that I found myself relating to what I was reading, and I connected with it and searched out more like it. Also, in eighth grade, we did an assignment where we had to create a poem out of newspaper or magazine articles, cutting out words and repurposing it, and I was surprised at how “easy” it was to string words together.
Essentially, I’d broken through a mental block of the reading-writing combo, and then I was hooked — I started reading everything I could get my hands on and writing poems and jotting down little stories. As I progressed, I became more serious. I entered a few writing contests in high school and went on to study journalism and English in college, refining my technical writing and storytelling skills along the way.
What is your writing process like?
Ooh, I love this question because I’m such a process nerd, but I should admit that it’s kind of a work in progress. (Aren’t we all, though?)
For “New Wave,” my first book, it went something like this: Wake up from crazy dream, sit at computer and jot down everything you remember, organize it into a disorganized outline, start writing the scenes that are most pressing in your mind, spend months sporadically writing in the notepad of your phone or in the Google Doc if you have computer access/cell service, add in random ideas, kick it over for editing, cut some stuff, add some stuff, rework middle of book, have the final proofread, make last-minute changes, and publish.
I’m getting stressed out recalling that eighteen months of haphazard organization, but I’m happy to say I streamlined it a bit for “The Extended Summer of Anna and Jeremy.”
While I had the idea for the book a few months prior to starting to write it, when I sat down at my computer and started the first chapter, it took me eight days to finish the big, scary first draft — and six weeks later, it was published.
In a notebook, I wrote out a checklist of “draft, revision 1, revision 2, proofread, done,” to keep myself on track — mostly so I’d write it in order instead of hopping all around like I did for “New Wave.” It was mildly successful, but occasionally I’d be making dinner or walking somewhere and my mind would wander about how to spin additional dialogue or something funny I should add in, so I’d break the process a little bit. I will say that since I tend to be a “digital or it doesn’t exist” type of human, it was fun for me to doodle with different colored pens.
When I am writing, it doesn’t matter if I’m at home by myself or in a busy coffee shop, I need music. What I listen to helps shape my mind’s mood and set the tone, and that’s why I ended up creating playlists for both my books: For “New Wave,” the playlist reflects what happens in each chapter, and for “Extended Summer,” it’s just a general alternative mix that Anna listens to — you can find them both on my website or on Spotify.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I’d built my craft and the beginning of my career on reporting the truth for newspapers and magazines, so as I started writing “New Wave,” it was difficult for me to write something that wasn’t totally real.
I think we all tend to romanticize the idea of writing and in combining that with a little overconfidence, it took me longer than I thought to get the hang of it. A trick for me — and might work for others — was that if I took a second to imagine what was happening and “report” on it, I could do it with relative ease. Eventually I trained myself to just write with a fictional stream of consciousness, and I’ve loved it so much.
What do you think makes a good story?
I’m sure most people would say it’s all about the characters, or the twists, or the details, but to me, a good story is one that is — and I can’t remember where I picked up this phrase — “easy to enter.” I think the most impactful books I’ve read have that ability to bring you in right from the start, whether it’s something like a “Verity” by Colleen Hoover, which totally blew my mind, or “Jane Eyre,” one of my favorite classics.
What I really mean is that I don’t believe in complicating storytelling or using a thesaurus for the sake of doing so. You can create a story that is as light and fluffy or complex and twisty as you want, as long as you tell it in a way that a reader can engage on some level. You should overthink as a writer, but your reader shouldn’t have to.
What’s a great book you’ve read recently?
I know you and I have tweeted about this book before, but it has been months, and I still can’t get over “What The Wind Knows” by Amy Harmon.
This or That
Coffee or tea? Tea! My favorite is Yogi’s Egyptian Licorice Mint.
Dogs or cats? Dogs. Growing up, I had a massive fear of dogs, but I’ve grown out of it and now obsessively send my husband videos of French bulldogs.
Library or museum? I’m actually a rare breed who doesn’t spend much time in either, but if I had to pick, I’d have to go with the New York Transit Museum.
Text message or phone call? Text message. I like to overthink and send emojis and gifs.
Piercings or tattoos? Both. I don’t have any tattoos (yet!) but think they are beautiful. I just got my ears re-pierced after fifteen years of not wearing them, and I got my septum pierced a year ago.
Book or Ebook? Ebook all the way. I love my Kindle!
Pool or ocean? Ocean. There’s something calming and wonderful about the waves, as long as I’m slathered in SPF 30 while doing so.
Books By Jennifer Ann Shores
The Extended Summer of Anna and Jeremy is available thru Kindle Unlimited!
Special thanks to Jennifer Ann Shore for taking time out of her life to answer a few questions. Be on the lookout for a review of both New Wave and The Extended Summer of Anna and Jeremy soon! In the mean time, GO read her books!!