picture-3409Time to chat with Jennifer!

Jennifer Kathleen Gibbons is the author of Ella Bella, Take What You Got And Fly With It, and I Woke Up In Love This Morning. She lives in Lafayette, California. 

What is your latest book?

My latest e-book is Ella Bella, a YA novel that tells the story of Ella Drake, a girl whose father dies (I’m not giving anything away; this happens in the first pages!) then her mother loses her job a month later. I know it’s a lot for a girl to handle, but I always want to read about people who have survived the worst yet somehow manages to survive—maybe even thrive—when the world is against you.


What else have you written?

I’ve written a mini short story collection for Middle Grade/YA readers called I Woke Up In Love This Morning, which has done quite well on Amazon. I call it my “Babies, Blood and Boobs” book, because the short stories deal with those issues. My other ebook is Take What You Got and Fly With It, a collection of essays. The title is a quote of Jim Henson’s that I just love.

What was the most valuable class you ever took in school? Why?

In high school, I LOVED all my English classes. I also took Creative Writing my last two years. My teacher was Jane Juska, who wrote the bestselling memoir A Round Heeled Woman. She was very honest and held me to the fire when I wasn’t writing. At the time I resented it, now I’m glad she did it. My freshman year I took a Human Relations class which was one of the most popular classes at my high school. No topic was off limits, which was great.

In college I took many many lit classes, and of course writing workshops. All of them helped me become a better writer.

What do you think some of the greatest misconceptions about indie authors are?

That we’re no talents. Or we’re lazy. One of the best YA ebooks I read last year was How To Repair A Mechanical Heart by J.C. Lillis, who’d been through the query cycle with agents and was burned out by it. It’s incredibly funny and daring, but some might dismiss it because she’s an indie writer. The sad thing is they’re missing out on a wonderful story. That’s not saying I’ve read some bad indie books, but I’ve read bad traditionally published books, so it’s all the same.

Some authors, like me, always write scenes in order. But I know some people write scenes out of order. How about you?

It depends on the story! Ella Bella was written in order. It was my senior project for college and I was required to write an outline for the story. However the WIP I’m working on now deals with a tragic time in Bay Area/American history, and every time I tried writing it in order I froze. I simply couldn’t do it. However this summer I decided to write from the end and go in reverse. When I started doing that, I became unfrozen. It’s far from perfect but it’s better than before.

Do you have any advice for first-time authors?

The best advice I heard when I was a teenager was from Anne Tyler: Read read read and revise revise revise. Keep going. Do the best you can. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Most of all, keep going.

What’s your favorite film of all times? Favorite book?

Fave book is a three way tie: East of Eden by John Steinbeck, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I loved all the movies based on the novels as well. Favorite movie? Nashville directed by Robert Altman comes to mind, along with Auntie Mame. All of John Hughes’ films.

What music soothes your soul?

All types! All my writing has music connected with it; my characters are like me in the fact they love music. With Ella Bella her dad loved the Beatles, so I listened to them as I wrote, or Beatles covers. The WIP I’m doing right now has flashbacks to the seventies, so I’ve been listening to the Bay City Rollers! They had such energy when they sang; it was obvious they received energy from their young fans.

If you are a TV watcher, would you share the names of your favorite with us?

Having a DVR helps a lot; I get all my TV watching done within a couple of hours. Current shows I love are: Big Bang Theory, Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey, Mad Men, Major Crimes and Project Runway. I love vintage shows way too much. I just got a new channel that shows the old Bea Arthur show Maude. I’ve been known to binge watch the show and sing the theme song. It’s not pretty.





Red Room




Tiffany King is the author of The Saving Angels Series, Wishing For Someday Soon, Forever Changed, Unlikely Allies, and Miss Me Not. Writer by day and book fanatic the rest of the time, she is now pursuing her life-long dream of weaving tales for others to enjoy.

Time to chat with Tiffany!

What is your latest book?

My latest book is a YA novel called Miss Me Not. It’s a YA coming of age/romance type of story, but with an edgy, hard-hitting undertone. I wanted to step outside of my comfort zone this time to write about more serious social issues. The idea of writing about teen suicide made me extremely nervous, but the response from readers has been wonderful.

What else have you written?

I wrote a YA Paranormal Romance Series called The Saving Angels Series: Meant to Be (book 1), Forgotten Souls (book 2), The Ascended (book 3). I have also written three other YA Contemporary Romance novels: Wishing For Someday Soon, Forever Changed, and Unlikely Allies. All are available in ebook and print.

What do you think some of the greatest misconceptions about indie authors are?

If you are the type of reader that refuses to try a book because it is self-published, more power to you. That is your choice and there is not much I can say to change your mind. That being said, you are missing out on some wonderfully imaginative stories by truly talented authors. Even before I started writing, I loved reading. I still do, and I wish I had more time to do it, but whether or not the book is traditionally published or self-published makes no difference to me. If it’s good, it’s good, regardless of how it is distributed. Obviously, most of the reading public feels the same way judging by the sales rankings. Plus, look at the number of indie authors being signed by traditional publishers. All that has happened over the past few years is that authors have more opportunities to make their work available to the reading public who will then decide if it is good or not.

Is it important for you to know the ending of a book before you write it?

I always have the story mapped out in my head before I start writing, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t necessarily change by the time I reach the ending. I usually just let the story take me where it wants to go.

Do you have any advice for first-time authors?

First, start by writing what you enjoy reading yourself, not just because you feel it will sell. Not to say that you can’t eventually step out of your comfort zone, but you have to establish your voice first. Second, always continue to believe in yourself. Remember that reading is subjective. For every person that hates your work, there is another that loves it.

Please, tell us about your experiences with social media. What are your favorite and least-favorite parts of it?

Social media is invaluable to an author. There is simply no better way to get your name and your work out there. It can be grueling because it takes countless hours to maintain, but I have met so many wonderful friends in the past few years through social media.

Do you allow others to read your work in progress, or do you keep it a secret until you’ve finished your first draft? Can you elaborate?

Usually, only my daughter reads my work in progress because she is in the target age group for my books; however, I have several trusted individuals who read pre-edited versions of the completed draft, and then even more individuals who read the work when all the edits are complete. The book definitely goes through many sets of eyes before being released to the public.

Have you received reactions/feedback to your work that has surprised you? In what way?

I will never cease to be amazed by the positive feedback I receive from readers. I was especially nervous with Miss Me Not, considering the subject matter, but the response has been overwhelming. I get contacted everyday by people who thank me for writing about teen suicide because it has helped them relate to their own lives. Just knowing that they not only appreciated the work, but that they trust me enough to share their personal feelings is truly humbling.

Do you dread writing a synopsis for your novel as much as most writers do? Do you think writing a synopsis is inherently evil? Why?

That’s funny. I haven’t met an author yet who enjoys writing a synopsis. You have this piece of work that you spent countless hours of blood, sweat and tears to finish, and now you have to sum up the entire story in a few paragraphs. Try pulling out your own hair in handfuls. Sometimes it can feel the same way.

Are you an early bird writer or night owl? And do you have any must haves like coffee, chocolates, wine, music or something else?

Both. I try to write mostly during the day, but I have been known to jump out of bed at 2:00 am if an idea suddenly pops in my head. Thankfully, I always have chocolate around when I need it.

What’s your favorite comfort food? Least favorite food?

Chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate. My least favorite food is onions. I hate them on anything and everything.

Care to brag about your family?

I have a wonderful and supportive husband of 18 years and two teenagers. I say supportive because working as an author requires a great deal of time, but fortunately, my family is so understanding, and they are always willing to help me in any way they can.

What might we be surprised to know about you?

I’m shyer in person than you might think. If you follow me on any social media channels it may be hard to believe that, but it’s true. There was even a time when I was terribly afraid of public speaking, but I have since overcome that phobia as well. Of course, once I get to know you, I can talk your ear off.

If you could add a room onto your current home, what would you put in it?

I have a pretty sizable collection of books that are in my office, but I would love to build my own library in my house. I would line the walls with shelves, all filled with first editions of all my favorite books. I would cover the floor with a nice plush carpet and have a comfortable chase lounge that would sit in front of a fireplace. Oh, it would be heaven.

What are three things you think we can all do to make the world a better place?

1. Be nice
2. Be tolerant
3. Love one another


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