Does writing energize or exhaust you? Usually it energizes me. I get excited when I read something I’ve written that is well done, or when a character takes me on a journey I wasn’t expecting.
What is your writing Kryptonite? My busy life. I’m a middle school teacher, coach, volunteer, and mother of a one year old.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym? I thought about it before I became married. Butrenchuk isn’t a great pen name. Once I got married and changed my name to Greene, I thought “That’s a good one!”
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer? I’ve become acquainted with several Lethbridge and Calgary writers. G.W. Renshaw has given me tips on book signings and introduced me to my publicist, Mickey Mikkelson. While I don’t know Adam Dreece as well, but have spoken to him and find him very nice, he’s my motivation to become successful as an indie author.
Do you want each book to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book? I have a YA fantasy series, which will eventually have a companion picture book. Each book has a distinct connection to the previous and forthcoming. However, I also have a YA contemporary that is a stand-alone. (It may have a companion book someday though…)
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? On a publicist. Creative Edge has opened a lot of doors for me. Also, ordering business cards, booklets, and banners through Vistaprint. They have great products that don’t cost writers and arm and a leg and a thigh.
What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
Every time I stood up to a bully with just my tone and the word “No.”
Listening to stories on my mom’s lap, or my grandma’s, or my sister’s.
Watching She-Ra in a big, brown chair, shouting “For the honor of Greyskull!” and transforming into a powerful woman.
What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel? Most of the indie authors I’ve met. As for a favorite book, I think my favorites are appreciated. However, THE TRUE CONFESSIONS OF CHARLOTTE DOYLE, by Avi, should be read more often, and it deserves its own movie.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
I want to say NYX, the Greek goddess of the night, but I don’t think anyone would believe me. Let’s go with chipmunk. They’re small, cute, but have a bit of spunk.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Plenty. A few picture books that I’m seeking publishers and/or illustrators for. One YA novel that I’m looking for the right market for. Half-finished books aren’t too common for me, but barely-started projects are.
What does literary success look like to you? When someone laughs, cries, or screams from reading one of my books. Oh, and a million dollars in sales.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? I don’t do a lot of research, except in my head. The joy of fantasy is that I get to make a lot of stuff up. But I have to formulate it in my mind, write it down to keep continuity, and brainstorm ideas with my best friend, Rachel, to make sure things are clear.
How many hours a day/week do you write? It varies. During the school year, only 1-2. During summer vacation (teaching rules!) it quadruples.
How do you select the names of your characters? Sometimes it is based off people I know. Other times the names are from literature.
What was your hardest scene to write?Any time a character dies or loses someone they love.
Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them? I think the style of YA chose me, more than I chose it. I like YA literature, and feel there are fewer boundaries with what you can do.
How long have you been writing? Since grade 1.
What inspires you? Adventures.
How do you find or make time to write? I write in short doses. Maybe thirty minutes at a time.
What projects are you working on at the present? I am editing the third book in my YA fantasy series. (Imagine, Reality, Heritage). I’m also working on a short story – not my forte, but I’m experimenting – for an anthology.
What do your plans for future projects include? Dabble with picture book manuscripts. Perhaps a humorous autobiography about teaching.
Share a link to your author website. www.jennagreene.ca
Jenna Greene is a middle school teacher, dragon boat coach and paddler, and semi-professional napper. She lives with her husband Scott, daughter Olivia, and their dog Thor: Dog of Thunder.