"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." —J. R. R. Tolkien

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Former Debut: Denise Jaden, Class of 2k10

The great thing about traveling to conferences and shows is that I get to meet so many awesome authors! I was able to meet this author a couple years ago at BEA, not at the show, but walking around the streets of New York. So random! Anyway, here is this week's Former Debut. And guess what! She has a new book that just came out yesterday! Happy Book Release, Denise!

Name: Denise Jaden
Debut Group: Class of 2k10
Debut novel: LOSING FAITH

Hi, Denise! Congratulations!

PJH: Okay, so it’s been two years since you graduated from your debut class. Personally, I miss the heck out of knowing what my classmates are up to. So give us the low-down. What have you been up to in the last few years? New books? New degrees? New pets? What has been going on, and what do we have to look forward to from you in the future?

DJ: I miss my classmates too! I’ve been busy working on new novels. My latest one, NEVER ENOUGH, is out this month. It’s the story of two sisters and the eating disorder that threatens to destroy their family. I’m hard at work on a new YA contemporary romance/mystery. It’s called Foreign Exchange, and is about a girl who sneaks away from her class trip in Europe, along with her crush, to save her best friend from the dark world of modeling. I’m really excited about that one! I’ve also started delving into a bit of non-fiction, and will be releasing a mini-book on writing grief in fiction very soon. Keep your eyes open for that one!

NEVER ENOUGH (Simon Pulse, July 10, 2012)

PJH: If you could summarize to a debut novelist the best part of being a member of an author group like the “Class of” groups, what would you say?

DJ: You mean I’m not allowed to write a whole book about it? Because I could, believe me! There are SO MANY little things along the way to publication that I had questions about. I can’t tell you the peace it gave me to be able to call upon my classmates and ask. We also planned some wonderful excursions as a group, garnering far more attention than any unknown author would gain singly. I cannot recommend joining a class enough!

PJH: Though I absolutely loved being a debut author, I’m really thrilled with all the experience I’ve gained since. What advice would you give to those who are debuting now? What do you wish you had known when you started out? 

DJ: To be honest, I feel like everyone has to walk the road for themselves. I read plenty of advice, but I didn’t clue in to how true it was until I myself was through that rocky first year full of ups and downs. I guess the only thing I can say is that we all go through the victories and disappointments and survive on the other side. Your life will get back to some semblance of normal. I promise!

LOSING FAITH (Simon Pulse, September 7, 2010)

PJH: In addition to writing the next mega-million bestselling novel, what do you want to accomplish in the next five years? Do you want to write five more books? Get your black belt in Kung Fu? Walk the Great Wall of China? Let’s hear it.

DJ: I’m actually okay if I don’t write the next bestselling novel. I’ve seen several people who have, and there’s a lot of pressure that comes with that. I want to keep enjoying writing, most of all. I’d love to put a new book out every year or two, and spend lots of time with my family.

PJH: Anything else you want to add? Five reasons to read your book? A picture of your writing space? How you celebrated when you signed your contract? Your choice!

DJ: I’d love to tell you a little about why I wrote this book, and why I write in general. I started NEVER ENOUGH about seven years ago. At the time I had a good friend who was struggling with a severe eating disorder, and I didn’t know what to do for her. It seemed like everything I said or did was the wrong thing. I decided to write about some characters struggling with similar things so I could understand her better and so our communication could be deeper. And that’s also a big part of why I write in general. I want to have deeper communication with people. I want to understand them more and connect with them on a level that I think we don’t always reach in everyday conversation. I feel like I know so much more about people and about myself from the process of writing fiction.

PJH: Thank you so much for being here! And good luck with everything in the future!

DJ: Thank YOU, Tricia!!


Bio: Denise Jaden is, or has been, everything from a professional Polynesian dancer and fitness competitor to a mushroom farmer and church secretary. Most of her time now is spent homeschooling or playing with her eight year old son or in front of her computer writing. Denise Jaden's writing has appeared in Mississippi Crow Magazine (Spring, 2008) The Greensilk Journal (Fall 2007), and The Tidepool Fiction Ezine (Spring, 2009). Her first novel for teens, LOSING FAITH, was released from Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster in September 2010, with her next one, NEVER ENOUGH, out in July 2012. She lives just outside Vancouver, Canada with her husband and son.


Thanks for helping me celebrate former debuts! And if you are a former debut and are interested in being featured, check out this post here!


Mary said...

Great interview! I agree--everyone has to walk their own path. But it's so interesting (and many times inspiring) to see how others have moved from hobby writer to professional.

PJ Hoover said...

I love her interview, too, Mary. It is so honest and wonderful!