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

Thursday, July 19, 2012

FORMER DEBUT: Jenny Meyerhoff, Class of 2k8

This week brings two former debuts, and today's happens to be one from my very own debut class, the wonderful Jenny Meyerhoff. If you haven't read Jenny's debut book, THIRD GRADE BABY, you are missing out. It is a real treat and great for those elementary school readers of yours!

Name: Jenny Meyerhoff
Debut Group: Class of 2k8

Hi, Jenny! I miss you!

PJH: Okay, so it’s been 4 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?

JM: I’ve published two other books since my debut, QUEEN OF SECRETS in 2010 and SAMI'S SLEEPAWAY SUMMER in 2012. I wish I could say other really exciting things have happened to me, but the truth is my life has been quite steady and normal. My kids are growing up and doing their own neat things. I keep chugging along with my writing. And really, I think that’s just the way I wanted it.

Next year I’ve got a middle grade coming out called The Barftastic Life of Louie Burger.

QUEEN OF SECRETS (FSG, June 22, 2010)

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?

JM: It was a great experience all around. On a personal level, I really appreciated being able to commiserate with others going through the same scary, exciting, confusing rush of a debut book release. On a professional level, I loved the way our group pitched panels for conferences together. I’ve done conferences on my own, but I prefer being part of a panel! Plus I got to go to conferences I wouldn’t have gone to on my own.

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?

JM: Don’t compare yourself to other authors. Your career will unfold at its own pace. Don’t worry so much about marketing. Do what you can, it will be enough. Focus on the writing and write your next book.

Obviously those are the things I wish I’d known.

THIRD GRADE BABY (FSG, September 2, 2008)

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.

JM: I would love to continue to write and publish books. I’d like to write five solid picture books, three more middle grade novels and a young adult novel too. I’d love to be more consistent in both my yoga and meditation practices. I don’t really have any other big goals. I’d like to be open to the opportunities and experiences that come my way, even if I didn’t expect them.

SAMI'S SLEEPAWAY SUMMER (Scholastic, April 1, 2012)

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!

JM: The best gift I was ever given is this: my husband offered me an empty room in his office to use as my writing space. It’s quite cozy (read small) but when I enter the room and close the door the world disappears and all that exists is me and my book.

Cozy = Awesome!

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

JM: Thank you for having me!


Bio: Jenny Meyerhoff is the author of two chapter books, Sami’s Sleepaway Summer, a PJ Library Selection, and Third Grade Baby, one of Instructor Magazines best back to school books of 2008. She is also the author of the young adult novel Queen of Secrets, a Sydney Taylor notable book. Jenny studied creative writing at University of Michigan and Education at Northwestern University. In addition to being a writer she has been a teacher, a hostess, a lifeguard and a mom. Jenny lives in Riverwoods, Illinois with her husband and three children and regularly uses their adventures in her books.


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!

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