Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester welcomes Jennifer Carson—author, editor, artist, playwright, and more! She’s also one of the instructors for our All-Day Writers Workshop on November 8th. She’s the author of a number of children’s books, including To Find a Wonder, Hapenny Magick, and the upcoming Tangled Magick. Hapenny Magick has won the Eric Hoffer award, is being made into a game, and now is being made into a musical with songs composed by Emmy-award nominated composer, William Ogmunsdon.
Welcome, Jenn! Can you please tell us briefly a little about yourself and your writing? How would you like us to introduce you?
I have been writing for 12 years, ever since my now-17-year-old son asked me how dragons got their fire breath. I went looking on the (pretty new at the time) world wide web for an origin story and couldn’t find one. That next morning I woke up to a voice in my head—he was a pretty silly voice—it was a dragon telling me a story about how he started breathing fire. So I started writing it down, and the rest, as they say, is history.
For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write?
Readers of my work can expect a lot of magic, a dash of danger, and characters to root for. You might need a tissue or two as well. I try to write stories that connect with both kid readers and their parents—I love when a parent says to me, “we read that one together” and you can tell the parent loved the story just as much as the children.
What else can we expect from you in the near future?
My agent is submitting a picture book right now that I’ve illustrated using my painting and sewing skills combined—I hope you will see that book on store shelves very soon!
Besides being a writer, I am also an artist. I draw, watercolor, sew, and sculpt. A lot of what I create somehow connects to a story I’m writing or processing in my head still. Creating things that belong in the world of the story I’m creating helps me bring a tangibility to that world that is only in my head and on paper. It helps me feel connected to a place I’ve only visited in my daydreams.
While you’re writing, do you prefer music, silence, other? Please elaborate!
I prefer music—but no words—just mood music. Some of my favorite music to write to are soundtracks. The Brave soundtrack is a favorite as well as Kingdom of Heaven.
What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned, thus far, in your writing career?
I always wanted to illustrate my own books, but felt as if my skills weren’t up to par with other wonderful artists I know. The greatest lesson I’ve learned so far is that you don’t have to do it like everybody else. It seems like a simple lesson given the amazing illustrators we have that aren’t “traditional” in media, but it took me a while to get it through my thick skull. Use your abilities, skills and talents—that’s what makes your work unique.
Where can people find your work? (Besides ABSW ;)–though they should totally check here first!)
I’m all over the web—Facebook, Pinterest (my favorite), Twitter. I attend local author events and the NE-SCBWI conference every spring and sometimes you can even find me at a faerie festival or two.
How can we follow your work, share your awesomeness, or otherwise stalk you in a totally non-creepy way?
Thank you so much for joining us, Jennifer Carson! We’re looking forward to the writing workshop with you on November 8th!