Here today with an interview and a cover reveal of her Summer ’18 title is Jody Jensen Shaffer!
Hi Jody! Thanks for stopping by my blog!
Thanks for having me, Dylan!
Tell us a little bit about your new book, It’s Your First Day of School, Busy Bus!
It’s Your First Day of School, Busy Bus! is about a school bus that is having first-day-of-school jitters. Will the children like him? Will they know they’re safe riding with him? What if he gets homesick? Fortunately, Ben the bus driver helps Busy Bus feel ready and loved so he can have a great schoolyear.
I’m excited to share this book with children (and parents) who might be having their own first-day-of-school jitters. The illustrations by Claire Messer are warm and tender and perfect, and Beach Lane is a dream publisher. I feel really lucky.
Tell us a little bit about your writing process.
I usually start by writing down my initial idea in a notebook. I draft it longhand until I know where I’m going. Then once I’ve got the story figured out, I transfer my notes to the computer. From there, I work and rework the story, printing it out several times, marking it up, reading it aloud, making changes, and printing it out again until I’m satisfied. Then I send it to critique partners for their input, make changes again, and send it to my agent.
Have you always been into writing?
Yes, I had an affinity for words, creativity, and for the physical act of writing with a sharp pencil on crisp, white paper from the time I was young. And from what I can tell from looking at some of my oldest work, I also had an affinity for exclamation points that hasn’t subsided!
What’s the most exciting part of your job?
Getting a call from my agent saying my manuscript has sold! But in terms of the day-to-day work, I love molding an idea into a great story and then revising it until it’s as good as I can make it. I love the possibility of my ideas becoming books.
What inspires your creativity?
My children, the natural world, contests, my past, snippets of overheard conversations, sermons, others’ stories and poems, my dog, so many things!
What is one thing that readers don’t know about you, that only you could tell us?
I was in several musicals as a child and teen, and I loved every minute of them!
If you weren’t writing books, what do you think you’d be doing?
Probably teaching composition and other English classes in college. I was an adjunct instructor for both of my alma maters.
What can readers expect from you in the future?
I have several new books in the pipeline, but I’m not allowed to talk about them yet. I feel very fortunate to be able to continue to write for kids.
Anything else you’d like to share with readers of this blog?
I’m really grateful to be part of the kidlit community, which is so big-hearted and talented.
And now…. here’s the cover!