I am so excited to be talking with author Jenny B. Jones. She is one of my favorite young adult authors. Let me just say, if you haven’t read one of Jenny’s books, you are totally missing out on a good time. She makes me laugh so hard I weep. I’ve read all six of her teen books, and we’ve reviewed all six of those books on Novel Teen.
Here is a list if you want to check out our reviews:
I like these books so much that I bought a set of each for my mom. That’s right. My mom is a grandma who has a ball reading Jenny B. Jones’ teen books. I figure, why should teens have all the fun? And my mom totally agrees.
Jenny, I’m so glad to have you visit Novel Teen. When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a lot of things. Probably the main thing was that I wanted to be Barbara Walters. I’m kind of glad I grew out of that one. Though I’m sure Barbara is a lovely woman.
What was your favorite subject in high school? Your least favorite?
My favorite subjects were English and history. My least favorite would be science. I just didn’t get it. I still don’t. And I thought the pig dissection would push me over the edge. Ironically, my classroom is situated between two science classes. They just finished pig dissection. I say a prayer for the dearly departed animals every time I walk by. (As I’m spraying my air freshener.)
If you could bring any character from one of your books to life, who would it be and why?
I love Mad Maxine in the Katie Parker series. (Can I say I love one of my own characters? I also love inanimate objects like cheese, so take it for what it’s worth.) Maxine is Katie Parker’s foster grandmother. She has the body of a senior citizen, but the mind of a sixteen year old. Due to her age, she can say and do whatever she wants and get away with it. She was so much fun to write. Maxine is also not without her boy problems and has resorted to fireworks and hanging off of water towers to get her man Sam’s attention. Everyone needs a crazy friend like that.
I would totally love Mad Maxine as my neighbor. Never a dull moment. Jenny, can you Twitter your newest or upcoming release in 140 characters or less?
So Over My Head: Bella goes undercover as clown to solve circus murder. Must also stop dad’s wedding and win back Luke from skanky ex.
LOL Nicely done.
What is the one book you wish you had written and why?
A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck. Because it is just simply the best.
What is the new release book that you’re most looking forward to reading?
I’m looking forward to reading So Over It by Stephanie Morrill, the third in the Reinvention of Skylar Holt series. Can’t wait to see how that series ends!
I loved that book. We reviewed it here on Novel Teen. (Click here to read our review.) Do you have any pets?
I have one cat, Miller. He is mentally challenged and needs a helmet. Exhibit A: http://www.jennybjones.com/2010/05/19/theres-a-cat-so-over-my-head/
Using the letters N T (for Novel Teen), create the title of your next bestseller. (For example, Nocturnal Cheerleaders.) Nobakecookie Tasters?
You’re invited to a White House function, and you have the chance to give a 10-minute speech to the President and the country watching on TV. What do you talk about?
Wow. Good question. I would probably talk about the fact that America is not taking care of their own. We have an overflow of children in the foster care system and not enough good homes. I’d love to see our churches rise up and take care of this. I’d also mention how it’s a crime in our country how we completely drop kids in the foster care system after 18. Many are left homeless.
I’d round it out with a few mentions of my idea about mandatory sweats and yoga pants as the dress code in the workplace. Who needs dress pants and skirts? So passé! And my ideas about a four day work week. (Still eight hour day, of course.) And maybe I’d round it out with a challenge to make Saturday morning cartoons better. Don’t act like you wouldn’t do the same…
Woot! I’m all for the sweats. High heels are evil. I tend to fall over. And I live in John Day, Oregon, a lovely town of 2400 that reminds me a great deal of Truman, Oklahoma, though we have no maxi pad factory… (Readers, this is a joke from the Charmed Life series. Bella’s stepdad works at such a factory.) We have a four day school week in John Day. So my kids seem to believe in Friday and Saturday morning cartoons. They have got it so good.
Remember those “classics” that you had to read in high school English class? Which book was your favorite? Which one should no one ever be forced to read?
I hated classics. I later grew up to teach English and refused to teach most of them. There’s too much good stuff out there that’s not 200 years old. We are constantly reinventing the wheel in education, yet Romeo and Juliet has been on the ninth grade curriculum for the last 50 years. What is that?
But all that to say, I’m not the biggest Shakespeare fan. But yet my favorite work of all time by any author is one of his comedies called Much Ado About Nothing. If you don’t want to read it, there is an old 90s movies version of it starring a lot of famous folks like Denzel Washington and a very young Kate Beckinsale. This play is awesome. It’s the basis for so many of our romantic comedies. It’s about these young couple that meets and falls in love. (boring) But that relationship gets detonated by an evil scheme, and in the meantime Benedict and Beatrice, two independent sassy adults who are sharp tongued and swear they’ll never fall in love do just that. With each other. There’s so much more to it, but it’s pretty much perfect.
Much Ado About Nothing is one of my favorites! I love when Emma Thompson is storming her way over to Kenneth Branagh (the same actor who plays Professor Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, for all you younger readers) and she says, “Against my will, I’m sent to bid you, come in to dinner.” And he thinks there is a double meaning in that. Sigh! I could go on and quote the whole scene, but…yeah. Fun film. It’s the only Shakespeare I understand. If you haven’t seen it or read it, you should go do that, right after you read Jenny’s books, of course.
Jenny, if you would meet any celebrity (actor, author, historical figure, etc), dead or alive (and not Jesus), who would you choose and what would you ask him or her?
Oh, my gosh. My hero is a woman named Carol Burnett, who 99 percent of teens will not know. (YouTube her.) She is a pioneer of sketch comedy, and the reason we have SNL. I am currently reading her latest autobiography. She is just brilliant and funny and unique and creative and humble and hilarious and classy. And she reminds me of my late grandmother. I would probably just ask Carol if I could have my picture taken with her and how she feels about a long-distance stalker.
Carol Burnett is hysterical. Watch the good version of the movie Annie to see her at work.
Thanks for your time, Jenny! It was fun to have you stop by.
Readers, Jenny is giving away a copy of her novel, So Not Happening. This is the first book in her Charmed Life series, and it is a wonderful read. If this interview made you laugh, it’s just a taste of what comes in reading a Jenny B. Jones novel. To enter, please leave a comment with your email address in an anti-SPAM form, something like this: laugh [at] yahoo [dot] com, and you will be in the drawing for a copy!
Find Jenny online: