What made you write for the youth?

The easy answer is I’m still a teen at heart. I watch some of the things they do, listen to a lot of their music, and just do all I can to stay in touch with their culture. And I definitely have an immature sense of humor. Which helps.

The more thoughtful answer is that I have taught junior high and high school for the last twelve years. I love being around teenagers, but it definitely gives you insight into the challenges they face. Martina McBride has a song that says “We got teenagers walking around in a culture of darkness. Living together alone. “ So true.
And they’re all searching for something. I’m excited to be a part of an alternative to some of that darkness. Like in life, there are bad things that happen in my books, but you just can’t keep a good girl down.

In your thank you comments in front of the book, you mention your are a school teacher and your students want to be in your books? Ever get any of your idea from real life experiences? Does it help or hinder your writing?

Being a teacher DEFINITELY helps. I’m forever surrounded by teens, so they never leave my head. They’re great to run things by, such as pop culture references I want to put in the books. Sometimes I forget how dated a musician or famous person can be to them. I also keep a running list of funny things they say and often post it on my blog. It provides them a way to get “published,” and it provides entertainment for my blog.

Here are a few recent quotes from speeches my students just did:

“London had Charles Dickens. He wrote a bunch of books and stuff. It also had Isaac Newton. He defied laws of gravity and whatnot.”

“Some interesting things to do in London include…an IMAX.”

“Gothic style is like huge, huge bigness.”

Also my first series, A Katie Parker Production, was inspired by two students I taught some time ago. One student was a girl who changed right before my eyes when she finally was placed in a loving home after being tossed around for years. And the other student flourished when she entered my drama program and found that acting was her gift. Together, they’re my Katie Parker. Through the magic of Facebook, I’ve recently been reconnected with both of them.

I know that you wrote a series of books before this one, How does that series differ from the one you are in right now? Did you have to prepare for this new one differently?

I think both have the same voice, light-heartedness, and (hopefully) sense of humor. But The Charmed Life series (beginning with So Not Happening) is like Gossip Girls (Manhattan chic) meets Veronica Mars (mystery!) meets…um, Oklahoma (they have cows). Bella Kirkwood knows fashion and comes from a very privileged background, but is really humbled with her new family and moved to small town, Oklahoma. While in the Katie Parker Production series, Katie is a foster child who comes from very hard circumstances and gets a life and home upgrade.

Also from a spiritual standpoint, Katie Parker has no church background, and so coming to live with a pastor and his wife is total culture shock. This series is about her finding God and her accepting his love. For Bella Kirkwood, in So Not Happening, she is already a Christian, and we see how she struggles with her faith and putting her trust in Christ on a daily basis. And when you’re trying to solve crimes and people are trying to keep you quiet…you kind of need the Big Guy.

What are you working on now? Can you give us a sneak peek?

This fall is the release of my first women’s fiction novel Just Between You and Me. This Women of Faith selection is about Maggie Montgomery, a thirty-year old woman who must leave behind her life traveling the world to come home to Texas to help a family she left behind years ago. As Maggie’s life spirals out of control, she must face a past that won’t leave her alone, fears that she can no longer deny, and a gorgeous veterinarian who sees right through her tough façade. I’m excited about this book as it deals with the idea that we all have fears, especially in these challenging times. How do we let them go and just allow God to take over? As Christians, what separates us as anxious, fearful people from the rest?

Out of all the interviews you have done is there one question you wish someone would have asked you? If so, what was that question and what is your answer?

I wish someone would have asked me: Do you mind if we send you a lifetime supply of Oreos?

My answer: I guess not. If it blesses you to do so, who am I to stand in the way of that?

(Jenny and her agent, Chip McGregor)


1. What movie most impacted you as a kid?

I don’t know. I’m sure this will hit me later, but right now I’m going to say The Princess Bride. I probably wasn’t a kid when I saw it. But that movie has everything—romance, action, fairy tale, humor, slapstick, tons of stars, and knockout writing. I love it!!!

2. What was your favorite TV shows growing up that you just couldn’t miss?

Facts of Life. Friends.

And as weird as it sounds, even though I wasn’t allowed to watch soaps, my mom and I would watch Knots Landing and Dynasty together. Loved those shows. But…my absolute all-time favorite would have to be The Carol Burnett Show. Omigosh, she is just amazing. That really influenced me in terms of writing and comedy.

3. If you had all the time in the world (and just as much money); to do anything you wanted, what would you do?

Travel. Eat. Liposuction. Eat some more.

4.If you had 24 hours to hang out with anyone dead or alive in the history of the world; what 2 people would you pick and why? What would you do?

Again, I’d pick my hero Carol Burnett because she’s so naturally and creatively funny.

And maybe Alice Roosevelt. She was a wild girl, and I’d love to hear her stories And she was also funny.

5.If you had to pick a superhero to for 48 hours who would you be and why? Be creative you are the author. You can mix and match powers and costumes.

I’d be Super Clean Calorie Repellant Time Stopping Girl.

Anything domestic does NOT come easily to me. (Or come to me at all) So I would like to be someone who just has a natural instinct for keeping things tidy. And I’d be calorie repellant and be able to eat all the ice cream and brownies I wanted to and STILL fit into my semi-modest spandex onesie. And time stopping because like many people, my life would best fit into a 30 hour day. So maybe I could stop time and get more done. Or catch up on sleep and TV watching. : )

6. You find yourself in a life threatening situation and you need someone one to save you? Who would you pick? Why? This can be anyone from TV, movies, books etc.

MacGyver. He’s still the man. And I have MORE than what he needs in the bottom of my purse.

7. What has been your favorite pet? What was its name? Why your favorite?

I have one cat named Miller. He’s very beautiful…and very simple. He doesn’t have a lot going on upstairs and often just stares into space with absolutely no quality kitty thoughts in his head. But he meows well and does a fine job drinking water and eating kibbles.

8. Someone has just invented a machine that would allow you to change one thing about yourself! 1. Would you use the machine? 2. If you used the machine what would you change and what would that look like in your life?

No, God made me just how I’m supposed to be. He loves me as I am, and so should I.
(Just between you and me. . .Seriously, do not share this with your readers lest they think I’m not holy and stuff.) :)

Anyway, just between you and me, I would TOTALLY use this machine. I would BUY this machine. Would they be selling it on late night TV? Maybe an infomerical? Man, those suck me in every time. Will Billy Mays be selling it? That guy is good. Or is this one of those pyramid deals? Because I totally want in on it. Oh. . . and I’d ask for biceps.

9. What's the scariest thing you've ever done?
I don't know if this is the scariest but it was right up there. I think it might be the craziest. I just so happen to have a picture of it. I still can't believe I did this. I'm afraid of heights! Can you tell I'm not having a good time?

10. Can you show us where you work?
This is the desk I work at and stare-did I say that out loud - Of course it's always this clean! Grin! :D.


Thank you, Nora. It was fun to “stop” by. Thanks so much. I’m glad you enjoyed So Not Happening. We’re getting great feedback from it, and it’s been fun to watch the reviews come in.


Thanks Jenny for allowing my readers to get to know you better. I have LOVED your newest book and look forward to reading your others. Remember if you are ever in Atlanta you’ll have to stop by and do book club!!

Blessings on your writing adventures Jenny.


Nora :D


CONGRATS goes to Cheryl Shryack on Winning Jenny's book--Thanks for this opportunity Jenny.

.****DISCLAIMER: Entering the give away is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.Void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents, odds of winning depend on number of entrants****


  1. Loved the interview Nora. I think Jenny and I would get along fine because I love working with teenagers. They keep you young!

    Gail Mundy

  2. The hubs got me Alice last year for Christmas. I love biographies, especially the Presidents' wives or families, and he gets me a new one each year. Fun to know you read it too!

  3. Love the answers. I wish I had thought of them... I could use a lifetime supply of Oreos, and Macgyver can save us from anything! :-) Can I add that I have serious, serious envy concerning where you work? I love the pink and brown stripes and the desk!

  4. Is it wrong that her book caught my eye b/c of the cover? I love purses and pigs (I collect them!). Great interview. Jenny is very funny.

  5. Jenny is a great big bubble of joy and inspiration, and she makes a good conferece roomie ( non- snoring!) I wish I was as funny!

  6. Teri Wilson left a comment on face book about this book.

    I read So Not Happening a couple weeks ago. I started it while I was at the mechanic's waiting for my car to get fixed. I couldn't put the book down, even after I got home. It was adorable. A great read for teens and adults alike! I'm hopping over to read your interview with Jenny Jones. Thanks for the heads up.

    (wanted you to be encouraged Jenny :D)

  7. What a great interview! Kuddos to facing your fear of heights! I don't know that I could do that!!! I haven't read any of Jenny's books (gasp, I know), so I'd love a chance to win!

  8. Great interview Nora. I absolutely love the Katie Parker series. Jenny is so hilarious. I love to read her blogs. She makes me laugh every time I read it. I actually won one of her books in the series and didn't want to read it without the others so I bought the other two. It was totally worth it. I have since passed them on to two other teens to read, who also love them. So, I would be ecstatic to win her newest book.


  9. Oh - I would love to win this book and read it myself and I am an adult. But I teach children. I don't work with teens but teens is a age group that needs a lot of love. I did teach 4th,5th & 6th graders in Sunday School once.
    I loved the Facts of Life too and wish they had good shows like that on now. It is so hard to find good programing. I also love Carol Burnett.
    You have to be somewhere between my oldest daughters age - 28 and mine of 59 to have watched Facts of Life.
    God Bless and annoint you and use you both in writing and teaching.

  10. Oh - I would love to win this book and read it myself and I am an adult. But I teach children. I don't work with teens but teens is a age group that needs a lot of love. I did teach 4th,5th & 6th graders in Sunday School once.
    I loved the Facts of Life too and wish they had good shows like that on now. It is so hard to find good programing. I also love Carol Burnett.
    You have to be somewhere between my oldest daughters age - 28 and mine of 59 to have watched Facts of Life.
    God Bless and annoint you and use you both in writing and teaching.

  11. I really enjoyed this interview. I was actually just looking at this book at the bookstore this afternoon. Even though it is written for teens, I know I would enjoy it. Great story. Please enter my name in the drawing. Thank you.

  12. Hey, GREAT interview. Loved all the pics and I'm right there with you on the Oreo's.

  13. thank you, both nora and jenny. Jenny's books are some of my favorites. I've read So Not Happening and I'm looking forward to the sequel in november!!! This was a wonderful interveiw- and I'm passing the link on to my frinds as well. Thank you,

    Katie Jones

  14. My name is Katie, and I'm 13. I love Jenny's books. I am hoping to win the signed copy of So Not Happening. encourage teens and adults alike to read this novel. It has a very good story line and the ending is a nail-biter. Can't wait 4 the sequel in Novevember!!!

  15. Great interview! My 15 year old daughter loved her first series and is waiting to read "Not So Happening" I would love to win it for her. Please enter me in the contest. My email address is shryackmom[@]charter[.]net

  16. MacGuyver would be my choice of hero myself. I love her spunk in her answers. Please enter me. Thanks.

  17. I've got my eye on this story, too. I'd love to read it and review it.

  18. Hey, Jenny. Loved your interview. People, this lady can write! When YA reaches the same spot in me that women's fiction does, you know you've found a winner. LOVE her books. Looking forward to the newest one.

  19. My gosh. Nora, can I stop by here every week? I haven't been this pumped up since I sold A's for nice compliments at school last year. Y'all are so awesome. Totally makes my year.

  20. I loved your interview, Jenny sounds so down to earth and REAL!
    Thanks for letting us get into the wuthors lives for just a breif moment!

    cmrobin at bellsouth net

  21. Good Job Jen:
    I have Teenage Sons; Talk about Different; Your kids talk to You...
    Great interview Nora;
    I have a Friend who just got a Foster Child who the Agency termed "not adoptable" the Sweetest litttle girl... She has really Blossomed...
    Pray for Kaitlynn

  22. My granddaughter loves all your books and she is not a big reader. You really connect with the youth. Elaine

  23. Good job Nora :
    I have 2 teenage Sons; n My Oldest in USN 21 David is MM2 on
    USS San Juan on Deployment in Middle East or Africa n My Nephrew Doug Lundin is in Iraq on a 2nd tour in The Army... Jenny sounds like a fun Author...Looking forward to Reading any of her Books Pray for David n Doug Psalms 91: God Bless Yawl n America ;O)) Melody

  24. Great interview. My daughter loves Jenny's books. Thanks for sharing about her new book. Can't wait to read it. However, I'm sure my daughter will have first dibs on it.

  25. So Not Happening is on the wish list at our house, please include me in the drawing. Loved getting to know Jenny!


  26. I want her same super-power: Super Clean Calorie Repellent Time Stopping Girl! I enjoyed your interview.

    ebeandebe at gmail dot com

  27. I like Jenny's upbeat attitude. I have a teenage daughter who would enjoy reading her books. thanks for the giveaway

  28. Jenny sounds like a fun person! I have not rad any of her work yet. And I have to say, she has great taste...LOVE Carol Burnett!

    Thanks! bekki1820cb at gmail

  29. I love your questioning style in the interview!

  30. Jenny sounds like a fun person with a great outlook on life.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  31. Oh, I'd love to win this book. It sounds like a fun read.

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  32. What a great interview. Jenny sounds like so much fun...the kind of person I would have wished was my junior high English teacher.