My friend, Rosie, and I were recently given the opportunity to interview the author of numerous YA and middle school novels, Jennifer Honeybourn! Some of her works include: When Life Gives You Demons, Wesley James Ruined My Life, Just My Luck, and many more!

We asked her a few questions about her writing process and her journey as an author! Here are some of her insights:

It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to be an author! But it took me a while to get there and for me to realize that I had a YA voice. 

Ideas are everywhere. There are really no original ideas (there were wizards long before there was Harry Potter!), it’s just about taking something and putting your own spin on it! Ideas usually come to me as a mashup, getting inspiration from different things and then writing it in my own way. Find a new way to tell a story!

As a writer, you want to focus on the story engine, the thing that will drive the character. What goal will pull the character through the story and how will it change them? 

What comes out as your first draft is not what is printed – as an author, you have to go back and address all the issues with the book, making many revisions. You really have to develop a thick skin and be able to take criticism and navigate rejection! 

For me, it’s very hard to know when you’re finished. When you have a contract and you have to write to a deadline, you get to that end and that’s it you can’t keep working on it. At some point you have to say it’s done and let it go.

It takes a while to develop and discover your voice – writing is like anything else that you do, you need to practice and practice and practice. It’s probably not going to be great in the beginning but you just have to keep going!

Another thing for aspiring writers: read across all genres – smart reading. Go through the story and figure out how the author did this or that so well or how they made their character so interesting, etc.!

If you keep going, and put your heart into it and you just keep trying, it could take a while, but you will get there. I think it’s really about perseverance and having a thick skin. 

Share your writing! Find beta readers, form a critique group, because feedback is a huge part of being a writer.

– Jennifer Honeybourn

We want to thank Ms. Honeybourn for her time and for answering all our questions! We really appreciate it and we learned a lot!

Check out One Story Three Ways on Jennifer Honeybourn’s website. Keep an eye out for her upcoming releases!