The Literary Spotlight with Jenna Evans Welch
Ladies and gentlemen, it is with great pleasure that I introduce to you today Jenna Evans Welch, who has captured the hearts of young readers with her enchanting tales of love, discovery, and adventure. Her name resonates with the beauty of exploration and the depth of emotion that her novels bring to life. From the sun-kissed landscapes of Italy to the intricate landscapes of the human heart, she has woven stories that transport us to far-off places while grounding us in the universal experiences of growth and self-discovery. Her literary voyage began with her debut novel, "Love and Gelato", a work that captured the essence of wanderlust and the intricacies of human relationships. Since then, Jenna's literary endeavors have continued to resonate with readers of all ages, inviting them to embark on soul-stirring quests through her pages. As I embark on an exploration of her creative universe, I will uncover the inspirations, challenges, and creative processes that have guided Jenna's writing journey. Through her words, I will discover not only the power of storytelling but also the magic that can be found when one delves into the intricate landscapes of the heart and mind. Join me as I dive into the world of Jenna Evans Welch – an author whose narratives are like passports to new experiences, emotions, and the universal truths that bind us all.
C.A: Could you please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your writing background? What inspired you to become a writer, and how did your writing journey begin?
Jenna: Sure! My name is Jenna Evans Welch and I'm the author of Spells For Lost Things and
the "Love &" series. My journey started when I was in sixth grade--that was the year I decided I wanted to write YA. Of course, it took many years to make that dream a reality.
C.A: Could you share a glimpse into your creative process? How do you approach developing ideas and turning them into stories? Do you have any specific rituals or habits that help you get into the writing zone?
Jenna: I tend to be inspired by settings first, and then build my stories and characters around them. I love reading tarot before beginning my writing sessions--because it's about symbolism and storytelling, it's a great way to get my mind in the right space.
C.A: Who are some of your favorite authors or literary influences, and how have they shaped your own writing style? Are there any books or works that have had a profound impact on your writing career?
Jenna: For contemporary YA I love Stephanie Perkins and Kasie West. The book that had the most impact on me was a novel called Evolution, Me, and Other Freaks of Nature by Robin Brande. I bought it at a library sale and as I read it I realized it was exactly the type of novel I wanted to write.
C.A: What challenges have you faced as a writer, and how did you overcome them?
Jenna: I find almost every aspect of writing difficult! I think when you first start out you have to have a lot of self-belief that one day you'll be able to write something good--it took me a long time (and still takes me a long time) to find and develop my stories. As for self-doubt, it's helpful for me to know that everyone feels it--the only way forward is to do the thing anyway.
C.A: How do you approach developing compelling and relatable characters in your stories? Are there any strategies or exercises you use to ensure your characters feel authentic and three-dimensional?
Jenna: I love to approach characters as having a mirror image moment--i.e. however they start out needs to be the opposite of how they end up. I think that character transformation is what we care most about as readers.
C.A: Where do you find inspiration for your stories? Are there any specific themes or topics you enjoy exploring in your writing?
Jenna: Typically through setting! And I adore writing about relationships in all forms--particularly family dynamics.
C.A: What is the most rewarding aspect of being a writer for you?
Jenna: Spells For Lost Things was a very special project for me, it had a lot of firsts, including my first male main character and my first dual point of view. I grew a lot as a writer and I think the story is really fun. The most rewarding part is hearing from readers!
Editing and Revision:
C.A: How important do you think the editing and revision process is for a writer? Could you share your approach to editing your own work? Do you have any suggestions for writers on how to improve their editing skills?
Jenna: It is very important! I also think it's important to have outside eyes on your project because it's difficult to see problems in your own work. I'd suggest finding an outside person whose opinion you trust.
Advice for Budding Writers:
C.A: What advice would you give to aspiring authors who are just starting their writing journey? How do you handle rejection and criticism in the publishing world?
Jenna: My best advice is to know that your taste level and skill level will be mismatched for quite a while. In order to become good at writing you will have to write a lot of not-so-great stuff--it's how we all start out!
C.A: Could you give us a sneak peek into any upcoming projects or books you're currently working on? Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers and aspiring writers? Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers and aspiring writers?
Jenna: I am working on another YA right now - I can't say much about it, but I absolutely love it!