I recently had the pleasure of meeting debut author and fellow elementary librarian, Jenna Grodzicki, at the spring NJSCBWI Conference. Jenna’s newest book is “Pixie’s Adventure,” published by eTreasures.
What inspired you to write your debut picture book, Pixie’s Adventure?
The idea for Pixie’s Adventure came to me over 10 years ago. Our cat, who was always trying to sneak outside, escaped during a thunderstorm. My husband and I spent two hours looking for her in the pouring rain. We finally found her on our neighbor’s front porch. Even though I had always dreamed of writing picture books, it took me a long time to actually start. Quite frankly, I was scared to take that risk. In early 2015, a combination of events prompted me to pick up a pencil, and Pixie’s Adventure was the first story I wrote. The rest is history!
What is the topic of your next picture book?
My second picture book, Finn Finds a Friend, is coming out in October with Clear Fork Publishing. It is about a lemon shark named Finn who wants to make some new friends. Unfortunately, his sharky appearance causes potential buddies to swim away or hide. Finn must demonstrate it’s what’s on the inside that truly matters in order to convince the sea creatures that he’s not looking for his next meal.
In addition to Finn, I have 6 other manuscripts (and counting!) I’m working on, including one nonfiction piece.
Who are your favorite authors for kids?
Wow, this is a tough question. I have so many favorites, it’s hard to choose! When I was little, I loved Nancy Drew (Carolyn Keene) and the Babysitters Club (Ann M. Martin). Among my favorite picture books were Miss Nelson is Missing, The Paper Bag Princess, and Click, Clack, Moo. Today, I absolutely love Mo Willems. His Elephant and Piggie books are a hit with every one of my students, as well as my son. I’m also a big fan of Ame Dyckman, Kate Messner, Drew Daywalt, and Jon Klassen.
What are your interests/hobbies besides writing?
In addition to writing, I absolutely love to read. I’m really into YA right now, especially anything by Sarah J. Maas. I love the Boston Red Sox – we try to go to Fenway Park at least once a year. In the winter, I enjoy skiing. And of course, my favorite thing to do is spend time with my husband and our two crazy awesome children!
Thanks Jenna, for your awesome answers!