Author Interviews,  Creator Interview Series,  Grow Your Writing,  Sunflower Scribe Spotlight

#GrowYourWriting Creator Interview: Author, Jenny Lynn Pease

Welcome to the #GrowYourWriting Creator Interviews blog series in 2024. I’m thrilled to feature talented kidlit creators this year and spotlight their beautiful work and inspiring journeys. 

Today, I’d like to welcome Author Jenny Lynn Pease. Her picture book I LOVE HARRIET KIPPLEY debuts with Free Spirit Books on April 2, 2024, in just a few short weeks! I LOVE HARRIET KIPPLY is filled with fun, vibrant illustrations and serves as a great conversation starter for kids to build self-confidence.

You can connect with Jenny on X/TwitterInstagram, and Threads.

Stay tuned to the end of the interview for your chance to win a fiction or non-rhyming, nonfiction, or fiction picture book critique of 1000 words or less from Jenny.

1 – What inspired you to pursue a career in children’s literature, and when did you start creating?

I’ve loved writing my whole life, but it was about ten years ago that I stumbled onto a picture book class. I immediately fell in love with picture books and the art of creating them. There’s something so magical about being able to create a story for a young child in one thousand words or less.

2 – Can you share your kidlit journey thus far with our readers?  What writing/illustrating credentials, awards, contest wins, or other recognition would you like to share?

As every writer knows, the journey to publication is rough with many bumps along the road. It hasn’t always been easy, but I’m thankful I stuck with it. Now, my debut book is coming out next year! I Love Harriet Kippley received a like during a pitch event, and that’s how my partnership with Free Spirit Publishing began.

Everyone’s path to publication is different and I always encourage other writers to do what feels right for them. And most importantly, make sure that writing is fun and something you truly love to do. That will make the path to publication easier to bear. When I’m not working on my own stories, I stay busy helping other writers succeed at their craft. I run my own full time critique business for picture book writers. I’m also the host of #KidLitCritiqueDay and #ChatWithThePBLady on social media.

3 – What part of the process, from the first draft to submissions, do you find the most challenging, and how do you overcome that?

I have a huge mental block when it comes to writing query letters! They feel too much to me like a cover letter for a job, which was my least favorite part of applying to jobs. I felt the resume should speak for itself, as the manuscript should. However, I have come to realize that the query can provide more information about the manuscript. The agent/editor is not in my head, so sometimes, you need to connect the dots. The query letter allows you to explain the subtext of the manuscript, any themes that may not readily be apparent, as well as show your seriousness in pursuing this business. I try to not overthink them, and just write as if I’m talking to the editor/agent in person.

4 – I love the thoughtful take on query letters! Can you tell our readers more about your journey from ideas to publication?

I tend to write stories from my life and my family. I have never been much good at making things up! And am always impressed with people who can write completely different characters and worlds. My stories tend to center on family, nature and culture. I get the ideas from experiences that I have. I like my stories to take readers on an experience. As a kid, we didn’t really go anywhere or do anything. I think that is why I loved reading. I could go a million places in a book and be whoever I wanted to be. So that is what I write.

5 – What overall advice would you like to give aspiring kidlit creators to grow their writing?

Keep working on your craft. Write because you enjoy it, and eventually someone else will enjoy it too.

6 – What’s next for you as a creator?

I’m going to continue to write and pursue finding an agent! Having gone through the publishing process without an agent, I now see the value of one! The process wasn’t difficult, per se, but ultimately the editor/publisher don’t work for you, they have their own interests. But an agent, is your advocate, they work for you, and are on your side. Not to mention they do the not fun task of negotiating contracts and making sure you get paid.

Guess What? It’s giveaway time! Jenny has graciously offered to giveaway one fiction or non-rhyming, nonfiction or fiction picture book critique of 1000 words or less.

To enter, leave a comment on this blog post below! Entry period closes April 3rd at 12am PST. One Winner will be announced April 4th.

1 Bonus entry is available for anyone who shares this post on X/Twitter, follows, and tags @kidlitjenny and @C_Alemshah on X/Twitter.


  • Christine Alemshah

    Hello everyone! Thank you for taking part in Jenny’s giveaway!

    Thank you for coming on my blog, Jenny, and sharing your journey and your debut picture book, I LOVE HARRIET KIPPLEY!

    It’s time to reveal our giveaway winner — Alison McGauley!!!

    Congratulations!!! I will be in touch to connect you with Jenny shortly!

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