Hey friends! Welcome to my very first author interview series! I'm so excited to bring these four authors to you, so let's get started!
She Dared: Bethany Hamilton
by Jenni L. Walsh
Growing up in Hawaii, Bethany Hamilton loved to surf. But one day, she was in her favorite place, out on the waves, when a tiger shark suddenly attacked. Thirteen-year-old Bethany lost her left arm. As she fought to recover, Bethany wondered: Would she ever surf again? Follow Bethany as she got back on her board and fearlessly chased her surfing dreams. With the strength of her family and faith behind her, Bethany knew she could become not only a professional athlete, but a champion and a role model. Meet Bethany. Get inspired.
January 1st, 2019
She Dared: Malala Yousafzai
by Jenni L. Walsh
Malala Yousafzai always knew she wanted to become a doctor someday. But a new extremist group in her home country of Pakistan wanted to stop girls from going to school. Malala knew what was important, and so she spoke out. Even after she was attacked on a bus for her views, she persisted. Learn about Malala's incredible recovery and her journey to becoming a world-famous advocate of girls' rights and education -- and the youngest-ever Nobel Prize winner. Meet Malala. Get inspired.
January 1st, 2019
Introduce yourself and your debut novel.
Hello fellow book lovers, I’m Jenni L. Walsh. I began my career writing historical fiction for adults and I’m so so thrilled to be making my debut in the kidlit world. It’s been a complete honor to work with Scholastic on a new nonfiction series called She Dared that features true stories from heroic women who, at a young age, accomplished daring feats of perseverance and bravery. The series will kick off with a two-book release, one profiling surfer Bethany Hamilton (who lost her arm in a shark attack), and the other activist Malala Yousafzai (who, after being shot by the Taliban, became an advocate for education). Such remarkable women!
Give a shout-out to a fellow debut!
There’s quite a few books I’ve got my eye on in 2019, but I’ll narrow down considerably to give a shout-out to An Affair of Poisons by Addie Thorley, Women in Moonlight by Isabel Ibanez Davis, and The True History of Lyndie B. Hawkins by Gail Shepherd!
Tell us about your novel! Describe your main character(s) is 3 words.
Malala is devoted to education.
Bethany is tough as nails.
What was the hardest scene to write?
Both Bethany and Malala faced some seriously dangerous and scary situations. It was a challenge to capture the seriousness, danger, and scariness while also writing a book appropriate for our kiddos. I have two young children so I kept them closely at mind as I was crafting scenes.
What advice would you give to a new writer?
Read, read, read. As a writer of fiction, narrative nonfiction was completely new to me when I set out to write this series. The first thing I did was read, read, read.
How do you develop your plot and characters?
I knew I wanted my books to be in chronological order (sometimes we see nonfiction that jumps around in time) and age with Bethany and Malala. From there, I chose a topic to be the center of each chapter. For example, the chapter title for Bethany’s chapter 1 is Fourteen Foot Tiger Shark. For Malala: A Doctor In the Making.
What book or author has most influenced your own writing?
Stephanie Meyer. I was in my mid twenties when her books first released in 2008. I was a few years out of college, beginning a new job, and a few months into a new relationship (I married him!) so books weren’t a priority. But, Stephanie’s books pulled me back into reading in a fierce kind of way. Soon after, I began writing my first novel.
Show us a picture of character inspiration!
As a nod toward Bethany, here’s a photo from the very first time I surfed in Hawaii!
A big thank to Jenni for being part of my interview series! Her books release on 1/1/19!