Q to the A

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I love reader emails. I don't always have time to respond to every one of them, but I do read each one. Often they ask similar things such as:
1. Will there be a fourth Charmed Life book?
2. Will there be a fourth Katie Parker book?
3. How do I get published?
4. Would you like to collect the 400 million your long-lost relative in Nairobi left you?

I've gotten a lot of these lately, so I thought I'd answer here.

1. Will there be a fourth Charmed Life book?
No, there won't. I love series, as well, but the more books you write in a series, sometimes the fewer readers you keep. I read a popular series that is now on book 15 or 16 and the reviews in the last few years have basically been requests for the author to wrap it up and start something new. Nobody wants to be that girl. Okay, actually I would because this author got like a trillion dollars for her last deal, but still. Know when to go home. While there are always mysteries to solve, Bella has retired. But I loved writing about an amateur sleuth (didn't expect to), and you never know when I might get in touch with my inner Sherlock Holmes again.

2. Will there be a fourth Katie Parker Production book?
No, there won't. I know it didn't end like we all expected it to, but it ended best for Katie at that point in her life. But let's just imagine that Katie is now a freshman in college and Tate has gone to study abroad because he's quirky like that. And who does Katie see on campus all the time now? Maxine. Of course. Because she's doing that Senior Citizens Go To College Free program and finally taking Algebra I, pottery, and Introduction to Rap Music. But Katie also runs into Charlie. And he's got that look in his eye, you know? The one that says, “Why did I throw us away?” He also has that look that says, “I totally don't understand my FAFSA.”

3. Will your YA series be made into movies?
Steven Spielberg calls me ALLLLLL the time. It gets old; it really does. But I'm just not ready to hand over my stories like that. At least not until they can assure me that I have a part. With Hugh Jackman. And we get to sing show tunes.

4. If your books are made into movies, will you let me have a role?
Yes.

5. How do I get published? Will you read my writing? Can you edit my writing?
Due to time and a need for a few hours of sleep at night, I cannot read or edit your writing. I've talked about tips for writing/publication HERE. I recently answered a reader email about writing troubles and included this advice as well:
Just write. If you wait to “love it” or “feel” it or to have a complete plot in your head, we will find you sitting at your computer with a foot of dust on your head. The best way to become a writer is to:
1. read a lot
2. do a lot and not live in a small bubble
3. write a lot

6. When will I find my Tate, Charlie, Luke, Alex, or Connor?
Probably when you're not looking and when you're living outside that bubble and becoming the most interesting person you can be. Give it to God and just live your life. But I wouldn't settle for anything less than someone who has the gentleman-like qualities of a Tate, the smarts of a Luke, the comfort and smile-inspiring friendship of a Charlie, the compassionate heart of a Connor, and the magical “sigh” inducing presence of Alex. Also keep in mind those guys were pretty close to perfect. And that's why we call it fiction…

7. Who were you rooting for in the Super Bowl?
I'd have to go with Doritos, but I'm also a big sucker for those E*Trade babies.

8. Will you do a book signing in my town or school?
Book signings are lonely, lonely things that are only cool in our minds. Or the minds of Stephenie Meyer and Meg Cabot.
Because people show up for theirs.

If you would like to hang out, I'll be speaking in February in Rogers, AR at a high school girls' event, signing at Lifeway in Arkansas in May, speaking in June in Ecuador (a simple bike ride away…), and speaking in July at a location I'm totally psyched about but gonna keep a secret for a bit longer. And of course, I speak every week day at my high school, and you are most welcome to move to our district and enroll in my class. I have it in good with the counselors and could work you a deal. For a small fee. Of chocolate.

9. Do you save your reader emails?
I save a lot of them and put them in an email folder. Some authors call this their “sunshine” folder, as in a little ray of light on those cruddy days. When you've had a bad review or think you're the world's worst writer, you can go to that folder and get a little encouragement. I call my folder “Here Are Three People Who Have Read Your Book. Or Three People Who Got You Confused with Junie B. Jones. Again.” (Seriously, just happened AGAIN this week.)  Here's a portion of an email I saved from last week about Just Between You and Me. It made me smile. It also reminded me that Pulitzer will not be calling me any time soon.

…Anyone who can write about junk food addictions and push-up bras with a realistic God-perspective on life deserves a special spot on my book shelf. My own addictions and futile search for the perfect push-up bra aside, I've been searching for you for, well, a long time. Maggie made me laugh out loud, and I need more of that in the stories with which I choose to spend time. (Oh, and by the way, thanks for using the word “crap.”)

Push-up bras, Twinkies, and “crap.” Flippant references? Mere words? Nay, carefully strategized components of ministry.

So thank you for all the emails. I do appreciate each one. It's always great to hear from readers, to know what you thought of a book, what you did or didn't like. To hear you are toiling over writing too. Or that a book kept you up late. Or made you go buy a paper shredder. I can take it. : )  To all readers, I thank you. Keep those emails coming.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 16 comments
Jenny - February 7, 2011

The real question is what does the “B” stand for? Has nobody else ever asked that?? Even Junie tells her readers that bit of info.

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Jenny - February 7, 2011

Hold up! Just had this thought. Is it for Barbara? As in Barbara Park maybe?? A nom de plume of JBJ…am I on to something? We can keep it “just between us”(wink). I just looked “her” up on Wikipedia, and guess what? No picture. Coincidence??

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Shauna - February 7, 2011

Does the B stand for Bellatrix?

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Jenny - February 7, 2011

Not to be a post hog, but if I were more clever I would have said “Just Between You & Me” and plugged your book while seeking secret alliances. Sigh. Better late than never?

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Hannah - February 7, 2011

aw! I’m always wishing that they would make a movie out of your books! It would be wayyy better then some of the junky chick flicks they have nowadays..

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Catrina - February 7, 2011

I am curious as to what the B stands for as well…

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Allie Smith - February 7, 2011

wow,well i was gonna comment on ur amazing blog,but now i really wanna know what the B stands for…
im disappointed that the Charmed Life series and the Katie Parker series wont be continued,but i can understand ur logic.and its fun to leave some to the imagination.when u said to imagine Katie in college,etc., i got the funniest mental image.i can totally see Maxine following her around,stalking her classes,an claiming to have a crush on her professor or sumthin insane like that.
and Bella…omigosh,is your middle name BELLA?!

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Rhonda - February 7, 2011

OOOhhhhh. I know the answer. I thought she revealed it in her first book, but I just looked–she didn’t really. It’s a REALLY good story!!! Can’t wait until she tells what it stands for. She’s a much better story teller than I am. 🙂

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Jenny B Jones - February 7, 2011

I have told the “origin of B” story. Right? I think it’s in the acknowledgments of In Between.

Bellatrix. Still LOVE that name.

And totally wish I could take credit for the Junie books.

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Erin McFarland - February 7, 2011

about a year ago i was telling someone that i was reading this YA series by Jenny B Jones. she looks as me and says her six year old daughter LOVES those books. and then she starts going on and on about things i have no clue about. as she’s talking, I’m wondering A-how she knows so many quirky details about you and B-why she’s pronouncing your name so weird. i’m like it’s Jeeeeeenny, not Juuuuuuunny. totally confused at this point. then i say “wow, i’m super impressed your six year old reads at that level.” to which she then looks totally confused. and then says “well, they are kids books.” 5 minutes later we are all clear.

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Alicia - February 8, 2011

1. I am very disappointed that the Charmed Life series has come to an end. Every time I read those books I’m secretly hoping that Luke is real…sigh
2. I want to know what the B. stands for too…I’m hoping it’s Babbette… or maybe Beatrix…I suppose I will just have to look in my copy of Just Between You and me and read the story of it for myself
3. Every time I mention your amazing books to my best friend she thinks I am talking about Junie B. Jones!

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Alli - February 23, 2011

Jen,
You should write more short stories about all your characters in your books. I would love to know how Katie, Bella, Maggie, and Lucy are doing from YOUR point of view. 🙂

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Abbigail - March 9, 2011

haha…In my Sunday School class we got to talking about books and authors and so I mentioned you (hey, my favorite author is Jenny B. Jones! Have you ever read any of her books?) and one of the girls goes like, “Oh, yeah, um…I’ve read some of those. They were my favorite when I was seven.” It took a while for her to get that your name was jEnny B. Jones, not jUnie…and that your the AUTHOR, not the main character.
You know, you should start keeping count of how many people have done this. Maybe you could get into Guinesses World Records for “the lady whose had her name confused with a six year old book character the most times” or something along those lines. 🙂
love ya, and can’t wait for your new book to come out!
-<3-Abbigail

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Kayce - June 8, 2011

I just read that there will be no more Charmed Life series and even though i will miss them i know its for the best :'( …….. Awwww well…. I just wanted to say that you are a very good writer, Jenny. Just dont stop. I am ready for the new books and still ready to read all the old ones.

<3 Kayce

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Robin Stevens - March 29, 2012

… Pulitzers are highly overrated. Not that I’d turn one down.

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maddie - November 26, 2015

Will So Not Happening be made into a movie anytime soon? I love that series so much!!

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