Jenna Carlson

Why I Started Writing:

Being an introvert, I grew up keeping a lot of my thoughts and feelings to myself—until I discovered writing. I found it much easier to express myself through written words. Poems and stories were a way to get my ideas out into the world. In middle school, I wrote a poem on cholera (I played a lot of Oregon Trail as a kid.) The teacher shared it with the class, signifying the first time I was acknowledged for my writing. Growing up I had tried so hard to be good at things—dance, volleyball, taming my endless frizzy hair, but writing came naturally. 

Authors Who Have Influenced Me:

Robin Jones Gunn influenced me greatly. I grew up on the Christy Miller Series and desperately wanted to find my own Todd someday. Gunn wove a beautiful love story not only of Christy and Todd but of Christy and the Lord. Her stories are engaging, yet wholesome. My own stories reflect the same purpose. I want to provide entertaining, clean stories and characters that resonate with readers.

Lisa Terkeurst is also a great influence. Her writing is extremely raw and real. If I ever write nonfiction, I hope to be as vulnerable as her. Her books make me feel like I have a friend that gets me and understands what it’s like to walk through life when times are hard. We all need that, to know we aren’t alone on our journeys.

Books I Have Written:

A Big Hot Mess is my debut novel. It’s a contemporary young adult story about a teenage girl trying to overcome the pain of her parents’ separation.

What I'm Working On Now:

I am cultivating an online community of brave young women, who can come as they are and receive care and comfort during whatever season they are going through. My Dear Jen blog offers women a space to receive written letters of encouragement and support. Visit www.jennabrookecarlson.com/blog to learn more.

I also plan to turn A Big Hot Mess into the Geri Bruchi series. The books will be entertaining but also connect with readers on a deeper level. We’ve all gone through our own hills and valleys, and Geri’s journey is no different. I’m excited to continue developing and growing with her character along the way.

Jenna

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