Jena C. Henry Interview

Jena C. Henry is a writer, blogger, book reviewer, and bon vivant. Her goal is to make friends with everyone in the world. Jena enjoys reading new books and encouraging writers to be their best. Jena C. Henry holds a juris doctor degree from the University of Akron and practiced law and raised her family in tropical Ohio. Now retired, she writes novels, conducts writing workshops and enjoys good times with friends and family. Her fiction series, The Golden Age of Charli, spotlights the love and laughter of family life and retirement.

What inspired you to write?
I am a member of the large tribe of folks who have "always dreamed of writing a book." For over 40 years, I would tell everyone, "I would love to write book!" If I were at a party, I would be thrilled if I met someone who was an author and I would bombard the poor soul with questions. A few years ago, my husband rolled his eyes at me and said, "Well, if you plan to write a book, you'd better get started!" So, I did!

Did the inspiration to write come to you suddenly, or had you been thinking about it some time?
I have always felt the drive to write creatively and looked for opportunities through the years to write, such as church newsletters or corporate communications. When I decided to act on the idea to write a book, my ideas fell into place.

How did you tell your story? In other words, did you use an outline, or just write your story from start to finish?
At first, I wrote an outline. Chapter 1 will be about this problem and Chapter 2 will be about that character and I should plop something dramatic in Chapter 3. At that point, I realized my novel when completed would be about 10 pages long. I changed course and just wrote!

What was the most difficult part of writing your book?
Everything was a pleasure! With my first book, I did have to learn how to keep track of characters’ names, and also scenes as I realized on my first edit of my book that I had written two identical chapters by accident! My editor found many areas I needed to fix, but I enjoyed learning how to be a better writer.

What was the most enjoyable aspect of writing your book?
I would write at least 1,000 words every morning and I learned that it was best for me to take a walk after my writing session. As I walked my thoughts began to percolate and most days, I hurried back to my desk with new ideas - better dialogue, or a better way to end a chapter.

Did you experience any personal transformation after the book was published?
No. Other people have asked me this, but I really can't say I was transformed. I have learned a great deal about writing, editing, marketing, promotion, social media but I am still the same old gal.

Are you currently working on another book? How do you spend your time now-days?
I am not writing another book at this time. So what am I doing? I am trying all kinds of wonderful things - anything that opens up to me. I have done a podcast and may do more. I am writing books reviews for Readers Review Room and assisting this group with special projects. I also do book reviews upon request. I am exerting a blast of creative energy on my blog and social media and I am engaging everyday with other creatives online, through my comments, interviews, and guest posts. I want to do some kind of video activity - either a video review series, author interviews, something neat! I am also creating a presentation with goal of speaking at conferences. I want to use this year to try as much as I can. If anyone has something cool they'd like to try - let me know!

I do plan to write another book, and I am happily pondering what to write next. I believe that my book series, The Golden Age of Charli, may be ending, after three books. But maybe not! Should I start a new series, write a novella, or really go for my dream to write THE GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL!

Have you received any accolades for your books?
I'm a Rising Star Author with iUniverse - I have been selected for inclusion in the iUniverse Rising Star program, which recognizes excellence in writing and overall potential.

Do you have any author appearances coming up and/or are you doing any books giveaways or contests?
Nothing scheduled, but I do plan to do some Goodreads and Amazon giveaways. I am always willing to give autographed copies to charity functions or author promotions. From time to time I launch a contest with another writer.

We have one movie trailer for your books. Do you have other trailers?
No because I love and adore my book trailer and it captures the essence of all three books in the series. I still get teary-eyed when I watch it - so evocative and lovely.

What’s something that gets in the way of your creativity?

What strategies do you use to deal with criticism?
At this point in my life, not much bothers me. I aim to be open and welcoming, not defensive, about comments about my writing. But I am not so keen on comments about how my derrière looks in my new pants!

Do you have a favorite quote?
"How you do anything is how you do everything." Many inspirational speakers use this quote; I don't know who first said it. I do have a favorite quote by Calvin Coolidge, "Press On! Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence."

What is your favorite show on TV?
The Great British Baking Show

Favorite movie?
Hacksaw Ridge

Favorite book?
As I young teenager, I loved Gone with the Wind. Now, I have had good times with Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series.

Who would you want to meet if you could? Dead or alive.
I hope to meet many of my friends that I only know online. I would enjoy having a drink or dinner with them!

Is there a talent you wish you had?
I would like to know how to use power tool and I would like to learn how to build furniture.

What’s something about you that would surprise us?
I want to get a tattoo, but I am afraid it will hurt.

Describe yourself in 3 words!
Positive, friendly, dreamy