Interview with Jane Zimmermann

What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, the Harry Potter Series, the Dune books, The Fountainhead, and a book called In The Eye of the Storm.

All of the authors of these books create characters who face challenges with which we can all identify. Their stories represent the struggle between right and wrong, and good and evil; and perhaps most importantly, they show us that nobody is all good or all bad, and that heroes come in all shapes and sizes.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read a wide variety of books, including books by other young adult authors. I love Amanda Hocking. I just read a great book by Karen Cushman. I read cooking magazines and investment reports, too. Before I traveled to Bhutan last year, I read several books on the history and culture of the country. I plan on taking my niece to Ireland in the Spring of 2016, so I will probably read a lot about that country before we go.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle on my ipad. The screen is big enough for me to see, and the device is small enough to carry anywhere. It also has a long battery life.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Free downloads have worked very well for me because I find that people often buy my other books after they have downloaded one for free. Attending The Virginia Festival of the Book has also been very effective, and I get to meet many other authors in addition to meeting readers.
Describe your desk
My desk is an antique dining room table that I painted. It has large green leaves on the surface, and a funky striped, dotted edge. What is on my desk? A printer, two lamps, my laptop, a basket of tech stuff, a basket of writing utensils and a stack of things to do in paper form. It is messy right now. Maybe I will clean it up and take a picture of it to show you.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up mostly in upstate New York, in a small town called Skaneateles. My parents and teachers always stressed the importance of education and hard work, and that has stayed with me. I have a BA in Literature and an MBA, which both help me understand the world a little bit. The work ethic encouraged by my parents helps with the discipline of writing. It is work, and I need to work every day.
When did you first start writing?
I think I must have started writing soon after I learned how to read. I have a poem in purple crayon pinned to my bulletin that I must have written when I was about six. My mother found it a few months ago and gave it to me. Here it is:
Nap, Nap, Nap,
Put on your cap.
Go take a walk,
Go have some fun,
And laugh and run.
Don't sit down,
Run all around.
Don't you rest,
Do your best.
Don't have any tea,
Don't sit down with me.
Get up!

I find this hysterical, especially since I am still a very active person.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I want to write about some of the countries I have visited, so my next book will be about Bhutan. I will definitely include a mystery with my description of the Himalayas and the magical Bhutanese people and culture. This will be part of a series - book two will take place in Ireland because I will be visiting there next Spring, and book three will take place in Germany because I know and love the country so well. All three books will be young adult mysteries.

After that, I think I will write a sequel to the Talking books. This series will take place in beautiful Central Virginia where I live. Perhaps a mystery on a horse farm......
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I love creating characters and making up stories. Even though the writing is actually a lot of work, it is very rewarding. I chose the indie path because today's technology makes it possible, and platforms like Smashwords make it simple.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords allows me to reach an incredibly large reading audience with very little effort, so that I have more time for my craft.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The great joy of writing comes from my readers. Every time I reach one young person and let them know that they are not alone, that all of us face similar challenges to theirs, I am happy. Through my writing, I try to help the reader discover the wonderful qualities about herself or himself, and to understand the gray area in the struggle between right and wrong.
Published 2015-04-13.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Talking Leaves
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 64,980. Language: English. Published: July 25, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Mystery & Detective, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth
Something is happening in Dunnellon and these teens are about to discover what it is. Erin and Dakota Harris are coping with the recent loss of their mother when they meet Audrey Conroy, a sophisticated 14 year-old reluctantly uprooted from her urban world to this quaint country town. Talking Leaves is a story about friendship, history, mystery and more…
Talking Italian
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 51,970. Language: English. Published: July 25, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Family
Best friends Erin and Audrey are thrilled when they travel with Audrey’s parents on a business trip to Italy, but the real excitement starts when they return to the States and discover that their Italian adventure is not yet over. Chance meetings and odd coincidences entangle the teenagers in a mystery that spans continents and centuries. History, mystery, friendship & more...
Talking Waters
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 57,910. Language: English. Published: April 12, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Mystery & Detective, Fiction » Adventure » General
Erin Audrey and Dakota find themselves unraveling a mystery that spans hundreds of years. Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, boys on skateboards, snooty wealthy twins and an amazing archaeological discovery all play a role in our heroes’ summer adventure. Talking Waters is a story about history, mystery, friendship & more...