Interview with Jen Selinsky

Published 2016-07-13.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I am very glad to be a member of Smashwords because not only have I been able to publish and distribute my books via the platform, but I've also become aware of so many other great authors. I look forward to exploring the vast amount of works which one can access through Smashwords.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I feel that writing gives my life extra purpose. Several times, over the years, I have tried to quit--all to no avail. Now I have written and published over 150 books! I also like the fact that I have met and befriended many authors over the years. I feel I now have a strong community of friends with whom I can share my work.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans mean a great deal to me! Without them, I would be nowhere. They are the ones who encourage me, even after I battle with bouts of self doubt every now and then. My family has also been very supportive over the years. Many of my fans are other writers, and without this common bond, who knows if I even would have met any of them? My fans and friends are comprised of a great and diverse group of people. I wish each and every one of them true happiness and success!
What are you working on next?
I have so many projects on which I am currently working. It seems like if I am breathing, I am writing. Even my dreams inspire me, as I have published a book on the adventures of my unconscious mind. Two of my projects which I hope to have finished soon are my three cookbooks and my adult coloring book. I wish to try something different from my usual poetry, novels, and short stories. I hope these ventures are successful!
Who are your favorite authors?
Wow! There are too many to list. I fear I may run out of space before I run out of names. I will attempt, however, to list at least a crucial few: Mark Twain, Victor Hugo, Janet Evanovich, Ellen Hopkins, Dr. Seuss, Sylvia Plath, Peter Gabriel, Jim Morrison, Simon LeBon, Jim Davis, Nick Rhodes, Emily Dickinson, Anne Sexton, Dana Simpson, Bryan Lee O'Malley, Regina Puckett, Bert Murray, Roberta Goodman. Of course, those are only the first few who came to mind...
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I like to walk and get a little bit of exercise, especially when it's nice outside. I also like to read, but I've been so busy working on my books lately that I haven't done much of that. I hope to start getting back into the works of some of my favorite authors soon.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
One of the first stories which I wrote, including the use of my original characters, was something called "The Green Flame." It was a two to three-page story. Sadly, I no longer have it in my possession, nor do I remember much about the plot, since I was only twelve when I wrote it.
What is your writing process?
I usually start with the first thought which comes into my head. I am what some would call a by the "seat of my pants" writer. Every once in a while, I will get an outline down on paper, or start one in my head, but my works seem to come together just fine from my initial thought(s).
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I do not remember the first book I ever read entirely by myself, but I know it was a Dr. Seuss title. I was seven at the time, and I did not develop an interest in reading until I was fourteen. Since then, I have read many books, but I do find that I can burn myself out if I try to read or write too much in a small amount of time.
How do you approach cover design?
My husband and I create all my cover art from our own, original works. I feel that these designs give my books more of a personal touch. I like the cover art to match the theme of the books as well.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I don't know if I can list only five books, but I shall attempt to give it a try: "Les Miserables" by Victor Hugo because is has all the elements of a great classic tale. "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain because he is one of my favorite authors. "Mortality" by Joe Birsa because it is a complex story full of many twists and turns. "Hyberbole and a Half" by Allie Brosch because it makes me think and smile at the same time. Pretty much anything by Keri Smith.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle, but there are so many great means of accessing ebooks today.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I do most of my marketing on my Facebook and Twitter accounts. It helps to be friends with other writers so that we can share and help market each others' work. It would also do me good to create a website, start a consistent blog, and find other social media platforms on which to promote my work and that of other writers.
Describe your desk
My desk is actually the bed. I do most of my writing on my laptop. That was different five years ago when I still had to get on my old desktop in order to work on my books. I feel free and have much more mobility now that I can work in our bedroom.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in western Pennsylvania, and some local writers I met in high school and college influenced my writing when I was younger. Two authors whom I met when I was in high school include Jan Beatty and Samuel Hazo. Once I started school at Clarion University, I met even more writers through the visiting authors series. Some of the authors were from Pennsylvania, so it was nice to get in touch with them and explore their work.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I have been working on several short stories and books, so there is no way possible I could describe just one with such limited time! Still, I can't wait to see what else my mind can think of once I am finished with my current projects!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I became motivated to become an indie author once I found out that there was a means to publish my books. I discovered sites such a Lulu, Amazon, and Smashwords and became intrigued by the fact that I had many platforms available on which to publish my material!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Of course, God's plan for my life is most important, even though my selfish brain may not realize its great significance. The dream of one day being able to make a living from my writing inspires me to get out of bed each day. I would love to rise and go to sleep not having to think about my income or continuing to work somewhere where I don't want to be.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I go online and do a lot of surfing for ebooks. I also have many author friends who give me their recommendations, not to mention going back to the stories of authors I have been reading for years. It's always a great thrill when I find a book which I am after.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read too many things to list here, as I like to devour most any book which happens to come into my path. What might be an easier question for me to answer is "What don't you read for pleasure?"
When did you first start writing?
I have been writing ever since I learned how to read, but most of the things I had penned were for school assignments. I would say that I was twelve years old when I started writing for pleasure, just two or three years when I became really interested in reading.
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Latest books by This Author

Written in the Heat
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 9,400. Language: English. Published: July 20, 2018. Categories: Essay » Literature, Poetry » American poetry » General
Written in the Heat contains an eclectic mix of works which Jen arranged to give the reader a taste of many kinds of her writing.
Playing with the Meaning
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 11,660. Language: English. Published: June 8, 2018. Categories: Poetry » American poetry » General
Playing with the Meaning contains lots of short works, including: essays, poems, and musings.
Dazzling Designs
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 1,450. Language: English. Published: April 18, 2018. Categories: Nonfiction » Art, Architecture, Photography » Crafts - General
Dazzling Designs contains original drawings and poems by Jen. This book is for people who like to color in larger pictures.
Animus Mente
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,510. Language: English. Published: April 12, 2018. Categories: Poetry » American poetry » General
Animus Mente is a collaboration between Chris LoBue and Jen Selinsky. The work was originally slated to be published by Orpheus Press in 1998 until the deal fell through. Through this publication, readers can now have access to the entire manuscript.
My Perspective
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 30,170. Language: English. Published: March 11, 2018. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs
"My Perspective" is a book inspired by writing prompts. Some of the entires contain Jen's innermost thoughts.
Colorful Expressions
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,560. Language: English. Published: January 17, 2018. Categories: Poetry » American poetry » General
"Colorful Expressions" contains thirty-four poems and fifteen coloring images.
A Fresh Start
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 45,100. Language: English. Published: January 17, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Mashups
"A Fresh Start" contains short stories which Jen wrote for both amusement and school assignments. Very little had been changed to keep with the authenticity of the original works.
The Other Side of My Mind
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 13,850. Language: English. Published: January 17, 2018. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs
"The Other Side of My Mind" is a transcription of some of Jen's dreams. Though words alone cannot do them justice, Jen thought these dreams were worthy of sharing with rest of the world.
Pieces of My Life
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 27,970. Language: English. Published: January 16, 2018. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs
"Pieces of My Life" contains essays about some of Jen's profound life experiences. Supplental materials contains previously unpublished pieces from Jen's private files.
Solid Mesh
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 14,320. Language: English. Published: January 16, 2018. Categories: Poetry » American poetry » General
"Solid Mesh" contains poems, short stories, school papers, and jokes. The book is a companion piece to "Self Expressions."
View their profile to see all of their books