Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Thoughts About Non Elf Writing!
My Izzy Elves have twitter and blogging accounts telling the world what is going on in the Izzy Elf Section at the North Pole, but I thought it was high time to do a blog of my very own, i.e. a Non Elf Blog about all of my writing that does NOT feature folks with pointy ears.
As you might know (or not) I have been writing since 1980, and I have a number of published works out there. I started by writing a series of three fake Jane Austen books with a friend, Cathy Allen, which were published in 1983 (for details on all my writing and books, or to BUY any, please go to my Author's Guild website at www.dorotheajensen.com.)
I then wrote a historical novel for young readers about the American Revolution, called The Riddle of Penncroft Farm. This was published by Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich 25 years ago as of this August. All the awards etc. it won are also on the above website. It has never gone out of print, and has sold over 130,000 copies since its publication. (My husband counted them all on my royalty statements.) Harcourt is now owned by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, which released an e-book version of Riddle in February, 2014.
For the last several years, I have been working on and off on another historical novel for young readers. This story, A Buss from Lafayette, is set in the year 1825 in the small New Hampshire town where I live . Two years ago I was working very hard on this story, and had completed about 1/3 of it, when I received news that my brother was diagnosed with a brain tumor. I set down the manuscript on that day, May 29, 2012 in order to help take care of him. He passed away ten months later.
Because of my involvement with my brother, I was unable to continue with my historical novel. Writing historical fiction is a difficult task. Instead, I turned to writing short, rhyming stories about some of Santa's elves. For some reason, this is easy for me to do, and it was a great distraction from the tragedies of real life. Last year I found illustrators and published the first three of these Christmas story poems, entitled Tizzy, the Christmas Shelf Elf; Blizzy, the Worrywart Elf; and Dizzy, the Stowaway Elf. These are all available as e-books, paperbacks, and audiobooks. (You can find them, again, via my website www.dorotheajensen.com.) I am happy to say that the first two, about Tizzy and Blizzy, are winners of the prestigious Mom's Choice Award. I am also delighted to announce that last week, Dizzy was Story Monster Approved. All three have received terrific reviews. My favorite came from the father who wrote that his young son, who hates to read, picked up the Dizzy story and read it cover to cover. Hooray!
On May 15, 2014, I completed the fourth elf story, called Frizzy, the S.A.D. Elf. Illustrations are underway and I hope to release it by mid summer. I don't plan to write any more elf stories until 2015.
I have now picked up my Lafayette manuscript to work on again, after a hiatus of exactly two years. I am planning to finish it this summer. I'll keep you posted!