Today we get to chat with Jennifer Swanson who writes Children’s fiction and non fiction books.

Here’s what she had to say:

When did you decide to become an author and what impact has this had on your life?
I started writing when I was in kindergarten. I used to write and illustrate my own stories and present them to the class. Many years later, I started writing again and it’s been wonderful. I really enjoy the creative outlet it provides and it’s just plain fun to see kids get excited about reading – especially when it’s a book that you wrote.

That is the best feeling in the world!

Tell us about your latest work and what motivated you to write it:
When I’m not writing to a specific deadline, I like to write my own stuff. Right now I’m finishing up a MG novel. It’s contemporary, humorous about a girl who’s an inventor, well, she tries to be. It combines science and fun – two things I love.

Sounds interesting as an ex science teacher I am very keen to read that one!

What are your future aspirations as an author?
To keep writing and get some of my own fiction published. I’m working on finding just the right agent to help me with my career. I write so many different levels and genres, it’s not easy.

Not easy, but worth it in the long run.

Where do your ideas come from? What experiences or aspects of your life influence your writing?
I get ideas everywhere! I watch movies, I read books, I just walk around and some sentence or scene in real life will hit me and bam – I have another idea. My problem isn’t getting ideas, it’s finding the time to write them all.

Never enough time.

What do you do to improve yourself and a writer?
I try to keep up with Twitter and Facebook and all of the awesome writing contests that are going on continuously. I participate in several critique groups and also go to SCBWI conferences.

Where can people contact you?
You can find me at

What works best for you when writing? Meaning do you outline or write freely when you feel inspired to do so?
Well, I kind of do both. I usually do whatever grabs me at the moment. It depends on how the idea comes to me. Sometimes I see a scene very clearly in my head and I just have to write it down. I may not be sure where it’s going or how the rest of the story fits in, but that scene is important. Then, I may outline after that. But I don’t always stick to the outline. I have to write outlines for all of my nonfiction books first and I have the hardest time sticking to them, too – much to the dismay of my editors.  I guess I’m just a “go-with-the-flow” type writer.

It’s good to do a bit of both.

For other authors who may be struggling what advice can you on handling rejection?
Hang in there! This is a TOUGH business. Anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong. Yes, there are those few lucky ones who seem to glide through it, but the majority of us are in the trenches, writing away – sometimes for years – before anything comes of it. If I could give everyone one piece of advice, I’d say to be open to anything. I know people who are trying to break in, but they put limits on what they will do. Like – I won’t do work-for-hire, I don’t want to write that topic, I only want to write picture books, etc. Limiting yourself can make your path to publishing much harder.

Excellent advice – thanks for joining us here on Stitch Says!

Thanks so much for having me. Happy Writing to all!

Jen is also part of the Chapter Book Challenge group – you can check out more information here:

Lots more exciting interviews, reviews and of course Chewie’s news posts coming your way, keep reading, keep writing!