Episode 87: Multiple Paths of a Writing Career – Interview with Jen Calonita

by Gabriela Pereira
published in Podcast

Hey there Word Nerds!

I’m so glad you can join me for today’s interview with YA and middle grade author Jen Calonita. In this episode, she and I talk about writing what you know (and what you don’t know) and also how to make the shift from one writing niche to another. We dig into the various twists and turns of her writing career and discuss Charmed, the next installment of her Fairy Tale Reform School series and her new contemporary middle grade series,VIP. The first book, I’m With the Band, is out now.

In this episode Jen and I discuss:

  • How she landed an amazing job writing for magazines.
  • Making the career switch from the magazine world to writing fiction.
  • Why it’s so important to connect with other authors, and how to do it right.
  • Why she loves writing series, and how series work differently for middle grade books versus YA.
  • How to keep your stories fresh.

Plus, Jen Calonita’s  #1 tip for writers.

About Jen Calonita

It’s no secret how Jen knows the inside scoop on Hollywood. As a former entertainment editor at a teen magazine, she started her career chronicling backstage life at Justin Timberlake concerts and interviewing Zac Efron on film sets. This work inspired her first series, Secrets of My Hollywood Life which has been published in 9 countries.

Jen tackles worlds she finds familiar, from summer camp stories like Sleepaway Girls and Summer State of Mind (she was a camp counselor as a teen), to reality TV (which she also covered in magazines) in Reality Check. But it wasn’t until she wrote Belles (about two polar opposite girls who share one life-altering secret) that she entered a world different from her own. It was so much fun creating a new world that Jen jumped into the fairytale world and wrote middle grade novel, Flunked.

To find out more aboutJen Calonita follow her on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, GoodReads, Pinterest, and Facebook, or visit her website: jencalonitaonline.com.


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Until next week, keep writing and keep being awesome.


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