Welcome back to the Colorado is for Writers interview series! Every other Tuesday, I talk to different Colorado-based authors about their work and their connections to this beautiful state. Today, I am thrilled to welcome my friend and critique partner Jenny Goebel!
Jenny’s debut middle-grade novel, GRAVE IMAGES, will be published this month, and it’s a moving, somewhat creepy, and overall fantastically-written book. You can read an excerpt on Jenny’s website here. And if you are in the Denver area, you can hit the GRAVE IMAGES launch party at the Tattered Cover on Colfax on October 26!
Giveaway alert: Jenny has kindly offered to give a signed ARC (Advance Reading Copy) of GRAVE IMAGES to one lucky reader of this blog! See the end of the post for details.
Let’s get to know Jenny!
First things first: Colorado native or transplant? Native. And I have some of the deepest roots you could ever hope to find. My great, great grandparents settled here back before Colorado was even a state, and every generation since has wisely decided to stick around. What can say, Colorado is an awesome place to live!
Tell us a bit about your book(s), published and/or in progress! Scholastic is publishing my middle grade debut, GRAVE IMAGES, this November. It’s creepy, it’s soulful, and hopefully, all in all, horrific fun. The story is about a monument maker’s daughter whose family hires a drifter to etch headstone portraits. When she discovers that the drifter is etching portraits of people before they pass away, she has to decipher whether he’s merely predicting the deaths or, worse, actually causing them. I have worked as a monument engraver myself, but, rest assured, this book is in no way autobiographical.
My first picture book, Foreman Farley has a Backhoe, is being published by Grosset & Dunlap next summer (2014). Farley is a construction foreman who builds a schoolhouse using an assortment of heavy machinery. The text is written to the tune of Old MacDonald has a Farm, and Grosset & Dunlap has also contracted me to write two more picture books with release dates to be announced.
What’s the view like from your favorite writing space? Well, the view from my usual writing space is a long way from spectacular. I share a home office with my husband, and it faces the neighbor’s house—so, yeah, nothing but drab, gray siding.
However, I am very fortunate to be able to sneak away to write at my parents’ cabin in Grand County every now and then. That view is something else entirely! Aspen and pine trees, and wildflowers in the summer, and if I’m very lucky, an occasional deer passing by. When I don’t get lost staring out the window at the breathtaking scenery, I’m far more productive than I am at home—thanks in large part to one minute detail: no Internet connection.
What’s the best thing about being a writer in Colorado? Oh, it’s far too difficult to narrow it down to just one thing. The people, the history, the wildlife, the nature, the art and culture— there is no shortage of things that give life to creativity here. I’d say that Colorado is the opposite of suffocating for a writer. And one of the most nourishing facets has to be the writing community. So many great, supportive writers here in Colorado, and you, Tara, are one of the finest! (Interviewer’s note: Awww. Right back at ya, Jenny!) Thanks so much for asking me to do this interview, and thereby giving me the opportunity to brag about our wonderful state.
Thank you so much, Jenny! And congratulations on your debut!!
Giveaway: Would you like to win a signed ARC of GRAVE IMAGES? Just leave a comment that answers this question: What’s your favorite creepy book? The winner will be announced next Tuesday, October 15.
GRAVE IMAGES is available for preorder! Find it at
Indiebound * B&N * Amazon * BAM * Powell’s * Indigo
What a great interview! I had no idea Jenny’s Colorado roots ran so deep~ I think she’s officially the most native Coloradan I know (or, at least, who I have met briefly while wrangling my kiddos at the DiCamillo sigining…). Looking forward to her launch, where I will be buying a book, so no need to put me in the ARC drawing 🙂 My favorite creepy book? That would have to be Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. That book (and its subsequent follow-ups) freaked me out SO much as a kid. Probably would still freak me out today 🙂
Yipes, Jess, those do sound scary. I’m such a wimp about creepy books. I will take your word for it and not attempt to read any of these stories myself. 🙂
My favorite creepy book is defiantly DOLL BONES by holly black though CORALINE by Neil Gaiman is a close second.
Ooh, CORALINE is a great one–that would probably be my choice, too. And I keep hearing that DOLL BONES is fantastic…I’ll have to put it on my to-read list. Thanks for commenting, Brynn!
Congrats to Jenny on her debut MG and the upcoming PB(s). This book is on my tbr list and sounds like a perfect read for October.
My most favorite creepy MG is The Graveyard Book. It’s like the favorite out of all my favorites. 🙂
Concatulations! I don’t think I’ve ever read any scary books but my human used to live the goosebumps series! =^.^=
I love the idea of a book about a monument maker’s daughter! It’s different in the best possible way (and also provides the perfect backdrop for a creepy MG story). Can’t wait to check it out!
As for my favorite creepy story, I’m kind of a wimp, so I don’t read many of them, but Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories series also freaked me out when I was a kid. To this day, I can’t sleep in a room where I can see the moon peeking through the blinds. I’m certain a shadow is going to dart across it and drag me or my unsuspecting family member out into the dark…
Congratulations, Jenny! And great interview, Tara! Gaiman’s Coraline was pretty darn creepy. The scariest adult book I’ve ever read is House of Leaves. Thought about that one for years afterward!
Congratulations, Jenny, from a fellow native. The premise from your books sounds creepy and inviting. My most recent scary read for Middle Readers is The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, but I still fondly remember The House with a Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs.
Congrats to Jenny! I will be sure to buy one for my kids so they can tell all their friends about it! (*I’m with you, Tara. I can’t read the spooky!)
Ooh, this sounds really unique! I don’t read a ton of creepy, though I thought Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz was pretty creepy and I LOVED it! Great interview, Tara!
Great interview–and looks like a great cabin, too! I’m really looking forward to Jenny’s book!
Thanks everyone! So many great creepy reads listed here–some of my favorites and some new ones I’m adding to my TBR list. Just the other day I was trying to recall who wrote the The House with the Clock in its Walls. Thank you, gpattridge, for reminding me that it was John Bellairs. I loved that one, and also The Curse of the Blue Figurine.
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