JENNIFER RAUDENBUSH: Will Write for Cookies Plus Giveaway


Plate of Cookies





Today’s guest has been writing for cookies for quite a few years! I met her via this blog back in 2017 and was honored to critique a few of her manuscripts and was thrilled when her 2020 #50PreciousWords entry garnered spot #5…there were almost 400 submissions that year and so you know that story was incredibly good! And now she’s back, not as a blog follower and not as a contest participant…but as a Will Write for Cookies author with her debut picture book, IN THE PALM OF MY HAND, launching March 14!

Jennifer Raudenbush feels most alive when she’s creating stories, especially picture books, poetry, and middle grade novels. Jen lives with her husband and teenage son in eastern Pennsylvania, where its natural beauty provides endless inspiration. She has been published in Cricket children’s magazine, the 10.10 Poetry Anthology and Two Truths and a Fib Poetry Anthology. She is represented by Natascha Morris at The Tobias Literary Agency.
IN THE PALM OF MY HAND, illustrated by Isabella Conti, Running Press Kids (Hachette), is Jen’s first published picture book. Preorder HERE.
Connect with Jen through her Linktree, HERE.

ME: Welcome, Jennifer. Thanks so much for stopping by to chat. And thank you for providing a giveaway of a copy of your upcoming book, IN THE PALM OF MY HAND, illustrated by Isabella Conti and published by Running Kids Press. I know everyone is excited to learn about your writing journey, so let’s begin.

ME: Who were your favorite authors when you were a child?

JENNIFER: Reading was my favorite hobby as a child. It still is, actually. Whenever my family went shopping, I skipped clothes and begged for new books! Some of my favorite authors were:

Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, Madeleine L’Engle, Frances Hodgson Burnett, and the many authors who comprised the Carolyn Keene pen name for the Nancy Drew mysteries series.

ME: What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started writing?

JENNIFER: Craft takes a long time to learn and develop, but if I’m persistent, I’ll get there. Also, write what speaks to my heart.

ME: Where do you like to write? inside, outside, special room, laptop, pen and paper? 

JENNIFER: I do the bulk of my writing in my office/laundry room/mud room. It’s not ideal, but I make it work. I almost always brainstorm and write first drafts in a notebook using a pencil. I like the hands-on feel of the paper and pencil, and the ability to erase. It makes it feel like play, and it’s crucial for me to think of drafting as play. Thinking of a draft as work kills my creativity.

My absolute favorite time to write is while it’s snowing. I’ll move to my great room, which has enormous windows that face the forest, and curl up on the couch to be inspired. In fact, I’ll rearrange my entire schedule to write while it snows!

In some sense, my woodsy Pennsylvania backyard is also where I like to write. It’s where I find inspiration, brainstorm ideas, and mull over tricky lines or plot points. Mazy the Westie pup, my best writing buddy, and I take nature walks at least twice a day.

ME: When do you write– early morning, late in the day, middle of the night, on schedule, as the muse strikes? 

JENNIFER: I’ve always been a morning person. My standing joke is my brain turns into a pumpkin at 8:00 PM. It’s not a surprise I do my best thinking, creating, and writing in the morning. However, if I sit at my computer in the afternoon or, occasionally, in the evening, I can still write. My trick is twofold: 1) Turning on the fairy lights behind my computer—this switches on my writing brain 2) Discipline.

ME: Why do you write for children?

JENNIFER: I think childhood is a special time. In one of my former careers, I was a speech-language pathologist, specializing in pediatrics, so I’ve always loved children. Also, books helped me escape some difficult times in childhood. Reading set me up for a lifetime of loving words, language, and stories. I want my books to foster those same things in other kids.

ME: If you have any thoughts or advice for aspiring writers, please share.

JENNIFER: My biggest piece of advice is not to query too early. Almost all of us fall into the trap of believing our writing is ready to submit before it’s really ready to submit. Querying is a time-suck, wasting precious time and energy that can be spent writing. And, if we query prematurely, it doesn’t help our chances with agents.

WOW! That is very sage advice, Jennifer. Thank you so much for sharing it…and for sharing the yummy chocolate chip cookie recipe…I wonder how many of us will be trying this one out this weekend?

JENNIFER: I’m including a scan of an amazing chocolate chip cookie recipe from a family cookbook I created. I’ve somewhat tweaked the recipe from my mother-in-law, Jennie Raudenbush. Everyone loves these cookies!

Woo hoo! I love that this is a family recipe! How special!
And, dear friends, if you leave a comment, you might be the lucky winner of a copy of IN THE PALM OF MY HAND by Jennifer Raudenbush, illustrated by Isabella Conti and published by Running Kids Press, launching March 14rh. Here’s a little bit about the book to pique your curiosity:
“On an ambling walk, a child discovers they hold the promise of larger worlds—forests and meadows—in the palm of their hand. An acorn becomes a tree within a woodland wonderland. A grain of sand becomes a sandcastle in a kingdom of imagination. By exploring nature’s tiniest details, they learn even small things, including them, contain infinite potential.”
And if you don’t want to wait until the end of next month which is probably when I’ll be announcing the winner, you can PRE-ORDER a copy. The book launches March 14th!

I hope you all have a beautiful weekend. We are counting down the days to #50PreciousWords…are you ready?

58 thoughts on “JENNIFER RAUDENBUSH: Will Write for Cookies Plus Giveaway

  1. Thanks for sharing and for the cookie recipe. I am new to writing PB and your comment about being persistent, craft takes a long time to learn and develop, resonated with me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations, Jennifer!! Your book sounds exquisite, imaginative, and beautiful. I can’t wait to read it!! And to try your chocolate chip cookies recipe! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you Jennifer and Vivian for this delightful interview. I cannot wait to read your book (and Isabella Conti’s) book- it sounds so wonderful. And lol you must have a large office/laundry/mud room!
    All my best and huge congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

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