Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Jenna Greene Interview - Renew

Photo Content from Jenna Greene 

Jenna Greene is a teacher and author, whose hobbies include dancing, dragonboating, and napping. Her novel, Reborn, won the 2019 Moonbeam Children’s Book award. She is the co-host of “Quill and Ink: A Podcast for Booklovers” which is part of the Authors On The Air Network


Greatest thing you learned at school.
That’s a challenging question to answer. Being a teacher, I’m ‘at school’ all the time. And trust me, a teacher learns just as much in that role as when they are a student. I think the most recent thing I’ve learned is patience, as I now work with much younger grades. They are cute, eager to learn, and innocent, but they need a LOT of repetition.

When/how did you realize you had a creative dream or calling to fulfill?
I don’t know when I realized it, but my parents and teachers realized very early. I think my grade 2 teacher advised my mom and dad to buy me a journal because I had a talent for writing. On long road trips, while my poor sister suffered from motion sickness, I’d script and enact elaborate dramas with my Barbies and She-Ra dolls. I guess I’ve always been a storyteller!

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?
My child and husband are tied.

Can you tell us when you started RENEW how that came about?
The joy and ease with which I wrote REBORN (The Reborn Marks Series # 1) helped motivate me to pen the sequel. As well, while the first chapter of our main character’s journey was done, there was far more of the story to be told. (Don’t worry, Lexil will appear in a third and final book). There were more characters to be introduced and re-occurring ones to be flushed out in detail, as well.

Which of your characters do you feel has grown the most since book 1 and in what way have they changed?
Lexil, of course. She’s the main character for a reason. What she has learned about herself is just as impactful as what she has learned about the world. She has discovered she can impact the lives of others in both small and large ways, and that she has the power to shape her destiny – something we don’t see at the start of book 1.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating your characters?
Characters don’t obey. They can be reigned in for the first 1/3 of a book, while the author is developing them, but after… nope. They decide things on their own. They know themselves well enough that the writer can’t push them places they shouldn’t go.

Your Favorite Quotes/Scenes from RENEW
“Lexil’s dreams were busy. They flipped from words scrolled across her vision to geometric shapes appearing like cobblestones as she traipsed across a mundane field. Several times she awoke, which helped her recall each vision in vivid detail. Then she would flip on her side, cradle her hands under her head and close her eyes to find slumber again.

In the wee hours of the night, when her dream was filled with unfamiliar visages of those who resided in Anstetor, including Kita, Miller, and Morg, a call of the wind entered the scene. A black feature, striding forward on four legs and yet matching the height of those who stood tall on two, stalked to her. In her dream, she spied herself placing her hand on the creature’s head, and its thoughts entered her mind as if they could be handed over like a parcel.


When her eyes sprang open, she was not surprised to find a new presence near.

  • 1. I giggle every time Finn and Kaylen fight. I laugh a loud if there is a punch/ slap involved.
  • 2. Every one of my novels (so far) has a one-word title.
  • 3. I’ve been told my judicial system for this novel should be taught in schools.
  • 4. My husband’s standard writing advice for all my books is “More explosions!”
  • 5. I have a cat that watches me write, meowing when he dislikes a sentence.
  • 6. New characters are introduced in this book, who have a major impact on the series.
  • 7. Actions in the first book (Reborn) have consequences played out in this book.
  • 8. I’m neither a ‘plotter’ nor a ‘panser’ as a writer. I guess that means I’m a “planser.”
  • 9. Reading the ending, my niece nearly punched me in the arm.
  • 10. My favorite character to write is Jalaquin.
Meet the Characters
Lexil – age 16. A reborn. In just a few short weeks, she was sold into slavery, began to adapt to that loss of freedom, fled to the Wastelands, nearly lost her life, found out she may have connections to the past, saved a young girl’s life… and now is caught in the middle of a love triangle while she decides how she will live in this new place.

Finn – age 17. A double-born. After living most of his life as a lesser citizen, he meets Lexil and realizes how lucky he is to have any freedom. Persuaded to help Lexil rescue a young girl, he tests his skills and notions in the Wastelands while learning his understanding of the world is limited. Craving safety, he is reluctant to change the status quo, no matter how his actions could influence those he left behind.

Kaylen – age 17. A reborn. A native of the Unclaimed Cities, Kaylen has never known slavery or prejudice. His attraction to Lexil wars with the protective nature he has for his community. He distrusts Finn as much as he envies him.

Your Journey to Publication
My first publisher, for a contemporary YA novel, died suddenly of dengue fever. The stall to publish that book with the same company lasted two years. Six months after it printed, the company folded. I self-published it, but the industry program changed a year after I did so.

Thankfully, I continued writing and my YA fantasy IMAGINE was picked up by Champagne Books. REBORN was published by FOUNDATIONS BOOKS and more opportunities are coming my way.

Writing Behind the Scenes
I know a lot of writers need a length of time to get words on page, doing writing sprints, or typing thousands of words in one sitting.

That’s not me.

I day-dream a scene and then write a page or so, then head off to do something else. I write in short spans of time, with plenty of breaks.

What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning? 

Have you ever stood up for someone you hardly knew? 
I hope so.

When you looked in the mirror first thing this morning, what was the first thing you thought? 

What event in your life would make a good movie? 
None. But I’m pretty sure my bad luck and clumsiness would make a great sitcom.

What is one unique thing are you afraid of? 

What do you usually think about right before falling asleep? 
Nothing. I’m weird. I can fall asleep in less than five minutes. Once my head hits the pillow, I’m already drifting off.

Haunted by memories of those left behind, Lexil and Finn are forced to venture back into the Wastelands.

The Unclaimed Cities are not the idyllic setting Lexil, Finn, and Ceera thought it would be. This new land has challenges of its own – which they soon discover.
When Lexil and Finn return to the Wastelands, they are accompanied by Kaylen, someone they can’t decide is a friend or foe. As they retrace their path, they meet up with old allies and enemies, and encounter other treachery embedded in the Wastelands. The trio are forced to face their own assumptions, prejudices, and fears.

You can purchase Renew at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you JENNA GREENE for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card.


  1. When I was a child and we were homeless

  2. Having surgery! That really scared me. Thank you

  3. I don't scare easily but recently I had some surgery for a very dangerous condition. It all worked out but I was pretty scared at the time.

  4. I was at a plane crash so that was really scary.

  5. When I was a single mom with 3 small children.

  6. When I ended up in the hospital after getting hit in the head when I was a child.

  7. I love the cover. It sets the tone for the book.

  8. I have been scared when my children were sick.

  9. "What was a time in your life when you were really scared?" There have been several.

  10. I was scared during some recent medical tests!

  11. I was probably most scared when my 1 month old had pneumonia.