Welcome to the Winner’s Circle where we celebrate the success of our ICL students. Today we are celebrating published author Jennifer Madaras!
What are the names of your books? Who is the publisher?
My book is titled Rock Bottom Bomoseen and it is published by Biblio Publishing.
Tell us a bit about your path to publishing, from idea to submission to published book.
It’s a very long, crooked road that took me through three manuscripts. The idea popped into my head back in 2000 while I was randomly writing on Lake Bomoseen. It started with a “what if…,” and molded into what it is today. Of course, writing it was the easy part. It was the editing, modifying, and querying that was the most intense. Like other writers, it was rejected for the better part of four years. Once Biblio agreed to take me on in late 2017, I still needed to further edit the manuscript, and find an artist to design and create the cover. Thank God my cousin was up for the challenge.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing off and on since I was 10 years old. Depending on my schedule at the time, some years were more intense than others.
What’s your favorite genre to write and why?
Children’s literature because I can get away with writing about talking animals.
What ICL courses have your taken?
The course I took was “Writing for Children and Teenagers.” I started in late 1999 and wrapped up in mid-2003.
How has taking our course helped your writing and/or career?
It has kept me disciplined in every aspect of my career- from writing a simple email, to writing my next book. For my day career, I’m a technical trainer and software installer, which does involve a good amount of writing. I just take those techniques from my writing course and apply them to my daily duties.
Have any of your class assignments been published? If so, where and when?
Yes. One assignment titled “The Nyuszi (Pronounced new-SEE) Is Coming” will be published, again by Biblio, in the future. That was my last assignment with the fabulous Linda George as my instructor. I’ll give you a hint- it involves talking animals.
Do you have a favorite writing tip you’d like to share?
Absolutely. The most important thing you can do is to make sure you’re writing something every single day. Whether it be a new scene for a book, a poem, or even just a simple idea. It’s pertinent to keep those writing muscles strong, as that is what keeps the ideas flowing.
If you could travel back in time and give yourself one piece of writing advice, how far back would you go, and what would you tell yourself?
I would go back to the summer of 1989 and tell myself to not tear up that first children’s manuscript- “The Cat And The Blue Balloon.” That story was so cute! I should’ve kept it, and edited it for submission.
Please tell us the best or most valuable thing you learned from your experience with ICL.
The most valuable thing I learned was how to communicate creatively in the best way possible. All of my assignments helped me write something interesting and look at my writing from so many perspectives. I also learned that editing is a never-ending task. In fact, I look at my novel and still see things I want to change!
If you could have one person from the past read your book, who would it be?
Abraham Lincoln, because I think he would find it entertaining.
Jennifer Madaras was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, but raised in a small city in Central Vermont. She currently lives in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and loves to spend time with her indoor and outdoor cats, travel, read, and of course, write. She is currently working on her next yet-to-be-titled book.