As students, we live our lives like any normal child. We get up in the mornings, we get ready, and we seize the day at school; however, we often don’t take the time to acknowledge that not all of us are normal, everyday citizens. In fact, we often don’t realize that Jane Green, a best-selling author lives among us in our very own Westport. Jane Green, born in 1968 is an English-born American author who has written twenty-one novels, including eighteen New York Times bestsellers, one cookbook, and various short stories. She has published in over 25 languages and has ten million books in print worldwide. Green is a passionate chef, decorator, and gardener, all on top of being world-renowned. As a resident of Westport, Connecticut she is a big contributor to the community. She was the keynote speaker for the National Charity League (NCL) tea, a charity where mothers and daughters come together to give back to the community, she runs a Facebook page known as Westport Front Porch, and she established The Remarkable Book Cycle, that can be found around town and provides free books to avid readers like herself. As an aspiring author myself, she took time out of her busy book tour to speak to me and share her inspiring words and knowledge with the Coleytown community. Below you will read a little bit about her background, how she has become the person she is today, and any insight she has for young authors.
What made you want to become an author? Were there any significant moments in your life that led you to choose this career?
Before Jane Green became an author she worked as a journalist writing women’s features for publications including The Daily Express, The Daily Mail, and Cosmopolitan magazine. One of her friends had written a book, which inspired her to follow with her own novel, as she was already a talented writer. She had recently read a book that was targeted toward a male audience, and this allowed her to see an opportunity to write a similar book that was directed toward females. She described this book as, “a fun and realistic book about a woman living in London.”
Did writing come naturally to you or was it a challenge? If it was a challenge, how did you overcome those challenges?
Mrs. Green states that she and all of her writer friends were huge readers as children. They were all children who were a bit unique and didn’t quite fit in, and books were an outlet for them where they could escape. At times, she does experience writer’s block, but she also says that she is very disciplined and won’t leave her desk until she puts words down on paper. When she is truly stuck she feels as if she needs to try something new.
Where does your inspiration for writing come from?
When talking about where she gets her inspiration from, Mrs. Green says it all comes from her real-life; however, she says that the trick is living enough life to write about. This simple quote is a powerful reminder that we should live life to its fullest and take advantage of each day because we only have one life so we might as well make it so we have stories to tell someday.
Do you have a specific message that you are trying to convey in your writing, or is each book unique?
Looking back on her writing, Mrs. Green says that each of her books is unique in its own way, but she also sees a common theme throughout them. Each of her books focuses on family, but not necessarily family by blood but family by choice. They all really show the importance of gathering friends as family. This common theme is something that is so important for young readers to read about because being a child is one of those times in your life where your friends are truly your family, and they are such important factors in your life.
What author or books do you recommend for a middle schooler/what is your advice for a middle schooler who aspires to be an author?
Jane laughs when asked this question because she can barely recall what her children read as middle schoolers. She couldn’t provide a specific author or book that she recommended, but she does share that it’s not about what you are reading, but it’s about just reading. When she speaks about how she has gotten to the place she is in today she really emphasizes what made her who she is just reading and enjoying it. Reading builds our vocabulary and storytelling skills, which is why it is so critical. There is no magic book out there that we must read, it is just about picking up a book and reading.
It was such an honor to have talked to Mrs. Green, as I am an aspiring author myself and her wise words were so inspiring to me and gave me such knowledge and insight. As middle schoolers, school can present us with many challenges that can discourage us and make us feel unworthy; however, speaking to Mrs. Green is what reminds us why we wake up and go to school every day. She shows us why education is so crucial because it allows us to grow up and pursue our dreams just like she did. I would also like to wish Mrs. Green good luck on her book tour and tell her how much I appreciated my time with her.