Jennifer Lane is a children's author and magazine writer who has written for over one hundred publications. She lives in Manchester where she specialises in writing about wildlife and conservation issues for a young audience.
Q&A with Jennifer Lane
What inspired you to write for reluctant readers?
I'm a firm believer that reading helps you understand the world in a much clearer way. By giving reluctant readers fun, engaging and action-packed stories, authors work to give children - whether they love reading or find it difficult - a way to explore situations they would never otherwise have come across.
What challenges do struggling readers face when they open a book?
I think many books are written with characters whom the author can relate to, but others may find difficult to have common ground with; if an author loves to read they're much more likely to include a protagonist who loves it as much as they do. When speaking to readers who struggle with concentration and reading it's important to portray believable characters who really speak to their personal experiences.
What is your favourite type of character to create?
I love creating a character who needs to go on a journey to discover who they are! There's nothing more satisfying than taking a lost character and giving them a happy ending.
What features and methods do you use to ensure that your books have that High-Interest appeal that really engages young readers?
I always do a lot of research in bookshops and libraries to see what the current trends are. I look at what's popular at the moment and see how I can give current themes a bit of a twist!
What difference do books like these make to children who are in need of literacy support?
In my experience, these books are a gateway to longer books - even if children aren't receiving support with their reading, Badger Learning titles make kids develop a love of fun, action-packed stories and a hunger to read more widely.
Can you give us any teasers of what to expect in your upcoming YA Read title, Break?
Explosions, secrets and roaring motorbikes (nope, I'm not even joking!).
What are the major themes of your work?
I like to write about issues surrounding mental health as I think this is a really important aspect of everyday life that people need to learn about and understand at a young age. If young people know they're not alone in the way they feel it makes things a little bit easier to bear.
What controls do you place on the vocabulary you use and how important is this?
I always try to think about what children hear in the playground every day and the way they speak to each other - I explain things in language that means something to them and that they can relate to.
What is your favourite children's book?
I'm a complete Harry Potter addict! So "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" is my all-time fave. But I also love anything by Jacqueline Wilson, especially "The Illustrated Mum" and "The Lottie Project": I must have read them dozens of times when I was growing up. I think Jacqueline Wilson really speaks to children and talks about complex societal issues in a way that is really easy for young people to digest.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers/authors?
Don't give up! You might write a couple of books before you break out of the slush pile, but try, try and try again!
Speak to our team today on 01553 816082 or if you would prefer us to call you back then please enter your details in the form below and a member of our team will call you back.