Author Introduction: Jessie Jo Schnack

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Jessie Jo Smith, Author of Sherman and the Storm

Since my last author introduction post, I’ve become aware that author reviews by other authors are somewhat frowned upon in the industry. Technically these posts aren’t really reviews, but I wasn’t sure about whether I should continue doing them…however, I recently reconnected with another AHS alum who has published a children’s book and wanted to give her a shout-out here.Sherman

Sherman and the Storm is a story about a hamster with a fear of thunderstorms and how he learns to overcome this fear. The cover is really great…when I received this book, my girls wanted me to read it on the spot. I suspect that was largely because the image of Sherman immediately caught their attention. As for the story, the friendship between all of the animals eventually leads to Sherman being okay during the storm, and I think kids of all ages can easily connect to that idea.

Note: There is a religious aspect to the book, with part of Sherman’s bravery stemming from having faith.

Check out my Q&A with Jessie Jo below:

Jessie Jo Schnack Q&A

Q: What was the inspiration for Sherman and the Storm?

A: The inspiration for Sherman’s story actually came from my corgi, Willow. She is so frightened of thunderstorms; it made me sympathize with the poor, helpless animals who just don’t understand what is going on out there!

Q: What was the most challenging thing you encountered when it came to publishing Sherman and the Storm?

A: Sherman and the Storm is the first book I’ve gotten published, so my biggest challenge was finding a publisher willing to take on a new author. It was a very tough process, but also so rewarding when you finally get that acceptance letter.

Q: What children’s author do you look up to? Why?

A: I’ve always loved Roald Dahl & A. A. Milne. They created fantastical worlds and lovable characters that are appreciated and cherished by all generations. Currently, I think Jane O’Connor of the Fancy Nancy series is delightful!

Q: What were your favorite children’s books growing up?

A: I was obsessed with R. L. Stine growing up! First Goosebumps then later Fear Street. I’m still a sucker for a good thriller. I also loved the Golden Books.

But… My favorite children’s book of all-time is Pyewacket by Rosemary Weir. It’s a sweet and silly tale of a band of cats who take over the neighborhood.

Q: What do you love most about writing?

A: To me writing is cathartic. It’s an outlet for expression and a way to exercise the right side of my brain. I started writing short stories, poems, and plays in elementary school and never stopped. It’s a part of who I am and it’s necessary for my sanity! I love that there are no limits with pen and paper.

 

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