Jenny Valentine - Author Picture

Jenny Valentine - Author

Jenny Valentine moved house every two years when she was growing up. She has just moved house again, probably not for the last time. She worked in a wholefood shop in Primrose Hill for fifteen years where she met many extraordinary people and sold more organic loaves than there are words in her first novel. She has also worked as a teaching assistant and a jewellery maker. She studied English Literature at Goldsmiths College, which almost put her off reading but not quite. Jenny is married to a singer/songwriter and has two children. 'Finding Violet Park' is her first novel.

I owe the showbiz name to my husband!

This is your first book, have you always wanted to be a writer girl and how did you make it happen?
My mum bought me a notebook when I was about nine that looked like a novel on the outside. I had to put the title and the author on the front and then fill it with a story. I knew then. I’m not sure exactly how I made it happen - I put the work in I guess.

What was your favourite book as a teen girl?
Such a hard question! I read a lot and I always wish I’d made lists of all the books I loved. One that stands out would be The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath.

For people who haven’t read your book yet - Finding Violet Park, what’s it all about?
It’s about a boy who finds an old lady’s ashes in a mini cab office and decides to find out who she was. He learns a lot of other things while he’s doing it.

Lucas is a great narrator, what made you write from a boy’s perspective?
No idea! He just jumped out, fully formed, in about the second sentence. I’m not sure I had that much choice in the matter.

Secrets are a big part of the book,what’s your biggest secret?
Good try!

If the book had a soundtrack, what would be on it?
Well, Lucas listens to all his Dad’s old records so there’d be some early David Bowie, some Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Ella Fitzgerald, maybe Rolling Stones. Then there’d have to be some piano pieces for Violet to play, Rachmaninov gets played at Lucas’s granny’s.Then Lucas’s own choices might be Sufjan Stevens, Will Oldham, and a song from my husband Alex Valentine’s record TARDIS HEART. It’s called SORROW and as soon as I heard it I said I’d want it in a soundtrack if I was ever lucky enough to get one.

Apart from your own, what’s your favourite book for teens?
Holes by Louis Sachar. I love that book. I think it’s perfect.

What’s the best thing about being a writer?
Finding the exact word you’ve been searching for.

Do you have a writing routine, Jenny? Tell us about it…
Well it’s very un-HELLO! I drink coffee, I have a walk by the river with our dog, I sit down and I re-read some of what I did the day before. Then I get going. Sometimes I look up and three hours have gone by, sometimes it’s like getting blood out of a stone. I think it helps to have no routine at all, just to go with it, see how it’s working.

What’s next in the world of JV?
I’m working on my next book. It should be out next year. I can’t tell you what it’s called yet because I don’t know. I’m very indecisive.

The colour pink. Discuss.
Let’s see… bubblegum, fake fur, rose petals, cold noses, underwear, marshmallows, candy floss, lip gloss…. how am I doing?!

Featured Books, with extracts, by Jenny Valentine

Reader ReviewedFire Colour One
Jenny Valentine
Longlisted for the UKLA 2017 Book Award and Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2016. Julia Eccleshare's Pick of the Year 2015 Guardian Prize winning author Jenny Valentine's long-awaited new novel is clever, beautifully written, full of ideas. It tells...
Lovereading Price: £5.59 - Saving £1.40 (20%) Featured in: YA readers | 13+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 01/07/2015
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Iggy and Me
Jenny Valentine
Funny and touching and with a brilliant understanding of the delicate balance within families, this captures the daily lives of two absolutely contemporary little sisters. Narrated by Flo, a very tolerant older sister, each of the eight stories relates a...
Lovereading Price: £3.99 - Saving £1.00 (20%) Featured in: 7+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 03/09/2009
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The Ant Colony
Jenny Valentine
Shortlisted for the prestigious Teenage Book of the Year Award 2009. An irresistible new novel from Jenny Valentine, winner of the Guardian Children's Book Prize with Finding Violet Park. Written with a wonderful lightness of touch,...
Lovereading Price: £4.79 - Saving £1.20 (20%) Featured in: 13+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 05/03/2009
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Broken Soup
Jenny Valentine
Shortlisted for the 2008 Costa Children's Book Award. Rowan is sure that she didn't drop the negative that a boy presses into her hands but when her friend Bee offers to print it, Rowan's curiosity causes her to accept. Who...
Lovereading Price: £4.79 - Saving £1.20 (20%) Featured in: 13+ readers | 11+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 07/01/2008
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Finding Violet Park
Jenny Valentine
Highly commended in Branford Boase 2008 Award. Told with a delightfully light touch, this thoughtful and introspective novel for teens tells how hearing the story of Violet Park, leads Lucas on a moving and thought provoking mission that helps him...
Lovereading Price: £5.59 - Saving £1.40 (20%) Featured in: 11+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 03/09/2007
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Author Info

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