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Jenny Valentine - Author

About the Author

Jenny Valentine is an award-winning writer for Young Adults. Her first novel Finding Violet Park won the Guardian prize in 2007 and since then she has written many books, including Broken Soup and Fire Colour One, as well as young fiction series Iggy and Me. Her work has been published in 19 countries. In 2017 she was the Hay Festival International Fellow, spending the year meeting and learning from teenagers all over the world. She works to empower and give a voice to young people. She lives all over the place and has two daughters.

Find Jenny on Instagram @jennyvalentinebook


A Q&A with Jenny about her first novel, Finding Violet Park


Cool name!

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 am 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 had 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 by Jenny Valentine

Other books by Jenny Valentine

Love From Joy

Love From Joy

Author: Jenny Valentine Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/08/2021

For readers aged 9+ comes the second book in a sparkling new series about family, friends and finding the joy in life! From the mind of Guardian award-winning author Jenny Valentine, this is the perfect series for fans of Jacqueline Wilson, Cath Howe and Lara Williamson! Hi! My name is Joy Applebloom and I'm ten years old. People say I am a 'glass half full' kind of person, which basically means I see the good in everything. And right now I'm going to need all my powers of positive thinking to fix a really tricky situation . . . My new best friend Benny just hasn't been himself lately. I have to find out what's going on and bring back Benny's special smile for good... A heart-warming and positive story about family, friends and the importance of kindness with gorgeous illustrations from Claire Lefevre. Praise for A Girl Called Joy: 'This book [. . .] is a delight for its warmth and humour, but principally because the writing is alive and stunning.' The Sunday Times Children's Book of the Week.

Iggy and Me on Holiday

Iggy and Me on Holiday

Author: Jenny Valentine Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/06/2021

More adventures of the irrepressible Iggy as told by her sister Flo, by Jenny Valentine, winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize for her debut novel, Finding Violet Park. This is the third outing for Jenny Valentine's endearing siblings, and this time they're full of plans for the school holidays. Will they go camping, or to the seaside? Or have Mum and Dad got something entirely different up their sleeves? Whatever they do, readers can be sure of plenty of laughter. Each chapter is a complete and satisfying story in its own right, perfect for newly-confident readers to enjoy alone, or for reading aloud at bedtime. Illustrated throughout in with black & white line drawings by Joe Berger, who was nominated for the Booktrust Early Years Award for his picture book, Bridget Fidget.

Fire Colour One

Fire Colour One

Author: Jenny Valentine Illustrator: 0 Format: eBook Release Date: 06/08/2015

A bold and brilliant novel about love, lies and redemption, from award-winning author, Jenny Valentine - one of the greatest YA voices of her generation.Iris's father, Ernest, is at the end of his life and she hasn't even met him. Her best friend, Thurston, is somewhere on the other side of the world. Everything she thought she knew is up in flames.Now her mother has declared war and means to get her hands on Ernest's priceless art collection. But Ernest has other ideas. There are things he wants Iris to know after he's gone. And the truth has more than one way of coming to light.

Jenny Valentine - 4 Book Award-winning Collection (Finding Violet Park, Broken Soup, The Ant Colony, The Double Life of Cassiel Roadnight)

Jenny Valentine - 4 Book Award-winning Collection (Finding Violet Park, Broken Soup, The Ant Colony, The Double Life of Cassiel Roadnight)

Author: Jenny Valentine Illustrator: 0 Format: eBook Release Date: 12/12/2013

Four extraordinary stories from Guardian award-winning author, Jenny Valentine."e;Valentine writes so beautifully and so convincingly that you're instantly swept into the mystery of people's lives."e; Amanda Craig, The TimesFinding Violet Park:When sixteen-year-old Lucas Swain rescues Violet Park's ashes from a mini-cab office, he sets out to discover who she was, and finally faces up to the question of his missing father...Broken Soup:When a stranger gives a dropped photo negative to Rowan, she's sure it's all a big mistake. Who is he? Why did he give it to her? The mystery only deepens when the photo is developed and the inconceivable appears.The Ant Colony:For Sam and Bohemia, number 33 Georgiana Street is a place to disappear. Like ants, the residents scurry about their business, no questions asked. But it doesn't take much to upset the balance. Dig deep enough and you'll find that everyone has something to hide...The Double Life of Cassiel Roadnight:An explosive mystery and the story of a boy who assumes the identity of a missing teenager and in-so-doing unearths a series of shattering family secrets - and the truth about who he really is.

Iggy and Me and the New Baby

Iggy and Me and the New Baby

Author: Jenny Valentine Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/06/2012

More adventures of the irrepressible Iggy as told by her sister Flo, by Jenny Valentine, winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize for her debut novel, Finding Violet Park. At home, all Iggy could think and talk about was babies. Pleeease have one more, she said. Just one. Iggy is OBSESSED with babies and wants more than anything in the world to have a new baby brother or baby sister to play with. But mum is far too tired to have another baby - she says just thinking about having another one makes her tired, so when Iggy's Auntie Kate comes to visit all the way from America with some very special news, Iggy can't believe her luck. This is the third outing for Jenny Valentine's endearing siblings. Each chapter is a complete and satisfying story in its own right, perfect for newly-confident readers to enjoy alone, or for reading aloud at bedtime. Illustrated throughout in with black & white line drawings by Joe Berger, who was nominated for the Booktrust Early Years Award for his picture book, Bridget Fidget.

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