Let’s get to know more about one of our very own superheroes. Our multi-talented Author, Jennifer Lee Corley.
*Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a mom, a wife, an elementary school teacher, and a newly published author. I love dancing, musicals, reading, writing, vacations (who doesn’t?!), and spending time with my family.
*When and why did you begin writing?
I always enjoyed writing, even as a child. One Christmas, my parents copied and bound a book I wrote so I could give it to my aunts and uncles as gifts! I have fun creating stories, rhymes, and poems. I write to express all my thoughts and feelings. Writing is magical; it can transport one to another place, time, express emotions, bring memories to life, and provoke critical thinking. Words are powerful.
* How do you deal with lingering thoughts of self-doubt or fear?
I lean on my family and lifelong friends for encouragement and support. Some fears are tough to face, but with loving family and friends, any fear or bout of self-doubt are eased. The weight of tough feelings is best carried by a close-knit support system; the load can be shared and easier to bear.
* If you could tell your younger writing self something, what would it be?
I would tell my younger self to not worry about sharing my writing with others. Words are meant to be read!
*What advice do you have for others who would like to get started on their writing journey and tips on getting published?
Write write write! When an idea hits, in the middle of the night, in a dream, or just something in day to day life, jot it down! Write when the mood strikes. Find a publisher that will support your ideas, encourage you, and value your input. Large publishers usually require a literary agent, so research publishers and agents (there may be a small publisher that’s perfect for you!).
*What’s the first book that you read that had you in tears?
I cannot recall the first book that had me in tears, but there are many throughout the years that touched my soul. Most recently, some well written dynamic characters that pulled on my heart strings were in Kristin Hannah’s The Four Winds (can I request a sequel with intertwined generations?!), The Great Alone, and American Dirt by Jeanine Cummin.
*Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with good and bad reviews?
I do read my book reviews (thanks for writing them!). Luckily, I have not yet come across a bad review, but I am sure it is inevitable. Everyone has their own style, preference, and opinion, so I always keep that in mind.
*Who would you like to most thank in your writing career?
My children. They inspire me every day. I want to show them, as well as all children, that a person can have more than one career path in life. I can be a teacher and an author. Since being published, I know that my boys are watching and learning that they can reach goals and accomplish what their hearts desire, too.
*Do you have any quirky writing habits? If so what are they?
Well, I like to handwrite ideas first in a journal. I read things aloud to myself to hear rhythm and rhyme. I cross words out, and my journals usually look like a big scribbly mess!
*Do you believe in writer’s block? How do you handle it?
I have not had writer’s block (yet!). I write when an idea comes to me, or something inspires me to write. Perhaps, the idea of writer’s block is more pressure or stress to write a piece on a certain topic with deadlines approaching. If I ever experience it, I imagine I would try to take a break, go somewhere relaxing, or do something I love with someone I love to relieve stress.
*If you had a superpower, what would it be?
I have actually thought about this question a lot. Maybe that’s because we (my husband, sons, and I) are huge Marvel fans. So many superpowers are hurtful, and I definitely do not want to fly (I am scared of heights), or know the future. The superpower I would want to have is the ability to make others feel empathy. Think about it- two opposing forces, each have to feel the other’s pain or joy (physical or emotional). What could be more powerful than feeling what another person is experiencing? That superpower would make people walk in each other’s shoes, so to speak.
* What is your best accomplishment?
Without a doubt, mommin’. Being my sons’ mother is the best thing that I have ever accomplished. They continually amaze me with their hearts of gold, intriguing minds, silliness, and innate goodness.
*What’s your biggest pet peeve?
When adults use “baby talk” voices to each other.
*Do you have a favorite color? How does it compare to your personality?
My favorite color is turquoise. The color of the stone or the color of the sea and sky. I think the color is calming, peaceful, natural, and I suppose those attributes mirror my personality. I like things to be peaceful and calm; I do not like confrontation. I love the beach and tranquility of the calm sea, which provokes relaxation and a laidback go-with-the-flow mentality.
*As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Well, exactly where I am in life: a teacher, writer, mom, and wife. I am very grateful to be able to live out my childhood dreams. For a brief moment, I wanted to be a dancer as well.
*What is your favorite book and why? Which of your books that you’ve had published is your favorite and why?
I cannot pick just one favorite book of all time. I do have a favorite genre, which is historical fiction. I love stories that interweave history with multigenerational families (found in works by authors Isabel Allende and Chanel Cleeton), and characters created so well, they could very well be real people.
Well, so far, I only have one book published (Do Superheroes Brush Their Teeth?), so I guess that is my favorite because it opened the doors to more possibilities for me as an author, gave me confidence that I can be published, and most importantly, was inspired by a conversation with my sons. Stay tuned for my second one later on this year! 😉
*How are you handling the pandemic?
Well, this past year has certainly been mountains and valleys. The start of the pandemic brought me closer with some amazing lifelong friends (we supported each other through the new stresses and anxieties that arose), challenged me as an educator to make connections with students and their families virtually while still keeping the rigor of academics, and provided the opportunity for me to submit a work to be published. My family lost our matriarch last April, like so many others worldwide, and that was challenging during a pandemic. At the moment, I feel hopeful and optimistic that we are on the downslide.
I really enjoyed getting to know more about Jennifer and I know you all did too. Grab a copy of her book for your little ones or yourself. Follow her on her social media account to keep up with the latest and greatest of what’s happening in her world Author Jennifer Lee Corley. Also, keep up with what all we have going on on our FB page and stay in the know.