Many of you that read this blog are either authors, aspiring authors or readers. So this blog truly pertains to all of you in some respects. I wanted to introduce you to a great lady, Jen Savage. Jen is married to J. Scott (Jeff) Savage, the author of the young adult Farworld series. His latest book in the series, Farworld: Landkeep, came out this fall. I am reading it right now and it is fantastic! It has even more excitement and mystery than the first book.
I wanted to see who was behind Jeff's great success. He will freely admit that he could not do everything he does without his wife's help. Last year, Jeff was in charge of the LDS Storymaker's conference. It was a fabulous writers conference! I noticed though, quietly behind the scene, was a woman who was working and getting a lot done: that would have been Jen. She was helping in every area to make the conference run smoothly. Jen, in the red, is there putting together things to give to the conference participants.
What does it take to be a spouse to a writer? From what I have seen, it is an incredible amount of patience and encouragement that is needed. While the author is out there in the spotlight doing book signings, book tours and locking themselves away from the world in order to write, the spouse is quietly holding everything else together.
I first met Jen ,when she came with Jeff, when he recorded a podcast with us... the women of LDS Womens Book Review. She sat back and listened with a smile, but then we were able to get her speaking a little after James Dashner left. We had a great time with the Savages.
When I interviewed Jen, I asked her for a picture of the two of them together. She said she didn't have one, but I found one from the conference last year.
Without anymore discussion from me, here is my interview with Jen. I hope that you enjoy her answers as much as I did. Warning...Jen has quite the sense of humor and you will be able to tell this from her answers.
1. What is it like being married to an author?
It's exactly like being married to a normal person, except for the imaginary people he thinks about all the time. And the writer's block. Can you imagine an accountant going to his client and telling him that their tax forms "just aren't working"? Or a doctor having trouble "getting into the flow"?
2. What has been the best way to support your spouse as he is pursuing his writing dreams?
Every relationship is different, and what has worked for us isn't necessarily going to work for other people. But I try to run interference for him so he can devote blocks of time to writing without having to talk on the phone or handle stuff that can wait. I read everything he writes and give him honest and specific feedback. And I try remember that talking things through helps him with his story, even when we're having a romantic dinner.
3. How do you feel that you have contributed to his success?
You mean, other than booking his school visits, going with him on his school visits, and being his first and last editor?
He would die without me. I tell him every day. He wouldn't bother to eat. His commas would be all wrong. Chaos would ensue.
4. What has been the hardest part of having your spouse pursue his writing career?
Getting paid every six months is difficult. Trying to keep track of which manuscript pages can be thrown away is even harder.
5. What would be your best advice for others who are married to an author or an aspiring author?
Learn from your spouse what he or she would like from you in the way of support. Not everybody wants to be critiqued by a spouse, and not every spouse feels comfortable giving honest feedback, so you have to be able to find a balance that works for you. Some authors want suggestions, others feel like you're a back-seat driver if you give input.
Also, keep a calendar and write down important things. Sticky notes are useful, because they can be put on a monitor. Big ones. In the middle of the screen.
6. What has been the most exciting part of Jeff’s writing career so far?
We've had the opportunity to visit a lot of schools, and the best thing in the world
is when a parent comes up to you to thank you for getting their child excited about a book, or a teacher e-mails you to tell you that a students started spontaneously writing stories for fun, or a student tells you that you've inspired them to discover their own magic.
7. What are your hopes and dreams for Jeff in the coming years?
I want him to succeed at a level where he can keep doing what he loves doing, which is writing cool and exciting stories, and getting kids excited about reading and writing.. Having a "normal" life is so overrated!
Thanks so much Jen for talking to me and my readers. I hope that continued success is in your futures, you and Jeffs!
If you have not read any of Jeff's books yet, get to it! His Farworld books make great Christmas gifts for kids ages 8-15..or above, I love them!! Jeff has also written mystery books for adults; The Shandra Covington series. They are also great books. I especially love, "Dead on Arrival" in the series.
You can find Jeff/J.Scott here at his blog:
His website: about Farworld