I've been writing since my chubby little fingers first grasped a pencil.
By the time I reached third grade, I was writing fanfic...
in my language arts journal.
(I didn't think the teacher actually read those. Oopsie.)
Needless to say, I wasn't exactly encouraged early on--I seem to remember the word 'inappropriate' being thrown around a lot--but I kept writing, anyway. (You're not the boss of me, Miss Graham!)
It was just a hobby until I grew up and became a nurse. Healthcare was a practical career choice. So, naturally, I hated it. The misery of long hours and sick patients reminded me that life is too short to willingly follow the wrong path.
I started planning and dreaming between 12-hour shifts.
In 2014, I entered a little contest called Pitch Wars and was chosen by mentor Kes Trester.
That changed everything for me because I found my people.
The friends and critique partners I met in that community helped me improve my craft.
After 5 years of writing (and rewriting!) manuscripts, I was offered a contract in 2018.
My debut novel, The Language of Cherries (Owl Hollow Press), is coming in February 2020!
Though I no longer use my nursing license,
I'm still the go-to person for my friends to text photos to when they have a rash.
I did not ask for this.
Jen Marie Hawkins writes books that (hopefully) will not embarrass her children or her grandmother.
Jen Marie Hawkins is a South Carolinian masquerading as a Texan. She writes books for young adults (and the young at heart), and she is a Book Coach for Author Accelerator. She has been a Pitch Wars mentor since 2015.
Her short works can be found in literary magazines, and her manuscripts have been finalists in the YARWA Rosemary Contest and the RWA Maggie Contest. In 2018, she won the Joyce Henderson Award for her unpublished YA novel, Before and After August. Her debut YA novel, The Language of Cherries, releases in early 2020. She is represented by Kate Testerman and Hilary Harwell of KT Literary Agency.
Jen lives in the Houston area with her husband and sons, a couple of rambunctious rescue dogs, and a stray cat that refuses to leave. When she isn't reading or writing stories sprinkled with magic, you can probably find her cuddling her boys, sipping sweet tea, and daydreaming about Clemson football season.
You can find me on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
A.S. King, Alice Walker, Maggie Stiefvater, Laini Taylor, Maureen Johnson, John Green, Aimee Bender, Sandra Cisneros, Jeff Zentner, Matt de la Peña, Sarah Addison Allen, Kelly Link, Alice Hoffman, Adam Silvera, Laura Esquivel, Haruki Murakami, Neil Gaiman, Jandy Nelson, Pablo Neruda...and on and on and on...
Old stuff: The Beatles (4ever), Sam Cooke, Bob Marley, Stevie Nicks, A Tribe Called Quest, Elton John, Van Morrison, Jim Croce, Led Zeppelin
New(ish) stuff: THE AVETT BROTHERS, Amos Lee, Ben Harper, Hozier, Florence Welch, The Wailin' Jennys, J. Cole, Alabama Shakes, Jack Johnson, Kendrick Lamar, Khalid, Vance Joy, Damien Rice
Clemson football. Texans football. Rockets basketball. Red Sox baseball. Pretty much all sports, okay? Avoid my Twitter feed during playoff games.
My sweet boys. Travel. Ukulele music. Archery. Cherry pie. Crossfit. The smell of a campfire. A well-made mojito. The ocean. Red Rocks. Writer friends. The crinkles around my husband's eyes.