In celebration of Jeff Zentner’s upcoming book Goodbye Days getting its first major review (and a starred one at that – as if there was any doubt!) we have a special treat – Jeff has agreed to answer a few questions for us!
The Spork Review: We’ve heard you’ve had a pretty interesting path to authorhood. Could you tell us a bit about that?
Jeff Zentner: I started my creative life as a musician, but came to realize after volunteering at Tennessee Teen Rock Camp that I wanted to make art for teens. Because I was too old to make music marketed to teens, I switched to writing books.
TSR: You’ve said before that you’ve basically split your personality among the 3 main characters in The Serpent King. Having had the chance to get to know you a bit, I can tell that’s very much true. How did you decide who got what part of you?
JZ: It just sort of happened the way it did. The characters lived in my head and told me which parts of me they wanted for themselves.
TSR: How do you combat writer’s block?
JZ: Go for walks. Give myself writing hiatuses.
TSR: Your new novel, Goodbye Days, comes out March 7th. It deals with death & grieving as a result of an accident caused by texting while driving. What brought about the idea for the story?
JZ: It was originally an idea about a young man helping the families of grieving soldiers who’d been killed. But my editor helped me shape the idea to one where my main character was much more connected to the cause of the accident and the victims, his best friends.
TSR: If you could ask Jeff Zentner the author any question as Jeff the reader, what would you ask yourself?
JZ: Why do you move the goalposts for what you consider success on yourself?
TSR: Now we’re on to some rapid-fire questions: Favorite season?
TSR: What is one thing you never leave home without?
TSR: Salty or sweet?
TSR: Coffee or tea?
JZ: Moroccan mint tea.
TSR: What 3 things would you want to have if you were stuck on a remote island?
JZ: A helicopter, a pilot, the love and respect of my friends.
Well, Jeff, you certainly have my respect! Thanks so much for answering our questions, and congratulations on the first of hopefully many starred reviews for Goodbye Days and future books to come!
Have any additional questions for Jeff? Sound off in the comments below and he just might answer a few more for us in the future!