Florida Author N. Jane Quackenbush - STEM Children’s Books, Middle Grade & Young Adult

Florida author N. Jane Quackenbush

Author's name: N. Jane Quackenbush 

Preferred pronoun: She 

Genres you write in: Children's Picture Books, Middle-grade STEM, Middle-grade Fantasy, YA Romantic Comedy 

Author location: St. Augustine, Florida 

Are you self-published or traditionally published? Self-published 

Awards: 2014 Gold Medal for FAPA (Florida Authors and Publishers Association) for The Rocket Ship Bed Trip.

Are you a full-time writer, or do you have a "day job"? My "day" job that pays the bills is managing rental properties. Not as much fun but it does allow me to do what I love. 

Tell us what makes you unique: I am an astral-projecting dreamer. I have had numerous off the wall dreams come true in real life. I love encouraging others to pay close attention to their subconscious and to follow their dreams. I make time to talk to aspiring authors who might need some encouragement and offer that little nudge to get the ball rolling. 

How long did it take you to write and publish your first book? 8 years. 

What would you like readers to know about you or your books? I love astronomy so I have included astronomy as a thread that runs throughout all of my books. I start from an introduction to astronomy in "The Rocket Ship Bed Trip" and take it to a new fantastical level with each ascending new book. 

Your best tip for other authors: Write your story because you have to. There is no reason to not make your deepest, most extraordinarily wildest dreams come true. 

What do you wish someone had told you about book publishing years ago? That if you want something done the way you want it done, you have to do it yourself. 

When did you know that you wanted to publish a book? About 8 years before I published my first book. I just didn't know how. I felt isolated and didn't know what steps to take until I went to a conference and learned that I was best suited to go indie. I had a lot of different stories I wanted to tell. I didn't want to be limited to one certain genre. 

What inspires you as a writer? BOOKS!!! I love reading books. And listening to music. Music is a very helpful mood enhancer. It can sometimes evoke an entire story. The song Nights in White Satin by The Moody Blues inspired my latest YA RomCom called Dee and Orbit's Out-Of-This-World Romance.

Where is your favorite place to write? Home ... Multiple locations:) Weather permitting, I love being outdoors. But my favorite place to write is in my purple unicorn room that was inspired by my book The Dark Unicorn with lots of snuggly blankets and a warm drink to bring out the stories waiting to be told. 

Where is your favorite place to read? My bed, right before I go to sleep. 

What are your favorite genres to read? I will read any genre so long as it is not the typical, check all the boxes type read, or boring. I love quirky, and out of the ordinary books. Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors and I have yet to not like one of his strange twisty tales. 

How does Florida inspire you in your writing? Florida is home of The Kennedy Space Center and rockets blast off to outer space from here! How cool is our state?! I set my YA RomCom in Satellite Beach, Florida because I love to use spacey locations, terms and any word, place, or theme that can inspire an out-of-this-world experience for my readers. 

How do you get most of the ideas for your books and characters? They come so randomly ... in conversation with someone, in the shower, watching t.v. I'll be driving and then suddenly a story will beam into my consciousness and it's all I can do to not pull over and start writing. Luckily, I can dictate into my phone before the inspiration is lost. 

What was your favorite character to write about and why? I love them all, silly! But to name a few, I loved Holly from The Children's Horrible House series because she was like visiting "little me" at 8 years old. I was forced to remember all those awkward emotions and was able to heal in so many ways through that series. Grace from the Amazing Grace Newton series taught me that our differences are what make us "Amazing'! That we shouldn't want to be like anyone else. We are exactly how we are supposed to be...Amazing. But Prism, my shimmery dark unicorn was so fun to write with. I felt like the whole time I was writing the story she inspired, I was being touched by a unicorn horn on my head. I had such a euphoric, light feeling that I wanted to stay in the enchanted land of Neverwood with Prism forever. 

How do you select the names for your characters? I like to use natural elements, plants, and flowers.

What is your favorite childhood book? Ramona Quimby, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Mouse and The Motorcycle. 

Do you have a writing mentor? Fran Keiser, Jaime Engle, and Christina Benjamin. 

Do you have a favorite Florida author? Jaime Engle and Christina Benjamin. 

Do you have a favorite Florida book? Clifton Chase and The Arrow of Light by Jaimie Engle. 

What's your favorite Florida bookstore? Materialistic Uptown in St. Augustine, Florida and if you have at least 5 hours to spare, Chamblin's Bookmine in Jacksonville, Florida. 

Who's your favorite author? Neil Gaiman 

What's your favorite tv show or movie? The Witcher, The Princess Bride. 

What bookstagrammer/booktoker inspires you to do better on social media? Jennifer Knopf 

Is there an author that you look to for inspiration for your own social media? Nicolene Evans 

What is your favorite social media platform to use as an author? Facebook and Instagram are the only social media I have but honestly, I'm such a bad self-promoter. I need to pay someone to help me! 

Florida author N. Jane Quackenbush

Is there a specific Florida book event that you attend regularly? Most Saturdays I am at The St. Augustine Amphitheater Farmers Market. It's such a treat to meet and speak with my readers. I love the feedback and getting to know who loves my books. 

Tell me about your latest book: My latest book is "Dee and Orbit's Out-Of-This-World Romance: A Sweet and Spacey Uplifting Love Story. It is laugh-out-loud funny, sweet, and enlightening. If you're looking for something out of the ordinary this is the book for you. It's been called, The Space Between Us meets Contact with all the “feels” of The Notebook. 

Here is the blurb: Eighteen year old Orbit P. Barlow had no friends, no real home, and her father may have been abducted by aliens. With her dwindling hopes of any kind of connection besides her coupon-cutting mother, Orbit tries to reconcile her status as a loner. So the chances of meeting her soulmate at her beloved grandmother’s funeral was like witnessing a supernova—seventeen thousand to one. Dee Cooper stood tall, dark, and dapper as she locked eyes on him. Problem was, he wasn’t alone, but with her possessive cousin, who wouldn’t let him go without a showdown. With her loved ones either dying or being abducted by aliens, Orbit must decide if she has the audacity to claim her destiny or let the universal flow dictate her life. With witty characters, off the charts blazing romance, and blushing page-turning action, this debut YA Romantic Comedy by author N. Jane Quackenbush exposes the mysterious universal language of love, the true cost of passivity, and the power to claim our destiny … and maybe an alien or two. 

What was the inspiration for this book? Nights in White Satin by The Moody Blues was playing and suddenly I was transported into this incredibly fun love story of Dee and Orbit's. I sat down to write it and over 25,000 words spilled out in 3 days. The first round was easy to write. It took 4 years to fluff it up to 90,000 words.

Author social media accounts: 

Author N Jane Quackenbush on Instagram 

Hidden Wolf Books on Facebook 

N. Jane Quackenbush on Facebook

Author website: www.hiddenwolfbooks.com 

Books by Florida author N. Jane Quackenbush

Books by N. Jane Quackenbush:

"Dee and Orbit's Out-Of-This-World Romance" 2023, 

"The Dark Unicorn" 2021, 

"Amazing Grace Newton" Series completed 2017, 

"The Children's Horrible House" series completed 2016, 

"The Pirate Ship Bed Trip", 2016, 

"The Afternoon Moon" 2015, and 

"The Rocket Ship Bed Trip" 2014. 

Where can we buy your books? Amazon, BN.com, Target.com, Walmart.com, Materialistic Uptown, The Kennedy Space Center, Cindy's Gifts. 

Do you have any Florida editor, agent, cover artist, or publisher that you would like to recommend? Fran Keiser, (book setup) and Philip Benjamin. They're not into social media but I would be happy to pass along their contacts to anyone who specifically asks.