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JJ mew

Written by JJ Barnes

I interviewed children’s book author Pnina Jacobi about her life, what inspired her to start writing, and the work that went into her new book release, Abby Starts First Grade.

Tell me a bit about who you are.

Pnina Jacobi, author of Abby Starts First Grade, interview on The Table Read

My name is Pnina Jacobi. I was born and raised in New York. I am a mother of 3 boys who constantly keep me on my toes.

My love for reading and writing started at a very young age. As a child, I could very often be found lying on the couch, chair, or floor of the living room with a book in my hand.

When did you first WANT to write a book?

In college, I would often sit in Barnes & Noble working on one report or another and would fantasize about how amazing it would be to one day have a book of my own on the shelves. 

When did you take a step to start writing?

I started during the summer of 2014 after moving to a new country thousands of miles away.

How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?

I finished writing the book within a few weeks but then held on to it for a while and finally felt ready to release it 5 years later!  

How long did it take you to complete your latest book from the first idea to release?

Just started working on it.

Siren Stories Books

Focusing on your latest release. What made you want to write Abby Starts First Grade?

When my son finished Kindergarten, we packed up our house and moved across the ocean, thousands of miles away from the school we thought he would be starting 1st grade in, away from his friends, and away from his comfort zone.

I started writing the book to ease him to the idea that starting in a school where he wouldn’t know anyone, wasn’t as scary as it seemed. Of course, I made the main character a girl so he wouldn’t really feel that the book was for or about him.

What were your biggest challenges with writing it?

Honestly, as soon as I sat down the words started flowing from my fingertips.

Pnina Jacobi, author of Abby Starts First Grade, interview on The Table Read

Who or what inspired you when creating your Protagonist?

My son was definitely behind the inspiration.

The #1 Writing Tool

Who or what inspired you when creating your Antagonist?

None in the book.

What is the main conflict of Abby Starts First Grade?

The main character, Abby, is starting a new school and doesn’t have any friends. She is a little nervous to approach her new classmates and is upset that she doesn’t have any friends.

Did you plot Abby Starts First Grade in advance, or fly by the seat of your pants and write freely?

I had the main idea in advance, but the rest came freely.

Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did Abby Starts First Grade need?

As I mentioned above, years went by between when I first wrote the book to when I released it, so I was able to edit it myself with a “pair of fresh eyes” so to speak.

What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a story?

Just start writing. Open your computer and type away…even if your sentences don’t connect at first. Jot down all your ideas and let your mind flow. Once you have all your ideas out, it will be so much easier to create a book and get the storyline straight.

Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?

Yes! I realized that Abby could help little kids deal with so many issues parents usually feel are not such a big deal or tell them “It’s all part of growing up”, because while certain things might very well be something many children go through, children don’t always realize that and have a hard time figuring out how to deal with it. Abby can help them!

And, finally, are your proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?

Yes, I am extremely proud. It took me a while to feel comfortable enough to release it to the world, but now that it’s out there – I don’t know what I was waiting for!

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