Reflecting with Award-Winning Author, Jenny Cote

by Sally Matheny

Jenny L CoteAward-winning author, Jenny Cote developed an early passion for God, history, and young people, and beautifully blends these passions together in her two fantasy fiction series, The Amazing Tales of Max and Liz and Epic Order of the Seven.

What’s amazing are Jenny’s skills and her travels. Her research has taken her to Handel’s composing room in London, to stay in the home of C.S. Lewis, and on to Ireland, Paris, Normandy, Rome, Israel, and Egypt.

Jenny’s own Scottish Terrier, Max, and her black cat, Liz were the inspirations for the characters in Jenny’s books. She posts videos of them on her website at Max, who is battling cancer, steals the show during his annual pumpkin roll.

Returning to Write2Ignite this year, Jenny will teach three wonderful workshops: “Give Me Liberty AND Give Me Deadlines!”, “Create,” and “Write.”

In the meantime, she shares a few thoughts with us here.

Jenny, what were three of your favorite moments from 2014?

  • Opening the box of fresh-off-the-press copies of my fifth novel, The Wind, the Road, and the Way in March
  • Standing on Omaha Beach in Normandy, France on June 6th for the 70th anniversary of D-Day
  • The day I finished writing my sixth novel, The Fire, the Revelation, and the Fall in September

What was your first paying job? How old were you?

Besides babysitting, it was working for a gift shop to make bows, arrange merchandise, and be a sales clerk. I was 17 and I worked for them every summer and Christmas throughout college.

At what point in your life did you know you wanted to pursue writing?

After I already had a long career in strategic planning and business development for a children’s hospital, two marketing degrees, and a five-year-old son.

Looking back over your writing journey, what is one thing you wish you had known earlier?

That the publishing world moves at the speed of molasses! It is a long, slow process to write, get published and market books. You must be patient.

What do you hope to learn this year?

How to produce and market audio books.

Oh, that sounds wonderful. Then you can come back and teach that at the next Write2Ignite Conference!

Do you remember one of your favorite books from your childhood? What made it special?

Charlotte’s Web. Talking animals, of course.

Of course! What was one of your favorite books when you were a teen?

The Black Stallion

If awarded one day to talk with three authors (from any time period), whom would you choose?

C.S. Lewis, Margaret Mitchell, Paul

The theme for Write2Ignite 2015 is “Shine.” What three helpful hints would you recommend to writers to make their work shine?

  • The light begins in your heart before it flows out of your pen, so take care to keep your heart light continually burning through daily time with God. Commit your work totally to him, and trust his shut doors as much as his open ones.
  • Write about what you are passionate about. Then you won’t care how many endless hours you must research to know what you’re writing about, and to write with excellence.
  • Don’t settle for good enough. Eliminate mediocrity from your vocabulary. That goes for your writing, your editing, your publishing decisions, your marketing and your public presence. YOUR very best is the goal, not that belonging to someone else.


Thank you for sharing with us, Jenny. We look forward to seeing you in March.

Readers, you can connect with Jenny on her website: and on

Facebook: Jenny L. Cote.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]Encouraging others is Sally Matheny’s mission in life. She enjoys “reflecting on ordinary life under God’s extraordinary Light.”

A freelance writer and blogger, Sally’s ordinary days are blessed with her pastor-hubby of 25+ years, three children, and a home that can’t stay clean for more than seventeen minutes. Find encouragement from Sally on her blog: and Twitter: @sally_matheny [/author_info] [/author]

One thought on “Reflecting with Award-Winning Author, Jenny Cote

  1. Thanks, Jenny! You are such a cool teacher at conferences. The Teens loved your presentations last year.

    Can’t wait to see what you’ll do this year.


What Do You Think?