Tracy and James are thrilled to be welcoming Jessica Kulekjian to BookEnds! Jessica immediately pulled us in with her gorgeous picture book voice and unique narrative non-fiction. We also love how Jessica thinks about how her books can be used in the classroom, and look forward to helping put her books in the hands of students! We hope you enjoy learning more about Jessica and her work below!
If you’re not reading or writing, what would we catch you doing?
I’m a homeschooling mom to 3 active kids so you would likely find me exploring topics that excite their curiosity, shuttling them around to activities, or running (slow jogging) away from it all to think about my stories. I also just stepped into a new role as a homeschool support teacher helping families find a learning path that matches their child’s unique needs.
Where can readers find you on the web and social media?
A website is in the works. Stay tuned.
What’s the last book you read?
Chicken Wants a Nap by Traci Marchini. I’m going to plug Tracy’s book here because my daughters asked me to read it three times today. We think it’s hysterical and are currently stuck on it.
If money were no object, what would be your dream writing location?
In my dreams, I would live seasonally, going from the mountains to the beach, depending on my need for the waves and sand, or fresh pine-filled air and uninterrupted views of the starry sky.
What’s your favorite quote about reading or writing?
Do I have to pick just one? I have more than a few, but here’s one of my favorites from Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert:
“Do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.”
What’s your favorite piece of writing advice you’ve received?
From my college writing professor who is now a dear friend—“Writing is a process, not just a product. Write the terrible first draft!”
I truly love the creative process. I believe it’s important to follow inspiration and make space for the work of art to reveal itself from one draft to the next.
What excites you most about joining the BookEnds family?
It feels like a dream come true to find an agent who is as excited about my work as I am and whose vision for my career matches my own.
What advice would you give to other authors in the query trenches?
If you don’t have trusted critique partners, get some! Finding the right matches can take time, but it’s worth it to seek out your tribe. They will help you find the strength in your stories, nudge you to delete the distractions, and cheer you on through the triumphs and disappointments of your publishing journey.
And last, I would say, never stop working on your craft. I know that advice is given a lot but that’s because it’s really good advice. Making a commitment to professional development is worth the time and effort. I’m still learning, too.