Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Showcase: Kid Docs and Wild Animal School by Jenny Lynne

Kid Docs

Kid Docs is an experimental new program that trains young children to become doctors. Currently, 165 children, ages two to fourteen, are enrolled in the program. When they are ten years old, Kid Docs begin working in the hospital, using their skills on real patients. KID DOCS tells the story of ten-year-old Doctor Connor Hansen’s first days as an emergency room doctor.

Wild Animal School

Sixteen-year-old Jessica Rainville’s dream of working with exotic animals is about to come true. She’s signed up to spend a summer learning to train and care for tigers, lions, leopards, bears, and elephants at an exotic animal ranch. She will pet tigers, feed grizzly bears, and ride bareback on elephants. But the experience will test her in ways that she never imagined. And just one mistake can mean the difference between life and death.

Q.  What inspires your writing?

A. My adventures. Wild Animal School was inspired by my experiences working with exotic animals. Kid Docs was inspired by my training to become a doctor.

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being an author?

 A. I love creating, writing, and sharing interesting stories. Before I started writing novels, I wrote screenplays. Most people don’t enjoy reading scripts and so, unless a script becomes a movie or TV show, very few people will ever get to enjoy it. Writing novels allows me to share my stories with more people.

Q.  What is the toughest part of being an author?

A. Getting started writing a novel. I had spent years trying to write a novel and never made it past the first few pages. I began to think that I just didn’t have what it took to write a book. Then a friend who had read one of my scripts convinced me that I could do it. He told me that he would keep me motivated through the process. I started writing and sent each chapter to him, as it was written. He sent back his encouragement. A few months later, I had completed my first novel! My next novel was easier to write because I had already proven to myself that I could do it.

Q.  If you could not be author, what would you do/be?

A. In addition to being an author, I am a pediatrician. I’m glad that I am able to do both, though. I think that exercising my creative side makes me a better doctor.

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?

A. No Regrets. That’s how I try to live my life. If there is something that I really want to do, I try to find a way to do it. That philosophy has carried me through medical school, brought me face-to-face with tigers, and helped me spend countless hours in front of my computer writing Wild Animal School and Kid Docs.

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?

 A. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. The book is so imaginative.

Q.  Which character from ANY book are you most like?

 A. Hermione from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books. I was always one of the “smart kids” at school, but, unlike Hermione, I tried desperately to hide it. I thought that being intelligent wasn’t cool. Over time, I gradually realized that being smart is cool after all.

 Q.  What character from all of your books are you most like?

A. Jessica in Wild Animal School. Jessica is a 16-year-old who dreams of working hands-on with tigers. She gets the chance to spend a summer learning to be an exotic animal trainer, but the experience is very different than she’d imagined. Although the novel is fictional, almost all of Jessica’s interactions with the animals happened to me in real life, and so when Jessica pet a tiger for the first time or got licked by a grizzly bear, I relied on my own experiences to understand how Jessica would be feeling.

I am also a bit like eleven-year-old doctor Cassie in Kid Docs. Cassie is one of the 165 children enrolled in Kid Docs, a program that trains kids to become doctors. The playful friendship that she has with the main character, ten-year-old doctor Connor, reminds me of my relationship with one of my best friends.

Q.  What is your favorite season?

A. Spring. I love spending time outdoors, and spring is a wonderful time to do that.

Q.  What inspired your book cover(s)?  Or what is your favorite book cover and why?

 A. On the cover of Wild Animal School, I wanted to show one of Jessica’s awe inspiring animal interactions. Riding bareback on an elephant seemed like the perfect experience-- full of both apprehension and joy.

I went through a bunch of ideas for the cover of Kid Docs. It was very important to me to portray the child doctors as professionals who are practicing medicine on actual patients. They could not look like children playing “dress up.” I felt that showing ten-year-old Connor’s hospital identification badge was a good way to convey that these kid doctors were real.

Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.

A. I just started promoting my books in earnest. I wanted to have at least two books completed before I got started. This is my very first author interview!

Q.  Are you working on something new?

A. I am planning my next novel. I am also constantly seeking out new adventures and writing reviews of bucket-list-worthy things to do for my website, mydreamcametrue.com.

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?

A. I think that one of the many wonderful things about Mrs. Mommy Booknerd’s Book Reviews is that it helps readers learn about new books. If you read a new book that you enjoy, consider sharing it with your friends on Facebook, tweeting about it, or writing a quick review on Amazon. One of the books that you find here could be the next The Hunger Games or Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone or Ender’s Game, and you could help the world discover it!

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Emily, AKA Mrs. Mommy Booknerd

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