About Jen

Since Google changed their "About Me" feature, I decided to finally add an About Me page.

In no particular order I am a daughter, sister, aunt, animal-loving homeowner, book-reading liberal, Arnold Palmer-drinking Ohioan; a lover of gadgets and puzzles of discovering and creating, an Eco-conscious optimist, a friend, an introvert and above all else, I'm a human--who believes in the Golden Rule.

I've been blogging here at Jen's Book Thoughts for over six years and the creation of the blog was a bit of a response to my leaving the teaching field. I was a high school English teacher for a half dozen years and after leaving the profession felt the loss of book discussion in my everyday life. Each day I would go in and discuss books with my students. Not having that outlet left a bit of an empty feeling in me. Then I discovered this online world where people were talking to each other about books on blogs.  The rest, as they say, is history. I continue to delight in learning and sharing new things about books, authors, reading, readers, the whole shebang.

The blog has also led to a large shift in careers for me. After leaving the classroom, I worked in a variety of roles: administrative assistant, tech writer, adult professional development coordinator. But as various freelance opportunities connected with publishing became available, I took the leap and became a full-time freelancer. These days I work on author web sites, coordinate social media, review books and help recruit for book tours. Who knows what tomorrow may bring!

As I've transitioned into a freelancing lifestyle, my hobbies have kind of been put on hold, but I still love crafting. I crochet, scrapbook, stamp. I can also be obnoxious with a camera, trying to catch everything on film, er...disc, er....memory stick? Wow has photography changed in my lifetime. I'm also learning Photoshop and becoming rather obsessed with it. I putter in my flowerbeds when time permits, but my landscaping abilities leave much to be desired. Someday I'll take a class on that. Various plants fill my house as well.

I'm an animal lover to the nth degree. I have a chocolate lab, Nestlé, a labradoodle, Rufus, and four rescue cats. Someone once asked me how many cats constitutes "crazy cat lady." I'm not sure but some days I sure feel like that person. It's a veritable zoo here. No wonder I feel so comfortable visiting zoos when I travel!

Five fast fun facts about Forbus:

  1. My favorite book of all time remains TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.

  2. As of this date (August 2014) I've never traveled outside the continental United States save for a weekend trip to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls when I was in high school. This is not for lack of desire to do so, by the way. It's on my bucket list.

  3. I love Harry Connick, Jr. My first trip to New York City was to see him on Broadway in The Pajama Gama. Still my favorite musical theater experience ever.

  4. In high school I learned to score baseball games and was the team statistician for three years. I still love to score games...anybody know a team that could use my skills?

  5. When I started college I was going to be an architect. When I finished I had a dual degree in English and Sports Medicine. Seems I STILL don't know what I want to be when I grow up!

Other places you can find me on the web:

My "It Takes Two" post at Jungle Red Writers
My post at Jungle Red Writers about the Six-Word Memoir series I hosted here
At Meanderings and Muses I discuss whether to finish every book or not
Also at Meanderings and Muses I talk about discovering new authors
An interview I did with Amber Stults for Book Blogger Appreciation Week
An interview I did with Dana Kaye of Kaye Publicity
My Books to Die For choice on the Shotsmag Confidential Blog
An interview I did with the folks at Old Books on Front Street
Author Tom Schreck interviews me
A guest post about listening to audiobooks that I did at the Literate Housewife Blog
A podcast that I participated in at Linus' Blanket
A guest post I did for Booklist's Mystery Month feature
I interviewed Alafair Burke at the Mulholland Books blog
A Fresh Meat article I did for Criminal Element
My recap of the 3rd Annual Longmire Days at Criminal Element
My Lego interview with Hilary Davidson for Crimespree

In addition, I contribute a monthly pick to Pop Culture Nerd's Nerdy Special List and can be found interviewing and reviewing at Shelf Awareness for Readers and Audiofile Magazine. Welcome and thanks for stopping by!

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