#YA Author Writes From Her Own Life

I have a new internet friend. Yes, I know: On the internet, nobody knows I’m a dingbat. Excuse me? Whaddya mean, “Yes, they do”??

ANYWAY, her name is Jennifer Gibson.

SONY DSCJennifer is an award winning photographer, freelance Illustrator, graphic designer and published author.

Her photography & graphic design has been featured extensively in many media formats including CHEX TV, National Geographic, SNAP magazine and Watershed Magazine as well as various local tourism/promotional materials. Jennifer’s current line of work features professionally designed book covers for authors from around the world.

Jennifer was selected as one of 12 winners for the prestigious 2010 Oticon Focus on People Award and the only Canadian to have won in this national competition (North America). She was nominated as an outstanding individual with a hearing loss and for the portrayal of a hearing impaired teen in her young adult novel entitled Sway.

Blurb about the Trilogy Series:

The trilogy series is an honest portrayal about a teen who is severely hard of hearing and struggling to get through high school.  It’s a rare insight into the world of a young person living with a disability where the reader essentially walks a mile in Jessie’s shoes.

From the very beginning we watch Jessie as she tries to find her place in the society.  In Sway, we begin to see her change and make interesting decisions based on what happens to her.  Gradually, her path in life begins to shift and goes towards a new direction in Compass.  She becomes more aware of who she is as a young person. The third book, Destiny,  becomes a pivotal turning point that sets her on the right path where she becomes empowered and emerges a stronger person.

Throughout all three books I’ve incorporated visual symbolisms or representations that feature hope.  Stars play a big part in Jessie’s world.  Whenever she is struggling, especially during those dark emotional times in her life, there is usually a sign to help her stay strong such as the appearance of a special spirit guide or messages given to her such as “To reach the stars, all you have to do is Believe.”  There is a sense of magic woven into the fabric of these stories.

Synopsis for Compass:

CompassWeb“Being a teenager is hard enough. To be hard of hearing on top of that is like being stuck in the middle of a never ending soap opera.”

In Compass, the sequel to Sway, Jessie’s life begins to change its course, sending her towards a new reality. When her world is ripped apart by an angry rival, the one person she trusted to stand by her side, simply walks away. With her composure shattered, Jessie questions everything she believed about herself, and as her life takes her on a new path, it becomes a perilous journey, full of surprising twists and turns.

Compass recently hit the TOP-20 bestselling list for young adults at  All Romance eBooks!

My Blog: “Why are you in my head?”

Anyone that knows me and has read my books will very quickly realize that some of it seems familiar.  Why? That’s because the trilogy series is based on my life growing up with hearing loss.  I’ve incorporated many of my experiences in the story to inject some realism into it, including the gritty aspects of it that makes you want to throttle someone.

I’ll admit that it wasn’t easy reliving some of those intense and emotional moments and in fact, some of it was a revelation in terms of why I went through it all, to make me stronger in some ways – ironically.  Even though the main character, Jessie is the focus of the series as a young teen, I’ve included many snapshots of my life from when I was a young child up to today.  I felt that it was an important attribute to the story, that it had to be said to show others how that particular situation had an impact on me and still does to this day.

I’ve had readers comment on how descriptive my scenes seem to be and that’s partly due to my creative nature and a “side effect” to my hearing impairment.  You may be familiar with the idea that when you lose one sense, you gain another.  Such as the case when someone loses their eyesight, their sense of smell, touch and hearing become much more sensitive.  They become more aware of their surroundings in a different manner.  That’s what happened to Jessie as well as to myself.  Our world became more profound in other ways.

Since my hearing loss was so severe, nearly deaf actually, I became more focused on what was happening all around me.  I was more visually aware of colours, designs and nature, particularly as a country girl.  I loved the way they conveyed emotions, altered my moods and even inspired me.  Due to the overwhelming chaos in my life as a child, I retreated into art and photography, a place of serenity that I desperately needed.  For me, capturing these moments is a pure joy and often has a meditative quality.

Like myself, colours are extremely important to Jessie, she’s very selective about what she wears which is a good indicator about her state of mind – she often feels lost and is searching for ways to feel grounded.  She does a lot of soul searching, trying to find ways to fit into a society that has trouble accepting her.

Throughout the turmoil in her life, Jessie discovers that she has friends in the most unexpected places.  Together, they guide her through some of the darkest moments she has to endure and they bring in light and magic to help her rise up and believe in herself once again.

When you read Sway, Compass, and Destiny, you’re living in my world and following in my footsteps.


Visit Jennifer’s new website at: www.jennifergibson.ca

“To reach the stars, all you have to do is BELIEVE.”

Love books? Go check out Jennifer Gibson’s debut novel, “Sway” at www.kobobooks.comwww.amazon.cawww.barnesandnoble.com

Jennifer Gibson’s Facebook Author Page

Jennifer Gibson’s Amazon Author Page

Jennifer Gibson’s AuthorsdB Page

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Grab a random photograph, preferably one from a book or a really old one, and write about the people in it.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “#YA Author Writes From Her Own Life

  1. Jane

    April 29, 2013 at 9:44am

    A really profound book story. So much more than: a teenager had some bad days, but she’s really pretty and all, and you know she’s going to get a hot boy. Like that.
    I’ve worked a great deal with visually impaired people, and I must say, it’s been a revelation. They meet challenges that I wouldn’t even want to contemplate for my own life. (I’m really visually oriented. Imagine losing that!)
    Jessie’s life is complicated by being different, and by being different in a way she cannot change. (Know the feeling!) Much of getting through life is pretty much attitude. They can’t make you unhappy if you just won’t let them. (Much easier said than done.)
    This sounds like a wonderful series. Thanks for the glimpse.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  2. jennifer gibson

    April 29, 2013 at 12:43pm

    Some days it was hard to write those intense emotional scenes since they contained a deeply personal segment of my life. But I knew that I needed to share my story and hopefully reach out to help others who may struggling right now. I wanted to inspire the readers to find the courage within themselves to be strong. Finding hope is a very big message in this series.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  3. Jean Yates

    April 29, 2013 at 5:36pm

    I think that hope is a beautiful thing, and being able to inspire hope in one of the greatest things a person can do.

    jean yates

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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