Jen Meyers grew up in Vermont, spent three years in Germany when she was a kid, and now lives in central New York. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s chasing after her four kids, playing outside, relishing the few quiet moments she gets with her husband, and forgetting to make dinner.
She is the author of the Anywhere, the Happily Ever After series, the Intangible series, and co-author of the Untamed series. She is also the creator of the totally inappropriate self-affirming adult coloring books You’re the Shit and You are a Badass, and the totally appropriate and inclusive coloring books Love trumps Hate and Love *Not* Hate.
The Loooong Version
Hi. I’m jen. I write YA, NA, and contemporary romance books because I LOVE these genres so SO much. I also create cheekily profane (yet self-affirming) coloring books.
I’m originally from Vermont and my husband is, too, so it always feels like home to me, even though I no longer live there. I lived in Germany for three years when I was 11-14 years old. That was so long ago that it was actually West Germany at the time. I visited the Berlin Wall before it came down (while it was still very well guarded with armed soldiers). We traveled to so many different countries during those three years. It was an incredible time. I loved Germany and didn’t want to come home when our time was up. However, I was lucky enough to come back to Vermont.
In college I studied acting and singing at Ithaca College. A year after graduating I moved to New York City to pursue my dream of an acting career. After a couple of years and some success, I decided I wanted my life to be different than what it was, so I headed back to Vermont. Luckily for me I had been working at a production house that put together text books for the big educational publishers for about a year before I moved. I continued to work for them as a freelance educational writer from Vermont. That job lead me in a very roundabout way to where I am today. An author.
Honestly, I didn’t always love to write. In reality I hated it when I was in school. Including college. (I remember a conversation with my advisor in college that went something like this:
Advisor: You should take a writing class. It’s very important to learn to write well.
Me: Do I have to take it?
Advisor: Well, no, but it’s really, really, really important. You should really take a writing class.
Me: But I don’t have to, right?
Advisor: Well, no, but . . .
Needless to say, I never took a writing class in college.) I had no confidence in my writing ability. I never felt like I knew how to write, nor that I wrote well. Actually, I was convinced I was a terrible writer. But when I came back to Vermont after living in the City, I fell in love with it. I’d had a lifetime love affair with words and wordplay, but it wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I loved putting them together on paper. And I’ve been writing ever since.
One lucky day I fell in love with young adult books. The writing was so good, so creative, so beautifully intense sometimes and incredibly silly at others. And it was so much better than most adult lit. It felt like home to me, and I knew I’d found my literary place.
I now live in central New York out in the country in a 140 year old house. My husband and I have four incredible kids we are unschooling. Some of our favorite things to do are go for walks at our local state parks, play outside as much as possible, and admire the birds that come to our bird feeders. I love baking sweet treats (I have a weakness for sweets–especially chocolate) and am terrible at dinners (planning and executing well-balanced meals–dinner time comes along and that’s when I usually think Oh, crap! What are we going to have for dinner?). I make a mean salsa (and a lot of it when tomatoes are in season because we really like salsa) and an amazing knock-your-socks-off chocolate sorbet (if you share my deep, undying affection for dark chocolate, you would know you’d found chocolate-nirvana at first bite).
A Few Random Facts
1. I used to be a singer and actress. In fact, I was in an independent film called “Mud Season” that was filmed in Vermont. I played Agent Murphy. And I was an extra in a film and TV show when I lived in NYC, though I don’t think you could see me in them. Being an extra in the film was terrible. Looooooong days and every time they wanted us to get in place they’d say, “Okay, Background come in,” like we were live sets. Which I suppose we were. But still. I didn’t appreciate being referred to as background.
2. I love to vacuum out the car. Strange, but true. (I don’t do it very often, but I do really like to do it. It’s very satisfying.)
3. I drink tea all day long.
4. I’m vegetarian.
5. I have four children who are the most amazing people I’ve ever known. I am the luckiest person alive to have these people in my life.
6. I knit. Sweaters and socks are my favorite things to knit, but I’ve made lots of hats for my kids and their cousins. In fact, one year I made 11 hats because each of the cousins got a hat for Christmas.
7. Sometimes I draw portraits in pencil. Usually of my kids or other people’s kids. I taught myself how to draw realistically by reading a book. (I mean, OF COURSE. I’m ALL about the books, you know.) (And it was Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards.)
8. We don’t have TV. We have a television on which we watch movies, but we don’t actually get TV programming because we live too far out to get cable. I love not having commercials interrupt what I’m watching. I don’t ever want TV again.
9. I love the fresh smell of clean laundry that has dried outside on the line.
10. I think a baby laughing is the happiest sound on Earth.