Jennifer Garcia’s lifelong love for reading and writing was put aside for many years while she made her way in the world and nurtured her young family. Originally from Boston, she currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband, two sons, and two dogs. Even though she is older, and life never seems to settle, she’s finding her way while attending college full-time in pursuit of a B.A. in English Literature. She also runs a business, and is still caring for her family. Believing she can do it all, with the help of her family, she worked on her first novel during the late hours of the night while balancing the rest of her life during the day. Her hard work paid off, as her first novel, My Mr. Manny, was released August 2013 and her first novella, In My Mother’s Footsteps, was released July 2013.
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Mia Balducci, the main character in my book, My Mr. Manny, is an Italian-American girl from Boston much like myself. She grew up an only child with her cousins as her pseudo siblings. An opportunity to live with her father in California arose and she took it. This big move led her life through some trials and tribulations, but, ultimately, to the life she always wanted. I received a writing prompt about a male manny, Manny, and the need to have a single mother led me to Mia. Usually I write when the ideas are too strong in my head, when they take over and I need to let them out. It can be for hours at night for weeks at a time, to nothing at all when I’m actually working on the story in my mind. My writing process takes a lot of mental writing before I can actually get the words down on paper. When the ideas come to me, they’re so overwhelming that I have to get them out. That’s really how I started writing. These ideas became too much and they’d swarm my brain until they were formed into full movies. Finally, a friend of mine encouraged me to submit a story I had finished into an open call she’d seen. So, without hesitation or time to talk myself out of it, I did. I’m so glad I did, because not only was it accepted, they wanted me to expand my story from a novella to a novel. I feel extremely lucky to have been able to follow my dream and accomplish publishing two books last year all while working a full-time job and going to college full-time, and I have my husband to thank for that.