Welcome to the third edition of my Author Spotlight series, where the goal is to bring attention to other self-publishing authors and their children’s books. In this edition, I am interviewing Jenelle French, author of the I Am a Problem Solver Series, which currently consists of three books all aimed at promoting kids’ social and emotional development.
I originally connected with Jenelle on Instagram, and she has been incredibly supportive throughout my self-publishing journey. She not only pledged to my Kickstarter campaign last fall and joined my book review team this spring, but she has also gone out of her way to support me and promote The Train Rolls On on social media. She is a very kind and generous person and an inspiration to many authors, so I’d like to take this opportunity to share her books and her self-publishing journey with you.
1. Jenelle, can you please tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a wife, mom of two daughters, children’s author, and former school counselor. In my spare time I enjoy going for bike rides with my family, reading, and working on marketing for my books.
2. What inspired you to publish children’s books?
As a former school counselor, our focus is helping kids socially, emotionally, and academically. One way we can do this is through books. Books spark important conversations with kids and keep them engaged. I used a plethora of books during my years as a school counselor and mom. I knew I wanted to write a series of books that kids could relate to and that would help them grow and develop socially and emotionally.
3. Why did you choose to self-publish your books?
I decided to self-publish instead of going the traditional route so I could have more freedom and control over the content and overall design of my books. I enjoy the creative process of making books from start to finish.
4. Tell us about the books in your series.
When I created the I Am a Problem Solver Series, I knew I wanted to create books that focus on social and emotional learning. As a former school counselor, I used books all the time to teach important lessons and topics to my students. When reading my books, you will find several important character traits are covered such as positive thinking, problem solving, kindness, empathy, affirmations, mindfulness, and identifying feelings. There are currently three books in the series, and details of each are listed below:
I Can Use an ‘I Statement’
Follow Gabby on her day, where she uses an 'I Statement' to tell people how she feels. Her self-esteem and confidence grow as she learns to express her feelings! Perfect for parents, teachers, and counselors of Pre-K through Elementary kids.
Hayley Helps A Friend In Need
Follow Hayley as she uses her magnificent problem-solving skills to help her classmates out when there is a problem. Your child will love the beautiful illustrations and story, which teaches kids how to show empathy, kindness, friendship, and social skills. Perfect for parents of young children, school counselors, and teachers!
Preston’s Positive Thoughts
Preston is having a really bad day. All day he tells himself he can't do something well, and that's what happens. His negative thoughts lead to negative actions and outcomes. But what would happen if Preston were to change his thoughts? Instead of thinking negative thoughts, what if he thinks positively about himself? It's amazing how much our way of thinking leads to positive or negative outcomes. If we believe we are bad at something, we usually will be. If we believe we will succeed, we have a much better chance of succeeding. Join Preston as he learns how to turn his negative thoughts into positive thoughts!
5. What do you hope children (or families) learn from reading your books?
My hope is that children and parents will be able to enjoy these books while having fun learning some important lifelong lessons along the way. In addition, I hope children will learn that it’s important to talk and express their feelings.
6. What is one thing that you have learned throughout the self-publishing process?
I have learned a lot through self-publishing and continue to do so every day. It’s so important to support and encourage fellow authors. We all rise by lifting each other up.
7. What are you working on now? Do you have any new books or projects in the works?
I have written several more books but have not given them to my editor yet. One of them will eventually be part of the I Am a Problem Solver Series.
8. Where can people find out more about you? Where can they buy your books?
You can find me in a few social media outlets:
You can buy my books online through Wal-Mart, Target, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.
9. Is there anything else that you’d like to mention?
Thank you, Jodi, for this interview. One of the best parts of publishing books is being able to connect with authors like you!
You’re very welcome, Jenelle. Thank you for taking part in my Author Spotlight series and for your ongoing support! It has been a privilege to get to know you, and I can't wait to see where your author journey takes you from here.
To everyone else, I hope that you found this interview enlightening and entertaining. If you haven't done so already, you should definitely check out Jenelle’s books! They are great stories and are really helpful for teaching kids about important social and emotional concepts. So far, Preston’s Positive Thoughts is Avery’s favorite book in the series, and reading it with her has made a difference in her attitude when it comes to doing new or difficult things. We definitely recommend checking them out!
Additional Author Spotlight articles can be found here: