“Sometimes there is no distinction between imagination and reality,” Jenna Newell Hiott said with a shrug.
Yeah, she’s a little weird like that. And at the same time, she’s one of the most down-to-earth and hilarious people you’ll ever meet.
Jenna boasts of having a limitless imagination unless it’s nap time. While many of us had an imaginary friend as children, Jenna had an entire imaginary family, complete with a second set of parents and three new siblings. One could say she’s been writing fantasy fiction since she was old enough to use words.
But her wacky imagination doesn’t mean she keeps herself locked in a room, communicating only with the people in her mind. She enjoys real people too!
“I have a passion for human connection,” she says. “This passion led me to study both history and world religions. What I’ve learned is that when you strip away culture and erase the boundaries of time, we are all the same. The first time I saw a photograph of the fossilized footprints of Laetoli, Africa, I got chills. Here, preserved in mud for more than three million years, was evidence that humans have always loved one another. One male, one female, and a child–a family–walked together that day and left their story behind in footprints. And don’t even get me started on cave art! I hyperventilate when I think about it. For at least 30,000 years (and probably much longer for all we know), humans have been expressing themselves through the creation of art. It’s truly remarkable and all the proof I need of Divinity. It’s easy to imagine, then, that if humans have been able to represent their inner workings in two-dimensional imagery for tens of thousands of years, we have likely been telling stories to each other since the dawn of time. I believe storytelling was probably the first art, and there was never a time when humans weren’t doing it.”
It is from this place of active imagination and love of human interactions, that Jenna creates. Her writing is driven by deep characters and plots that keep the reader guessing.