The Jensons - A children’s comic fantasy novel written and illustrated by 13 year-old Chelsea Anyanwu.
The Jensons is a children’s story about a wealthy family causing mayhem wherever they go. They are notorious everywhere for their money and their crimes. Although they fight amongst themselves all the time, they are still a very close-knit family, who love each other so much and will forever stick together. The youngest, Sally, is the darling of the family and could get away with almost anything. This crazy family are The Jensons.
twixt co-founder, Wendy Blanton, interviews author, Chelsea Anyanwu, ahead of the release of her first book.
Q: Hi Chelsea! We are super excited to meet you. Can you tell us about you?
A: My name is Chelsea Anyanwu. I’m 13 years old and I’m a year 9 student at St Ursula’s Convent School. I’m the first of 4 children. I have two younger sisters and a younger brother. I love them so much.
I love to draw and I draw every day. When I was in primary school, my teachers always put my work up for display and everyone always encourages me to draw.
I can be a bit shy but it depends who I am with. When I'm with my friends and family I can be very loud and even a bit crazy but with everyone else I become quiet.
I recently began watching anime and I love it so much; mainly because of the art and how it is exaggerated.
Q: What were your favourite books as a child? At your early writing age/stage, which kind of thing did you write about?
A: When I was in primary, I enjoyed reading Dork Diaries, Diary of a Wimpy kid and I also read some David Walliam books and all these books made me laugh. I also read all the Roald Dahl books and the most interesting is Matilda. But my favourite book is either Fuzzy Mud written by Louis Sachar or The Curious Incident Of the Dog in the Night-time, written by Mark Haddon.
I used to tell my sisters stories off the top of my head which always made them laugh. After telling them the stories I would write them down so I could remember them later on.
Q: Tell us about your new book, The Jensons.
A: The Jensons is about a family who are super rich and cause trouble wherever they go. They tend to argue a lot amongst each other but no matter what, they would still stick together. They love each other a lot.
Q: What inspired you to write it?
Everything around me inspires me. The way my characters behave could come from TV or just people you would see on the street. You might see someone behaving weirdly and then you can use that to create a character. The Jensons story started from me telling my sisters stories off the top of my head. I will create the story and the scene and plot with bits and bobs in the house and they will become the character. I will use different voices to bring each story alive. When we are done playing and telling each scene, I will write it down.
Q: How long did it take you to write the book? And what are your writing processes like? A: It took quite a while to write the story because I kept having more ideas to add to it, so I had to keep going back and forth to edit. I began writing the story when I was 8 years and as I grew up, my taste and ideas continued to change and I would rewrite it. I had to rewrite at least over 4 times.
Also, I lost my plot when my mum mistakenly threw out all our characters during a spring clean of the house. That threw me out of ideas for a while. I had to start replacing the characters again to get back into the story.
Q: What lessons do you think young people could learn from the book?
A: Young people can learn family bonding and how to resolve issues in the family because the Jensons often get into arguments but they always resolve them and stick together as family. Also, the story touched on bullying and children can learn to speak up and stand up for themselves with their classmates.
Q: What is your favourite part of the writing process?
I really enjoy developing new characters. Creating their background stories and giving each character different personality traits, it’s so fun. I love to draw what they look like too. The drawing helps me develop their personalities.
Q: How do you feel being a published writer? And are you currently working on another book?
A: I feel very proud of myself for actually writing the book because it took so long and it's not easy. I am currently writing more stories in the Jensons series. I’m almost through with the second book. I’m also writing another book that is not in the Jensons series.
Q: Who are your mentors?
A: My mum is so creative and hardworking. She inspires me a lot. My dad also is very funny, he tells us endless stories and he is also a writer. They both are our role models. My younger sister is also a writer. Sometimes we challenge ourselves on our vocabulary strength and descriptive writing. She is so good. Her book is coming out in May - so watch this space!
Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?
I’m drawn to things that involve design - whether it’s fashion or arts. So far in school, I’m learning Design Technology and I’ve been good with product designs. I’m not yet sure which form of art I want to go for. I would also like to continue writing books.
Q: What advice would you give an aspiring writer?
Just start writing. Don’t be afraid to write any idea down. It doesn’t need to be perfect. Have fun with characters and remember that anything is possible in a story.
Q: Thanks so much for speaking with us today, Chelsea. How can we order your book?
My book, The Jensons, comes out on the 9th March and you can pre-order your copy.
Also, don’t forget to visit the Jensons’ own website! It’s thejensons.club. You can sign up for more information about the launch there.
You can pre-order the book here.
For any enquiries please contact the publisher on
Email - email@example.com
Phone - 02035321354
Visit - www.thejensons.club
Twitter - @thejensons