Welcome Author Jolene Gutiérrez – Giveaway Alert!

I met Jolene at our regional SCBWI conference several years ago where we bonded over teaching, our own children, writing, and nature. During a lunch break, Jolene was kind enough to walk with me as I went in pursuit of a bird I had never been able to capture with my camera until that day. If you follow this blog, you know how much joy I find in photography. Then we took notes for each other during an intensive critique session, and we’ve stayed friends ever since. When I need fresh eyes on a manuscript, emergency advice on writing or life in general, she’s someone I can rely on. Last February we collaborated with author Beth Anderson on a presentation at the Colorado Council of the International Reading Association. It was a group project dream team working with these two and I hope when in person events resume, we can share the stage again. Jolene is offering a copy of her middle grade book, BIONIC BEASTS or a non-rhyming picture book critique (700 words or less.)

What were you like at the age o your target audience?

Um, well, I was a boy-crazy diva who loved dressing up. I was also a kid who loved being outside and spent hours riding horses and 3-wheelers, looking for rocks, and studying plants. I had a fabulous second grade teacher, Bill Boettcher, who challenged us with difficult spelling words, so he made me feel smart. He encouraged us to read and offered a classroom library, so I read my first chapter book, A Horse Called Dragon, by Lynn Hall and fell in love with reading—especially horse books. And Mr. Boettcher promised us that if we wrote stories, he (or his amazing wife Deb) would type those stories up and give us a published book. I took him up on his offer and illustrated my books once they were “published.” Second grade was a turning point for me. Mr. Boettcher is the reason I love reading and the reason I held on to that dream of publishing books. 

What inspires you?

Kids, books, animals, social justice, history, biographies, archaeology, ghost stories, travel, things that make me laugh. . . the list goes on and on, but kids are at the heart of most of the things I do and are my main inspiration. I’m always thinking of my own children and my students. I’m always hoping to support my students as they learn and grow, and I’m constantly rewarded in this. I tell my students all the time how proud I am of them and how much hope they give me for the future. My own children are mostly grown and are pretty darn amazing!

What’s something you hope your readers take away from your books?

I hope that my readers will sense just how much I care about them, and I hope that within my books, they’ll find the spark that drew me to create the story within.


What’s next for you?

In the near future, my agent Kaitlyn Sanchez and I will have an announcement about a book that my daughter and I are working on, so watch for that! It’s going to be amazing! This is also my son’s senior year in high school and he’s been accepted to the Colorado School of Mines and welcomed into their Thorson Honors Program, so we’ll be celebrating a lot this spring!

To connect with Jolene and learn more about her books:

Website: http://www.jolenegutierrez.com    Facebook: facebook.com/writerjolene

Twitter: twitter.com/writerjolene Instagram: instagram.com/writerjolene

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/writerjolene Pinterest: pinterest.com/writerjolene/

Published by authorlaurablog

I'm a reading specialist from Chicago, now living in the beauty of the Roosevelt National Forest in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. My first book "Aliana Reaches for the Moon" features a creative and curious girl who loves science, her little brother, and her very patient parents. I'm currently writing a MG novel and several picture books with STEM elements and dogs.

31 thoughts on “Welcome Author Jolene Gutiérrez – Giveaway Alert!

  1. As a former second grade teacher your story about Mr. Boettcher makes me smile! What a great teacher! I always love learning more about you and your inspiration! Thanks for sharing your fabulous stories and your generous heart!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and for always supporting me, Tonnye! I appreciate it! And Mr. Boettcher was (and is–we’re still in touch) an amazing teacher. I’ve been blessed with many amazing teachers in my life, but Mr. Boettcher’s class was definitely a turning point for me. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That 3-wheeler shot is adorable! I remember when I first met you at DA at Patricia Polacco’s author visit. The students cherished you and I quickly learned why. You bring flare and joy to the room which spills over into your books! Mr. Boettcher must be thrilled for you and your accomplishments. Imagine how many DA students will feel this way about you one day. So eager to learn about your collaboration with your daughter.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment, Carmela! 😀 Your kind words brought tears to my eyes. I try to always keep in mind the power or an amazing (or a not-so-amazing) teacher. Teachers change lives every day, and it’s an honor for me to support our students. ❤ And Mr. Boettcher has remained one of my biggest supporters–cheering me on all the way!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s so awesome to have author friends to share ideas with and to support you on your journey. I adore the ATV picture as it brings back memories of exploring the woods in Michigan’s UP.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes! The KidLit community is filled with so many amazing people. Thank you so much for taking the time to read, Danielle! And exploring the woods on an ATV sounds like so much fun! We used ours to get around our farm on the plains (and we had a racetrack where we raced them), but we had very few trees around. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love how you gave a fellow teacher so much recognition & warmth! Sound like he is a pretty special guy! Wishing you much success w/ your writing, Jolene! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for reading and for your kind wishes, Jenny! I wish you all the same! I think we all need those reminders of how important teachers are (although I think most people agree with that right now because of quarantine/virtual education this year). ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  5. It’s so fabulous to hear that you met and bonded at an SCBWI conference. I have a writing friend that I met in the same way and despite now being on two different continents we still support each other, she’s my go to final reader before I submit anything :o)

    Liked by 2 people

  6. What a terrific post! You are definitely accomplishing this goal, Jolene! “I hope that my readers will sense just how much I care about them, and I hope that within my books, they’ll find the spark that drew me to create the story within.”

    Liked by 2 people

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