Jenny Goebel is the author of Out of My Shell (2020 Green Earth Book Award Winner for Cadmus' Children's Fiction), Fortune Falls (an Indies Next List pick), and Grave Images (Colorado Book Awards 2014 Winner for Juvenile Literature). She also wrote the penultimate, The 39 Clues Book: Doublecross: Mission Hurricane, and picture books: Foreman Farley has a Backhoe; Foreman Frankie is Handy and The Firefighter. Jenny is happiest either with a steaming cup of tea and a good book in her hands, or when she’s exploring Colorado’s endless beauty with her family. She lives near Denver with her husband, three sons, three crested geckos, and one mischievous dog.
As a Colorado native, I've lived my entire life at the base of the Rocky Mountains. I'm not sure when the photo on the right was taken, but my one, older brother and I rarely looked this spiffy. We spent most of our summers exploring the acreage we grew up on and splashing around in the lake behind our house. And when winter brought massive snow storms, we'd build sculptures with our parents, aunts, uncles and cousins in our grandparent's front yard.
Growing up with one foot in Denver and the other immersed in nature, I developed an appreciation for both city life and the great outdoors.
My city side loves museums, concerts, art, perusing bookstores and trying new restaurants. The nature girl in me loves hiking, snowshoeing, snowboarding--pretty much anything that gets me outside.
I married my high school sweetheart. (This photo of us was taken long after we met!) We attended the University of Colorado Boulder together, and after graduation he became a firefighter and I started a career as an elementary school teacher.
When my husband and I decided to expand our family, I left teaching to spend more time with our three sons, and to start an engraving business. Initially, I engraved awards, backsplashes and floor tiles. Then my husband introduced me to a fellow firefighter whose family owned a monument company and I added headstone portraits to my repertoire.
(The photo to the left is of a pet memorial I engraved.)
One day, a question popped into my head--
What if someone was engraving headstone portraits of people before the people mysteriously died?
I'd always loved books and writing and I thought this particular "what if" question could be developed into a fun and creepy story. It took me the better part of five years, but my first middle grade novel, GRAVE IMAGES, was published in 2013.
I no longer engrave headstones, or anything else for that matter, but I've been writing and publishing children's books ever since.
I hope to never stop