Consider this a dossier on S. Jae-Jones.
S. Jae-Jones, called JJ, is an artist, an adrenaline junkie, and author of Wintersong (Thomas Dunne, 2016). Born and raised in Los Angeles, she now lives in North Carolina, as well as many other places on the internet, including Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and her blog.
S. Jae-Jones (called JJ) is an artist, an adrenaline junkie, and the author of Wintersong. (Thomas Dunne, 2016). Before moving to grits country, she was YA fiction editor in New York City. A southern California native, she now lives in North Carolina with her doctor Bear and a stuffed baby harp seal named White-Harp. To learn more about her adventures, please visit her website or come chat with her on Twitter.
S. Jae-Jones was born and raised in sunny southern California by a Korean mother and a lapsed Mormon father. Although born a stone’s throw from Beverly Hills, she was mostly raised in Pasadena, city of roses and rocket scientists, where she too dreamed of working for NASA-JPL until she discovered astronomy involved more math than aliens.
The majority of her childhood could be called sheltered, or perhaps more accurately, privileged; she attended a private school with the same 36 students from fifth through eighth grade before moving onto the (literal) cloistered atmosphere of an all-girls’ school, where she attended class behind wrought iron gates. (The wrought iron gates were both literal and metaphorical.) She was a scholastic over-achiever, but found the most solace in the arts conservatories, particularly Visual Arts and Creative Writing. When not stressing over her APs and SATs, JJ was most often found browsing the stacks of Vromans Bookstore, where she first found the works of Philip Pullman and Tamora Pierce.
By the time she was eighteen, JJ was ready to explore the big, wide world beyond her small town of Los Angeles, and went to New York University on a scholarship, majoring in English Literature with a minor in Art History. She graduated college in three years (shortly before her 21st birthday), but not before spending time studying abroad in London, where she met Bear1, her lifelong partner and fellow lover of stuffed baby harp seals.2
After floundering about in a few post-graduate jobs in law and finance because she had no idea what she wanted to do with her life, JJ finally managed to stumble into an internship at Writers House, where she discovered you could make a living by reading—a childhood dream come true. Shortly thereafter, she was hired by the editorial department of St. Martin’s Press, where she focused on acquiring and editing YA.
When Bear graduated medical school and became Dr. Bear, she and he (and White-Harp) moved from NYC down to North Carolina. After years of helping other writers birth their books, JJ decided to devote her newfound free time to bringing her own projects to term, one of which was Wintersong. Wintersong was born of her geeky love of all things German, David Bowie, Mozart, and goth, she was amazed to discover those interests put together weren’t as uncommon as she thought. She signed with Katelyn Detweiler at Jill Grinberg Literary Management, and Wintersong was acquired by Jennifer Letwack of Thomas Dunne Books for publication in 2016.