Archive for the tag “Amazon”

Long overdue, just updated my author page on Amazon

I have just updated my author page on Amazon to read as follows:

My name is Jen Smith – I write teen books under the name Jenny Smith, and books for 7-10 year olds under the name J.L. Smith.

I live in Princes Risborough in Buckinghamshire, with my family and my small dog Angus. My ambition is to swim with whales, dolphins and porpoises, unfortunately the local leisure centre is not being co-operative.

2013 sees the publication of ‘The Abominators’ series for children aged 7-10. This was written to encourage one of my sons (who is dyslexic and was not a confident reader) to read, and is filled with humour, ridiculousness, naughtiness and pranks which I knew would appeal to him. It is illustrated by the brilliant Sam Hearn, who really brings the story to life with his hilarious line drawings. At a visit by a group of Year 4s to our local bookshop, 26 out of 38 children (that’s 7 out of 10) voted for The Abominators to take back for their school library. The reviews so far are very encouraging.

I was born and brought up in Glasgow, and loved to write from a very young age thanks to my father’s storytelling.

I have a blog where I review books and talk about writing and life in general called

In my early twenties I worked in Africa for a relief and development charity. I am so glad I had this experience because since then I’ve never been overly attached to possessions and ‘stuff’. It is relationships, friendships and experiences that represent your life. I put this message across in ‘The Abominators’ where Cecil and his father are no longer rich, but Cecil has never been happier because now he has friends.

I returned to the UK and joined school text book publishers Heinemann (now Pearson), where part of my job was organising author visits to schools. I met and was inspired by children’s authors Anne Fine, Dick King-Smith and Nigel Hinton. Meeting them made me think ‘maybe one day I could do that’.

I don’t think that studying English Literature at University helped me in my writing. Studying the ‘greats’ meant that I never thought that anything I wrote was good enough. I submitted a very serious literary novel to publishers in the early 1990s (with the encouragement of none other than Professor Philip Hobsbaum, highly respected poet and English Literature lecturer), and although I had some encouragement from Robin Robertson who was then at Jonathan Cape it went no further. This confirmed all of my insecurities and I was so discouraged I did not write anything (except a few short stories and poems) for twelve years.

In 2006 a good friend said to me: ‘You’re funny, you should write funny’. This led to the first draft of ‘Diary of a Parent Trainer’, which was accepted by Scholastic in 2008. It was published in 2011, followed by ‘My Big Fat Teen Crisis’ which came out in 2012. ‘Diary of a Parent Trainer’ has been published in eight other countries, and is doing very well in France and Germany.

I’ve appeared twice on Dave Gorman’s radio comedy show ‘Genius’, love watching stand up and comedy and think humour is not just important, it is a divine force (put that in your pipe and smoke it, literary snobs).

As my day job I am a freelance copywriter. I write (on a voluntary basis) for charities at the Clare Foundation. I can be contacted on:

I think that libraries are important and we should safeguard them, whatever future form they may take. Young people from disadvantaged backgrounds need a place where they can access great literature free of charge, this is a right that must not be lost. My father came from a poor background and he educated himself in his local library.

The best birthday card ever! (And some good news)

Amazing news!!! THE ABOMINATORS has been selected for an Amazon promotion! Amazon Kindle is running a promotion from 17 – 30 May to showcase illustrated books for customers who read on their Kindle Fires, iPhones, iPads, Androids, Macs, and PCs. They will be supporting this promotion onsite and on devices as well backing it up with an email and social media campaign. I wonder if we’ve been chosen because of the incredibly fantastic illustrations of Sam Hearn, which are quite simply hilarious, but also clean and sharp and will look great on tablets and Kindles.

THE ABOMINATORS will be priced at £1.49 for the duration of the campaign, which should make it really appealing for readers. And if people go out and buy it to read with their kids on Kindle (especially on holiday), it will raise awareness of the series.

It seems appropriate at this point to show you the birthday card sent to me by my brother and sister in law. Which must be the best one ever.



Thank you to the reviewers

Online book reviewers are fantastic because they take the time to write something that will be helpful to others. I love the ‘Amazon Vine’ scheme, where the Vine reviewers are objective peer reviewers. I can rest assure that it is not the author’s auntie who is giving a book five stars, but somebody unbiased. This I like.

I have been absolutely blown away by the reviews which have come in since the publication of The Abominators this February which include three from Amazon Vine reviewers. Thank you SO MUCH to those who have taken the trouble.  Here are the selection of reviews which are currently on Amazon.

From my 7yr old: Best book ever!, 14 April 2013


My 7 year old twin girls adore this book. They’ve read it 6 times and find it hilarious. They love the character Cecil and his extremely funny ways. One of those gems of a book that gets real belly laughs.

My grandson enjoyed this almost as much as I did!, 13 April 2013

By Mr Gumby (Amazon Vine top 500 Reviewer)

This is a thoroughly entertaining book, eminently readable by its target age range and great fun. It’s `rude’ enough to offer a guilty appeal without going too far. I thought my grandson was going to wet himself, laughing hysterically at times!

The book has many interesting characters and is nicely illustrated. It should appeal to just about all 7-11-year-old boys and many girls as well.

Looking forward very much to the next one.

Hilarious read, 4 April 2013

By Rob Smith (Amazon Vine Top 500 Reviewer)

I got this for my 9 year old boy, he has read lots of similar books such asGenius Ideas (Mostly) (Tom Gates) and also the Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Book 1), but he doesn’t like the books that have that comic look text to them where the text is at all sorts of angles and there are speech bubbles with daft scribbled drawings, wimpy kid has loads.

The Abominators has proper text and layout, much better, the drawing are fun and don’t take away from the reading.

My little lad loved the book, thought it was funny and had a smile on his face as he was reading.

Loved the characters Mucker, Boogster, Cheesy and Bob, and of course Cecil Trumpington-Potts

Hilarious read, reminded me in some ways of me reading some early Tom sharpe books that made me laugh out loud.

funny wunny woo!, 30 Mar 2013

By Chloe Leckie

I would highly recommend any books by this author! She has a wicked sense of humour that will make you laugh out loud! Looking forward to the next books!

Panty Wantylicious!!, 29 Mar 2013

By Ali Griff

I read this book to my boys, aged 11 and 9 over the course of two evenings (we couldn’t put it down!). It is a hilarious family read with a wicked sense of humour that appeals on many levels. Both boys have re-read it, the oldest simply because it was so entertaining and the youngest, who struggles with reading, was motivated to get from one funny antic to the next! Very much looking forward to the next instalment.

Laugh out loud!, 21 Feb 2013

By Andy Ding

Brilliant!- both my boys loved reading this book and when I took a look it even had me laughing out loud. Perfect for kids aged 7 – 10 who like cheeky humour.

We can’t wait for the next one.

Hilarious, 18 Jan 2013

By Vicki Cole

As a headteacher of a primary school, I’ve just read this book to see whether it would inspire and encourage boys of 7+ to read. It will! We will be puttifng some copies in school and look forward to the publication of the next two in the series.

A book that will be more appreciated by kids than by their parents!, 5 April 2013

By Sara Durston (Amazon Vine Reviewer)

The Abominators are a gang of four primary school kids who enjoy causing mischief, whether flicking bogies across the classroom, pouring vegetable oil over the floor to make the teachers slip over or filling the school toilets with strawberry jelly. They aren’t interested in making new friends, especially the previously privileged but now poor, Cecil Trumpington-Potts and his `babyish’ way of talking. Sadly (for them) Cecil has other ideas and is prepared to do whatever it takes to join the gang and so his initiation begins!

I liked this book, the illustrations are great and it has a good vocabulary. As I’m the parent of an `exuberant’ child, I am slightly concerned that this book might give him ideas but I can also see that it’s just the kind of book and just the level of naughtiness and humour that kids find hysterical!

Perhaps this is a good book for reluctant readers, especially as it is the start of a new series. Good fun.

It’s never too late to help me to spread the word about this new series for ages 6-11 by posting a review on the Waterstones, WH Smith or Amazon websites, or just by spreading the word if you enjoyed the book. Or email me your review and I will publish it on my website (

Here is the link to the above reviews on Amazon. Thanks again, all!

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