Jennifer Swanson

Jeff Olson

Jennifer Swanson began her writing career at the age of five when she wrote and illustrated books for her kindergarten class. A self-professed science geek, Jennifer started a science club in her garage at the age of 7. She used to gather leaves and flowers and look at them under a microscope. Much to her mother’s dismay, her prize possession was a cow skull that she found in a field down by the river. Her love of science continues to this day as when she is not writing, she loves to go out and notice the science all around her. Jennifer lives in Jacksonville with her husband and two dogs. Learn more about Jennifer at her website:


What was your favorite book when you were a child?

Nancy Drew books were my absolute favorite books! I loved following along and solving the mystery. I think that’s why I love science. It’s the same thing. Science is all about solving the mysteries of how things work.

What’s your favorite line from a book?

This one from A. A. Milne is very special to me: “Promise me you’ll always remember: you’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than think.”

Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?

That’s a tough one, there are so many that I admire. I love J. K. Rowling, of course, and my favorite science authors are Melissa Stewart and Mary Kay Carson.

Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?

I have always loved to write. From the time I was very small, I wrote books. I spent a huge amount of my early years in a library and one of my dreams was to be able to pull a book off of the shelves with my name on it.

Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?

Work hard and never give up. Over the course of my career, I have received lots of rejection. I have been told that my writing is not good enough—that I should go back to my “day job.” But I didnt’ let that stop me. I just dug in, spent more time learning my craft, and kept going. Don’t let anyone take your dream from you!