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Beyond the Page: Jennifer Marino Walters

This week we are excited to feature Jennifer Marino Walters, author of ABCs at the Haunted House, illustrated by Nathan Y. Jarvis (Red Chair Press, September 2019). Get to know Jennifer through fun questions below.

What is your zodiac sign? Which zodiac sign personality trait do you relate to most and least?

I am a Virgo, and I most relate to my sign’s need to be helpful. Whether it’s being room parent for my daughter’s kindergarten class or volunteering to shelve books at the school library, I’ve never met a sign-up sheet I can walk away from. I least relate to Virgos’ tendency to be organized—one look at my home office would prove that!

If you could only eat one food for a week, what you pick?

That’s easy—pasta! Spaghetti and meatballs, penne alla vodka, baked ziti, fetuccine alfredo … just give me all the pasta! It would be worth every added inch to my waistline.

What did you want to be growing up?

I’ve wanted to be a writer from a very young age. My mother still has a birthday card I gave her when I was 8, in which I wrote that one day I would become a “famous writer.” I may not be famous, but I have written several children’s books—and my mom keeps them all on a shelf in my childhood bedroom!

Tell us one fun insider-fact about ABCs at the Haunted House, your most recent work.

There are less than 200 words in the book, but those words were surprisingly difficult to write! Not only did I have to think of Halloween-related words for every letter of the alphabet, but I also had to choose words that could be beautifully illustrated. Some of the letters—G for giggly ghost, P for pumpkins, V for vampire—were easy choices. Others were not so obvious, and that’s how scenes such as the monsters hiding under the stairs came to be!

Jennifer Marino Walters

A mom to three, two twin boys and a wannabe ballet princess, Jennifer is a writer and editor specializing in family and parenting topics. She has written for major media such as Los Angeles Times, Reader’s Digest, Parenting, Scholastic News, and Care.com. She lives and writes from home near Washington DC.

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