Hi friends! Jen here.
Some have asked how I thought of the idea for, SURVIVAL STRATEGIES OF THE ALMOST BRAVE? It came to me one night as I got ready for bed. I heard a voice in my head; a girl, who had been left at a gas station. She wondered what to do and how to get home. I began writing Liberty because I couldn’t get her voice out of my head. Like her, I knew what it felt like to be lost and alone.
When I was twelve, I went camping with my parents, my siblings, my grandparents, and my cousins. I rode in the back of a camper truck with my sister and my cousin with all of our camping gear piled high around us. This was BEFORE the seat belt law, so we were fine to sit in the back with a comfortable little bed we had made. While traveling, we stopped at a small gas station in the middle of the desert for gas and ice. I jumped out of the truck with my sister and cousin to go to the bathroom. When we came back, our cars were gone, and so was our family.
No one saw us get out of the truck. My family continued on their way, thinking we had fallen asleep. They did not realize we were missing until they reached their destination, Four Corners Monument (I still have never seen it in person). When my parents understood their mistake, they rushed back to the gas station to find us (no cell phones, yet). Luckily we had been safely taken to a foster home, where we ate bean burritos and watched the movie, Mary Poppins. My parents had been gone for six hours.
I do remember I looked out at the barren landscape from the kitchen window of the foster home and wondered why my family hadn’t returned and what had happened to them. As you can imagine, that was not a happy feeling. Soon after, a police officer called and said my family was back and very anxious to be reunited. Being safely returned to my family was one of the best moments of my life, but I must admit, I never forgot that experience. Maybe that’s why Liberty came knocking and wanted me to write her story. I loved spending every second with Liberty and Billie.
Even though SURVIVAL STRATEGIES OF THE ALMOST BRAVE is not a true story, many of the places and animals I talk about in the book are. Here are some of my favorites. Don’t you agree that animals are amazing and have some of the best survival strategies? I sure do. Click on the pictures below to learn more.