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Interview with Jeff Zentner author of The Serpent King & Goodbye Days
Hello everyone! Today we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to chat with musician-turned-author Jeff Zentner, the creator of the award-winning The Serpent King and the newly released Goodbye Days! Jeff is joining us to talk about his upcoming YA novel Goodbye days that tackles an extreme and tragic case of grieving with empathy, honesty, and heart. Please welcome Jeff on the Reading With your Kids Podcast & let’s get started with this interview!
Here’s more information about Jeff Zentner
Jeff Zentner lives in Nashville, Tennessee. He came to writing through music, starting his creative life as a guitarist and eventually becoming a songwriter. He’s released five albums and appeared on recordings with Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, Thurston Moore, Debbie Harry, Mark Lanegan, and Lydia Lunch, among others.
Now he writes novels for young adults. He became interested in writing for young adults after volunteering at the Tennessee Teen Rock Camp and Southern Girls Rock Camp. As a kid, his parents would take him to the library and drop him off, where he would read until closing time. He worked at various bookstores through high school and college.
More about Goodbye Days
What if you could spend one last day with someone you lost?
One day Carver Briggs had it all—three best friends, a supportive family, and a reputation as a talented writer at his high school, Nashville Academy for the Arts.
The next day he lost it all when he sent a simple text to his friend Mars, right before Mars, Eli, and Blake were killed in a car crash.
Now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident, and he’s not the only one. Eli’s twin sister is trying to freeze him out of school with her death-ray stare. And Mars’s father, a powerful judge, is pressuring the district attorney to open a criminal investigation into Carver’s actions.
Soon the other families are asking for a Goodbye Day with Carver, but he’s unsure of their motives. Will they all be able to make peace with their losses, or will these Goodbye Days bring Carver one step closer to a complete breakdown or—even worse—prison?
More about The Serpent King
Dill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life—at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes, and at school, where he faces down bullies who target him for his father’s extreme faith and very public fall from grace.
He and his fellow outcast friends must try to make it through their senior year of high school without letting the small-town culture destroy their creative spirits and sense of self. Graduation will lead to new beginnings for Lydia, whose edgy fashion blog is her ticket out of their rural Tennessee town. And Travis is content where he is thanks to his obsession with an epic book series and the fangirl turning his reality into real-life fantasy.
Their diverging paths could mean the end of their friendship. But not before Dill confronts his dark legacy to attempt to find a way into the light of a future worth living.
In this episode
- You will learn more about Goodbye Days & The Serpent King
- Before becoming an author, Jeff was a musician and songwriter. What sparked his interest in writing?
- His experiences writing about teenagers dealing with these issues, and generally writing for teenagers.
- What kind of things Parents & their young adult will discover if they read his books simultaneously
- What’s next in the pipeline for Jeff Zentner & more…Happy Listening!
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You can discover more about Jeff Zentner and his books by visiting
Check out The Great Martini, A fun and touching story about Sam, a lovable but far from perfect magician who learns that the greatest transformation is transforming feelings of caring into action to help another human being. The Great Maritini, as an exclusive amazon e book. Please click here to get your copy today.