We had the good fortune of connecting with Jenny Balagna and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jenny, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I’ve spent a lot of my life writing, mainly for fun. I never really thought about turning it into something I could sell and share with the world until about a year ago. After six years of writing my draft for my book, Noryn’s Legend, I decided that I’d finally finish it. Even then, I didn’t think about self publishing it or creating a brand for it. It wasn’t until I was in the final stages of editing that I thought I’d give it a shot and see if I could become a published author with a book that could sell. Having a business of my own was something I was always interested in, and I had a few roads that I could take in that direction. Turns out, the road I needed to travel down was as an author!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My book, Noryn’s Legend, is a historical fiction fantasy where this strong female character ends up saving the world from dark forces. It’s based in an era similar to England in the 1920s with well-rounded characters, an adventure that keeps you guessing around every corner, and a dash of old-world magic. Noryn’s Legend is something that has lived with me since I was 12 years old. It’s developed and changed right alongside of me as I’ve grown. It’s a personal piece of work that has helped me navigate through my own challenges and triumphs, even to this day. I’d say the biggest challenge was to share it with people and getting over the fear that they might not like it. But really, not everyone likes everything. There’s bound to be people who would dislike it, but also there would be people who would love it. I just had to continue to remind myself that as long as I liked it and felt confident about it, nothing else mattered. And, thankfully, as I’ve been sharing it to everyone around me, I’ve gotten great feedback. That only adds to my confidence moving forward. I want my book to not only tell a captivating story, but I also want it to encourage the people who read it. It took me 6 years to finish my final draft and finally publish it. Creatives- don’t give up your work and don’t be afraid to put it out in the world.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
One thing I love about Longmont, Colorado, is where it’s located. If it was a long weekend, we could drive 20 minutes and be surrounded by mountains. Travel 40 minutes and we could be in the big city of Denver. But there’s so much good in Longmont, I doubt we’d leave! We’d tour a few of my favorite breweries, like 300 Suns, Lefthand, and Wibby. We’d have at least one meal at the Pumphouse! We’d also get coffee or cocktails at La Vita Bella, one of my favorite downtown spots. Longmont also has a great artist community, lots of talented musicians, artists, and more. I’m sure we’d stumble upon a local show or two.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Gosh, there’s so many people to thank! This story has been with me since my middle school years. I have to thank my childhood friends who willingly walked beside me in my imaginative world. They helped inspire some of the greatest characters and greatest storylines. I’d also have to give a shout out to my middle and high school English teacher, Mrs. McCandless. She encouraged my writing and supported the short stories I wrote and shared with her. Of course, I have to thank my parents, Mark and Deb Balagna, for their support and love and allowed me to do anything I felt passionate enough to do. My siblings, Nick, Dennis, and Tracey, my close friends, Emily, Erica, Bethan, and Kristina, who cheered me on every step of the way. And to my partner, Tim Ostdiek, for his support, encouragement, and help as I’ve been navigating through this. Really, there’s so many people to thank. I’ve always had a supportive community to back me up and that’s everything.
Photo Credits to Lisa Spangler, owner of Lisa Joy Photography.