Open Book

Posted by jennifer gibson on Friday, June 3, 2016 Under: June 2016

My life is like an open book, literally. I’ve written and published a trio of young adult novels, featuring a teen girl with a profound hearing loss. When I intially wrote “Sway”, the first book in the series, I wasn’t entirely sure what kind of reception I would receive. Imagine my surprise when it hit the TOP 50 best seller list at I was astounded and that’s when I knew that I was on the right track. After that, I wrote two more books, “Compass” and “Destiny”.  All of them have received numerous awards and glowing testimonials. Due to the resounding feedback and requests from fans around the world, I decided to write a fourth novel entitled “Home” which will be released later this year.

I’m often asked why I chose to write about a hard of hearing teenager. A few years ago, I was at a crossroads, trying to decide what to do in terms of a career. I’ve been a public speaker, an award-winning photographer, illustrator and book cover designer. At the time, I was struggling to find a job and wanted to find a way to make a valuable contribution to the society. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that there needed to be a change in the stigma surrounding hearing loss. Typically, when I meet someone for the first time, they’re often surprised that I wear hearing aids and that always bothered me. I wanted to find a way to bring in more awareness about hearing loss and it just made perfect sense to write a book about it.

Even though it’s not an autobiography, it’s a fictional story where I’ve incorporated true aspects of my life. There are many segments in all of the books that feature real scenes. It worked out very well since it created intense emotions and a deeper connection due to the actual experiences. As a result, it’s filled with a mix of endearing and heart-wrenching moments. One minute, you’ll be laughing, then the next, you will be reaching for tissues and sobbing. I’ve had many people tell me that that they became more enlightened after reading my books.

My goal was to show young adults that they didn’t have to feel alone. I wanted to give them a sense of hope. Truthfully, I wish that I had these books when I was a teen. It would’ve given me a boost in my self confidence.

My childhood was not easy. Even though I wore hearing aids, they were not as sophisticated as today’s digital models. I missed a lot. I had a hard time hearing people, understanding social cues and being able to follow conversations. It didn’t help that I was a painfully shy kid. People were often quick to assume that I was stupid or wouldn’t let me participate in the same activities as everyone else. I was often teased and shunned at school. Not only did it terrify me, it left me with the impression that I wasn’t accepted or worthy of anyone’s respect or love.

You see, what I went through in life defined me. Through heartache and chaos, I had to discover my true purpose. It taught me an important lesson in believing myself and staying strong. That’s what my books are about, finding the strength to rise above the challenges and holding onto hope.

I think the biggest surprise of all, is how well received these books are, not only from the young adult crowd, but also readers of all ages. That says something. It’s a huge stride forward in breaking the stigma of being hard of hearing and that’s a beautiful thing to be a part of.

Being able to share some of the poignant and difficult moments of my life, has been a worthwhile journey. It made me realize that I was meant to do this. I hope that my stories continue to inspire many others and encourage them to keep moving forward in life.

“Hope will always guide you.”

Jennifer’s books are available world-wide at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, and

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In : June 2016 

Tags: chha  "open book" 
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