Byline: Rhonda Reese
Mandarin resident Jane Wood is a fun lady. When not speaking in schools, researching new projects or writing, the juvenile fiction author specializes in capturing the imagination through stories packed with mystery, adventure and humor.
Wood's books - "Ghosts on the Coasts: A Visit to Savannah and the Low Country," "Adventures on Amelia Island: A Pirate, A Princess, and Buried Treasure," "Trouble on the St. Johns River" and "Voices in St. Augustine" - have been a hit with young readers everywhere.
While much in demand to share her stories with children in classrooms around Northeast Florida, the award-winning author also has been asked for advice from other writers wanting to follow in her publishing footsteps. To meet the demand, Wood and Frances Keiser, another award-winning children's author with Sagaponack Books, have been teaching book publishing courses.
"We've taught several at various book festivals and are regularly teaching them at the University of North Florida through their Division of Continuing Education," Wood said. "It seems there are many people who have written a book or want to write a book but don't know what to do next. That's where we help them."
Wood said the most comprehensive class she and Keiser teach are their daylong retreats. The women limit their enrollment so they can give individual attention to each participant.
"We talk about publishing options, business essentials, book production, printing methods, distribution and fulfillment, creating a buzz, Internet presence and marketing strategies," Wood said. "I've been amazed at the number of people who are interested in writing a book."
Wood said she and Keiser have had a wide range of people taking their classes.
"We get teachers who want to write a children's book, retirees and baby boomers who now have the time to write a book and people who have lost their jobs and are now doing something they said they always wanted to do," Wood said. …