By Anna Skinner
From writing Ray Bradbury spin-offs in high school with her best friend to establishing her career first in non-fiction history stories then in adult fiction stories, Indiana author Jennifer Niven has explored many mediums with her creative word flow.
However, she has finally found her niche in Young Adult, or YA, literature.
“I love writing (YA), and I just love the whole world that surrounds it, the readers especially, but also booksellers, librarians, publishers … everyone involved in it is just so excited,” Niven said.
Niven has been touring lately because of her most recent book, “All the Bright Places” and its extreme rise in popularity. It is currently in the process of being made into a movie.
Niven gave a presentation at Westfield High School to English classes in the media center on April 27. She offered to sign books, and she also shared the story of how she came about writing “All the Bright Places.”
She began writing the story the spring of 2013, and she finished in just six weeks, an extremely quick time to write a novel.
She decided to take the plunge into writing YA because she said that what is being done in YA is different, bold, brave and original.
Her inspiration came from a boy she knew and loved years ago who had bipolar disorder.
“I always wanted to write about knowing him because it was such a profound experience for me,” Niven said.
Niven is very prominent with encouraging teens to read and write. She runs an online magazine called “Germ” that has journalistic, fiction and poetry qualities to it.
In terms of teens with mental illness reading her book, which revolves around bipolar and depression, Niven wants those readers to never forget to realize the bright places around them. “I don’t want them to ever lose sight of the fact that there are always bright places to be found, even when things are darkest,” she said.