I’m Hannah. I’m a writer, reader, and editor who loves all of the above plus dogs, Earl Grey tea, dark chocolate, museums, summer, and ghost stories. Seriously, I visit A LOT of museums and I’m that person who has to read everything and touch everything before I leave an exhibit. Except for the security guards. They don’t really look kindly on that.
I’m a YA/MG writer who loves writing stories with dark secrets, untold histories, stubborn characters, and the occasional spark of real magic. I am currently working on two manuscripts: one, a YA novel, the other a novel for MG/young readers.
My first book, Byberry State Hospital, (Arcadia Publishing, 2013) is a non-fiction pictorial history about the abandoned state mental hospital located in the outskirts of Philadelphia that I grew up near. I used to pass it every Saturday morning on my way to my roller skating lessons (thanks to which I can skate forwards, backwards, in circles, and with minimum injury or embarrassing falls). I used to ask my parents a million questions about the hospital and now I finally know the answers.
The Additional Facts:
My full name is Hannah Karena Jones. I grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia in a pink and green house with a pink plaid kitchen ceiling and many other rainbow-worthy rooms. Every summer I was the water rat at the local swim club who would hold her breath underwater instead of obediently getting out during adult swim. When I wasn’t swimming, I was journaling in my neverending series of diaries (27 composition books and counting!), checking out the maximum amount of books from the public library, reading under the covers like it was my job, and attending various sporty summer camps in a vain attempt to improve my non-existent athletic abilities. The school year was pretty much the same: Reading Olympics, swim team, marching band, chamber orchestra, writing bad poetry for the high school literary magazine. I moved to the only official town in Pennsylvania where I read a lot (about Joan of Arc), wrote a lot (about Joan of Arc), and slept little (thanks to Joan of Arc…noticing a theme here?), ultimately graduating from Bloomsburg University with dual degrees in Creative Writing and History and a minor in Professional Writing. After that, I hung out with some of the best book nerds I’ve ever met at the New York University Summer Publishing Institute.
I’m now what some people might refer to as a “grown up” with a “grown up job” (I’m a senior associate of content management at HarperCollins Publishers) and I live in New Jersey with several rainbow-worthy rooms. My roommates include a cat named Gizmo and a Welsh terrier named Cricket. I’m a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).