Book Notification

Jeff Zentner Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Serpent King (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Goodbye Days (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rayne & Delilah's Midnite Matinee (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
In the Wild Light (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Colton Gentry's Third Act (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sunrise Nights (With: Brittany Cavallaro) (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Jeff Zentner is an America author from Nashville, Tennessee who writes young adult fiction. Before he wrote novels, Zentner was a musician.

Jeff Zentner was playing music long before he ever picked up his smartphone to write fiction. But books took a hold of the author’s heart much earlier than the guitar ever dd.

Even as a child, Jeff Zentner loved to read. His mom was well aware of his obsession and she fed it by making frequent visits to the library.

Zentner remembers spending several hours of his week surrounding by bookshelves. And once he went to high school, the author found work in a bookstore.

But the notion of writing never occurred to him, no matter how many novels he read. In fact, Zentner was fairly certain that it took a very special type of person to write a full-fledged novel, the kind of individual that had studied literature all their live, earned a Creative Writing MFA and had plenty of publishing professionals on speed dial.

Zentner did not have any of those attributes. So fiction writing was never the sort of career that the author ever considered pursuing.

That being said, he was no more qualified to pursue music. The author was already 21-years-old when he learned to the guitar. And even back then, Zentner knew that he had started far too late.

That handicap did not stop him from giving it his all. It took the former rock star some time to realize that he wasn’t cut out for music.

Though, to be fair, Zentner has admitted that he never truly gave the industry a fair shake. He knew early on that pursuing music would require all his focus. It wasn’t enough to simply master the guitar.

One had to tour frequently. But successful tours required the sort of charismatic personality that drew crowds and the author did not believe that he was particularly blessed in that department.

Zentner also had a family that he had to think about. He needed a steady income to keep his head above water. He simply couldn’t afford to risk his family’s future on a whim; a factor he knew wouldn’t have come into play if he hadn’t come into music so late.

By the time the author was thirty and still struggling in music, he knew it was too late. Barring a few exceptions, if you couldn’t make it in Tennessee by thirty, then you had no shot of making it at all.

It didn’t help the young man’s situation that his work featured a lot of depressing gothic folk music that no Music Label would touch.

Jeff Zentner dug himself a hole when he decided that he wanted to make music for young people.

The author was compelled to make teenagers his target audience when he joined a Tennessee Teens Rock Camp and fell in love with the enthusiasm of his young charges.

But eventually, even Zentner had to agree that teenagers were unlikely to take to his gothic folk tunes in the positive manner he had envisioned.

A time came when the author was struggling to balance his writing with music. In the beginning, the music took priority. At the time, if any story ideas of note struck Zentner, he would try to explore them on his iPhone whenever he had a free moment on the bus or at work.

The transition from music to publishing didn’t happen quite as everyone expects. Most people think that Jeff Zentner finally threw his guitar aside when the music kicked him so hard that he had no choice but to abandon it.

But it was the very opposite. A time came when the author’s career began to progress. He got a few people together and formed a band. Then they landed a number of financially lucrative projects one of which paid them several thousand dollars.

So Zentner was actually doing well. He had starting to write but he was also doing well musically.

And then the unexpected happened; Jeff Zentner landed a book deal. No one saw the development coming, not even the author himself. And the moment he secured the book deal, Zentner did not hesitate to abandon his bandmates.

The decision wasn’t difficult. And because he was always writing about young people in his music, there was no question in the author’s mind that he would write young adult fiction.
It has taken Zentner quite a while to adapt to the writing lifestyle, though he believes that he has acclimated rather effectively. Zentner hasn’t given up on music altogether but the guitar is more of a hobby.

Writing is his central passion. Each new novel he writes allows the author to hone his skills.

The books Jeff Zentner writes are inspired by his life and his faith.

+The Serpent King
Dill never felt like he belonged. His father, a Pentecostal Minister, always pushed him to enter the family trade, to master the art of handling poisonous snakes.

The kids at school always found excuses to bully him. Dill’s only reprieve came in the form of Travis and Lydia, his best friends and fellow social outcasts.

But now it looks like Dill will soon lose even that. Lydia is gearing up to take her edgy fashion blog to the next level. If she succeeds, Lydia will put their rural town in her rearview mirror.

Travis, for his part, is caught up in the chaotic trail of a fangirl. Dill has nothing. For his classmates, graduation promises new beginnings but Dill only perceives the looming event as the end.

+Goodbye Days
Carver Briggs had a great life with three amazing friends, a family that loved him and a reputation that could open any door.

But then a simple text killed Mars, Eli, and Blake, and Carver concluded that he was to blame.

Now the talented writer’s life is unraveling. He must face the constant irritation of Eli’s twin sister and the fury of Mars’ father, a judge who thinks Carver should be prosecuted for his friends’ deaths.

Carver’s only refuge is his therapist, Eli’s girlfriend who invites Carver over to spend a Goodbye Day with her.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Jeff Zentner

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