undergroundcoverJenny Zuniga is a mother of three, a self-proclaimed “Twi-mom” (short for “Twilight-loving mother”), and an aspiring author residing in Long Beach. Her love of this city is evident in her books, which mention several locations in Long Beach that are more than familiar to its residents.

Zuniga’s first published work, The Diamond Mini-Series, is an adventure centering around best friends Diamond and Obsidian, “Sid”, who must protect their small siblings, special possessions and each other in an underground room after their parents have been kidnapped. Her shorts–Underground, The Core and Ransom–are tear-jerking and heartfelt. And even in the setting of a small, fictional mining town, Zuniga has incorporated Long Beach. The cover of Underground, for example, is actually a close up of the long, overflowing water fountain at the Long Beach Town Center.

As much as Zuniga enjoyed writing for the Diamond series, she is most enthusiatic about her first full-length teen novel, Winter Rayne.

“I write because it is something I love to do”, says Zuniga. “Since I was a child I had a love for reading. But as I grew up I no longer had time nor the desire to read. I actually got back into it because my daughter liked Twilight. Once I read it, I thought, maybe I can do this. That was when I began Winter Rayne.”

Zuniga’s latest is a paranormal thriller focusing on title character Winter Rayne as she makes supernatural self-discoveries in her hometown of Long Beach. Throughout the novel, Zuniga references Renaissance High School, Long Beach Towne Center, El Dorado Park and the Wal-Mart shopping Center on Carson and Paramount–a trend for hometown shout-outs she began with her first full-length adult novel, Nerves of Steel.

From page one of Nerves of Steel: “In no time, we enter Downtown Long Beach. Ocean Boulevard is lined with tall buildings… On the other side are beach front hotels and apartments as well as some businesses. Everyone walking down the street is either in business attire or in beachwear.”

Winter Rayne is set to be published this holiday season. All if her works were self-published and are currently available on Amazon and Smashwords.com.

Zuniga, much like her strong female characters, is also fighter. She is a domestic violence survivor and went back to college after sustaining a back injury a few years ago. Zuniga is currently a student at California State University Dominguez Hills and will be graduating this month. With words of encouragement from professors, Zuniga decided to be an author. She uses her past struggles and experiences in her writing and hopes that what she has learned will help others, too.

“I hope to get more people reading and thinking, to leave a legacy my children can be proud of, to inspire young people to write, to eventually gain enough writing experience so I can write on two topics that are near and dear to my heart–teen suicide and domestic violence/abuse,” Zuniga says. “Finally, I hope to be able to make a career out of being an author.”

Zuniga plans to keep writing after the release of Winter Rayne and hopes to find lasting success like fellow female authors J.K. Rowling and Stephanie Meyer. And if Rowling began Harry Potter on a napkin, anything is possible.

Contact Jenny Zuniga at [email protected] or visit jmzuniga.blogspot.com