Jeff Zentner may be new to the book scene, but he’s definitely making a splash. His debut, The Serpent King — a southern coming-of-age novel about three very different friends — was one of the most anticipated YA novels of 2016, as well as an Amazon book of the month.

Mashreads sat down with the author to chat about his the inspirations behind his novel, and what it took to create one of the YA world’s biggest current hits

There’s a reason Zentner wanted to write for teenagers

“I volunteered for the past five years at Tennessee Teen Rock Camp and Southern Girls Rock Camp…. We just toss [the kids] together and they come up with some crazy music. And at the end of the week they put on a showcase at some big venue in Nashville, some place that touring bands play. It’s really, really cool. Read more…

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Southern charm and modern technology combine in YA hit ‘The Serpent King’