Important Photo Credit: This author photo was taken by an especially gifted technology teacher from Spring Grove Area Middle School, Mr. Clint Walters. Clint snapped this beauty in the forbidden stairwell of the middle school when the author needed a head shot for Publisher's Weekly. You'll note how he managed to capture both smoldering and writerly in a single candid moment. Thank you, Clint.
Jared Reck lives in Hanover, Pennsylvania, with his wife and two daughters. He teaches 8th grade Language Arts, where he has been reading awesome books and writing alongside his students for the past twelve years. A SHORT HISTORY OF THE GIRL NEXT DOOR is his debut novel.
The truth is, I wouldn't be a writer if I hadn't first been a teacher. It just wouldn't have happened. In my classroom is where I fell in love with YA lit, devouring Crutcher and Laurie Halse Anderson, John Green and Sara Zarr and A.S. King, right alongside my students. And it was with these same students that I learned how published writers write, soaking in the lessons of Nancie Atwell's Writing Workshop and trying them out with my students. If I hadn't spent those years playing with memoir and poetry and short fiction in front of my students, I'd have never even considered attempting a novel.
I'm glad I did.
I grew up in Hanover, Pennsylvania, the youngest son of two teachers who taught me to love laughter and to love stories. In elementary school, I checked out Dr. Seuss's Oh Say Can You Say? about a bajillion times from the school library—even when I was clearly too old to be perusing the blue-dot section—just to hear my dad try to get through "Pete Pats Pigs" without tripping up, then to hear him belly-laugh when he inevitably would.
I attended Clemson University, first for architecture, then fine arts, and finally received a B.A. in English, with hopes of writing and illustrating picture books (though I was too scared to ever submit anything). After a short time as a production editor for medical journals, I went back for my teaching certification, which is one of the best decisions I've ever made. Since then, I've received a Masters in Educational Leadership from Shippensburg University, and I've completed graduate coursework in McDaniel College's Writing for Children and Young Adults Program.
You can still find me in Hanover, probably either having early-morning breakfast with my dad or toting my daughters to their myriad extracurriculars.