|The cover of the book where we meet|
Jenn Bezaleel, who becomes Jenn
Shalan. The young lady on the cover
is Courtney Stackpole, a former
For those of you who haven't read the books, Jenn Bezaleel is a runaway that Harry is employed to find. I say Harry instead of Harry and Dee because Dee is dealing with an advanced and complicated pregnancy. But when Harry locates Jenn, who he's discovered has been sexually abused by her father, he calls in Dee to talk with Jenn, figuring correctly that she'll respond more positively to a woman than a man. Long story short, Dee and Jenn fall in love instantly, in the mother-daughter sense. It takes a bit longer for Jenn to warm up to Harry, but eventually, their bond is unbreakable as well. Along the way, we find that Jenn's stepdad, an old friend of her father, has been trying to molest her as well, with the knowledge of her father. So the Shalans take in Jenn, eventually adopting her. So Jenn Bezaleel becomes Jenn Shalan.
So where did I get Jenn's character? The short answer is she is every female student I've ever known and loved like a daughter, which, to some extent, is every one of them. But in reality, and some teachers won't admit this, we bond more closely with some students than others. Over the years, I've had students, male and female, who have gone beyond being students and become friends and even like extended family. I have two former students who were on my speech and debate team years back who are as close as I'll probably ever get to having real daughters. Jenna and Poonam live far away, but stay in touch regularly. They visit me when they can, which isn't often because they have very busy jobs, and I visit them as well. I love them so much that it's hard to imagine being able to love a biological child more. So in that way, she is inspired by them and my unfulfilled desire to have "real" children. I never could, so I do it through Harry.
That having been said, Jenn is really none of them. As I've said before, Jenn has the face of a former student named Courtney, who kindly agreed to be the cover model for the book, but the resemblance
|Jenna and Poonam with me, along with|
Jenna's husband Mitch.
So, to sum up, Jenn Shalan is inspired by every female student I've ever known, but based on none of them. That may or not make sense, but it's the truth.