Saline Author Pens New Young Adult Thriller, “Welcome to Nightjar”


Jennifer Vivekanand, author of “Welcome to Nightjar”

Making a thrilling debut in the literary world, graphic designer-turned-author Jennifer Vivekanand introduces readers to an unexpected journey in her young adult thriller, 'Welcome to Nightjar,' a testament to her diverse artistic talents.

Vivekanand spoke with the Sun Times News about her young adult thriller blending murder, mayhem, and mystery in a small Michigan town. The story follows protagonist Zadie Grant.

“She's a young misfit living with her great aunt in the wake of her parents’ death,” explains Vivekanand. “Her own life gets upended when a shocking discovery throws everything she thought she knew about herself into question.”

Vivekanand, a successful graphic designer, made the jump into writing with her debut novel. While it may seem like a surprising career switch at first glance, for Vivekanand, it was simply the "next natural step" in her artistic evolution. Her path to creativity was paved early in life.

"I come from an artistic family on my father's side,” shared Vivekanand. “I grew up watching both my dad and his mother draw and paint.”

"I've spent the last 20 years working as a graphic designer and an illustrator, and writing is just the next creative step in my journey," she adds.

Vivekanand herself has a diverse artistic portfolio. Though her favored fine art medium is watercolor pen and ink, she also loves photography, drawing, and writing.

Her artistic heritage and passion for various art forms have beautifully coalesced in her transition to writing. By channeling her creativity into the written word, she's broadened her expressive palette, adding an exciting new dimension to her career.

Indeed, her debut novel, "Welcome to Nightjar," is a testament to this evolution. It masterfully blends the thrills of the young adult genre with the author's unique artistic sensibilities, promising readers an experience that transcends the traditional boundaries of storytelling.

“I’m from Southeast Michigan,” says Vivekanand, “They always say write what you know, and I love to incorporate things that maybe people outside the state don't know, like the game Euchre or a coney dog or even the name Nightjar. That's a Nighthawk. It's a bird that comes out at night.”

She also references the University of Michigan and “a Michigan left.” Such familiar references are intended to connect readers familiar with the area to the story quickly. They also heighten the realistic feel of the story for those not as acquainted with this part of the state, which is essential to the author in her writing.

“I think my books are very character and dialogue driven,” explains the author. “I think it's important to make them feel real by giving them real personalities, real ways of speaking. For example, if you're a teenager, you won't speak like a 50-year-old, right? I try to make the people real people in my book, someone that's relatable.”

Vivekanand says she’s got two teenagers who are more than happy to advise her on how teenagers think and speak, helping to keep things real.

“I’ve had brutal edits with them,” she laughs.

“Welcome to Nightjar” is a fun, thrilling excursion just in time for our summer reading list. And don’t let the young adult genre make you think it’s for youth only. “It’s a very large genre,” explains Vivekanand. “It can be anywhere from age 12 to 100.”

You can find out more on the author’s page at

Images courtesy of Jennifer Vivekanand

I'm interested
I disagree with this
This is unverified