In a nutshell:
Sonja McGiboney, author of “Jazzy's Books,” lives in Smithfield, Virginia with her husband Dale and her dog Jazzy. She combines beautiful photography with lyrical writing and rhyme to create engaging, educational books for children.
Sonja is an active member in the following organizations.
Chesapeake Bay Writers (chapter of the Virginia Writers Club)
A Short Bio
School was not my favorite place, but despite the years of teasing by other children, I managed to get a good education. Because I was good at piano, that seemed the most logical thing to study in college.
My bachelor’s degree is in Piano Pedagogy from West Virginia University. I
did a short stint in the Army Reserves and the Army National Guard in West Virginia. Instead of
getting my masters in music therapy at Temple University in Philadelphia, I married Dale and
travelled with him for his 25 year army band career. I taught some piano lessons until 2003. We
bought a house. I got a job at Ferguson Enterprises in Newport New. I have two kids. Rachel
age 29 and Ryan age 26. In 2018 I quit Ferguson to pursue writing full time.
I was always hobbyist photographer, using inexpensive digital cameras to make fun, family
scenes. My son started racing BMX bikes when he was about 13. A year later he was riding
downhill mountain bikes in places like: Duryea, PA, Massanutten, VA, Snowshoe, WV, Boone,
NC and Wisp Ski Resort in McHenry, MD. We traveled a lot and every mother’s day before the
new downhill season, I got a bigger, better camera as a gift.
During this time I joined the Hampton Roads Digital Photography Club. HRDPC is a non-
profit club formed to educate, encourage, and expand the photographic knowledge of its
members. I learned everything I know about photography from this club.
Ryan went off to college. I didn’t have anything to photograph so I began doing portraits, pets
and weddings. One of the hardest things for me to do is charge money for doing something I
enjoy. I never charged enough and still don’t, but that’s another story.
On March 7, 2015, at 8 weeks old, we adopted Jazzy. I wanted to capture the changes in her as she grew. After her first birthday, I put together a little album of these pictures. I added some
descriptive words and gave it to Dale as a gift. It was so cute. I revised it to be a poem and sent it
to my great nieces as a gift. They loved it and asked for more.
It is now January, 2020 and I have published ten books. The first 7 books are for younger
children who are still learning concepts. The last three books, that are included here, have a bit
more “substance” I guess you can say. They were crafted with more care and have more words.
I have many ideas for new books. One story would require an illustrator but I have not
ventured out with it yet. I want to expand on the Jazzy Explores concept. I’d love to travel to
little towns and do a book for each town.
I am totally self-published and spent the last year learning what I ought to have done. I have a
shelf full of paperback books that need to find homes. My goal is to print future books in a hard
back version and promote them to libraries and schools where they belong. Amazon is not an
option at this time. You can obtain Jazzy’s Books via my website or in person.