Welcome to the Ontario Teen Book Festival Blog Tour! The event is being held
Saturday, March 12th from 9:30am to 5pm!
Colony High Branch Library 3850 E. Riverside Drive, Ontario, California 91761
You can find the list of authors and the schedule here
I’m so excited to be interviewing one of my favorite authors – Jessica Brody!
You’ve written YA and Adult Literature books. What do you feel are the main differences for you as an author while writing?
It’s funny. I get asked this a lot and I still don’t have a good answer. For me, there isn’t a huge difference, at least not in how I approach the writing process. I don’t really sit down and say, “Okay, today I need to get into the ‘teen’ headspace or the ‘adult’ headspace.” I think the character really dictates the writing. When I pick a character and decide who that person is, she is ultimately what drives the story.
Have you ever thought of collaborating with another author on a book? If so, which authors would be at the top of your list?
Ooh! I would love to! And I may have a secret collaboration project in my top drawer right now. J But in terms of my “dream” collaborator, I would have to say Rainbow Rowell. Just so I could see her process. I adore her and her books.
How was writing your trilogy Unremembered different than writing your other stand alone YA books?
Well, apart from the obvious that it was my first sci-fi, I would definitely say the plotting was MUCH more complicated and required much more future planning. Because you’re setting up a whole series. Each book has to have a beginning, middle, and end, and then the series itself has to have a beginning, middle, end. When you’re writing a standalone and you get to the last page and get a brilliant idea for the first page, you can go back and change it. When you’re writing a trilogy, it doesn’t work that way. By the time you get to the last book, the first book is already out. There’s no changing that thing. You’re stuck with whatever you wrote and you have to make it work.
How do you take your potato?
Oooh! Baked with ranch dressing and steak sauce (don’t judge until you try it. It’s AMAZING.)
This year we get A Week of Mondays AND Boys of Summer! Can you tell me a little bit about each of these books?
YAY! I’ve been wanting to release two books a year for so long, I’m so happy it’s finally happened!
Here are the quick “elevator” pitches for each:
BOYS OF SUMMER (April 5, 2016) – After spending nearly every summer together on the beautiful Winlock Harbor, three best friends—Grayson, Mike, and Ian—return to the island to discover they are each dealing with a personal tragedy that will test the strength of their friendship.
A WEEK OF MONDAYS (August 2, 2016) – After her boyfriend breaks up with her on the worst day of her life, sixteen-year-old Ellie finds herself stuck in the same horrible Monday over and over and decides to use her unique situation to attempt to save her relationship.
Voila! I can’t wait for you to read them! They are very different but I had a blast writing both!
Do you have a day you would want to live over and over again?
Hehe. After writing A WEEK OF MONDAYS, no! It’s such a wish fulfillment story (cause who doesn’t wish they could get a second chance at something?) but you soon realize that getting to relive the same day over and over is not all it’s cracked up to be. But if I had to relive one day over and over, I guess it would be the day we got our golden retriever, Honey, as a puppy. That was a pretty awesome day. J
What would you tell last week’s Jessica Brody?
LOL! I’d probably yell at her and say, “Why did you leave me with all of this work?!” I’m constantly joking that Past Jessica and Future Jessica are forever at war. Whenever Past Jessica comes across a plot problem in her book, she skips over it and leaves a big gaping hole in the manuscript for Future Jessica to deal with. Future Jessica is never happy about having to deal with that gaping hole.
Boys of Summer is written in three different male points of view! What were the biggest challenges you faced while writing three male perspectives?
Well, the biggest challenge was just getting the male perspective. I always used to joke that I’d never write from a boy’s POV because what the heck do I know about how boys think? Well, jokes on me now because I had to figure out how three boys think!
There were many times in the editing of the manuscript when my editor would just delete giant chunks of text and add the comment, “Too much inner reflection for a boy.” I always laughed at that. I’m so used to having my characters introspectively react to whatever’s happening in the story. Because I think it’s natural for girls to reflect on what everything means, but apparently boys typically don’t do that. So that was definitely an adjustment in my writing style.
Congrats on your new middle grade coming out! Can you tell me a little bit about this new project?
Thank you! I’m super excited for my very first middle grade! It’s called ADDIE BELL’S SHORTCUT TO GROWING UP and it’ll be out in February, 2017. It’s about a 12-year-old girl who’s tired of her immature friends and peers and makes a wish to be 16. Then, she wakes up the next morning to find her life and everyone in it has been fast forwarded four years! She’s now in high school and has a car and an awesome wardrobe and can wear makeup. It seems so perfect! But she soon discovers that she has no memory of the past four years and a lot more has changed than she expected. So now she has to figure out what happened in those four years to cause everything to change so drastically.
It was super fun to write and it’s a nice segue from my YA because although the main character is mentally 12, in most of the book, she’s 16 and in high school.
Do you ever re-read your books after publication?
NOOOOO! Only when I’m forced to look for a quote or do a reading or something. It’s a dangerous business re-reading your books because you’ll undoubtedly find stuff you want to change and that ship has sailed.
Who is your favorite character from your books?
EEK! That’s such a hard question! I have many favorites! But I have to say Lexington Larrabee from 52 REASONS TO HATE MY FATHER was one of my favorites to write because she’s SOOOO different from me. She’s a spoiled heiress daughter of a billionaire who’s never worked a day in her life. Yup, can’t relate at all. But the fun in writing her was getting to play around in her extravagant world while at the same time trying to find things that made her relatable to you and me. It was a fun challenge. And, for like six months of my life, going to work was like getting to be an heiress every day….although I still don’t have any of her awesome shoes.
Thank you for stopping by Jessica! I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to all of your new releases!!
Complete tour schedule is below!
February 22nd – Spotlight on Andrew Smith – What A Nerd Girl Says
February 23rd – Spotlight on Alexandra Monir – The Consummate Reader
February 24th – Spotlight on April Tucholke – Adventures of a Book Junkie
February 25th – Spotlight on Alexis Bass – A Traveling Book
February 26th – Spotlight on Marissa Meyer – Read Now Sleep Later
February 27th – Spotlight on Sara Elizabeth Santana – Movies, Shows and Books
February 28th – Spotlight on Robin Reul – Recently Acquired Obsessions
February 29th – Spotlight on Katherine Kottaras – iFandoms Collide
March 1st – Spotlight on Stephanie Diaz – My Fangirl Chronicles
March 2nd – Spotlight on Virginia Boecker – The Reader’s Antidote
March 3rd – Spotlight on Mary McCoy – Book You Very Much
March 4th – Spotlight on Brad Gottfred – Seeking Bazinga
March 5th – Spotlight on Michelle Levy – My Fangirl Chronicles
March 6th – Spotlight on Elana K Arnold – Read Now Sleep Later
March 7th – Spotlight on Kristin Halbrook – What A Nerd Girl Says
March 8th – Spotlight on Jessica Brody – The Windy Pages
March 9th – Spotlight on Nicole Maggi – Nite Lite Book Reviews
March 10th – Spotlight on Jay Asher – A Bookish Escape