8.19.2010

Thirteen Thursday with Jackson Pearce and Jordan Deen

Today on Thirteen Thursday, we get to hear from TWO authors. Get excited.

First up is Jackson Pearce, who's amazing storytelling ability always leaves me breathless. Her most recent novel, Sisters Red, is a re-telling of Little Red Riding Hood....only not because it's so much more. It's pretty brilliant and you should read it if you haven't. Check out her website for more information about her and all her books.

And as always, welcome to Thirteen Thursday! (or just for today fourteen...)

If you were an item on a Mexican restaurant, what would you be and why?
The dessert. Because Mexican desserts are delicious. Now I want flan...

What are your 6 favorite books —and why?
Five classics always make my favorites list-- To Kill A Mockingbird, The Great Gatsby, Little Women, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and Fahrenheit 451. Of more modern books, I'd have to say the Harry Potter series is my favorite. I love all of these, I think, because they tell an excellent, powerful story-- yet still manage to drive home important, life-changing themes.

Let’s talk about Sisters Red. Which scene was the hardest one to write?
The hardest scene to write in SISTERS RED was one of Rosie's final scenes in the book (I hate to say what it is since it'll give the story away, but it involves Plato, for those of you who have read it!). I didn't have a CLUE how that scene would work out when I started the book. I wrote several different versions, asked dozens of people what to do there, and finally, out of nowhere, it all clicked together.
Rosie and Scarlett are two very different characters. How did you transition from one voice to the other while you were writing?
After a while, transitioning between the two became very second nature. I would sometimes have trouble the first few paragraphs into writing one's perspective after having just finished a chapter in the other, but they're so wildly different that it felt almost like I was simply working on a different book.

The companion, Sweetly, comes out soon. What are some things we can expect from that?
SWEETLY is a retelling of Hansel & Gretel, about a girl trying to overcome some lifelong fears in a South Carolina chocolatier-- where, unfortunately, her fears show up in full force. SWEETLY is set in the same world as SISTERS RED, but it's a companion book, not a direct sequel.

What has been the most memorable advice that you've heard in your career that you would want to pass on to other writers?
Don't give up. Ever. It seems almost trite to say that, but it's true-- if you want to be a writer, don't give up on yourself. Don't let yourself be convinced you have to give up (and by give up, I don't necessarily mean on writing-- if your dream is to be on the NYT list, don't give up until you're there!).

Thanks Jackson for taking the time to answer those questions!
 
 Next up we have some questions with Jordan Deen, author of The Cresent. Welcome Jordan!


If you were an item on a Mexican restaurant, what you be and why?
This is an excellent question! I'd be the chips and salsa. Because it's a little spice with a few cracked and broken pieces thrown in.

What is your favorite childhood memory?
 I grew up in O'fallon Illinois (VERY small town). We had an A-frame house that had a basement and the roof went all the way to the ground. My brothers, who are 10 and 15 years older than me, used to slide down the sides of the house everytime it snowed. It was by far the coolest thing I'd ever seen. You never get to have that wonderment any other time of your life than when you are a kid. I was only six then and I still cherish those memories.

Everyone’s journey into writing is different. Tell us about yours. Was it something you’ve always wanted to do or did it just happen?
I think everyone wants to have that unique, different, I woke up one day and found myself story. Mine, isn't quiet like that. I've always loved telling stories and writing. However, I come from a traditional family and writing isn't a 9 to 5 job. So, it got pushed to the side and I only did it as a hobby. It wasn't until I turned 30 that I had this dream that would not stop haunting me about a small town girl that is uprooted by her family because their house burns down. When she arrives in their new place she starts trying to live the life she had in the small town-- but it doesn't work out so well for her. I ended up writing the first edition of Benches in a little under two weeks. It is the first full length novel I've written and first series as it's currently done. However, it's also in it's sixth round of edits and the story continues to grow and improve. I will never forget that story and those characters still live in my head.  One day, I will get that novel published to share with the world!

The Crescent was an International Book Award Finalist! What does that mean for those who don’t know and what does that experience mean to you? 
The International Book Awards (IBA) and Best Book Awards (BBA) are hosted by the JPX Media Group in Los Angeles. Their organization is focused on bringing gems from small, mid sized and medium sized presses into the spotlight. Like all awards, the IBA are beneficial in promotional opportunity, as well as exposure. The winners and finalists this year were represented at the International Book Convention.
When I found out that my debut novel was an IBA Finalist, my first thought was: It has to be a typo. :) Then, after I woke up and realized it really was a finalist, I was over the moon. It really helped me get exposure on a grander level and I've met a lot of fantastic people from that affiliation and organization. It's also (overall) a huge honor for someone to recognize and appreciate the hard work that goes into your story and your characters. I think that was the biggest reward for me.

There are some interesting questions was raised in The Crescent of fate, verses choice. How did that theme develop for this story and what do you want your readers to take away from this book? 
 I think overall the main point I wanted to get at with The Crescent is that we all have those life altering decisions that we make. We can let our heart lead us, or our head, and usually the two are not in concert with each other. With The Crescent, I wanted readers to feel the strong pull to both Alex and Brandon because I wanted them to really feel like that choice was theirs to make. I want readers to see Lacey's decision as near as their own and feel the heartbreaking pain that Lacey is faced with, but also feel the love and connection with her and be sympathetic towards her plight. Overall, I want readers to realize that all of us, no matter how young or old, are faced with questions of the mind and heart daily. No one is ever alone in that.

Do you have a writing process? If so, what does that look like for you?  
Yes, try to keep the five year olds (one human and one four legged) out of my hair and laptop wires long enough to get at least 1000 words down in one sitting. Sometimes, that is a tall order. But, in all seriousness, I write everyday. If I don't I feel like there is something missing. Even if I weren't working on something for publishing, I'd be writing. I thoroughly enjoy the overall craft of storytelling and make believe. It's nice to get off of my "day job" and come home to my computer and some old friends. Plus, it's nice having control over something exclusively. :)

What have you learned in all of this (writing, publishing, etc) that you wish you would’ve known before? What do you think has challenged you most personally and professionally?
 I think the biggest thing that I've learned is about myself and who I am as a person. Writing can be quiet empowering and quiet a let down. I've developed friendships through all of this that I never imagined I've had--and I've developed a large respect for the publishing world and other writers as a whole. In the beginning, I was so "green" to the whole process that I thought, "Ooooh I wrote this wonderful book- now BASK IN MY GLORY!" Yeah. I've definitely taken it down a notch since then, however, I still get that high when I read a great review and I still marvel at the tremendous (and plentiful) amount of reviewers and bloggers that reach out and talk to me everyday. I'm still just a human, but somedays I feel like Supergirl.

*Peeks around the corner * What are you working on now?  
Currently, I just finished the edits to Half Moon (releasing 1/13/11) the sequel to The Crescent. I've started on a new novel, Mystified that is being optioned through another publisher and I'm working on edits to Benches as it is on submission with agents for representation. I'm always working on something new, though. Tomorrow, the crazy characters in my head will be onto something else and I'll start a new novel. I love my characters, but sometimes they won't leave me alone! (Amen, from me.)

Jordan is going to give yall some swag, too!! All you have to do is comment and fill out the form to be entered into the contest. The contest will close at midnight on Friday. Then, sometime on Saturday, Random.com will help me pick a winner. Just follow these rules below.

1. You must comment AND fill out the entry form.
2. US or Canada address only
**For 2 extra entries, tweet this blog with @daniellebunner in the tweet**

See? Easy. Just do that and you will be entered to win a signed copy of The Cresent....or maybe a bookmark. ;)


6 comments:

  1. Ooh, I love giveaways! Awesome interviews, Danielle. Thanks!

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  2. I love "meeting" authors of awesome books! Awesome giveaway! Thanks!!

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  3. Great questions, Danielle! I love the Mexican one :).

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  4. Thanks for the interviews and giveaway!

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  5. Awesome interviews! I've been wanting to read Sisters Red. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  6. Thanks to everyone who entered! The winners have been emailed. :)

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