Saturday, May 4, 2013

Interview with TBF author: Jessica Brody

13 more days readers!!!

Just a couple of reminders about TBF. First, Michael Morpurgo the author of War Horse, will be presenting one author session 1:15-2:00 pm in the Chapel. Unfortunately, he will not be able to autograph books but there will be autographed bookplates available. If you really want to meet him, I suggest you block off Session III for Michael.

Second, there are 35 authors including Michael coming to TBF this year. It's easy to forget what authors or books you were planning on reading. So I'll help you by going through a check list as I continue to post author interviews.

Jessica Brody is one author you don't want to miss. She wrote the Karma Club, My Life Undecided, 52 Reasons to Hate My Father and her latest book, Unremembered.

Miranda Reads: What inspired you to write Unremembered?
Jessica Brody: A few years ago, I read a newspaper article about a teen girl who was the sole survivor of a plane crash. I was instantly fascinated by the story. Namely because they had no idea why she survived when no else did. I started brainstorming reasons as to why she was so lucky. One particular reason (a rather intricate, science-fiction-inspired one) stuck in my mind and refused to leave. It continued to grow and blossom until I had an idea for an entire trilogy. A trilogy that starts with a mysterious plane crash and a single survivor.

MR: What was it like jumping from contemporary to science fiction?
JB: Well, I’ll start off by saying that I definitely didn’t abandon the contemporary genre. It’s still a genre I adore writing and I actually have another contemporary standalone book coming out in Summer of 2015 that I will write after the trilogy is finished. But the idea to try my hand at science fiction was really about flexing my creative muscles and seeing how far I could take a character outside of “normal teen life” and still create a compelling emotional journey. In the end, all my books (regardless of genre) tell stories about discovering who you are and dealing with what life brings you. In UNREMEMBERED, all I did was insert this struggle into a science-fiction setting where I could exaggerate the “who am I” question. As a writer it’s fun to be able to create an extraordinary world, drop a character in, and see what she does.

MR: From 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, how many of the 52 jobs did you have in real life?
JB: LOL! Great question. I had a few, but certainly not 52! My parents owned a restaurant all through my teen years so I did every single job there was to do there. We had horses growing up so I had to muck stalls quite a bit! But one thing I’d never done and really wanted to do before I wrote the book was work in a fast food restaurant. Who doesn’t want to work the drive-thru for a day? My friend owns a Taco Johns in Denver and so I asked if I could go “undercover” and train as an employee for the day. It was a lot of fun. No one knew what I was really doing. I felt like a spy!

MR: Excluding a British accent, what type of accent do you think is attractive?
JB: I happen to love accents. I wish I could speak in a different accent every day! I do really love the Irish accent, it’s so pretty and musical. But if that’s too close to a British accent, then I’ll have to go with French. I lived in France for a year in college so hearing a French accent always makes me nostalgic for Paris!

MR: One of your five fun facts says that you secretly wanted to be a Spice Girl. Which Spice Girl were you the most jealous of?
JB: Another great question! I’m going to go with Posh Spice on this one. Not only because she’s married to David Beckham (although that doesn’t suck) but mostly because she’s so glam and put together all the time. I, on the other hand, will go for days without changing out of my sweat pants.

MR: What author are you most looking forward to meeting at the 8th annual Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival?
JB: There are SO many amazing authors attending this year, I’m getting a little giddy. I have some great author friends that I’m looking forward to hanging with again, but in terms of an author I haven’t yet met, I guess I’ll say I’m really excited about meeting Ellen Hopkins. But let’s hope I can keep it together and “be cool.” (Not my strong suit.)

Thanks Jessica! Check off Jessica Brody and returning TBF author, Ellen Hopkins on our check list. Ellen is known for her poetry novels Crank, Burned, Impulse, Glass, Identical, Tricks, Fallout, Perfect and Tilt.

TBF quick tip: When you meet your favorite author, don't worry about trying to "be cool". Instead, you should be an enthusiastic fan. Authors love to hear what their fans have to say about their books. Your reaction will not only make them warm and fuzzy inside but they will continue to write for their fans.

More authors to check off our list soon!

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