Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Ontario Teen Book Festival Author Spotlight: Interview with Jessica Brody

Even though this is a day late, I'm still very excited to be a part of this blog tour, where I'm featuring a long-time friend Jessica Brody! But first, a little bit about the Festival itself:

When: Saturday March 25th , 9 am to 5 pm
Where: Colony High School 3850 E. Riverside Drive, Ontario, CA 91761 
The Ontario Teen Book Fest Website 
Use the hashtag #ontariotbf!

The event is sponsored by Once Upon A Time. They will have books available for purchase at the event. There will also be t-shirts and posters available for purchase as well. Here's their website.

So, if you're in the area, please consider stopping by; it's one of the best festivals in SoCal!

And now, meet Jessica Brody!

Jessica Brody knew from a young age that she wanted to be a writer. She started self “publishing” her own books when she was seven years old, binding the pages together with cardboard, wallpaper samples, and electrical tape.

After graduating from Smith College in 2001 where she double majored in Economics and French and minored in Japanese, Jessica later went on to work for MGM Studios as a Manager of Acquisitions and Business Development. In May of 2005, Jessica quit her job to follow her dream of becoming a published author.

Since then, Jessica has sold over twelve novels for teens, tweens, and adults including 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, The Karma Club, My Life Undecided, and the three books in the Unremembered trilogy, the first of which is currently in development as a major motion picture by the producers of The Vampire Academy, Zero Dark Thirty, Life of Pi, and Slumdog Millionaire. In 2016, she will release two new contemporary novels, A Week of Mondays (August) and Boys of Summer (April), and in 2017, her debut middle grade novel entitled, Addie Bell’s Shortcut to Growing Up, will hit bookstore shelves.

Jessica also writes books for the Descendants: “School of Secrets” series, based on the hit Disney Channel Original movie, Descendants!

Jessica’s books are published and translated in over twenty foreign countries. She currently splits her time between California and Colorado.
You can learn more about her books at her website HERE.
Her most recent YA novel is called A Week of Mondays:

When I made the wish, I just wanted a do-over. Another chance to make things right. I never, in a million years, thought it might actually come true...

Sixteen-year-old Ellison Sparks is having a serious case of the Mondays. She gets a ticket for running a red light, she manages to take the world’s worst school picture, she bombs softball try-outs and her class election speech (note to self: never trust a cheerleader when she swears there are no nuts in her bake-sale banana bread), and to top it all off, Tristan, her gorgeous rocker boyfriend suddenly dumps her. For no good reason!

As far as Mondays go, it doesn’t get much worse than this. And Ellie is positive that if she could just do it all over again, she would get it right. So when she wakes up the next morning to find she’s reliving the exact same day, she knows what she has to do: stop her boyfriend from breaking up with her. But it seems no matter how many do-overs she gets or how hard Ellie tries to repair her relationship, Tristan always seems bent set on ending it. Will Ellie ever figure out how to fix this broken day? Or will she be stuck in this nightmare of a Monday forever?

From the author of 52 Reasons to Hate My Father and The Unremembered trilogy comes a hilarious and heartwarming story about second (and third and fourth and fifth) chances. Because sometimes it takes a whole week of Mondays to figure out what you really want.


You've been writing like a madwoman and getting all the book deals lately. What's been your favorite part about being a published author?
School visits. It's so rewarding. Especially after being cooped up in my office for days and weeks on end. Getting to actually MEET the people I'm writing books for, it reminds me of why I do what I do!

What's your writing process, and has it changed at all over the years? Do you have any writing quirks?
It's taken me a long time to hone my writing process and now it works pretty well. I like to do a thing I call "Fast Drafting." That's when I write a super messy, super horrific first draft REALLY fast (6-8 weeks) without editing, revising, or even re-reading what I've written. It helps me get the story down as fast as possible. No one sees this draft but me. It would be pretty incomprehensible to anyone else anyway. Once I'm done, I spend about 2-4 weeks sorting through the mess.

What's your favorite book that you've read so far this year?
My new favorite author is Liane Moriarty, who wrote BIG LITTLE LIES. This year, I also read her books, THE HUSBAND'S SECRET and TRULY MADLY DEEPLY. She is so talented it, it hurts.

If you could sit down to dinner with any author, dead or alive, who would you choose and what would you eat?
Sophie Kinsella. I love her books. I can't imagine her NOT being a total blast to hang out with based on how funny her novels are. We'd definitely have something British, like tea or fish'n'chips. That way I could feel like one of her characters. :)

If you could be the main character (or supporting character) in any of your books, who would you be?
None of them! God, I put my characters through HELL. I wouldn't wish that on anyone, especially myself!

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