Thursday, 12 April 2012

Exclusive Interview with Joëlle Anthony, Author of The Right & the Real

Me : What was the idea behind The Right & the Real?

Joëlle : I’m just always interested in teens being put in unusual situations in books. I played with the idea of how a good girl might end up homeless all of a sudden, and this is what I came up with. It’s not that surprising when a kid does drugs, or their parents are abusive, and they end up on the street, but how does it happen to a regular teen in a relatively stable environment? That’s what interested me.

Me : What was the reason behind choosing such a topic on religious cult?

Joëlle : Obviously, it’s best not to go with the expected reasons why someone might end up homeless. And I’d read about how cults like to keep the adults, but are quick to kick out children who question their ways. It was fascinating, albeit horrifying research. And it seemed like a topic for a book that readers might be interested in, but not already saturated by.

Me : How do you like to explain Jamie’s character?

Joëlle : I think Jamie is a lot like I was as a teen. She loves the theatre, she has big plans for her life, and she’s surrounded by friends. And she thinks she has to do everything herself. I made it through both high school and university without ever seeing a guidance counselor because I thought I knew what I was doing. It wasn’t until much later I realized that you can read directions and follow them, but sometimes having someone else who knows more about things to interpret them, and advise you, can be really helpful. Jamie doesn’t know this and I built her character around that idea.

Me : While you are not reading or writing, what are the others things you like to do most?
Joëlle : I like to go for walks with my husband. And I cook a lot. We make about 98% of the food we eat from scratch, so that’s a lot of cooking! I also knit, although I mostly do the really simple stuff. I have made a couple of sweaters, but for the most part, I like to knit without thinking very much about it because I’m usually plotting! I am a big baseball fan, too, so I listen to the Cubs games on the internet radio. And my husband is a musician, so sometimes, I just sit by the fire and listen to him play guitar.

Me : As your birthday is coming on April 18th, would like share with us your memory of best birthday from your childhood days?

Joëlle : It’s sad to say that I can’t remember the best memory specifically. They were probably all pretty good as I had a fun childhood. I do remember the worst! I think it was my twelfth birthday and I was in Camp Fire Boys and Girls then (kind of like Girl Scouts). The weekend of my birthday, we had to go to camp because we were earning some sort of badge. We were in tents because it was technically a day camp, so there weren’t any overnight accommodations. It rained the ENTIRE time. Thirty-six hours straight. My mother was always really good at making our birthdays special with homemade cakes and lots of perfect presents, but because my mum was the leader, she was at camp too, so when we got home….no cake, no presents, no nothing! Wow, I can’t believe I’m whining about my twelfth birthday all these years later! Haha. I do remember she gave me a hundred dollars to spend however I wanted and way back then, that was a LOT of money.

Me : Is there any upcoming project you are working on? Would you like to
tell us few words about it?

Joëlle : As for what I'm working on, well, it is another YA, but it's in the early stages, so I'm not ready to talk about
it yet.

Me : Any advice to the aspiring authors?

Joëlle : Read. Read. Read. And just keep writing! And then read some more.
Thanks for having me!

I would like to thank Joëlle Anthony, Author of The Right & the Real for giving me such an amazing interview and I would like to wish her best of luck for her upcoming book The Right & the Real.
This interview was taken by Soumi@Pages From My Thoughts.

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