Sunday, 17 March 2013
Exclusive Interview with Jennifer Archer, + Win a copy of The Shadow Girl (intl)
Me : Welcome Jennifer to my blog Pages From My Thoughts.
Jenny : Thanks for the invitation! I’m so happy to be here.
Me : What was you inspiration behind The Shadow Girl?
Jenny : When I was in 5th or 6th grade, I was at school one day and I slipped out of class to go to the restroom. I was the only one in there, and I remember washing my hands at the sink and looking up and catching sight of my reflection in the mirror. For just a second, I felt a sense of disconnection with my own image and I thought: Who are you? I have never forgotten that strange feeling of separation from my reflection, even though it only lasted for a second. I think that memory inspired my idea for The Shadow Girl. Also, I love ghost stories, and I wanted to write a story that has that same eerie tone but in which the ‘presence’ is something different than a ghost – something more.
Me : Would you like to tell us a little bit about your upcoming novel The Shadow Girl?
Jenny : The story opens with Lily Winston, the main character, turning seventeen. Lily has grown up always sensing the presence of another girl – a girl named Iris. Iris whispers in Lily’s ear and hums haunting melodies. No one but Lily can hear Iris, though, and she realized early in her life that she must keep Iris a secret from her parents and everyone else. Why? Because sensing a presence is not considered normal! Iris has become an accepted and comforting part of Lily’s life. But when Lily’s Dad has a terrible accident and makes a puzzling statement before he dies that implies he and her mother have been hiding secrets of their own, Iris pressures Lily to uncover those secrets. With the help of a mysterious new boy in town named Ty, Lily starts investigating her father’s past, and she begins having some unsettling suspicions about who and what Iris is, and how they’re connected.
Me : Iris and Lily Winston, the protagonist of The Shadow Girl; how different are they personality wise. And which of them were difficult to write most?
Jenny : Well, Iris is simply a presence, so she is very elusive. She is all about music and emotion and mystery. Lily is very real. She’s a loner who loves spending time outside in nature. Her best friend, Wyatt, is the only person she spends much time with other than Iris, and when she’s with him, she loves doing outdoor things – ice-skating on the lake, riding four-wheelers on the trails in the mountains where they live, playing hockey. But she loves music, too, and that is one of her connections with Iris. I think Iris was the most difficult character to write, because she is such a mystery.
Me : As both of your YA novels are mystery, what is the most difficult thing about creating suspense?
Jenny : The most difficult aspect of writing suspense or mystery for me is weaving in clues along the way for readers without giving away too much too soon. The mystery should slowly unfold, so that when the reader gradually begins to realize the truth, he or she can look back in the story and think, “Aha! So that’s why she said that, or did that!”
Me : What made you consider writing YA books?
Jenny : A conversation with my literary agent about the fact that I enjoyed reading YA literature encouraged me to try my hand at writing it. She mentioned that she thought my “writer voice” is suited to writing for teens.
Me : Do you plan on moving back to Adult genre?
Jenny : I don’t have any plans to do so at the moment, but I’ll never say “never!” If I get an idea for an adult novel that insists I write it, I will definitely do that.
Me : What are your favourite YA books?
Jenny : Gosh, asking a writer and avid reader what her favourite books are is like asking a mom which of her children is her favourite! There are so many YA novels that I’ve loved it would be almost impossible for me to choose just one as a favourite. A newer YA novel I’ve recently added to my list of loves is SPLINTERED, by A.G. Howard. And I thoroughly enjoy John Green’s novels. And Sarah Dessen’s. I’m currently reading CHIME by Franny Billingsley, and it’s wonderful. And I love Marcus Zusak’s novels. Some older reads that are on my keeper shelf are THE GIVE R by Lois Lowry, and SANG SPELL by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor.
Me : Any tips for the aspiring authors?
Jenny : Write! Write as often as you can, as much as you can. Find time for writing and make it a regular part of every day. And read, read, read. Then analyze what you’ve read. How did the author stir emotion in you? How did she write dialogue that was believable? How did she create tension?
Me : Thank you Jennifer, for you time and consideration. It was such an honour to have you over my blog.
Jenny : Thank you! I’ve enjoyed it!
Now the giveaway time. Thank you Jenny for contributing a signed copy of The Shadow Girl for the giveaway purpose.
The Giveaway ends in 15th April. And Voila! the giveaway is open internationally.
a Rafflecopter giveaway