Monday, May 9, 2011
Fresh New Voice of YA- Interview with Jessi Kirby
1)How did you get the idea for Moonglass?
It definitely didn’t come all at once. Ten years ago I worked as a lifeguard during my college summers, and that’s where the idea began. I had just read White Oleander by the insanely talented Janet Fitch, and was completely taken with her mother-daughter story. Back then, I only knew that was something I wanted to explore. Things didn’t totally come together until I moved to Crystal Cove a few years back. Once I got there, ideas for the story were all around me. Between the broken down cottages and early morning runs on the beach, and the sea glass washed up on the sand, I couldn’t help but be inspired.
2) Tell us all about The Call/The Email! Where were you when you got it? Did you do anything to celebrate the sale?
It was intense! Moonglass ended up going to auction, so I was on and off the phone a lot that day with my agent, trying to figure out what to do and who to go with. My kids were completely stir-crazy, and my husband was at work, unreachable by phone. I had a huge decision to make, couldn’t talk to my best partner about it, and had two little people yelling at me for snacks and a trip to the park.
When I finally made the decision and called my agent to tell her I was going with my gut, I took a few deep breaths, snuck out to the back yard, and watched the ocean for a few minutes before I dialed.
3) You're part of the Elevensies group. How did you get involved with it, and how has the group helped you so far in preparing for your book launch?
I worked as an English teacher, then school librarian before this, so I’ve always tried to follow and keep up on great debuts. I loved so many of the Debutatntes’ and Tenners’ books, that as soon as I found out I was going to be published, I found and joined the Elevensies. They’re such a hugely supportive, knowledgeable group. It definitely helps to be able to ask questions you feel like maybe you should know the answer to but don’t, or compare experiences. We celebrate and commiserate together!
4) What is your favorite Jelly Belly jelly bean flavor (or flavors, if you're so inclined)?
Pomegranate and Juicy Pear.
5) Before publishing Moonglass, you were an English teacher and then a librarian. What was your favorite and least favorite part about those jobs?
My most favorite part was always the kids! I loved my students and all their humor and personality. They’re what I miss the most. What I don’t miss—grading papers and contacting parents.
6) What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Read, read, read. Everything you can—books in your genre, books outside your genre, books on craft, everything. You can’t be a good writer if you’re not a good reader first.
7) What book(s) are you reading right now, or are about to start?
I’m just finishing up PLAYING HURT, by Holly Schindler—it’s fabulous, and am about to start POSSESSION by Elana Johnson, who is amazing and brilliant and funnier than hell.