Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Authors are Rockstars- Jennifer Archer

I was so excited to be approached by the people in charge of Authors are Rockstars, asking me to host Jennifer Archer. Jennifer's written a ton of books, mainly for adults (which I haven't read but would really like to!) but has written two awesome books for young adults, the most recent of which, The Shadow Girl, was released earlier this year. Jennifer and I go back to when her debut YA Through Her Eyes was releasing. She was so sweet and excited to be my Fresh New Voice of YA (an old feature I used to do spotlighting debut YA authors) back in April 2011. We did lose touch but when ARCs were first printed of The Shadow Girl, she emailed me out of the blue asking for my address to ensure I received a copy. How awesome and thoughtful is that?! That just shows how much of a fantastic rockstar she is! I'm honored to have her here on my blog again for an interview. If you want to check out my reviews of both books, click on the titles- Through Her Eyes and The Shadow Girl- and click here for my previous interview with her.
1) How did you get the idea for The Shadow Girl?

When I was in 5th or 6th grade, I was alone in the school restroom one afternoon just before class. While I was washing my hands at the sink, I caught sight of my reflection in the mirror and for just a second, I felt a sense of disconnection with my own image. In that moment, I thought: Who are you? I have never forgotten that strange feeling of separation from my reflection, even though it only lasted a very brief time. 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.

2) What are you currently working on? Can you tell us anything about it?

I’m currently writing a story with the working title, Before I Wake. As is the case with The Shadow Girl and my earlier YA novel, Through Her Eyes, this story contains elements of psychological suspense and involves two girls whose lives are connected. I’m not sure why I’m drawn to that particular theme, but my muse seems to guide me there often!

3) What's your favorite snack to have while writing, or as a reward for writing?

I usually have a cup of coffee or tea nearby while I’m writing. I try not to snack too much while I’m actually in the process of putting words on paper, though. This is because of the fact that whenever I used to get hung up on a scene, I’d wander into the kitchen almost in a trance and find myself a few minutes later standing in front of the pantry stuffing crackers into my mouth. Sometimes I’d devour half the box before I realized what I was doing! This was not a good habit to get into for many reasons! Still, after a particularly good writing session – or after a particularly rough one -- I’ll allow myself something rich and gooey as a treat. On one recent evening after finishing my writing for the day, I met my critique group at a coffee shop and had a dark chocolate cupcake with dark chocolate icing. It was worth all the sugar and empty calories! I also love cherries. (And if they’re dipped in chocolate, all the better).

4) Pretty much all of your books are paranormal or have a paranormal element to them. What draws you to write that genre?

I believe in science, but I still can’t help thinking there is more to life beyond only what can be proved or explained. (At least, that can’t yet be proved or explained. Who knows what scientific discoveries will be made in the future that might answer all our questions?) I like to put my characters in situations that challenge their certainty about what’s real and what isn’t. I imagine it would be very frightening to be absolutely certain that something is happening – something most people consider impossible – and to
be the only one experiencing it. What a lonely position to be in! Would I be afraid to tell anyone for fear they’d think I’m insane? Would I start to question my own sanity? Would I accept without question what was happening, or set out to find a reasonable explanation? These are the questions I asked myself when writing The Shadow Girl and Through Her Eyes, as well as a couple of my other novels with paranormal elements. I liked figuring out how the characters would handle that challenge and what the outcome would be.

5) What book(s) are you currently reading, or are about to start? Any upcoming books you're excited about?

I am currently reading Stephen King’s Joyland. It’s much shorter than most of his other novels but the fact that he’s the consummate storyteller still shines through. As for upcoming books – I’m looking forward to Forgive me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick, the author who also wrote Silver Linings Playbook. It just came out this month and it sounds like an intriguing YA premise – a boy who writes letters to himself from the future.

Be sure to check out the whole Authors are Rockstars line-up at the official website!

1 comment:

  1. Great interview! Thanks so much for being a tour host James <3