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

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Author Interview- Jessica Burkhart

1) Your Canterwood Crest novels are really doing well, with you contracted up to Book 20 (at the moment of this writing, at least). Did you ever expect them to do this well? How are you handling all the success?

I never expected the series to go beyond four novels--my first book deal. I was shocked and thrilled that I'd sold books and prepared myself to find a way to wrap the series at four. But my editor, Kate Angelella, fought for Canterwood and put all of her talent and knowledge to turn it into something that resulted in the publisher wanting more books. Kate is *finally* on the "dark side" :) as she's now a full-time freelance writer, author and freelance-editor, but I am incredibly lucky enough to have her freelance-editing Canterwood. The books would be entirely different without her. She's been there since Take the Reins.

I really (this sounds soo untrue, but it really is!) don't think about how the books are doing. I hold my breath from contract to contract just hoping that I'm able to keep writing as my full time job. I think the worry of will I ever sell another book? is enough to keep me grounded and not walk around thinking oooh, I have a 20 book series! Go me! I'd want someone to hit me over the head with one of my books if I ever acted like that!

2) Aside from the Canterwood novels, you seem to be working on several other projects for both middle-grade and YA. Can you tell us anything about them?

On the back burner, I have a dark YA verse novel, KEPT, that I've put aside for now. I'm taking a break from it to focus on my new start-up company with Kate--Violet & Ruby Productions. We launched our business in January 2011 and we're a two-person packager. We're penning e-books, e-novellas and co-writing novels. Co-owning a business with your best friend is amazing! I love collaborating with Kate and having a partner fills in weaknesses I have with writing and vice versa for her.

3) What's your favorite Jelly Belly jelly bean flavor (or flavors, if you're so inclined)?

Ha! I love that you asked this! Kate got me a mini-Jelly Belly machine for Christmas. :) I looove bubble gum, watermelon and cotton candy. Y-U-M. Popcorn is GROSS!

4) According to your bio, you love Kathy Griffin. Have you ever seen her live (I'm seeing her Feb. 26!)? If not, are you going to one of her Broadway shows in March?

I was lucky enough to see her at Madison Square Garden last February! She was wonderful and it was beyond cool to see her in person since I'm a crazy fan of her show. You're going to have the best time seeing her.

5) What TV shows, movies and music are you into currently?

TV: Pretty Little Liars, any of the Real Housewives that are currently airing, Vampire Diaries and Supernatural.

Movies: Cannot wait for Red Riding Hood. Still watching Eclipse. :) Just saw and (surprisingly) loved Fight Club. I also want to see The Roommate with Leighton Meister. And a fave that I saw in theaters a while ago was Easy A. Emma Stone blew me away!

Music: Britney, Lady Gaga, Measure, Ben's Brother, Andrew Belle (those 3 are from the Pretty Little Liars soundtrack), Pink, Ke$ha, Katy Perry, Glee Cast and Nicki Minaj are currently on my playlist.

6) On your blog, I've seen a couple pictures of an extremely adorable kitty named Bailey. How and when did you get her? Any cute cat stories to tell us?

Oh, Bailey, LOL. :) She gets an ego boost when I try to show her a pic of herself on my blog. Bailey's actually not my cat--she's Kate's. But I love her like she's mine. I'm not allowed to have pets in my apartment and I'm a HUGE cat person, so I taking pics of Bailey. Whether she, um, likes it or not.

To preface the story--Bailey thinks she can't jump high. At all. She overshoots every jump and sits for five minutes before leaping onto the bed, couch, etc. With that said . . . one night I heard this pitiful meow that woke me up and I figured she was just making noise. Then it continued. I got up and found her inside a cardboard box that wasn't tall AT ALL but she wouldn't jump to get out. *shakes head* Cats. :)

7) What book(s) are you reading now, or are about to start?

I'm reading two right now--Losing Faith and Spirit Bound. Going to start Holly Black's Red Glove after that.


  1. Great interview, James! Really made me smile :) I love your questions.

  2. Hmph, popcorn Jelly Bellies are the best.

    But I can't stay mad at someone with such good taste in books.

  3. Aw, Kate's cat sounds like it has a great personality! Haha!

    I'm really into Pretty Little Liars as well. Had no idea there was a soundtrack! I'll need to check that out!

    Thanks for the interview! Jessica sounds like a really fun person. :)

  4. Seriously I could be best friends with this girl, we have so much in common, I like nearly everything she does!!