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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Jackson Pearce Interview

What was your inspiration for AS YOU WISH/SISTERS RED?

AS YOU WISH and SISTERS RED have very different “stories behind the story.” With AS YOU WISH, I set out to create an urban fantasy that starred a paranormal being seldom used in YA fiction. Jinn and Viola’s story slowly developed as I began to play with the idea of a master falling in love with a servant. The story took a long time to develop and become the book it is today.

SISTERS RED was more of an “a-ha!” moment. The idea of a new Little Red Riding Hood, one who wasn’t afraid of wolves, came to me out of nowhere. I’d been wanting to create a story about sisters for ages-- what it means to be the older/younger sister--and the two different ideas crashed into one another. The SISTERS RED that will be available in stores is not wildly different than the first draft.

If you’ve already written a novel what do you do?

I tend to think of the writing side and business side of publication as two entirely different things. If you want to venture into the business side and seek publication, you'll need to prepare yourself for a fairly intense experience. Here's my version of a to-do list:
1) Revise the novel. Edit it. Look at it as if it weren't your baby. Let other people look at it.

2) Write a query letter. Re-write and re-draft the query. Use and the Verla Kay Blue Boards as a source for query letter writing help. Use the blueboards for information while posting to cheer other writers on.

3) Query five agents you're interested in. Wait to hear from at least three before you send another five letters.

4) Begin working on a new project. A new project will take your mind off the project on submission, and give you something new to be excited about if things don't go so hot with your first project (they didn't with mine, and I would've cracked if I hadn't been working on AS YOU WISH).

5) Don't self publish simply because you can't get a publishing house or agent to take on your work. Self publishing is right for some types of books-- non-fiction, text books, etc-- but is generally NOT the thing to do with fiction if you want to be the next Meg Cabot or J.K. Rowling and the like. Make sure you know exactly what you're getting into before you self-publish.

How long did it take you to publish AYW/ Sister's Red?

I wrote AS YOU WISH in about a month, then spent over a year revising it. When it sold to Harper Collins, I spent another year working on it with my editor. The total time from first draft to shelf was probably about three years. SISTERS RED was a tiny bit faster-- about two years from first draft to publication.

How did you react once you got your first approval?

When I learned that AS YOU WISH had sold, I freaked out-- and then didn't tell anyone. I wanted some time with the knowledge just for me, so I could think without everyone's excitement hyping me up. When I finally officially sold the book, I called my grandfather to tell him first.

How does someone become a full author?

Do you mean full time author? I was finally able to become a full time author when I was able to support myself solely off money from writing, without depending on an outside job.

Are there any tips on what to look for in an agent/publisher?

Look for someone who meshes with what you need-- the biggest rockstar agent or famous publisher might be fantastic for some people, but that doesn't mean they're fantastic for YOU.

How do you deal with rejection?

I try to figure out WHY I was rejected, and work on it. Sometimes, it's just a case of the book not meshing with the reader/agent/editor, and there's nothing to be done about it-- there is no universally perfect book.

How did you come up with the idea to create Caliban in AYW?

Caliban seemed a very natural extension of the mythology once I'd created Jinn. His personality leant itself to the world, a place where everything is perfect and yet nothing is.

Do you have any tips for people who procrastinate through writing a book?

Man up and write the book! If writing is what you really want to do, you'll MAKE time to get it done.

Tips on editing?

Be honest with yourself-- don't refuse to change something just because it would be hard, or it'd mess up the sequel, or you're scared

A lot of thanks to Jackson Pearce for taking the time to answer the questions!



  1. Yay! I love author interviews! And this one has so many interesting bits of info in it? Do you have any tips for actually getting an author to want to be interviewed??

    I just became a follower :)

  2. Thank you for being supportive :D

    Jackson Pearce is amazing like that. She gladly wanted to be interviewed for my blog. I was thankfull that she took the time to answer my questions :)

  3. Yay Faith!

    The interview was very nice, yes, why yes it was.


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