So it's time for another interview... this time with very-soon-to-be published author, Corrine Jackson! (Thank you so much for taking the time to do this, Corrine!)
Corrine Jackson (pronounced Cor-een) believes flip flops are appropriate footwear for any occasion, but concedes the need for boots since moving to San Francisco. She loves collecting degrees, including a BA and MA in English, and very soon, an MFA in Creative Writing. Her YA contemporary book, IF I LIE, will be published by Simon Pulse in September 2012. And TOUCHED, the first book in her paranormal romance trilogy will be published by Kensington in December 2012.
(I think she would also forget about flip-flops if she came and stayed where I live for the winter... flip-flops don't really go well with four-foot snowbanks and -40 degree Celsius.)
Anyway, you can find Corrine here at her website, here on Twitter, and here on Facebook.
Now, without further ado... lovely lady Corrine Jackson!
When and how did you first get into writing? When did you decide you wanted to do the work to be published?
I wrote my first short story in second or third grade. I wish I could tell you what age I was, but I haven’t a clue. I do have the original story, though. Oddly enough, it was about a girl whose best friend was being physically abused by her dad. That theme somehow made it into my first novel, so maybe everything comes full circle? Anyway, I wrote short stories throughout junior high and high school, and took creative writing classes in college. But I have to say, I didn’t get serious about publication until 2009 when I began writing TOUCHED and started to think there was a possibility that it could be picked up.
How did you come up with the ideas for your books?
That’s a hard one. My ideas don’t come in a single flash. I find myself getting ideas for what seems to be three different books, and then somehow they all meld into one book that becomes more complex than I originally thought. With TOUCHED, I thought what if this girl has this ability to heal people, but every healing took something from her? IF I LIE has a similar theme where a girl keeps a secret at great cost to herself. I like to explore how your character can be sharpened when you have to give up something that matters to you. I think choosing that kind of selflessness can be a point where you discover what you’re made of. I had a few moments like that as a teen, and I can see now how my decisions shaped who I’ve become.
Can you summarize your books in a sentence each?
TOUCHED – Remy O'Malley has the power to heal people with her touch, but her ability comes at a steep cost because every illness or injury she heals becomes her own.
IF I LIE – Seventeen-year-old Sophie Quinn becomes an outcast in her small military town when she chooses to keep a secret for her Marine boyfriend who has gone MIA in Afghanistan.
What is your weirdest writing routine or habit?
I don’t know if it’s weird, but I have to write at Starbucks. I need the white noise of the people around me in order to lose myself in the work. Whenever I try to write from home, I get distracted by shiny objects – particularly the TV. I’ve watched every episode of Family Guy on Netflix in the name of procrastination. Also, I keep a spreadsheet tallying my daily word count goals and the progress I’ve made. There are formulas and everything. I’m not proud, but it seems to work for me.
(I am adding a comment: if you knew how many spreadsheets my dad keeps for like... everything... then you probably would be proud! Haha. :) ).
What is something you experienced in your publishing journey that you think of as being unique to your experience?
Good question! Everyone’s journey is different. I can think of two moments that stand out. The first was finding out that my agent was going to make me an offer – on Twitter. The other was getting two book deals, almost exactly a month apart. Selling four books in a month doesn’t happen often, and I will be forever grateful to my agent, Laura Bradford, for working that miracle.
What is your favourite kind of cupcake?
Fleur de sel. *dies* They are dark chocolate cake with dark chocolate ganache frosting, a caramel filling, and a sprinkling of sea salt. Excuse me while I wipe up the drool. If you ever find yourself in San Francisco, immediately go to Kara’s Cupcakes and have two. Whenever I have something to celebrate (like going a whole day without stubbing my toe or managing to avoid getting a parking ticket), I buy myself one. I also have a recipe on my blog, but be warned that they’re a lot of work to make.
I watched your first video blog and I was wondering... the embarassing moment that you talked about... did that really happen? (If you're wondering what I'm talking about, click the link and watch! It's really funny! The embarassing moment is #3.)
Sadly, yes. I actually did make that big of an idiot of myself. The editor I was speaking with kept talking and smoothed over the moment so that I didn’t start hyperventilating. Also, lucky for me, I was alone in my apartment when I made that call because I immediately turned a lovely Maybelline Color-Me-Red shade. Someday I’m going to ask that editor if they remember me saying that and if they just wanted to die laughing at me.
What are you looking forward to most about having your books published (besides actually having them published)?
I’m so excited for people to READ them. At which point, I will eavesdrop on what they are saying. It’s hard to describe what it’s like to hear people discuss the characters I created and debate the choices they make. So far, one of the books has a tendency to make people weep, and I LOVE that. Touching people’s emotions that deeply is a surreal experience. I mean, I know I cried into my coffee writing the scenes, but I’m attached to my characters as a writer. When a reader connects in a similar way, I feel this warm glow of accomplishment.
And that's all! I am so excited that Corrine agreed to take the time to do this interview, and I really hope you guys liked it. Also, I am ten times more psyched to read your books when they come out, Corrine! It is painful to think they come out a whole YEAR from now.
In other news.... my ask-the-teens project is still going on! So if you have any questions that you'd like to ask some teens about their reading habits... then go HERE to learn more! It also includes prizes you can win!!