Joy Preble is Texas girl who was born and raised in Chicago and a former high school teacher who now writes full time, which means she gets paid for making up stuff. Joy’s THE SWEET DEAD LIFE series (THE SWEET DEAD LIFE and the forthcoming THE A WORD (May 2014), both from Soho Press) is part of the new Soho Teen imprint. Kirkus hailed THE SWEET DEAD LIFE with “Hallelujah! A paranormal tale of angels…that breaks the mold.” She is also the author the DREAMING ANASTASIA series (Sourcebooks) that combines paranormal romance with Russian folklore. DREAMING ANASTASIA was nominated for a Cybil Award in the Teen Sci-Fi/Fantasy Category in 2009. It was named a Best Book for Children, Teen Category in 2009, and was featured in Justine Magazine. Joy also has a contemporary mystery/romance on the way: FINDING PARIS will be out in Spring, 2015 from Balzer and Bray/Harper Collins When she’s not writing, you can find Joy eating guacamole and unsuccessfully battling her Bravo channel addiction.
To learn more about Joy, visit her website: http://joypreble.com/.
Joy took a few minutes to do an interview with us. Read what she said here:
Do you outline before you write or just dive in?
I used to just start writing when a character or idea came to me. But now I am an outliner, although a rather loose-ish, bullet-point type outline. Partly this is because I tend to write stories with mystery elements and you really do have to know where you're going. Partly this is because I need to see if there's actually a story under there to work with. Writers -- or least this one-- tend to have these brilliant-sounding ideas pop into our heads, but sometimes there really isn't enough to the premise. Like I might think, hey! I'm going to re-imagine Goldilocks and the The Three Bears as a YA novel! And then I realize, hmmm… not so much plot here. (Although now that I think about it, maybe it could be a NA novel… okay, no.) And I also outline because my editor at Soho Press wants to see one for each project. That's the thing when they pay you for books-- you do what you're told, particularly because it helps develop a collaborative partnership and allows us to create better books. Honestly, I can't imagine NOT outlining anymore.
Why do you write for Young Adults?
I write for young adults because that is the age where everything is new and fresh and emotional. First loves, first losses, first taste of independence… these things happen earlier and later, but there is just something about 14-17 and the intensity of what we feel that is often diluted as we get older and our responsibilities grow greater. You know lately I've been joking that I must have a huge amount of issues to work out still from when I was 14 because Jenna Samuels, my protagonist in THE SWEET DEAD LIFE series, has been my easiest and favorite character to write so far! Think about it: when you're fourteen, you're starting high school and it's a hugely important time in your life so far, but you are totally powerless about so much, including driving a car. I think it's been easy and fun to tap back into that angst!
What is one thing you would like your readers to know about you?
In junior high, I wrote Star Trek fan fiction, often focusing on getting Mr. Spock a love life. Yes, J.J. Abrams, I thought of it first! Also in high school, I dated the first marching band chair bassoon player. Amazingly, I emerged unscathed from this.
Do you have a pet (pets)? Tell us about it (them) and how they help/hinder your writing.
We have a boxer/basset mix named Lyla. We rescued her 2 years ago and now she is queen of the house, which she totally deserves since whoever had originally had her had just kicked her out onto the street! She is VERY long and very funny and very verbal and is also the first dog I have ever had! When I write, she lays next to me in whatever patch of sunshine is available. Often she snores--loudly. Occasionally she heaves a huge sigh, as if to say, "Oh! I'm here where it's warm and happy and there is kibble in my bowl."
What books or authors have most influenced your writing most?
Everything I read influences me in some way or another, but a few that come to mind right now are: Sarah Dessen, Libba Bray, Maggie Stiefvater, and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
It’s the dawn of the zombie apocalypse, what 3 things are a must to take with you when you flee your home for refuge from the undead hordes??
Zombieland, the movie, because it has the survival rules mapped out. (Double tap! Check the back seat! Cardio!)
Antiobiotics and water purifier because I read Ilsa Bick's ASHES series and I know I'll need some.
At least 3 weaker, slower friends.
Meet Joy as she joins us again at the
on February 15th at Lone Star College - Montgomery.