Jessica Warman joins the amazing group of authors participating in MCBF 2014
Jessica Warman is the author of the young adult novels, Between, Where the Truth Lies, Breathless, Beautiful Lies, and coming in Fall 2014, The Last Good Day of the Year. She studied at prep school and Seton Hill University, where she earned her MA in creative writing. When she isn't writing, she likes to run, read, and spend time with her husband and two daughters. Jessica hails from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and currently lives in Houston, Texas. You can visit her website at www.jessicawarman.com and connect with her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jkwarman.
Read Jessica's interview below:
Read Jessica's interview below:
At what age did you start writing?
I started writing as soon as I figured out how to string sentences into any kind of narrative. I remember being 5 or 6 and typing out short stories on my dad's old Remington. It was all I ever wanted to do with my life; I never seriously considered pursuing anything else.
Patty Campbell talks about the germ for a piece of writing being like the sand in the oyster. What is your grain of sand? Do you begin with character or setting or something else?
It's probably most accurate to say that I begin with an incident and build the story from there. For example, for years I had a scene bouncing around my head where a family comes home to find their daughter missing. The only sign of trouble is a chunk of her hair in the middle of the floor, yanked out of her head with such force that pieces of scalp are still glistening at the ends. It was the glistening that really excited me, and eventually that moment became my book BEAUTIFUL LIES.
Do you outline before you write or just dive in?
I'm not the outlining type. I'd LOVE to be, because the one and only time I actually forced myself to do it, it helped enormously with the book. Alas, I'm always too impatient to get to the story.
Why do you write for Young Adults or Children or Adult (whichever is pertinent)?
Because it feels right. I don't feel like enough of an adult quite yet to be confident writing for adults with any authority or wisdom or insight. I don't know if that will ever happen.
Who is your favorite character you have written or read about?
I tend to get very attached to my supporting characters. My all-time favorite from any of my books is Caroline in BETWEEN. She had a much smaller role in the story, but it was a crucial one, so I needed to make her character nuanced and interesting enough to hold readers' attention so they wouldn't miss what she was bringing to the plot. In a way, I think making sure those supporting characters are as real as the leads is a great exercise all by itself, because you learn how to bring them to life with far less attention than a main character gets.
What is one thing you would like your readers to know about you?
That it's all for them. They're the whole reason I have a career, and I'm so grateful and honored to be invited into their lives. I know that sounds hokey and pandering, but it's one hundred percent true.
In high school, where did you fall? (Prom Queen/King, Gamer Geek, Brainy/Book Nerd, Jock, Shy/Quiet Scholar, Skate Rat, Stoner, Class Clown, etc.)
I went to boarding school, and the social hierarchy was unique in the sense that the artsy, geeky kids were more popular than the jocks. (At least it seemed that way to me.) I was a part of that artsy crowd, but I don't think I was ever what you'd consider popular; I'm pretty sure everyone still thought I was too weird to ever be widely adored.
Do you have a pet (pets)? Tell us about it (them) and how they help/hinder your writing.
I have a dog named Muffin. She's an elderly shih-tzu mix from the humane society, and she's my sidekick. She follows me around the house, sleeps in my bed at night (to my husbands great annoyance), and I am totally getting her stuffed when she dies someday. I already have a taxidermist picked out. It's happening.
What books or authors have most influenced your writing most?
David Foster Wallace, JD Salinger, Tim O' Brien, Joyce Carol Oates, Kurt Vonnegut... too many to name. I'm partial to writers who focus on character more than plot; my husband has observed many times that I seem to love books where "nothing happens."
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
I have zero desire to meet any of my idols, ever. That's why they're my idols - because I can pretend they're exactly how I imagine them in real life, and that we'd become instant best friends if we ever met, which of course is not true. I want to preserve that illusion as much as possible; otherwise their entire function as a celebrity or idol becomes defunct.
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??
1. My dog, Muffin, of course.
2. I suppose I'd need weapons. I don't own any... I think I have some pepper spray somewhere, so that might be useful.
3. My chewbacca robe. Pretty sure zombies aren't gonna want to mess with Chewbacca.
Meet Jessica at the
2014 Montgomery County Book Festival on February 15th
at Lone Star College - Montgomery