Today I'm excited to share an interview with Jackson Pearce, author of the upcoming novel AS YOU WISH, which will be available in stores August 25th 2009. Jackson graciously agreed to talk with me about As You Wish and also her intriguing novel SISTERS RED which will be released next June from Little Brown. Let's get started!
Loosely based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest, your upcoming novel As You Wish is told through the alternating viewpoints of high school student Viola and the rebellious Jinn, who Viola inadvertently summons into our world. What inspired you to write a novel about a genie and did you do any research on the subject in preparation for the book?
I wanted to write a novel about a genie because I loved the idea of the relationship between master and servant, and how it could so easily get blurred if love came into the picture. I did quite a bit of research on jinn and genies in mythology before writing the book—I won’t lie, I altered some of the historical mythology here and there to suit my purposes, but I tried to remain true to the more basic jinn lore.
Can you share a teaser of As You Wish for us or offer some sneak peek insight into Viola, Jinn or the intimidating Ifrit (guardians of earthbound jinn)?
Dark brown eyes barrel into mine.
I suppress a gasp-there's supposed to be an open desk next to me.
Where the hell did he come from? The eyes belong to a golden-skinned boy who's sitting motionless like a cat preparing to attack a mouse. He's staring at me so intensely that I can acually feel his gaze boring into my skin.
In As You Wish, Jinn must remain in our world until Viola makes three wishes, even though she’s afraid they could be manipulated into curses. Have you ever desperately wished for something, only to have it come true and then realize it wasn’t all that you thought it would be?
To be honest…not really! I think most of the things I’ve desperately wished for ended up to be what I hoped for!
If a genie offered to grant you three wishes right now, what would you ask for?
Right now—for more time, more time, and more time! Why are there only 24 hours in a day? Doesn’t the universe know I have a book launch to prepare for and seven million other things to do??? Stupid universe.
Can you share with us challenges you faced on your road to publication for As You Wish?
Before writing AS YOU WISH, I wrote a high fantasy called THE KEYBEARER. It was rejected by EVERYONE. And I mean everyone. I had over 100 rejections on the novel. To get over how bummed I was about KEYBEARER’s epic fail, I starting working on AS YOU WISH. It was also widely rejected initially—I changed the tense three times, and the point of view once. I revised, rewrote, edited, and FINALLY got an offer from an agent, who sold it relatively quickly to Harper Collins.
What is the biggest surprise you’ve experienced since becoming a published author?
The biggest surprise has been getting emails, comments, or twitter nods from people about my blog. I’m really surprised at the number of people who have found it helpful or fun to read, and of course, incredibly happy about it.
What has been the best moment for you since finding out that As You Wish was going to be published? Did you do anything special to celebrate?
Finding out AS YOU WISH was going to be published was definitely a highlight of my life. I didn’t experience that kind of excitement-rush again until Little, Brown bought SISTERS RED about a year later. Finding out your book will be published is definitely a very unique high!
Your next book, Sisters Red is a modernization of Little Red Riding Hood and will be released in the Spring of 2010. Can you tell us a little more about that book and any other upcoming projects we can look forward to?
SISTERS RED will be released in June 2010, and is about two sisters who fight werewolves. It’s part sister story, part love story, part action story, and part fairytale. I’m so proud of it, and I really hope everyone likes it.
I just finished SWEETLY, a companion to SISTERS RED, which will be released in 2011. In a few weeks I’m going to go back to a contemporary YA piece called PURITY that I wrote earlier this year, and then start a historical piece that’s been brewing for a while.
Is there anything else you would like to add for readers?
That readers are awesome? Because seriously. They are. I still can’t believe the amount of support and kindness that readers of blogs and books have given not only me, but the entire YA community. Readers are srsly badass.
Jackson Pearce is twenty-five years old and currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with a slightly cross-eyed cat and a lot of secondhand furniture. She recently graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in English and a minor in Philosophy. She auditioned for the circus once, but didn't make it; other jobs she’s had include obituaries writer, biker-bar waitress, and receptionist. In addition, Jackson coaches both colorguard and winterguard at a local high school.
Jackson began writing when she got angry that the school librarian couldn’t tell her of a book that contained a smart girl, horses, baby animals, and magic. Her solution was to write the book herself when she was twelve. Her parents thought it was cute at first, but have grown steadily more concerned for her ever since.
Jackson's first book, AS YOU WISH, will be released by HarperCollins on August 25, 2009. It is available for pre-order HERE. Her second book, SISTERS RED, will be released by Little, Brown in April 2011.
You can visit Jackson at her official website HERE.
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