A website dedicated to books in the Young Adult genre, featuring book reviews, author interviews contests and much more!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Interview & Giveaway with Jessi Kirbi, Author of Moonglass!

Today I'm thrilled to welcome Jessi Kirbi, author of the book Moonglass, which recently released this month. Jessi stopped by today to discuss the book in further detail with us and she also brought along a SIGNED copy of the book with some bookmarks for one lucky winner. See details below. 

Jessi Kirby
I grew up in Mammoth Lakes, CA where stunning scenery and a few very special teachers inspired me to write. As soon as I graduated high school, I made for the beach and eventually ended up in Orange County with a happy little family and a job as an English teacher. 

And then by luck, or coincidence, or some cosmic force, things lined up for me to take a shot at my dream. I moved to a little gem of a beach called Crystal Cove, which is the setting for MOONGLASS; I had the opportunity to go from working as a full-time English teacher to working as a part-time librarian; and...I was about to turn 30 (more on that in the FAQ section too.) Long story short: after deciding to go for it and putting in a lot of hard work, I finished MOONGLASS, which is my first novel.  Official Website

1. Moonglass revolves around a young girl named Anna and her struggle to control her
the past and embrace her future. Can you tell us a little bit more about your book?

Anna lost her mom at a young age and she and her dad have built a life together where they avoid the topic of her mother altogether. But when Anna’s dad takes a job transfer and they move to the beach town where her parents first met and fell in love, the past begins to surface, and Anna has to face it.

2. The setting of Moonglass plays an important role in your book- the beach is not only
the place where Anna's parents first met and fell in love, but it is where many family secrets lie buried. Can you discuss the importance of centering your book at an ocean locale and how it inspired the writing?

I always knew MOONGLASS would be a beach story. I grew up in the mountains but fell in love with the beach when I went to college and worked as a lifeguard. Then four years ago, we moved to Crystal Cove, and I knew I had to set the story here. Between the gorgeousness of the place and the fact that it’s literally at my doorstep, there was no question. So much of my life revolves around the beach—from the early morning runs to long days spent with my kids in the sand and sun, to the hobbies I share with my husband—
surfing, scuba diving, paddling. All of these things found their way into the story because of how much I love them.

3. If you had to attach a musical score to your book, what songs do you imagine playingduring prominent scenes?

Like a lot of authors, I have a playlist in mind when I’m writing the book. I choose some songs for the lyrics, others for the feeling they convey because those are the same ones I want to come across in my writing. The one song that most completely fits the story (for me) is Try Not to Breathe by R.E.M, who is my most favorite band ever.

A few other songs on the playlist: The Space Between (Dave Matthews Band)
Sweetness Follows (R.E.M)
Nightswimming (R.E.M.)
Grey Street (Dave Matthews)
You Found Me (The Fray)

4. What do you love most about Anna's character? Did you draw from any of the people in your life when constructing her character or other individuals in your book?

I love that Anna is bold, and that she’s strong and mostly self-assured, despite all of the pain she’s been through. I didn’t consciously draw from anyone specific in my life for her, but I did draw from a set of qualities I admire in people I know.

A few of the minor characters are based on real people. The crawling man was a guy I used to watch crawl the beach every Sunday when I worked as a lifeguard. I never did ask him why he did it. Instead, I made up a story for him.

The character of Joy is based upon a woman I know here in Crystal Cove, who walks the beach every day collecting sea glass.

Anna’s dad and the lifeguards are inspired by all of the lifeguards I’ve known through the years. If you ever make it to Crystal Cove, you just might meet James.

5. If you could inhabit the life of one literary character and dive into their world for just one day, who would you choose and why?

Katniss Everdeen. I’d want to see if I could survive in her world.

6. What were you like as a teenager and did you have any books in particular that were yourfavorites? If your teenage self was to read Moonglass, what do you think she’d say?

I was a pretty average teenager, I think. I had a good group of friends, was involved in sports and clubs and all that. I pined over boys who didn’t pine back. Wished for a body that would make them. Spent a lot of time in my room listening to music and writing bad poetry and terrible short stories in countless notebooks…

My favorite books back then were a big mix—I read anything from Interview With a Vampire to Siddartha, and loved it all.

If my teenage self were to read MOONGLASS, I think she’d say that Anna’s life on the beach (aside from the whole mom thing) sounds like a dream come true.

7. What would you say is the best advice you've been given as an author?

Write the book you’d most want to read.

8. What can we look forward to from you next? Any upcoming projects in the works?

Yes! My next book is due out Summer, 2012. It’s road trip story with a good dose of
romance to it.

1 SIGNED copy & bookmarks of MOONGLASS


I read once that water is a symbol for emotions. And for a while now, I've thought maybe my mother drowned in both.

Anna's life is upended when her father accepts a job transfer the summer before her junior year. It's bad enough that she has to leave her friends and her life behind, but her dad is moving them to the beach where her parents first met and fell in love- a place awash in memories that Anna would just as soon leave under the surface.

While life on the beach is pretty great, with ocean views and one adorable lifeguard in particular, there are also family secrets that were buried along the shore years ago. And the ebb and flow of the ocean's tide means that nothing- not the sea glass that she collects on the sand and not the truths behind Anna's mother's death- stays buried forever.

Official Rules:
1.You must be 13 year or older to enter and a BLOG FOLLOWER.
2. Open to entrants with a valid U.S. mailing address only. 
3. Entries must be received by Midnight EST on May 15 2011.
4.To enter to win, simply fill out the form below.



Rachel Leigh said...

Thanks for this awesome giveaway! Katniss Everdeen is a great choice!!

Rachel Leigh

Vivien said...

I've always wanted to live around a beach. There are just so many outdoor activities.
I've definitely put in some time thinking about how I would react in a world like The Hunger Games. It's really frightening sometimes.

Carina L. Tai said...

What an insightful interview! This book looks AMAZING! Thanks so much for the giveaway!

SpadesHigh said...

I have actually heard and read an except of this book, and after reading it I already felt like i wanted to cry =P I hope i win because i cant wait to read this!!
Thanks for hosting this giving!!
Tezza V.
Bayayrea_Munkie @ hotmail [dot] com
GFC: SpadesHighReads

khashway said...

Thanks for this interview and giveaway. I've been hearing good things about this book. Best of luck to Jessi!

Jessie Harrell said...

First of all - love your name. :)
Second, this books sounds amazing. Who doesn't love love (and the ocean). I can't wait to read this one. Oh yeah - and super cool how Anna collects beach glass -- I did that as a teen too (still do actually, when I can find it).

DeNiSe said...

YES this book sound amazing just in time for a good beach read Katniss Everdeen I would love to be that ficonal character as well

Thanks for The interview


Jessy said...

I love the playlist you chose. Those 3 bands are some of my favorites!

YA Lit in 100 Words or Less said...

I am so excited to read this book, because I live near Crystal Cove and go there all the time. I find it to be an inspiring place as well.

Check out/follow my new blog at http://ya100words.blogspot.com/
to find YA Lit book reviews in 100 words or less and songs to read by!


Jessi this book is so beautiful how did you come up with such a soft and touching cover its just beautiful!!!

jpetroroy said...

Lovely interview. I've heard many glowing reviews of this

Christina / Book Addict said...

Thanks for sharing this great interview and hosting this awesome giveaway! I am such a beach person! I must get my hands on a copy of this book!

Eliza Faith said...

Living by the beach must be amazing. I'm sure the book is full of sensory overload! Can't wait to read it.

Sophie said...

Love the advice to other writers -- so very true! Thank you for a wonderful interview and a great contest!

Aydrea said...

I have been wanting to read Moonglass, it sounds so good. I love getting background on the book/characters. Also I can't for Jessi's next book, I love road trip books! Great interview & thanks for the giveaway!

Alicia said...

Can I just say I love the cover. And ditto on the Katniss comment...but realistically, I'd probably just find a cave and hide forever. And great advice on writing the book you'd most like to read, cause if you don't want to read it...who will?

Great interview and can't wait to read the book.

mamabunny13 said...

I love that the story is a beach setting and I can't wait tomeet the characters inthis book.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

*high five* I love the Dave Matthews Band.

~Enamored Soul~ said...

First of all, thank you Kristi for this wonderful post, and thank you Jess Kirby for taking the time out to do this interview for the readers.

I have always lived in places near the beach, and lived in the Caribbean for a few years as well - but here's the catch. Contrary to what people may think that entails, I barely ever get to ACTUALLY go and enjoy the beach, so books such as "Moonglass" really serve to bring the beach to me, with the salty aroma of the air wafting through the pages, and romance mingling with that air. I can NOT wait to get my hands on this amazing book! :D

GFC Follower: ~Enamored Soul~
Email: Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com
Twitter: @inluvwithbookz

Carol N Wong said...

I used to live fairly close to a beach, cried when we had to move.
Wonder if there is some place in the U.S where beach living is affordable.

Your character is a survivor!!! I love it when the main character is someone so strong.

Think that "Write the book that you'd most want to read is the best that I ever heard. Will remember that!!


Anonymous said...

Love those soundtrack choices!! And I live minutes from the beach but never go!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for hosting such an awesome giveaway! :)

mamabunny13 said...

This sounds like such a good read. Thanks for the giveaway!
mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

Saii:) said...

Thank you for this awesome giveaway!!

Hoot said...

I think that the advise to Write the book you’d most want to read is the best advise one can give. Thank you for the interview.

Margie said...

This book looks like an intriguing mixture of past and present. Interesting post!
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Taffy said...

I always enjoy hearing how an author comes up with their story. It's interesting how where you grew up or live affects you and your story.
THANKS for the giveaway!