1) What was the hardest part about writing The Karma Club? The easiest?
Believe it or not, the hardest part of the story was actually coming up with the various revenge schemes that the girls do when they “take Karma into their own hands.” I thought it would be the easiest thing in the world but it was actually very challenging. I guess revenge is not really my strong suit.
The easiest part of the story was the beginning—the storyline for setting up the Karma Club—which is ultimately the story of a very nasty break up. Apparently I have no trouble coming up with painful break up stories. Hmmm…
2) What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel (or writing in general)?
The easiest part of every book I write is the beginning. I LOOOOVE set ups. I love setting up new worlds and characters and giving them all sorts of fun challenges and embarking them on great adventures. The hardest (and my least favorite part) is the middle (act 2 for all you screenwriters) when I actually have to deal with all these fun challenges and great adventures. I end up not only hating my characters and my story, I hate myself for setting up so many impossible storylines. Then by Act 3, all is forgiven and I’m back to loving everyone again.
Ropes and handcuffs. To keep me from leaving my chair. No, but seriously, it’s VERY hard. You always get the BEST ideas for new books when you’re in the middle of the one you’re currently writing. It’s a cruel trick of nature.
When I was writing on spec, I was much less successful at keeping myself moving into greener pastures when the going got tough. But now that I’m on deadline and have someone to answer to (besides myself), it’s a lot harder to do. Especially when I’m under contract to finish at certain time. I think the idea of legal action is enough to keep anyone’s focus on track. Although, sometimes, you just need to get it out of your system. So if inspiration strikes for a new story, I’ll often spend a few hours outlining and brainstorming so I have it down and can satisfy the itch and then get back to work.
4) What are your current writing projects?
Right now I just finished my fifth book (third in the young adult genre) that’s called 52 REASONS TO HATE MY FATHER. I’m super excited about it (now that I’m no longer in act 2). My editor has it now and I’ll be revising and doing edits over the next few months. In the meantime, I’m outlining two new young adult series that I can’t really talk about yet. But I think (hope) they’re going to be awesome!
5) What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?
Although I probably should say “selling my first novel” but I’ll actually skip that one, mark it off as “too cliché” and pick something else. Instead I’m going to go with finishing my second novel. Because honestly that was WAY harder.
Most writers write their first novels on spec. So really you have no idea what will happen to it. It may or may not be read, published, sold in bookstores, reviewed, whatever. So you have an inherent freedom in writing it. The second one (one that is already sold before it’s written) is a totally different experience. Now you KNOW it’ll be read, published, sold, reviewed, whatever. And it scares you to death. It was my first time working with a REAL deadline and it sucked. To be frank. I still have nightmares about that experience. I must have rewrote the beginning of that book 20 times. And I must have cried over it at least twice that amount. It was very trying. But I eventually got through it and I’m very proud of that. The book was called LOVE UNDER COVER. It was a sequel to my first adult novel, THE FIDELITY FILES. The reviewers seemed to like it so I guess I can say it was a success but I have no perspective whatsoever. I still cringe when I think about it!
The process, thankfully, has gotten much easier. Now, I only cry 2 or 3 times per manuscript.
6) What is your favorite quality about yourself? Your least favorite?
Woah. Tough one. I guess I would say my favorite quality is my sense of humor. I can always rely on it in sticky situations. And during blog interviews. My least favorite quality is my restlessness. I can never sit still. And it usually ends badly…with chewed off fingernails and disfigured pen caps.
7) Favorite TV show?
Ooh…hard! I have so many! Okay, I’ll narrow it down to three. But keep in mind, these are only the top three of the moment. Ask me again in two weeks and it might (and probably will) change:
2) True Blood
3) Modern Family
8) Who is your favorite author and why?
ANOTHER toughie! How can I name just one?
I’ll have to say Helen Fielding because Bridget Jones’s Diary is the reason I started writing.
9) What’s the last book you read?
A fabulous young adult title called HER AND ME AND YOU by Lauren Strasnick…who is a new friend of mine. It just released from Simon and Schuster this month. The book is chilling and wonderful. I finished it in practically one sitting. A very rare feat for someone as restless as me!
Obviously, SAVE THE CAT! by Blake Snyder. I can’t shut up about how much it’s helped me in my career. If you don’t believe me, check out my website’s “For Writer’s” Page (www.jessicabrody.com/writers.html) and if you STILL don’t believe me, you can check out the guest blog I did for Blake Snyder’s website here: http://www.blakesnyder.com/2010/09/17/the-last-novel-writing-book-you’ll-ever-need/
11) Do you have a Facebook or web page for fans?
Definitely! I’ve got all that fun stuff.
And I update them all regularly (read: obsessively)