Saturday, January 16, 2010

Author Uncovered: Joelle Anthony (Author Interview)

Hey folks! Today, I have the wonderful Joelle Anthony with me! She's the author of Restoring Harmony and it's fabulous! Just like her! Enjoy!

Why did you choose to write YA?
YA is my favorite genre to read, so it just seemed natural. Not only do I get to have fun writing it, but now I can call reading it “education” and get away with it!

What do you see as your strengths and weaknesses as an author?
My strength has always been voice. This probably comes from starting out as an actress and doing a lot of improvisation and comedy. From the very beginning I got rejection letters with little handwritten notes on the bottom that said things like, “Great voice!” My weaknesses have always been more technical – like plotting. My trouble with plotting always was that I would be so determined to make things challenging for my character that I would weave these amazingly difficult and sometimes crazy plots.

I’m getting a lot better at resisting these wild plots now though. I have a reminder post-it note on my desk that says: KISS. It stands for Keep it Simple, Sweetie! Also, my agent has been a big help when I go off on plotting tangents because he says things like, “That could work.” Which I immediately know means, “That will NEVER work. Try something simple.”

Who is your favorite character from Restoring Harmony? Who is most like you in RH?
I tend to like whichever character I’m thinking about at the time. I’m not sure if that makes me disloyal to the others, or loyal to everyone. Can you be loyal to everyone? I don’t think I’m actually like any of the characters in Restoring Harmony. I wish I was more like Molly. She’s really good at hard work and she plays the fiddle. Both things I admire about her!

What's the most interesting thing a reader has ever said to you?
This may not count as “interesting,” but the most helpful thing was when one of my teen readers told me, “That scene is really lame!” Because, as it turns out, she was right. It was kind of lame! She also gave me a lot of positive feedback, which made me realize how invaluable her insight was. Her sister also pointed out a few “problem” areas in RH before I did the final edits, so I was able to fix them and the book is stronger for it.

How does it feel to be anticipating the release of your debut book?
I got my cover very early, and I think that’s what made the whole “getting published” thing real for me. I was very excited, almost giddy over it. But then I realized that publication was still ten months away and I could totally waste ten months of my life by anticipating the release of my book and I did not want to do that. I really try to live in the moment, and so while I do a fair amount of publicity already, and I have lots of things planned, I’m mostly just enjoying what is happening now with the book, rather than looking ahead. One thing you don’t realize when you haven’t had a book come out is that over that long, long period of “waiting” there’s actually a lot to do. So rather than think too much about the release, I do the daily things. This week I enjoyed seeing my book listed in the new Penguin catalogue.

Is being a 10'er fun?
It’s all fun, baby! Or why do it????

Book you've faked reading:
Hmmm…I can’t think of a book, but I definitely fake having seen Pulp Fiction. I just say, “Oh, yeah…that part with the needle. So horrible!” and everyone just nods along (probably faking it too).

Book you've bought for the cover:
I can’t think of any offhand, but I might’ve bought Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert for its cover (I’d already listened to it on audio and knew I wanted it) because I think it’s such a great design and says so much about the book!

Book you're an evangelist for:
Everyone who knows me knows this answer. I never shut up about Maud Hart Lovelace’s Betsy-Tacy series. Hands down, my favourite books.

Anything else you'd like to add? Are you working on any new projects?
My fabulous agent, Michael Bourret, just sold my new YA book to my wonderful editor Stacey Barney, at Putnam! It’s called The Right & the Real. Here’s the blurb: When seventeen year old Jamie Lexington-Cross’s father gets sucked into a cult masquerading as a church and she refuses to join him and his new wife, he kicks her out onto the street. With no other family to turn to, and the threat of foster care looming, Jamie strikes out on her own, trying to make a new life without letting any of her friends or teachers know she is homeless. But when Dad finds himself in danger, he sends her a message, and she comes to the rescue, armed with her newly acquired street smarts.

Thanks so much for having me, and for all you’re doing for writers everywhere!

That was a fun interview! I hope you enjoyed getting to know Joelle more!

Peace, Love, and Awesome Authors,
my signature

7 comments:

Precious January 16, 2010 at 9:47 PM  

Awesome interview! I like the part where she said that she would weave crazy plots for her character! :D And that she knows that her agent really means "that will NEVER work" when he says, "that could work."
KISS is great! I'll try it with mine!

alybee January 17, 2010 at 1:24 AM  

I so like Joelle. I want to make bread and soup with her and chat books. Thanks for the wonderful interview!

~The Book Pixie January 17, 2010 at 5:01 AM  

Joelle is just totally awesome. lol. Those were some great questions and I loved reading her answers. Oh and The Right and The Real sounds AWESOME!

~Briana

Alexa January 17, 2010 at 11:08 AM  

Great interview. I love KISS and the advice to live in the moment :)

Cleverly Inked January 17, 2010 at 10:37 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cleverly Inked January 17, 2010 at 10:38 PM  

Great Interview. I think I have seen pulp fiction. That was years ago, I think.

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