Jessica Brody first visited with us in February of 2009 when her fiction debut, THE FIDELITY FILES, had cracked its release date and taken off at a run. It proved to be just the thing to rouse the admiration of her publishers, reviewers, and readers. It also drew the curiosity of the industry over the possibilities for how Jessica’s ideas and talent might be applied to sequels, media adaptations, and the Young Adult market.
We’d like to welcome her again and thank her for taking the time to be part of our “5 Minutes Alone” interview series.
AuthorScoop: THE FIDELITY FILES seems to have been wearing some grippy cleats. Tell us about what’s happened to your career since that book went over so well and how it’s led to your latest release, THE KARMA CLUB.
Jessica: LOL! Love the cleats metaphor. Yep, I’m holding on for dear life! And that’s quite appropriate given the fact that my career as an author often feels likes a roller coaster ride!
Well, after I wrote The Fidelity Files and its sequel, Love Under Cover, I decided to try my hand at young adult. But not really on purpose. It was more of an accident…a very fortunate one.
I came up with the concept for The Karma Club as an adult novel (because that’s all I really knew)—about three women who decide to take Karma into their own hands and get revenge on the men who have wronged them. But something wasn’t sitting right for me. I kept thinking, “Shouldn’t these women know better than to go around plotting revenge?” Well, we would hope so (although it’s not always the case, right?)
Anyway, it seemed to me that this book could have a much deeper message hidden within it, about the universe and its mysterious ways in which it works, and I quickly realized that it would make such a better story as a book for teens. A sort of coming of age—or coming of wisdom story. So I wrote 50 pages of it, sent it to my agent to get her thoughts and she said, “You have a very natural voice for young adult!” And I thought, maybe that’s because I never really grew up! I still think of myself as an awkward fifteen year old! Haha. But seriously, I loved writing The Karma Club so much—the teen voice feels so organic to me—that shortly after I sold it, I went on to sell two more YA novels to the same publisher. They’ll be coming out in the next two years. I can’t wait!
AuthorScoop: You’ve gone from debut novelist to busy, busy and much sought after. Has the ride, so far, been what you’d dreamed it would be?
Jessica: Well, to be honest, not exactly. And that’s probably because my dreams of being a full-time writer never actually included any real writing. LOL! They were all just fantasies of glamorous parties and book signings and big fat checks. But it turns out, if you want to be a full time writer, you have to…well, write! And I do. All the time! Every day. As soon as I finish one book, I start the next. Idleness is my worst enemy! I guess I would say it’s just more work than I expected. But since I love what I do so much…it rarely feels like work…except maybe during those really hard parts in the middle of the story when you question your sanity and your decision to become a writer over something much simpler, like say, a candlestick maker.
AuthorScoop: With all of your book tour travels and general hubbub, it’s probably safe to guess that this past two years has been unlike any other. But what’s been the same for you?
Jessica: I think it’s important to keep some things constant in your life. I know it’s huge for me. Otherwise, I’d feel like I had nothing to “go home to.” And even though I love traveling, I also really love coming home. To familiar things that rarely change. I’m still with the same wonderful, supporting man. I still watch the same television shows (unless they were unjustly canceled—yes I’m looking at you, NBC. Bring back Journeyman!). And I still live in the same apartment…which I adore. Although we’ll probably be moving soon, so that one’s a wash!
AuthorScoop: And with the accomplishment of these successes secured, what new advice would you offer to aspiring novelists?
Jessica: Try to write every day. Even if the stuff that’s coming out reads like a third grade book report. Sometimes you have to get the crap out in order to get to the good stuff. And sometimes, writing just to write is the only way to get a book done. Even if it means having to go back later and delete it all!
AuthorScoop: What’s next for Jessica Brody?
Jessica: Ahh! So many cool things! As mentioned earlier, I have two more young adult books coming out in the next two years. My Life Undecided—about a girl who enlists the blog reading population to help make decisions in her life—is coming out in Spring 2011 and 52 Reasons to Hate My Father—about a spoiled teen heiress who’s forced to take on a different low-wage job every week for a year if she wants any hope of receiving her trust fund—will be out the following year. I’m so excited about both! And right now, I’m working on a new sci-fi-ish series for teens that I hope to sell soon! Lots of good stuff in the works! I hope you’ll stay tuned!
Find out what Jessica Brody is up to online at her website and here’s an incentive to head on over and bookmark the page: the very clever trailer for her latest release, THE KARMA CLUB.