Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Author Interview: Jessica Therrien

I know I'm posting twice today once for the A to Z Challenge and once for my author interview series. I am however keeping with the letter of the day... J for Jessica!

Today I'd like to welcome Jessica Therrien to my blog. Jessica recently had her first book published in February and it has been #5 on the teen B&N top books, next to The Hunger Games. I first met Jessica on Twitter and it was immediate twittership, she has such a great name I couldn't help it. Since then I am proud to say Jessica has become a great blogging friend. I read Oppression (in a day, because I couldn't put it down) and thought it was a fabulous book. There's a reason why it's been at the top. So without further ado, on to the questioning...

JS: You just had your first novel, Oppression, published. Congratulations! Can you tell us a little about it?
 JT: I’m no good at summing my book up into a paragraph, but the back cover blurb does a pretty decent job:

Elyse knows what it means to keep a secret. She's been keeping secrets her whole life. Two, actually. First, that she ages five times slower than the average person, so that while she looks eighteen years old, she's closer to eighty. Second, that her blood has a mysterious power to heal. For Elyse, these things don't make her special. They make life dangerous. After the death of her parents, she's been careful to keep her secret as closely guarded as possible. Now, only one other person in the world knows about her age and ability. Or so she thinks. Elyse is not the only one keeping secrets. There are others like her all over the world, descendants of the very people the Greeks considered gods. She is one of them, and they have been waiting for her for a long time. Among so many of her kind, she should not be very remarkable--except for the prophecy. Some believe she will put an end to traditions, safeguarded by violence, which have oppressed her people for centuries. Others are determined to keep her from doing just that. But for Elyse, the game is just beginning--and she's not entirely willing to play by their rules.

JS: How did you get the ideas for your book?  
JT: I knew I wanted to write a YA paranormal type of novel, and I remembered learning that some places in Greek mythology are actually thought to exist in the world today (the city of Troy for example). That got me thinking, what if the Greek gods were real too, but people only mistook them for gods. If people had supernatural abilities back then, society would have most likely treated them like gods. It was a cool concept that seemed like a feasible explanation for a paranormal storyline. 

 JS: What are you working on now?  
JT: I’m working on the next book in my Children of the Gods series. It will be out sometime next year.

JS: How many books will be in this series?  
JT: Right now, it’s three…but you never know ;)  

JS: How long did it take you to write Oppression?  
JT: I really didn’t keep track, but I THINK it took about one to two years. I put it away for months without touching it several times.
JS: When did you decide to write your first novel?  
JT: I’d always wanted to write a novel, but when the YA genre exploded, I just fell in love with the stories. They really inspired me, and I wanted to write my own.  

JS: Did you send out query letters for Oppression and if so how many?  
JT: I sent out 10 queries. All of them were rejected, and I cried after opening each one, lol. Read how I found my publisher below.  

JS: You have an interesting story about how you got published. Can you tell us about it?  
JT: After the ten rejection letters, a friend of the family (who was once in the business) suggested I go to a conference. I sent my work to two agents and an author in advance of the event (these are called “advanced reads”). The author, Michele Scott (aka best-selling author A.K. Alexander) found my submission interesting and thought it was good enough to show to her publisher. She introduced me, and I left the conference with a handshake publishing deal. It was an amazingly awesome lucky break.  
JS: Do you have ideas for more books after the Children Of The Gods series?  
JT: Yes. I’m really eager to write a standalone novel. It’s extremely hard to promote a book while you’re writing a series…fun, but hard. 

 JS: What advice do you have for any unpublished authors?  
JT: My advice is always the same. Go to a conference. You’ll have fun, and might actually meet your future agent or publisher. I did :)
Random Questions

1. Vanilla or chocolate?
2. Coffee or tea? Coffee.
3. Beach or snow? Beach.
4. Last book read? Prince Albert and the Doomsday Device.
5. Favorite author? I can’t pick. Right now it’s Moira Young. She’s brilliant.
6. Most played song on iPod? Bloodstream by Stateless.
7. Favorite movie? Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
8. Outliner or panster? Both? Lol.
9. Flats or heels? Flats (if I wasn’t so dang tall, I’d wear heels…I’m over six feet with them on…).
10.Lipstick or chapstick? Chapstick :) I’m addicted.

Jessica Therrien is the author of, young adult paranormal fiction series, Children of the Gods. Book one in the series, Oppression, was published by ZOVA Books in February of 2012.

Jessica spent most of her life in the small town of Chilcoot, California, high up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. In this town of nearly 100 residents, with no street lights or grocery stores, there was little to do but find ways to be creative. Her mother, the local English teacher, inspired her to do all things artistic, and ultimately instilled in her a love for language.

In 2003, Jessica attended California State University Long Beach where her passion for language found her studying Chinese, and in 2005 she moved to Taiwan to study abroad. From 2005 to 2006 Jessica was fully immersed in the Chinese language as she attended National Taiwan University, and in 2008 she graduated from San Diego State University magna cum laude.

Jessica currently lives in Chula Vista with her husband, and is writing book two in her Children of the Gods series. 

Oppression is available at:
Amazon Kindle Edition (UKFranceGermany)
Amazon (UKFranceGermanyJapan)


Nick Wilford said...

Nice interview! I admire writers who use mythology in new and creative ways. I had at least ten rejections for my first book too, now if I could just find a conference near me!

Elise Fallson said...

This book is also on my to read list. And I love the story behind its publication. Yeah Jessica Therrien! (:

Kyra Lennon said...

I completely forgot about this book which is shameful! I am going to add it to my "to read" list now so I don't forget again!

Jessica Therrien said...

Thanks Nick :) Good luck with your writing!

Jessica Therrien said...

Haha! Thanks Elise :) I hope you enjoy Oppression!

Jessica Therrien said...

Thanks for adding it Kyra :)

Jessica Therrien said...

Thanks for the interview :) So much fun!