Hello! Today I'm honored to have J. Andersen for an author interview on B's Book Blog as a part of At What Cost book tour. Besides our interview, you can find more information about At What Cost and a giveaway of 3 eBook copies in this post!
1. When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I guess that depends on what you consider “starting”. I used to write all the time when I was a kid, short stories and such, but I really got serious about writing in 2006. I started At What Cost then. I wrote about 3 chapters and got stuck. So I set it aside and wrote another book before I came back to it. Now, in 2012, it’s been published.2. How did you choose the genre you write in?
I taught middle school for a number of years. During this time, I read everything the kids were reading. I fell in love with YA. The rest is history.3. Do you ever experience writer’s block?
A little, mostly when I’ve taken a few days off from writing. It’s hard to get back in to the habit.4. Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I use a flexible outline. I draw up those good old triangular plot diagrams that your English teachers used to torture you with. You know the rising action, climax, falling action, resolution ones. I try to plot out my story that way, but in the end I always end up with more than what’s on my outline.5. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
I don’t know as if there’s one in particular. I certainly respect anything by Laurie Halse Anderson, and I can only hope that one day my books will have the magnitude of influence that hers do.6. Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
HA! How much time do you have? First, I wrote about three chapters and got stuck. (Those chapters have since been chopped, along with seven others.) So, I wrote another book. (It will never be seen or published.) Then I finished At What Cost and started sending it to agents. I had some favorable inquiries, but nothing materialized. After over a year of that, I was told by one agent to rework it a bit. So, I did the ‘ol, chop chop, cutting ten chapters and reworking the rest of the book. Then I sent it out again, another year later, I finally landed my agent. I went through a LOT of queries and a TON of rejection. Someday I’ll reveal how many agents I queried, but let’s just say for now it’s an embarrassing amount. Then, of course there are the rejections from publishing houses. It’s a good thing I have thick skin.7. If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?
We can always wonder, can’t we? I think I’d focus my agent search more. Those tons of rejections hurt. JAs for the novel, every time I had to edit it with a different editor, I kept thinking I’d go back and rework this or that, but when I got to that section, I liked what I’d written. I do think I’d rework that first sentence. Doesn’t seem to be as catchy as I’d like it to be.8. Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?
The one I just finished is called The Unviables. It’s not published yet, but my agent is working on finding it a home. It’s a dystopian, which is my favorite genre, but I’ve never had an idea to write one until recently.
Thank you J. Andersen for joining us today! :-)
At What Cost by J. Andersen:
Author: J. Andersen
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Release Date: June 13, 2012
Summary: During her junior year, sixteen-year-old Maggie Reynolds expected to shop for prom dresses not maternity clothes. Now, instead of studying for the SATs, she’s reading, What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Maggie’s ‘Mother Dearest’ lives in fear that Maggie will somehow taint the family name, so Maggie can’t turn to her for help. Meanwhile, her father is oblivious to anything but his 9-9 job. And her boyfriend, Justin? She’s pretty sure he’ll stay by her side.
While Maggie wrestles with her options, Justin offers a solution: abortion. It would solve all her problems quickly, easily, and effectively. And her parents would never know, which means they won’t throw her out and cut her off like they’d always threatened if she got herself knocked up. Now Maggie must decide which choice she can live with: abortion or teenage motherhood. Either way, it’ll be a tough road to travel.
About the author:
Jessie Andersen lives in a small town in Western New York with her husband and three kids. A former English teacher, she now spends her time writing while the kids are at school and the baby is sleeping. She volunteers at the local library and sings in the church band. You can find information about her books at jandersenbooks.com, and you can follow her personal blog and book blog. You can also follow her on Twitter and on Facebook and Goodreads.
a Rafflecopter giveaway