Monday, January 28, 2013

Witty Title TBD - Jessika!

Next up in my interview queue is...Jessika Fleck!  Jessika is my CP, Jeannette's, CP (complicated, right?) and she has an awesome blog that you should follow!  She's pretty fabulous and has an awesome story to share!

Not sure why, but this reminds me of Jessika. She'd be the cat. Unless she's a dog person, then I suppose that would make me the cat...

What do you want the world (or the 5 people who read my blog) to know about you?

Let's see... I love words and I love images - often times it's an image that spurs an entire novel for me. I'm obsessed with boots and own far too many than one person should (well, that's what my husband says anyway...). I get giddy when I'm wearing a skirt and I find it has pockets in it I didn't know about. Giddy. Music is a must for me when writing - that and candles and coffee. I'm a Southern Texas girl turned Colorado hippy, though I'm quite sure the hippy was always in me, now I just let her run wild and free.

What’s the first thing you wrote for fun? (that you can remember!)

I honestly didn't start writing until a few years ago. I always considered myself an artist - I loved to paint, sculpt, draw - but once I had kids that part of me was pushed aside by default. After several years of artistic starvation, I was beside myself and had to do SOMETHING. So I started writing. At first I wrote short stories that were more memoir style. Now, I can't imagine writing anything other than fiction.

Give us a little insight into your writing journey so far.

The first novel I sat down and wrote ended up 180k words...uh...yeah. I had no idea that was a bad thing! I was all, sweet, I totally wrote a really long book! Impressive! Go me! Well, we all know that's not how it works, and I very soon found out myself when query after query came back as big fat rejections. When I started writing it, my plan wasn't to publish, but to see where it took me. Once I'd finished my epic tale (which was not epic fiction, but, ahem, NA Paranormal), I looked into the whole getting published gig and before I knew it was sending out queries. After a few months, and some research I should have done much earlier, I shelved it. I also had another story idea...

FAMILIARITY WITH THE DEVIL was born within a fleeting thought as a neighbor, whom I'm convinced is a witch (don't judge me), passed by. It was the day before Halloween and I finished drafting and editing in four months. This was the novel I had wanted to write! Long story short, I queried, edited, re-queried, re-edited, repeat - repeat - repeat, until FINALLY (and I'm talking two years later) the clouds opened up, fairies sang, and several unicorns ran by my window with leprechauns on their backs as my query fell into Jamie's hands!!!! I still can't believe it. I couldn't ask for a more supportive, more dedicated agent - it blows my mind I got so lucky (must have been those leprechauns!).

CONGRATS AGAIN ON BEING AGENTED!!! AHHHHH!!! *ahem, back to the interview*

Right now I'm working on final edits to a YA classic dystopian called The Offering and am in the early drafting stages of book 2, The Settling. I'm also attempting a YA contemporary with light elements of fantasy titled The Castaways. Busy, busy! And happy, happy!

Star Wars, Star Trek, or…Firefly?

None of the above, *sheepish grin*. I actually had to look up Firefly and, um, not so much. When I was seven I did have an ongoing argument with a friend over movies: she always wanted to watch Star Wars and I always wanted Grease 2. We usually settled on The Wizard of Oz. So, there's that...

What song’s been stuck in your head lately?

All My Days by Alexi Murdoch (I watched Away We Go the other night and am totally obsessed with all things Alexi Murdoch now!)! Check him out, you won't be sorry!

Why do you write/read/lurve YA?

Actually, I never set out to write YA and - full disclosure - was never an avid reader of the genre (though I'm coming around quickly!). But, crazy as things are, I'm a NA/YA writer and I've realized that piece is kind of out of my hands! It's how my stories are told, the people my characters become...all of that, and I do lurve it!

Do you have a favorite place/time of day to write?

Yes! Time of day would definitely be morning/early afternoon. Place is my living room, but any coffee shop with good music will do :)

If you could only pick one book to read for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Oh man...really? This is hard and I'm assuming it can't be a series (surely that would be cheating, but my answer would be Harry Potter - obvious), but one book. Just ONE book? Well, I love Sylvia Plath...I'm fascinated with her actually. And I know this makes me a total nerd (or will it redeem my lack of Star Wars enthusiasm?), but I think I'd bring the Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath. It's something I could read snippets of here and there or as one long story about her life. It's inspirational and tragic and humorous all the same. Yes, that would be it.

What was your favorite book of 2012?

Favorite book I read in 2012 was The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - it was so good. So so so good... I'm still both haunted and in-love with it.

Is there a 2013 book you’re looking forward to?

I have a ridiculously long 'to be read' list going on Goodreads (much in thanks to my awesome and avid reader CP who recommends the best books!). I think I'm most excited to read: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness and The Giver by Lois Lowry (that cover just pulls me in). They've been out a while and I'm a little behind the times, so it really makes perfect sense.

And, since I won an award for culturally under-represented authors: If you could pick a culture that you might not be totally familiar with to research and write a story about, which culture would it be? And why?

First off, HUGE CONGRATS!!!! Wonderful and well-deserving!

My first novel, the beast, really delved into Hawaiian culture both ancient and modern and my hope is to one day revisit that manuscript and try to tame it. My other choice would without doubt be the Irish. I've always (since childhood) been mesmerized by Ireland...the landscapes, the history, the music, the legends and myths, the people. I would love to dig pretty deep into Irish history and find a story to tell.

Anything else you want to add?
I'm a total Gilmore Girls fangirl! I own all 7 seasons on DVD and have watched them back-to-back too many times to feel comfortable sharing.

Since she's never seen Star Wars (blasphemy!) I must confess that I've never actually watched Gilmore Girls...I've seen a few episodes here and there, but never watched the series all the way through.  Woops!

Thanks for answering my questions, Jessika!  Check back tomorrow for another interview :)


  1. Oh my gosh, EXTREMELY RELEVANT GIF, re: the pockets:

  2. Cute interview. She really needs to watch Star Wars already. :)

    On a side note: all of my parents' dogs float on rafts like that cat. We once came home to our dog Boo (may she rest in peace - she died from old age, not from the pool) barking her head off because she was stuck on a raft in the middle of the pool. LOL I miss that dog.

    1. hahaha I'd actually pay money to see a dog try that :P that would definitely be a hilarious thing to come home to!

  3. Love it! Thanks for letting me participate Alex! #honored

    And to dispell something...I HAVE seens Star Wars...several times (I have 3 brothers). BUT, I wouldn't list it as a favorite movie by any means :p

    And I do like cats :)

    1. awww thanks for answering my questions :)

      And GOOD! We can still be friends, then (although your comment about it NOT being on your favorite movie list breaks my heart haha)

      I'm glad you like cats! I was pretty nervous that I'd picked a bad GIF haha

    2. Did I really write "I have SEENS Star Wars"? Awesome.

    3. hahaha I didn't catch that earlier...

      I guess you did :P

  4. Awesome interview! I love learning more about you everyday! Jessika's writing style is brilliant and stays with me long after I finish her manuscripts. I am thrilled that she allowed me to join her on this journey!

    1. Awwww... *sniffle*. Yes, my agent is wonderfulness.

    2. awww this is so precious! I love all this love :)

  5. Jessika-Your movie and show selection may have to be pardoned. But I love that your a Texan turned Colorado hippie. So cute. I'm a South Dakota born turned Pacific Northwesterner by way of Arkansas. Make sense? Can't wait to read all your wonderful books once they're published. ;)

    1. Jenny, thanks for the pardon :p And I LOVE the Pacific Northwest!!!!! We used to go to Oregon every summer to a total hippie retreat growing up (it's in my blood).

  6. Nice to meet you, Jessika! You seem pretty cool despite not liking Star Wars or Firefly :) I admit, I've watched all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls. Shhh. Don't spread this around and ruin my geek cred.

    Allison (Geek Banter)

    1. Thanks Allison and nice to meet you too! Now, to be fair, I never said I *disliked* Star Wars, just that it's not one of my favorites. I's no Gilmore Girls. >_O