5 Questions & 1 Confession with Jessica Love

To continue my interview series, today I have my good friend Jessica Love! Jessica writes awesome contemporary YA and is represented by Jill Corcoran of Herman Agency. She's also part of the Bookanistas and one of the bloggers at YA Confidential. Most importantly, she puts up with my crazy on a regular basis!

Where did you get the idea for your book?

For my previous book, AVOIDING DRAMA, it all sprang from the song Sic Transit Gloria by Brand New. I liked the girl character in that song, and how she was the aggressive one and the guy was a little shell-shocked by how forward she was. From that song the characters of Chelsea and Brandon were born...and after that it was a lot of trial and error trying to figure out what to do with them.

I got the idea for my WIP IN REAL LIFE from a really cheesy reality show. Again, I just got the inspiration for the characters and had to figure out what to do with them...and I'm actually still trying to figure that out. 

Where do you do most of your writing?

When I'm at home I'm sitting on my couch covered in my red fleece footie blanket (It has a pocket for your feet...so your feet stay warm!) I'm covered with the blanket even when it's hot outside. I just like the comfort. 

Sometimes Gunner likes to cuddle with me when I'm writing.

I'm easily distracted at home, though, so I prefer to go to the Panera down the street or the Starbucks around the corner. Starbucks is closer, but it's always freezing in there and Panera has food and comfier chairs. I switch it up every now and then.

What movie or tv show do you wish you could adapt into a YA or MG book?

Oh man...I have a kernel of an idea for a YA inspired by two of my favorite movies, but I'm still trying to figure out how to make it work. 

I would love to do a YA version of The Amazing Race. How fun would that be? Fierce competition and beautiful settings from around the world...it would be so awesome. 

What advice do you have for new writers?

The best advice I've ever heard is actually a quote from William Faulkner - "Don't be a writer, be writing." I think it's so easy to get caught up in the blogging and tweeting and craft books and conferences and query workshops and agent research that days and weeks and months can go by without you actually writing a single thing. But all of that is useless if you aren't actually writing anything. Make writing your priority and the rest of this will all fall into place.

Also, my friend Melissa Landers always says, "You can't win if you don't play," and this is so true. You can sit around and wish for an agent or a book deal all day long, but if you never actually face rejection and go out there and submit your work to critique, you will just spend your time wishing for it. It's hard, but you need to get yourself out there if you actually want to achieve this dream.

What were you like as a teenager?

Hopelessly dorky. I was trying so hard to fit in with the cooler kids all the time, but it never worked because I wouldn't just embrace my inner dork. (Which, surprisingly enough, is a pretty big theme in AVOIDING DRAMA.) I was tall and gangly and had bad hair and wore t-shirts with Eeyore on them every day. (I was emo before it was a thing, but I was Disney emo.) I was desperate for a boy to like me, but none of them did, probably because they could smell my desperation. 

High school Jess. No, those glasses weren't even cool back then.

Tell us something geeky about yourself:

I have a Twilight tattoo.

Just kidding. 

My geekiness is only geeky to boring people. To the awesomeness of the writing community on the internet, the number of books I read or authors I stalk  aren't geeky at all. I asked my husband what was geeky about me and all he could say was that I read a lot and talk to the dog like he's a person. I clearly need to step up my geekiness in a big way.

Thanks Jessica! Although I'm a little disappointed you don't actually have a Twilight tattoo!