Monday, September 02, 2013

Author's Slambook: Jessica Verdi, author of My Life After Now

Monday, September 02, 2013

Author Bio:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Jessica Verdi lives in Brooklyn, NY, and received her MFA in Writing for Children from The New School. Her favorite pastimes include singing show tunes at the top of her lungs, watching cheesy TV, and scoring awesome nonleather shoes in a size 5. She's still trying to figure out a way to put her uncanny ability to remember both song lyrics and the intricacies of vampire lore to good use. Her second novel, The Summer I Wasn't Me, will be published April 2014. Follow Jess on Twitter @JessVerdi.

1. What is your favorite color? Green
2. Favorite food? Any kind of vegetarian soup
3. Favorite movie of all time? This is a tough one -- if I can only pick one, I'll have to go with Clueless
4. Favorite song? Another tough one. Right now I'd have to go with "Philosophy" by Ben Folds Five
5. Favorite book of all time? Ahhh this one's the hardest of all! Let's go with The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

All about Writing
1. How did your interest in writing originate?
It was actually a somewhat natural transition from my previous career -- acting. I loved telling stories, but was getting frustrated with all the waiting around, hoping to be cast in a show. I started writing because I was able to be creative and express myself -- but on my own terms, which was so liberating.

2. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
Well, I have a full time job in addition to my writing career. I work as an editor for a romance novel publisher. So all day long I'm sitting in front of Microsoft Word, working on other people's books, so working on my book is the last thing I want to do at the end of the day -- I need to get away from the computer! So I work on my writing projects all day Saturday and Sunday, every single weekend.

3. Do you work with outline or just write?
I usually start with a "brainstorm," where I just put down anything I already know about the story down in a big list. Anything from the characters' names and ages all the way through early ideas for scenes. Then, with all that in my mind, I feel better equipped to just start writing, outline-less. My favorite thing is when the story surprises me and takes me in directions I didn't know I was going until it comes through my fingers and onto the page.

4. What was the hardest part in writing your book? The easiest?
The hardest part was the research process -- the story is about a teenage girl who learns she is HIV-positive, so I had to do a ton of research on not only the virus itself, but also about the testing clinic environment, how doctor's office visits would go, and what support groups are like. The easiest part was everything having to do with theater -- Lucy is a theater nerd, like I was in high school, so it was so much fun to get to write about musicals and auditions and all that stuff.

5. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I'm addicted to television. :) I love getting lost in my favorite TV series -- it's like reading a book or watching a movie, but much deeper in a way, because you get to stick with these characters and follow their journeys season after season, year after year.

Finish the sentence
1. The difference between fiction and reality is... I don't necessarily think there is a difference! I write fictional stories about real life, so those lines are pretty blurred for me.
2. Research is what I'm doing when... I feel I'm not informed enough to continue working on a story. Often I'll stop mid-sentence and have to stop and research something or other. It can be frustrating, to throw a roadblock in the creative flow like that, but it's all part of the writing process.
3. I can write better when... I'm well rested and in a good mood!
4. Sleep is an excellent way to... reboot and get ready for the next day of writing!
5. A room without a book is... incomplete.


Title: My Life after Now
Genre/s: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance,
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Date Published: April 2, 2013
Buy: Amazon | Barnes&Nobles | Book Depo


Lucy just had the worst week ever. Seriously, mega bad. And suddenly, it's all too much—she wants out. Out of her house, out of her head, out of her life. She wants to be a whole new Lucy. So she does something the old Lucy would never dream of.

And now her life will never be the same. Now, how will she be able to have a boyfriend? What will she tell her friends? How will she face her family?

Now her life is completely different...every moment is a gift. Because now she might not have many moments left.

Title: The Summer I Wasn't Me
Genre/s: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance,
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Date Published: April 1, 2014
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Lexi has a secret.

She never meant for her mom to find out. And now she’s afraid that what’s left of her family is going to fall apart for good.

Lexi knows she can fix everything. She can change. She can learn to like boys. New Horizons summer camp has promised to transform her life, and there’s nothing she wants more than to start over.

But sometimes love has its own path…

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