Welcome to the second day of YA month. I am so excited about this post and I hope you all enjoy. If you follow me on Twitter you know I got some bloggers involved with this month. I had a few Q&As to do and thought it would be fun to get some bloggers to do the questions for them. So, today we have the wonderful Jenn Bennett with us today with a Q&A from Bex at Myshelfmyself and Amy at GoldenBooksGirl.
Hi Jenn, thank you so much for taking part in this interview! Can you start by telling us a bit about yourself and your novels?
I’m an American writer for both adults and teens. All of my books tend to focus on romance between unique characters (artists, geeks, and loveable weirdos), exploration of different kinds of families, an emphasis on witty banter and sex positivity, and most of them are set in Northern California.
2. What are your tips for writers block?
Talk to someone about it. A friend, family member, partner…someone with whom you feel comfortable. They don’t have to understand the process of writing, and they don’t have to be readers, even. They just need to be a good listener, because if you’re blocked, there’s a reason. And talking about it is like knocking your shoe on a curb to shake a tiny pebble loose that’s been stuck inside. You can’t walk until you get that irritating pebble out!
3. Who are your favourite YA authors?
Right now, Leigh Bardugo, Kiersten White and Stephanie Perkins.
4. You’ve written both series and standalones before – how do they compare and which do you prefer?
Both have advantages/disadvantages. In a series, you don’t have to keep rebuilding your world: your characters and setting are there, waiting for you. But it’s also restraining, because you’re forced to stay true to the world you built while also writing something that isn’t a rehash. Also, writing a character arc over several books can feel tiresome. Standalones are always fresh---new characters, new dynamics, new setting. However, you’re rebuilding the wheel every time, starting from scratch. I’m not sure which I prefer, honestly!
5. Your book, Night Owls, is called The Anatomical Shape of a Heart in America; what is the reason for this?
Night Owls was my original title, which the U.K. (and other international publishers) kept. My former U.S. publisher wanted to change the title. It’s been a source of frustration for me, mostly because readers get confused and think they are two different books. Personally, I prefer shorter titles—easier to remember, less typing for me, and it fits better within social media character limits!
6. I know it’s hard, but if you had to choose – which of your novels is your favourite?
Hmm, not sure. I’m proud of all them. They’re like children: you’re not supposed to favour one over the other!
7. Alex, Approximately published last week, and your next book, Starry Eyes, is out in 2018 – can you tell us any more about it?
Yes! Starry Eyes is about an astronomy-loving girl and a goth boy. They used to date, but something tore them apart. When they end up on a summer camping trip together, their friends abandon them in the California wilderness, and they have to hike their way out. There’s lots of conflict, an adult toy store, a scary campfire story, LGBTQ parents, and steamy kisses inside tents. Oh, and did I mention that I did some artwork for the inside of the book? I did! I’m very excited about this book!
1. Can you describe your books in 5 words for anyone who hasn't read them?
Romantic, offbeat, witty, hopeful, comforting.
2. One of my favourite things about Night Owls was its settings, which I can't remember being the main setting in any other book. What made you want to choose to set the book in San Francisco?
I adore San Francisco. All of my books (so far!) have been set in Northern California, particularly the Bay Area and the coastal area below it—Monterrey, Big Sur, Santa Cruz (which is the town that inspired the setting of Alex, Approximately). My Roaring Twenties historical romance series is set in San Francisco, which I started writing before Night Owls. I used to live in Los Angeles, in Southern California, which is a completely different vibe. I always tell people I’m going to retire in Big Sur (redwood trees, fog, craggy cliffs, stunning Pacific ocean views), where I’ll paint pictures of monsters, drink expensive tea imported from China, and do naked yoga outside my clifftop house. You know, normal stuff!
3. Do you have any preferences about where you write? Do you have any other writing habits?
I write in two places: in my office (which doubles as my paint studio), and in an old Poang IKEA chair in my living room. I need complete silence for writing, no music, as I’m easily distracted, and I write better in the morning, after a good night’s sleep. Also, I do more writing when it’s raining. I suppose I could write more if I were living in a rainier climate. So maybe I shouldn’t retire in Big Sur, after all…
Jenn has a new book out called Alex, Approximately and I can't recommend it enough!
Bailey "Mink" Rydell has met the boy of her dreams. They share a love of films and talk all day - Alex is perfect. Well, apart from the fact that they've never actually met . . . and neither of them knows the other's real name. When Bailey moves to sunny California to live with her dad, who happens to live in the same town as Alex, she decides to track him down. But finding someone based on online conversations alone proves harder than Bailey thought, and with her irritating but charismatic (and potentially attractive?) colleague Porter Roth distracting her at every turn, will she ever get to meet the mysterious Alex?