Jessica Spotswood, author of Born Wicked out in stores today, has graciously given this bewitched blogger an interview with her about, her book, her writing choices, and herself! I have compiled the questions I asked and would like to share what I learnt about this wonderful author.
1. What inspired you to write about witches? (was it something about the witch trials during the 1600s perhaps? I am a history student so I can’t help myself but ask)
Jessica:I wanted to write about a society where educated, independent girls weren’t valued but without making it seem preachy. I wanted to give the Brotherhood and the general populace a real reason to fear them. In this society, the Brothers use witchery as an excuse to persecute disobedient women, but the witches did do some terrible things in the name of protecting themselves. Their magic does give them a great deal of power. It’s not entirely black and white. And it gave my girls a lot of inner conflict, too, as they struggle with what they believe about their magic and their own potential.
2. Have you always wanted to write for the young adult (Y.A.) genre? If not, what drew you into the genre?
Jessica:I have! The books I loved most as a child were all YA: L.M. Montgomery, Louisa May Alcott, Sunfire historical romances. I went to grad school for theatre history & criticism, and read plays pretty exclusively for a few years. But when I was finished, I came right back to reading YA – including what was popular then, like Vampire Academy and Wicked Lovely andTwilight. I’ve never really tried to write another genre.
3. How on earth did you create Finn Belastra? (He is one delicious character! hehe - I think he has stolen the heart of many bibliophiles out there!)
Jessica:Thank you! I think, as a reader, I was a little tired of mysterious, brooding, alpha-male heroes. I wanted to write a romance that where the hero really respects the heroine, flaws and all, and doesn’t try to boss her or stifle her independence. Finn is strong, but he doesn’t need to diminish Cate to prove it. And he’s cute, but dorky-cute, with glasses and freckles and messy hair and a book in his hand. We don’t see many heroes like that; I think that’s part of his appeal.
4. Do you prefer peace and quiet when you write, or do you listen to music? Any specific kind of music?
Jessica:I don’t write with music on, but I do like to take brainstorming walks with my iPod. Some of my favorite music for BORN WICKED was by Snow Patrol, Florence + the Machine, and Mumford & Sons.
5. If you could meet ANY fictional character, who would it be? (You may choose one female and one male, if you're stuck between one or the other)
Jessica:I think I’d like to hang out with Frankie Landau-Banks, from E. Lockhart’s The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. She’s smart and funny and one of my all-time favorite characters.
6. If you could vacation anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Jessica:I’d love to go to Greece someday. My youngest sister and my mom went a few years ago, and their pictures were gorgeous! A second choice would be Scotland, and my husband and I are hoping to go this summer to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for two weeks. He’s a playwright, so he can see lots of shows, and when I get tired of theatre I can have tea and scones and visit castles!
So there you have it! Isn't she just wonderful :) I had such a hard time trying to pick the right questions to ask her, but I couldn't resist asking her how on earth she created Finn Belastra (his name says it all, and just makes a girl swoon) or where she'd like to travel once she gets a chance (by the way YES! to Scotland - ugh I cannot wait to visit there myself!). I hope you've all enjoyed getting to know Jessica a little more, and I hope you all pick up a copy of her book, Born Wicked!
If any of you are interested, I was able to read Born Wicked as an ARC and I have already put up my review this pass January! Here is the link to it if you're interested in reading my thoughts on it :)