Friday, January 4, 2013

[FEATURED] Jodi Meadows, Author of the INCARNATE Trilogy

Hello there, my blog readers! 

Bookworm. Raises my right hand and automatically shouts "PRESENT!". Ever since I was a kid, I already have this fervor in reading. The evolution of my reading materials went from children's book to educational books, Harry Potter series to The Twilight Saga and then I fully ventured in other Young Adult books and series. 

Reading is actually my addiction, these books that are published daily are just to die for stuff. That's also why I'm following authors on my Twitter account, I love to be updated on what they're currently doing. 

In this blog post, I'm just so lucky to be given this chance to interview a very witty and fun author - Jodi Meadows. I really love this interview that I did with her because her answers to my questions are so precious. You'll have to read everything below this introduction that I'm doing, for you to get what I mean! 

Well, enough with me and let's proceed with the Jodi Meadow Blog Interview. 

The first part of the interview is for you to get to know more about the author.

Q: Can you tell us more about yourself?
A: When I was little, my sister and I used to go to this forested park in Texas. At least, it seemed very forested to us. There was a river, which we could cross on stones, and a shallow cave on the other side. I wanted to live there. At least until my hands got dirty and I wanted to wash them.

Q: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
A: I have lots of favorite authors! Trying to pick just one or two causes incredible guilt in my soul region. So let's just say lots and lots of favorites, and an author usually becomes a favorite because they consistently write characters I become attached to, worlds I yearn to explore, and prose that captures the mood of the piece perfectly. Basically, my favorite authors are amazing.

Q: What books have most influenced your life most?
A: A few books that really influenced me early on were THE BLUE SWORD (and prequel) by Robin McKinley, WILD MAGIC (and series) by Tamora Pierce, SABRIEL by Garth Nix, THE GIVER by Lois Lowery, WINTER OF FIRE by Sheryl Jordan, and WAIT TILL HELEN COMES by Mary Downing Hahn.

Q: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? Any person who inspired you in creating your own line of books?
A: I've always loved telling stories, but the first time I realized that one could tell stories -- write books -- as a legitimate job was when I was 11 and my teacher read WAIT TILL HELEN COMES to the class. I got out a spiral notebook, wrote several pages of a story (that was eeeeeerily similar to WAIT TILL HELEN COMES, and declared myself a writer. A year later, I did the same thing with WILD MAGIC. I hadn't yet read widely enough to know there were more stories than those, but I was on a path and that path involved an obsession with books.


Q: How did this book, Incarnate, came about? How did you come up with the title?
A: I stole the idea from ninjas, obviously. The title used to be Erin Incarnate -- I liked the sort of play off "evil incarnate" -- but Erin's name changed to Ana and my publisher wasn't keen on a person's name in the title. So we just shortened it to INCARNATE, which worked fine for me.

Q: When did you start writing this? Is there any dream behind it (just like the birth of The Twilight Saga) or any inspiration for this? Are the scenes in the book somewhat based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
A: My dreams are never very linear. They'd make terrible stories. I honestly don't know what exactly inspired the idea, but there are aspects of the book that are similar not just to my life, but to a lot of people's. The feelings of being new, or being alone, or being different: those are pretty universal feelings. When Ana's learning how to play the piano and she needs soooo badly to be good at it: that's something I struggle with when it comes to writing, but I've also dealt with it in music and dance.

Q: Do you have a specific writing style?
A: Absolutely. Typically I just wear yoga pants or pajama bottoms with whatever t-shirt is at the top of the pile, which I know isn't very stylish, but hey, I'm a writer. I do, however, like to spice it up with exciting socks. Today's pair have pink and orange stripes. Lots of times I wear handknit socks. I also have lots of socks with puppies or kittens. A friend recently sent socks with ladybugs. Oh yeah, and I totally wear a cute beret in the winter.

Because I'm stylin' like that.

Q: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
A: I think every writer has a few things they wish they could adjust a little. But it would be unwise to say exactly what. :)

Q: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
A: I tried something new when I started INCARNATE: I did a lot of planning ahead. I wrote tons of notes on the world building, characters, and society. I wrote synopses for all three books. I revised heavily before I ever wrote a word of the story. I knew exactly where I wanted to end before I began.

While all that was a lot of fun, it was also incredibly difficult for me. Before, my pre-writing planning was pretty light. I tended to write very organically -- I'd dream up the next scene as I was finishing the last one. So actually planning? Really hard. But useful. I'm glad I did it.

Q: Any hardships you faced in getting this book published?
A: This was my seventeenth manuscript. I'd sent several manuscripts out to agents, and even one ms out to publishers before. I have a lot of rejections to my name. But with INCARNATE, everything went pretty smoothly. I wrote it, revised it, sent queries, got requests and rejections, and chose an agent. We revised again, then sent out the manuscript, got interest, rejections, and then an auction when there was more than one publisher that wanted to buy it.

But before that, I'd written so many stories and gotten so many rejections, I was actually ready to quit trying to get published. It was a very sad time.

Q: What sets this apart from the other YA novels around?
A: It has my name on it. ;)

Q: For those who haven’t read this book, can you give them a little preview of this book?
A: INCARNATE is about the only girl who's new in a world where everyone else is perpetually reincarnated, and her quest to discover why she was born and what happened to the person she replaced.

25 more days til Asunder's release! (January 29)

Q: What are your current projects?
A: Secrets! Their code names are Sparkle Story and Broadway Story (which has nothing to do with musical theater).

Q: Do you have any advice for other writers?
A: Write. Read. Critique. Do all that, and do it a lot. Doing is the best advice I can give you when it comes to writing.

Really nice interview, isn't it? When I first read the email reply that she sent me, I bursted out laughing because of the witty remarks that can be read all over the interview. But despite that, I still picked up something from this interview. 

LESSON LEARNED: Even if you already faced loads of time being rejected by others because of something, like for example your work, it's not an option to just quit and let their rejection eat you. It's for you to work hard, show and prove them that you are capable of doing such job. Just like what Ms. Meadows did. 

Jodi Meadows Web details
Facebook: jodimeadowsbooks
Twitter: jodimeadows
Tumblr: jodimeadows

- Amanda 

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