I have to say that it is always a bit humbling when an author reaches out to you for a book review. This is what Jessica A Scott did and I have to say I’ve enjoyed working with her when it came to her book and the questions below. I got a sense of the author through the may post it notes behind her in the author photo on the page. Those notes combined with the honest answers below make me hope there will be a lot more coming from the author. So please enjoy the answers to those Ten Plus One Questions.
Question 1: When did you realize first wanted to be a writer?
I think I have always wanted to be a writer. I’d been making up stories since I was old enough to think, and as soon as my mom taught me to read and write when I was three years old, I knew that’s how I wanted to spend my time. My stories got better and more complex over time, of course, but I’ve always known that writing was what I wanted to do with my life.
Question 2: How did your friends/family take the loss of your time as you wrote the book?
Honestly, I don’t think they minded too much. I’m sure that my parents would have preferred that I do something that paid more (haha), but they were/are still very supportive of me and my pursuit of my dream, so I don’t think the loss of my time was much of an issue for anyone, especially since I’m able to balance writing with friends and family time fairly well.
Question 3: What inspired you to write Chase and Charlie?
I know this is a cliché in the writing business, but for this book, the idea came to me in a dream I had years ago. The dream itself was really strange (like most of my dreams are), but it gave me a general idea and the main character, who I instantly fell in love with and just HAD to write about. I think when a story idea comes to me in a dream, it makes me want to write it more, since it feels more real to me. It makes me feel like I myself have lived at least a part of it, or have met the characters before!
Question 4: During the initial writing process where did you get the idea for the book and its characters?
Well, like I mentioned, I got the idea for the plot and the characters Chase and Charlie from a dream, but the story itself really began to develop on its own once I started writing it. Charlie, the main character/narrator, is a little bit like me, and a little bit better and more courageous and funny than me, and I feel like she just sort of wrote her own story. I just held the pen!
Question 5: Who were some of the authors that inspired you as a child growing up and their books?
I’m not sure if her books really inspired mine, since they are so different, but J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series was always my favorite as a kid, because I was always amazed by how she had created an entire world for her and her characters, complete with different languages, names, and ideas that no one else had really put together before. I wanted to be able to do that, and do that in a way that seemed real to the reader, and to me.
I also read a lot of Dean Koontz books, even as a child, and I was (and still am) inspired by the way he took somewhat unbelievable or fantastical events and made them seem like something that could really happen. I am a huge fan of realistic fiction, and that is what I strive to write.
Question 6: What was the feeling like when you saw the first completed version of your book?
This is a good question! Honestly, I was kind of in shock when I first held the printed, paper copy of my book in my hand. It seemed so bizarre to me to read my own words, that I’d only seen on notebook paper and on my computer screen, inside of a real, honest-to-goodness, published book! (Which looks pretty great, thanks to my best friend and cover artist Sarah Hance.) I still don’t know if I quite believe it really happened… haha!
Question 7: Do you continue to write and in what genre?
Of course I continue to write! Even if I never had anything published, or never have any commercial success, I will still continue to write, because that is my passion. My main genre focus is still thriller/romantic suspense, but I am experimenting with some different genres lately, such as the mystery and crime genres. I think it is a good thing to try different genres from time to time—it is a good exercise for your creativity!
Question 8: Who do you imagine being the people reading your book?
The characters in Chase and Charlie are sort of a “young twenty-something,” so I think that people in that age group would enjoy it, as would teenagers. There really isn’t anything too offensive in it, so I think that it could be read by anyone who likes suspense, regardless of age. I think young women especially would enjoy it, because it is always good for us to read a book about a strong, self-possessed, relatable female character who really gets things done.
Question 9: Any good suggestions for those who want to try writing their own book?
Yes, I have two suggestions, actually. First: NEVER GIVE UP!! Writing a book is hard, and it takes a lot of work, but mostly it takes perseverance. There will be days when you feel like you don’t connect with your characters, or days when you feel like you just don’t want to write anymore, but you can’t give up. Writing is something you have to do for you, not for anyone else, so you have to keep at it until you make yourself proud.
Secondly, I would suggest reading a book called On Writing by Stephen King. This is the best book about writing I have ever read, and it helped me a lot when I was experiencing writer’s block on a recent book. On Writing not only gives you a lot of great tips and advice about writing and how to improve your process, it also lets you see how a successful author like Stephen King became a successful author like Stephen King. Most importantly, though, it gives writers hope. As King himself says, “writing is a lonely job,” and it is really great to hear stories and advice from someone (a surprisingly relatable someone!) who has been there before, and who understands what being an author is really like.
Question 10: When not writing how do you like to spend your time?
When I’m not writing, I like to read, which actually helps a lot with the writing, so I’m not sure that counts. I also like to watch old movies and tv shows, like Chase and Charlie do in my novel (Maybe that’s where they get it from!). Writing is always my favorite thing to do though, so usually when I’m not writing, I’m thinking about writing!
The + 1 Question
If your book got turned into a movie do you have any actors/actresses you’d like to see play your characters?
Hmm… that’s a tough one. I’m not sure who I’d like to play Chase or Hoagie, but I could definitely see Jennifer Lawrence playing Charlie. They both have a lot of spunk and a great sense of humor toward life, and I feel like Lawrence would really capture Charlie’s lighthearted, “never say die” attitude.
Where to find Jessica online