Interview with Jessica Shirvington

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Today I have the very talented Aussie author Jessica Shirvington stopping by for an interview.  Jessica is the author of the Violet Eden Chapters, Embrace (review here) and Enticed (review here).  

1. Why YA?
I don't really think there was any other option for me. I read more YA than anything else. They are the stories and authors I love to read and when I started to write EMBRACE, I didn't even pause to consider what genre it would be, I just knew.
2. What were you inspirations for this series?
 All the small thoughts.
Little by little I had ideas that I then went and researched, starting with the name Violet and an interest in the angel hierarchy. When I found stories of a group of angels referred to as the 'Grigori' I used that as a base for the story and then built around that. I also think a lot of my inspiration has come from researching many different types of religious text and folklore rather than one specific religion - it has helped to open story lines to many possibilities.

3.  Did you have a clear idea at the beginning of what was going to happen in the series or has it changed while writing each book?
I knew where I wanted the first three books to end (and I thought I knew where I wanted Book4 to end, but over the course of writing the first 3, that has organically changed), but that was it. From there, each time I start the process of writing a new book, I try to look at it with a fresh perspective and find something new to offer. I am definitely open to change as I am writing and find that sometimes even though I had plans for one particular character, somehow they seem to take themselves in a different, more appropriate, direction. That's half the fun.
4.  Where is your favourite place to write?
I like to mix it up, depending on what stage of the writing process I am in. Sometimes I just have to lock myself away at home and put in the quiet hours, other times I love to be out and about. I have a few favourite cafes that I haunt and every now and then I will work from the library for a while. As long as I have my laptop with me, I'm generally pretty flexible.

5. What has being the most challenging part of writing this series so far?
As each book goes on, I face different challenges. It's a new experience each time. I tend to get very wrapped up in the characters lives and since I know all their secrets I also know the ins and outs of how each situation affects them and all of their hidden sorrows. At times I find that hard and have to build myself up to writing a certain section.

6.  After Emblaze do you have plans for another project?
Yes. The Violet Eden Chapters is set to continue. It was always planned as a four book plus series and it is important to me to finish the series at the right place for the characters. At this stage, I believe the final number will be six. In addition to The Violet Eden Chapters, I am tinkering with another couple of ideas that I am hoping to give some more attention to shortly.

7.  What are some of your favourite books?
There are so many. Recently, I think the stand out books in YA have been:

Slightly younger end of YA:
Gallagher Girls Series - Ally Carter
The Gone Series - Michael Grant

 Upper end of YA:
Poison Study Series - Maria V. Snyder
The Hunger Games  - Suzanne Collins
Graceling - Kristen Cashore
Anything by Melissa Marr or Holly Black

AND I'm looking forward to reading the debut novel by Veronica Roth - Divergent. I know I am going to love it.

8.  The Violet Eden Chapters has a great bunch of characters (I adore Spence).  Do you have a favourite? 
I'm glad you like Spence. He was one of those characters that almost wrote himself. I love where he is going.
Since I write from Violet's pov, I am most invested in her. That said, I find myself constantly pulled between the three main characters; Violet, Lincoln and Phoenix. To me, each of them has an equally important road to travel / story to tell. Depending on what point I am in each of their stories, I find myself pulled between them. And sometimes out of nowhere, another character will completely blow me away and they become all I can think about - like Spence or Steph, for example. My mind is a busy place sometimes!

Thank you Jessica for taking the time to answer my questions.  I am excited to hear that it looks like there is going to be six books in the series (and hopefully Spence will be in them all ~crosses fingers).

Embrace and Enticed are available now in Australia with Emblaze set to come out in October 2011.

Also Embrace will be available internationally from The Book Depository in October, 2011.

For more details visit Jessica Shirvington's website.  

Check out the German covers for Embrace and Enticed.  They are gorgeous!


Anonymous said...

Six Violet books? Goodness, I thought there would be only three! I love Jessica's writing!

Abbey said...

How exciting!
Jessica Shirvinton sounds like a nice, easy going, Aussie, I'm glad she's writing.
I bought Embrace a few months ago, I really need to read it so i can move on to the next book.
also the German covers are so beautiful, i'm a bit jealous that we didn't get them in Australia.
- abbeys booskhelf

Savannah said...

I really want to read her books. I have been trying to buy them for months now. Great interview!

Braiden said...

Great interview...I’ve had Embrace sitting on my shelf for a while but trying to work up the courage to delve into another angel book. But after hearing her talk about it I might have to begin it sooner rather than later.

Belle said...

Great interview! I'm yet to read her books but they're patiently awaiting me in my TBR pile!

Jenny said...

Thanks so much for this interview Nic and Jessica! I love getting to know more about authors, their work, and especially their writing process. Interesting how the ending of the 4th book changed from the original plan once the first three books were written, makes me want to know what the ending was going to be before things evolved:)

Audrey (holes In My brain) said...

Great interview Nic! Awesome questions and answers. I love her answer for the inspiration question, I really want to read her books now!

Bailey said...

Ooooh I hadn't heard of these books so I must check them out! And wow, 6 books is a nice number for a series.

Leanna Elle said...

Great interview, Nic. I love the sound of this series and I can't wait to read it when it releases over here. Love those German covers too!

Jenny N. said...

I love how all the covers match. They must look great when you have them side by side.

A Canadian Girl said...

The German covers are gorgeous! I'm so glad Embrace is going to be available internationally soon since I've seen so many positive reviews for the series.

Missie, The Unread Reader said...

Yes, the covers are gorgeous!

I love it when a story has so much to tell that it can go for the long haul with many books. Plus, characters that can write themselves must be somewhat of a relief with such an extensive series planned.

Fantastic interview! I'm looking forward to reading these. :)

Jacinda (The Reading Housewives) said...

Read Divergent very soon! Fantastic! And I love THG and Graceling as well! :) Love those pretty German covers! Great interview!

Rummanah Aasi said...

Wow, those book covers are gorgeous! I loved all those books that Jessica mentioned. :P I find it fascinating how organic writing really is, it changes from book to book, each with its own set of problems, etc. I'm definitely going to see if I can get her books. Thanks for a great review, Nic!

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Sometimes I think it is a good idea to separate upper YA from younger. We change so much during that time! Great review. Love the German covers too!

Melissa (i swim for oceans) said...

Fabulous interview! I love when authors can clearly dictate why they write YA...that always intrigues me :)

Jess - The Tales Compendium said...

Great interview Nic. I have the first one sitting on my shelf waiting to be read. I'll have to push it up the pile :)

Miss Page-Turner said...

Thank you for the interview, Jessica sounds really nice. The German covers do look great, wow there aren't many German covers of US books that I like that much

Misha said...

You're right - the German covers are stunning!
I must read Embrace soon. Great interview!

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