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Monday, October 1, 2012

Author Interview: Jessie Atkin

I'm thrilled to have Jessie Atkin here today for an interview! Jessie is the author of the MG fantasy We Are Savages...

WS: What three words best describe your novel We Are Savages?
JA- Adventure. Fantasy. Self-discovery

WS: Can you give us a one sentence pitch about We Are Savages that will really make readers want to read it?
JA- "You go to bed angry or sad enough, you can wake up just about anywhere," the Savages tell her, but Tris Simon was not expecting anything like this.

WS: Where did the idea behind this story come from? What inspired the book?
JA- The story started because I missed my dog while I was away at school. So that's why it opens with Tris and her dog Mars.  But, in my junior year of college I was cast as Michael Darling in Peter Pan. I love the story of Peter Pan, I think it's timeless.  But, spending so much time with the story, I also began to wonder, where else could kids go besides Neverland? Where else can kids escape to, especially with new twenty first century sensibilities? So, it was that question that created the underground world of Nowhere.

WS: Who was your favorite character to write and explore in We Are Savages? What do you love about him/her?
JA- Tris was my favorite character to write because she was really discovering the world with me, and I think that's the same for anyone who reads the book.  Her awe at what's happened to her was so innocent, and I enjoyed that.  But, at the same time, she grows through the book, it's not just a world she's discovering, but herself.  And that all felt very organic when writing.  The characteristic I like most in Tris is her kindness.  She really takes the time to listen and understand people, which is what I think makes her a good leader.  She doesn't judge people.

WS: Grab a copy of your book and answer the following:
Favorite chapter? I like all the chapters, but if I had to pick one, I'd say Chapter 4, The Atrium, is especially good.
Favorite page? Chapter 24, pg 182
Flip to a random page, choose one random sentence and give us a little teaser:
 “Fireflies,” Logan replied, gesturing above their heads. “They’ll follow you wherever you like, as long as you’re polite to ’em."

WS: In your book Tris finds a haven in the world Nowhere...what would your Nowhere or haven be like?
JA- Well, the biggest difference between Nowhere and a haven just for me, there wouldn't be quite as much water.  I'm not a big fan, especially when it's cold water.  I think three things my haven would have to have would be 1) an extensive library of books, including pens and notebooks 2) pillows and/or bean bag chairs 3) possibly be in outer space.

WS: If you could switch lives with any book character for one day who would it be and what would you do as them?
JA- George Weasley. I am a fraternal twin, so it would be cool to see what it's like to be identical as well.  It would be great to be able to do magic, but also have fun with it like George. And, he plays Quidditch, so there'd definitely be a broom ride in there somewhere.

WS: What are some of your all time favorite middle-grade books and/or character?
1)     Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone – JK Rowling
2)     The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman
3)     Holes – Louis Sachar
4)     The Hobbit – J.R.R Tolkien
5)     Ender's Game – Orson Scott Card

WS: Fill in the blanks:
I'm really awesome at movie trivia
I'm embarrassed to admit that I still own action figures
In a hundred years I hope people remember me as having existed at all :P

WS: If you were to create and bake a We Are Savages cupcake what would it look/taste like and what would you call it?
 JA- It would be a red velvet cake (for the brick walls of Nowhere) with vanilla frosting (in dark blue to represent the water) and yellow sugar sprinkles (that give the cupcake it's name) – The Firefly.

Thank you so much Jessie for answering my questions and giving us a chance to get to know you and your work!

Jessie Atkins: Site / Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook
Jessie Atkin lives in Upstate, NY, and attended Washington University in St. Louis. She received a B.A. in English Literature. Besides reading, she was also involved in theater during college, working as an assistant stage manager and even trying her hand at acting in a single show.
Jessie learned to read later than most, but her sudden ability coincided with the release of the first Harry Potter book in 1998, and an obsession was born. Aside from Harry Potter, she also learned to love comic books, with a particular affinity for superheroes. Other than young adult fiction, Jessie also writes plays in her free time. We Are Savages is her debut novel.

We Are Savages: Amazon 
We Are Savages is the story of 12 year old Tris and what she finds when she runs from the responsibility of her household and descends through a rain grate into the child run world of Nowhere. "You go to bed angry or sad enough you can wake up just about anywhere," the Savages tell her. It is a brick utopia hidden in the sewers; made up of sweets, sports, hammocks, and fireflies. But even this haven, free of parents and protocol, is not everything it seems. Haunted by dark specters known only as Phocydes, feared for their reputation of consuming children whole, Tris works both to hunt and to hide from these hooded shadows. But something about them is familiar; something about them fires her curiosity more than her fear. And Tris slowly begins to realize that, no matter where you go, fear and responsibility are not things you can escape, the only thing to do is face them.

1 comment:

Einstein said...

AWESOME! Good for you Jessie :)