It's been an interview kind of week this week! I'm an overly curious question-asking machine apparently:)
I'm so excited today to have author Jen Brooks stop by the blog, she was nice enough to answer a few questions for me about In A World Just Right, her new young adult novel released last month from Simon and Schuster. I've always been a sucker for any story that deals with multiple worlds or parallel universes, and Jen really put her own unique spin on this idea so I had a blast trying to poke around in her head a bit with my questions. I hope you all enjoy the interview and don't forget to check the bottom of the post for a fantastic giveaway!
If you could create your own world at will as Jonathan does, what are the top three things you would make sure it had?
If I were simply trying to improve my own life, I’d have a personal nutritionist/chef to make sure I eat all the healthy things; enough time in every day to work, exercise, read, and be relaxed with my family; and a screened porch.
If I were trying to improve the whole world--and since unlike Jonathan I don’t need to fix my own life first because 1) I’m older and 2) I have everything that he does not—I would aim much, much bigger. Any change you make to the world comes with consequences—environmentally, socially, biologically, economically—so I’m not sure I would with one broad stroke eliminate poverty or disease or war, though I would love for all three to cease to exist. Honestly, there is only one thing that I think I’d really like to experiment with in a world, and it might be the most cliché thing ever, but I would create a world where people don’t judge other people. As Mother Teresa said, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” Think of how very different all kinds of people would be in this world if they were loved and loving and never had or received a judgmental word. I think such a change would go a long way toward eliminating poverty, disease, and war.
If the real Kylie was able to see the version of herself from Jonathan’s alternate world, what’s the one thing she’d find most surprising about her doppleganger?
That she was in love with him.
I almost feel sorry for my husband because if his well-being was ever dependent on whether or not I was able to unravel a mystery, he’d more than likely be up a creek without a paddle. Good with puzzles or under pressure I am not. How well do you think you’d handle a situation like Jonathan’s?
Meaning the puzzle of what’s happening to the Kylies? I think I’d handle it just about as well as he does. At first he tries to figure out just how the two Kylies are changing. Then when the situation gets worse, he goes into damage control mode, and ultimately he . . . well, you’ll have to read the book to see what he’s ultimately willing to do.
What would Jonathan miss most from his real life if he were forced to live solely in the world he created?
Throughout the book, more and more he craves what’s real. Knowing that he lives in a fantasy world, for Jonathan, isn’t satisfying, and that’s why he keeps coming back even though he’s miserable.
If Jonathan could temporarily exchange his world-creating ability for any other supernatural gift, which would he choose and what’s the first thing he’d do?
He says at one point he would want to fly, and I would guess the first thing he’d do with that gift is take Kylie up in the sky like Superman does with Lois Lane.
I suspect, though, that by the end of the book he might give a different answer.
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions Jen!
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IN A WORLD JUST RIGHT
High school senior Jonathan Aubrey creates worlds at will. In Kylie-Simms-is-my-girlfriend, he’s given himself everything he doesn’t have in real life-–the track team, passing grades, and his dream girl–-until one day he confuses his worlds and almost kisses the real Kylie Simms. Now his girlfriend Kylie and the real Kylie are changing, and Jonathan must solve the mystery of his own life to save his love from a gruesome fate.
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Jen has a habit of being deeply moved by profound ideas, and her writing reflects her interest in exploring human goodness, relationships, and the feeling of being a part of something greater than oneself. She loves the science fiction and fantasy genres because of their dazzling possibilities for portraying characters and ideas. She credits her undergraduate experience at Dartmouth College, her MFA at Seton Hill University, and her fourteen years of English teaching with shaping her writing. She is grateful to her family, friends, and students for inspiring her to write.
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Thanks to the generous team at Simon and Schuster, I have one copy of In A World Just Right to give away on the blog today! To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway is open to US addresses only.
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