Book Nerd Interview
Jennifer Bosworth lives in Los Angeles, California, where lightning hardly ever strikes, but when it does she takes cover. She is the writer half of a writer/director team with her husband, Ryan Bosworth.
I’ve been fired from almost every job I’ve ever had. I’m basically no good for anything except being a writer.
What was the greatest thing you learned at school?
Don’t punch other kids. Even if they deserve it, you’ll get suspended.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
Let the reader know that your characters aren’t safe. Be willing to pull the trigger.
What are some of the common challenges that new and experienced authors face and what advice do you have for over-coming them?
For me, the hardest part of being a writer is coming to terms with the fact that, no matter how many people love your work, no matter how many awards you win, no matter how great a book deal you get, you’ll never feel validated unless you love what you’ve created. I always thought I’d be validated once I got a book deal, but, if anything, I’m harder on myself and my work than I ever was before. Write for the love of writing, not for the praise or the accolades. Write for the right reasons.
For those who are unfamiliar with your novel; Struck, how would you introduce it?
It’s a post-apocalyptic novel with a supernatural twist, similar to Stephen King’s “The Stand,” but with earthquakes and lightning instead of a plague.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Mia?
I didn’t realize how hurt and lonely she was until I wrote her (several times, through several rewrites). She’s so tough on the outside that it took me a while to figure out she was in pain.
Why do you feel you had to tell this story?
When I think about the way it was to be a teen, I remember a feeling of possessing power, but still being powerless. Of feeling like there was all this potential bottled up inside, but I didn’t know how to use it. Having lightning trapped inside seemed like an appropriate metaphor for what it feels like to be a teen, and I needed to explore that.
Do you have a favorite quote that you keep visible in your work environment to help inspire you?
“When there’s nothing left to burn, you have to set yourself on fire.” I heard it in a song, but I’m not sure who first said it. It’s a theater mantra, I believe.
If you could introduce Jeremy to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
Probably Gandalf. He needs a new father figure.
What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
Gah! There are so many! I’m working on a film project right now titled, “Robots of the Civil War,” which is an alt-history, steampunk series I’m writing and producing. My husband will direct. I’m also working on a novel called THE HIVE, which is sort of like “Big Love” meets “The Ring.” It’s a weird one, for sure. Working on a few other screenplays and novels, too, but I can’t talk about them . . . yet. Soon!
What’s the best advice you can give writers to help them develop their own unique voice and style?
Write fast! That’s when you find your voice. Whenever I write slowly I find myself imitating other authors. If I write fast, my voice takes over.
Where is the best place in the world you’ve been?
Salem, MS on Halloween!
What book are you reading now?
“Breed” by Chase Novak. It’s about rich people who will do anything to get pregnant, even if it means going to an Eastern European country and subjecting themselves to an experimental treatment that leaves them . . . less than human.
What do you think is the most useless class in high school?
To be honest, I found just about every class in high school useless except English and History.
When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?
I don’t lie! I have truth tourettes.
What's the worst summer job you've ever had?
Cleaning my dad’s furniture store. I’m allergic to dust!
When was the last time you cried?
At the SCBWI summer conference, during the breakout session I was teaching. But they were good tears.
Where can readers stalk you?
My home address is––gotcha!
Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.
Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn’t who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything.
Characters within the story are well rounded and plausible. Readers will feel an immediate connection with Mia as she struggles and faces many of the same issues that the typical teenager goes through. The romance is present but is not a main focus of the book. There is a little bit of everything.
Jennifer Bosworth’s Struck is set in an apocalyptic world. She references the Bible and many religious theories of how the world will end. Her writing style will make it comfortable for readers who are less familiar with religious views. She takes a world of chaos and produces a story that is worth your every while. She presents a wonderful writing style that lures your interest in and keeps it throughout the book. Struck is a unique story that will resonate long after it is read. One of my favorite reads for 2012.
You can purchase Struck at the following Retailers: