Book Nerd Interview
I live in Germany with my French husband and Irish setter, and you can learn more about my crazy thoughts and crippling cookie-addiction on my blog or twitter.
My debut, SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY is now available from HarperTeen, and you can look for sequels in 2013!
Note: I am on Goodreads to READ. So, if you want to discuss books and the joys of literature, add me as a friend!
Was there a defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer?
I’m not sure I can choose a single moment from my you—I honestly can’t tell you exactly when I sat at my computer and tried to write my first story. I remember the story was a fan fiction, and I remember it was a culmination of years of reading and daydreaming. I know I was thirteen years old, and I know I didn’t share it with anyone. For years and years, I wrote in private—some of it fan fiction, some of it original. And then in high school, I joined a well-known online writing community called Fictionpress. I started reading other people’s work, offering feedback, and taking their feedback. For five years, I worked (very anonymously! My family didn’t even realize I was writing!) on Fictionpress. But then, graduate school came along and my writing tapered off to mere hobby-writing when I had the time. I finally picked it back up again seriously when I was twenty-five. And now here I am!
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in Eleanor?
I really do always have a choice! Ha! That was a theme that I never expected to be in the story, but as I wrote and revised the book, I really saw it unfurl from the various characters—and saw how Eleanor learned that she didn’t have to be a victim. It’s such a good lesson, and one I really try to apply to my everyday life. I feel grumpy today? Well, it’s time to choose to feel upbeat! Amazingly, that works most of the time! ;)
For those who are unfamiliar with Daniel, how would you introduce him?
Daniel is…a scalawag. He’s made a few bad choices in life, and he’s not a particularly classy guy. But, he’s determined, hard-working, and absolutely loyal—which makes him a great love interest and even a role model for Eleanor.
If you could introduce Eleanor to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
Oh gosh, I think she would kill to meet Rosalind from Shakespeare’s As You Like It. Rosalind is such a strong heroine—always my favorite growing up. She sets out to get Orlando, and by golly, nothing is gonna stop her!
What’s your most missed memory?
Uh…tough question! I definitely miss being a kid. I remember when I was in fifth grade, we went to see the space shuttle Discovery launch. My mom’s cousin was an astronaut, so we were able to sit with all the other family members watching the launch—meaning way closer than the general public. It was in the middle of the night, and when the rockets started, it was SO LOUD and SO BRIGHT—it was literally like it became daytime all of a sudden and—and the earth just shook and shook. It was the most amazing thing, and I still remember it so very vividly.
The year is 1876, and there’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…
Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper—
The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.
And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother.
Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.
The story is more than about a boy who dies from an allergic reaction to peanuts, Samantha’s story about having to deal with its aftermath is the other part. Readers witness the reactions of her peers and how she deals with it and how her life did a full 360.
The writing style in this book is simply incredible. Janet has a way of putting words together that just clicks to her readers. Not only was Samantha likable and relatable, she felt authentically real. The story may sound far-fetched, but allergies to peanuts are very common. Not only is the story highly gripping and intriguing, it is also informative. Peanut allergies are on the rise and there is a research on ways to fight it. Who I Kissed is like three stories into one. There’s Alex’s story, how one single event can totally change your life, and the awareness of peanut allergies.
You can purchase Something Strange and Deadly at the following Retailers:
Following an all-out battle with the walking Dead, the Spirit Hunters have fled Philadelphia, leaving Eleanor alone to cope with the devastating aftermath. But there’s more trouble ahead—the evil necromancer Marcus has returned, and his diabolical advances have Eleanor escaping to Paris to seek the help of Joseph, Jie, and the infuriatingly handsome Daniel once again. When she arrives, however, she finds a whole new darkness lurking in this City of Light. As harrowing events unfold, Eleanor is forced to make a deadly decision that will mean life or death for everyone.