Monday, December 08, 2008

What’s Fresh with Janette Rallison!

Some of you may remember that Janette Rallison and I did a booksigning together in Mesa, Arizona in the summer of ’07.

She’s great fun to be around, not to mention a heck of an author, so I touched base with her again over the Thanksgiving holiday, and invited her to visit with us on YA FRESH...

Hi, Janette! Could you tell us a bit about your career, the types of books you write, and how you made your first sale?

I started writing long ago when I realized that writing was way more fun than doing housework. Twelve years later (and countless unmopped floors) I've written fifteen books, nine of which are young adult novels. My books tend to be romantic comedies because I love a book that can make me laugh and I'm a hopeless romantic. Even though My Fair Godmother is a fantasy, it's still a romantic comedy. But it was way more fun to write than my typical high school novel so it definitely won't be my last fantasy. I'm hooked on mysterious Black Knights, dragons, wizards, enchanted goats--all of it.

I found my agent, Erin Murphy, through the recommendations of people in my SCWBI group. I sent her a manuscript and she accepted it. I know that's not the way it is for a lot of people, though. It's more common to query tens or even hundreds of agents before they find a fit. I just got lucky that I got an agent who liked my writing style and story on the first try.

What's your writing routine like?

After I get the kids off to school, I tell myself that I will not get ready for the day until I've written four pages. Then I go check my email and somehow manage to spend two or three hours on the computer doing email and business stuff. Finally I realize that it's getting late, I eat lunch, and start writing. This is when the time-continuum speeds up, and suddenly the children come home and I'm still in my pajamas. I'm trying to convince people that I actually have a job working night-shift, but I'm not sure anyone buys it.

Please tell us about your latest novel, My Fair Godmother.

I admit that I'm awful in describing my own books. Authors are supposed to have snappy synopsis on hand for this question and you'd think after twelve years of being a published author I would. Instead I always end up telling people, "Well, it's about this girl . . ." So here's the flap cover:

After her boyfriend dumps her for her older sister, sophomore Savannah Delano wishes she could find a true prince to take her to the prom. Enter Chrissy (Chrysanthemum) Everstar: Savannah’s gum-chewing, cell phone–carrying, high heel-wearing Fair Godmother. Showing why she’s only Fair—because she’s not a very good fairy student—Chrissy mistakenly sends Savannah back in time to the Middle Ages, first as Cinderella, then as Snow White. Finally she sends Tristan, a boy in Savannah’s class, back instead to turn him into her prom-worthy prince. When Savannah returns to the Middle Ages to save Tristan, they must team up to defeat a troll, a dragon, and the mysterious and undeniably sexy Black Knight. Laughs abound in this clever fairy tale twist from a master of romantic comedy.

Sounds great! And Romantic Times clearly agreed, because I read the very nice review they gave it! So, what's up next?

I'm always working on something new. I have a book coming out in March called Just One Wish. It's about this girl . . . okay, I will try to be less boring as I describe it. Annika's little brother has a brain tumor and wants to meet his idol--an actor who plays Teen Robin Hood--before his upcoming surgery. Annika decides to drive to Hollywood to find and convince the actor (who, by the way is extremely hot) to come visit her brother. It's still a romantic comedy--but this book will make you cry. I cried when I wrote it and every single time I went through it doing revisions.

Would you like to close with a writing tip?

It seems like the writing tip I'm giving to people most these days is this: get deeply into your protagonist's point of view. See, think, feel, what they are seeing, thinking, and feeling. Your story should hardly ever be told from the author's point of view. Let the main character tell it.

I couldn’t agree more! Thanks so much, Janette, and I know we’re all going to be looking forward to picking up My Fair Godmother. the way, I will be reviewing here at YA Fresh in upcoming weeks, as Janette has been gracious enough to offer to send me a copy. So look for that, and for all of Janette’s very funny books.

7 fresh comments:

yabooknerd said...

i snagged an advance copy, and am in the middle of it right now. it's really GOOD! and amusing too.

TinaFerraro said...

Oh, good for you, yabooknerd! :) I am really looking forward to reading it.

Kelly Parra said...

Hi Janette, thanks so much for sharing on YA Fresh!! I adore your cover!!

Janie Emaus said...

Hi Tina and Janette,
Great interview and great stories!


Janette Rallison said...

Thanks for having me here on your very cool site!

Meredith said...

I love Janette's work. And I cannot wait to read this book.

Plus, I am soo mad that I didn't know about that book signing last summer. I soo would have gone. It looks like you were at the Barnes and Noble that is right by my house!


TinaFerraro said...

Thanks, everyone! And Meredith, we'll be sure to let you know next time. It was the B & N on Val Vista Drive.