Madison Kasparkova always thought she understood how Karma works. Do good things and you'll be rewarded, do something bad and Karma will make sure you get what you deserve. But when Maddy’s boyfriend cheats on her, nothing bad comes his way. That’s why Maddy starts the Karma Club, to clean up the messes that the universe has left behind. Sometimes, though, it isn’t wise to meddle with the universe. It turns out Karma often has plans of its own.
Hello Jessica, thank you so much for chatting with us at YA Fresh! Could you please tell us a little about your writing background and how you made your first sale?
Jessica: From age 5, I knew I wanted to be a writer. Then somewhere along the way, I decided that I needed to pursue something more prudent and responsible…something that came with dental insurance. So I majored in Economics and went into strategic analysis (aka lots and lots of spreadsheets!). Well, it didn’t take long for my 5 year old self to start nagging loud enough, “This isn’t what you want to do!” And I eventually quit, sold my first novel and now I write full time. Moral of the story: People should choose their careers at age 5. Although then we run the risk of having far too many astronauts and princesses running around.
It took me about four years to sell my first novel. I started out shopping a manuscript called JUST JULIET. I tried to get that book published for about two years but it never happened. Everyone kept telling me the same thing: the writing is good but there isn’t enough story. So when I set out to write my next book, the one that would eventually become THE FIDELITY FILES, I made sure, first and foremost, there was a STORY! After two years of writing and rewriting that (and about 200 rejections!) I finally landed my first agent and she sold it in 10 days to St. Martin’s Press. So I like to say my overnight success story took four years. ☺
Readers and writers often like to get a behind the scenes peek of an author's writing routine. It would be great if you could please share your typical writing day schedule.
Jessica: I can only write for about 2-3 hours a day. For one, I get antsy and can’t still for much longer than that and I always seem to have so many other things to do. I’m a full time writer, but you’d be amazed at how much other work besides writing piles up. When you work for yourself you also end up being your own tech person, graphic designer, accountant, publicist, assistant, photocopier, filer, and online marketing specialist!
So in the morning, I usually go to my favorite writing café and write for a few hours until I fulfill my daily word quota (which is normally 1000 words a day), then I come back to my home office and take care of everything else that needs to be done.
Please tell us about your latest novel THE KARMA CLUB and what we can expect from your characters.
Jessica: THE KARMA CLUB is about three teen girls who decide that they’re tired of waiting for Karma to “get off its butt and do its job,” so they vow to take Karma into their own hands by getting revenge on those who have wronged them. But they soon discover, when you mess with Karma, Karma messes back!
It releases on April 27 from Farrar, Straus and Giroux. The three main characters are all very different yet all fun in their own ways. I hope readers can relate to at least one of them!
Sounds awesome! What's up next? Do you have another project in the works? If so, please tell us about it.
Jessica: I’m working on a new YA book that will be out in 2012 called 52 REASONS TO HATE MY FATHER about a teen heiress who is forced by her ever-absent mogul father to take on a different low-wage job every week for a year if she wants any hope of getting her trust fund. I’m SO excited about it! Plus, I just finished the copyedits on another book that will be out in 2011 called MY LIFE UNDECIDED. And I’m also working on a new YA series that I can’t quite talk about yet. But it’s gonna be SOOOO cool!
Thank you again, Jessica! Wishing you much success! Would you like to close with a writing tip?
Jessica: I’ll steal a writing tip from Nora Roberts because it’s my favorite. “You can’t fix a blank page.” I have this hanging on my wall above my computer so I can always see it. It’s absolutely the best writing advice I’ve ever gotten. Sometimes you’ll get stuck, sometimes you’ll write crap, but no matter what you just have to keep going. Keep writing. Even if you end up throwing it all away at the end. Because more often than not, you have to write through the bad stuff to get to the good stuff. And you can always go back and revise later. But you can’t revise something that’s not there!
To celebrate the release of The Karma Club on April 27, Jessica is giving away FOUR Flip Video Cameras (as well as TONS of other cool prizes!) on her site. Visit her website, www.JessicaBrody.com for all the details and to enter to win!
Jessica would also like for you to check out her cool book trailer!
Jessica Brody is the author of two books for adults. The Karma Club is her first book for teens. She currently lives in Los Angeles, California where she is working on her next novel. Despite what some people from her high school might claim, she has never sought revenge on an ex-boyfriend. Visit her online at: www.JessicaBrody.com.