No, I didn’t. But I finished The Tea Rose, and then I wrote another book, A Northern Light, and then I found myself missing the Finnegans badly. And I wanted to find out what was going on with them. I wanted to know their stories fully. And so I hit on the genius idea that since there were three siblings, a trilogy might be the way to accomplish this.
I, for one, am very grateful you made it into a trilogy. I can’t imagine not being able to read Charlie/Sid’s (and Seamie’s!) story now.
Your “Rose” trilogy is written for adults, A Northern Light for teens, while your picture book Humble Pie is for naughty children. Despite the different types of readers, what similarities do they have that make them Jennifer Donnelly novels? What do you think makes your books different from others in the genre?
I think the similarities all my stories have is of a character facing a challenge, and then changing and growing because of that challenge. Ultimately the character—whether it’s Fiona, or India, or little Theo from Humble Pie, conquers the challenge, but that doesn’t happen easily, or quickly, because, just as in real life, most of us have to work quite hard, over long periods of time, to meet our challenges.
Speaking of Humble Pie, are you a pie lover? What are your favorite pies? Oh, and which do you prefer: coffee or tea? What is your favorite tea flavor?
Sure am! I love them all. But if I had to pick one fave—it would be coconut custard with mountains of custard, and mountains of whipped cream. And a big fat pot of steaming hot tea. When it comes to dessert, I’m definitely a more-is-more kind of gal.
Unlike Trollop, who drinks yucky coffee, I’m a tea gal. It’s sorta an obligation, really, seeing as I’m quarter Chinese. And yep, I love pies too! :D If the diet fairy only agrees with me, I’d eat chocolate walnut torte that feels like pecan pie—with strawberries and whipped cream!—EVERYDAY! Ahh, foodgasm... *sigh*
Is there a favorite scene amongst your stories? A story that you had the most fun with, or the most difficult time, or derived the most satisfaction writing? Did you model any characters from someone you know in real life? How about the situations they’ve been in? Something you have experienced personally and just have to write about it?
I think one of the most powerful, and moving scenes in my novels is the one where Joe and Fiona find each other again. It’s a scene that’s based on personal experience. My husband and I were high school sweethearts, but we went our own ways for a time, quite a long time in fact. We were thousands of miles apart, in different countries, living different lives, but we were lucky enough to find our way back to each other again. That doesn’t happen too often, and I think the emotion I felt at seeing him again, after so many years apart, is very much present in that scene.
Wow, I didn’t know that scene was based on your personal experience. *g* Okay, tell us something about you that most people don’t know about. Do you sing in the shower? Maybe you have any funny/weird habits when you’re writing? Like, you binge on pickled frog hearts while on a deadline?
Oh, man. I dread these types of questions, because they force me to admit to my readers and to myself that I am the most boring person on the entire planet. My characters lead very exciting lives. They roll around in giant pies. They escape from killers and start tea empires and climb Kilimanjaro and run for Parliament, while I stay home and drink tea and wear woolly cardigans and wish I did those things.
What are you working on now? And for the love of Xenu, when is The Wild Rose going to be out?!? I simply can’t wait to read about Seamie and Willa! Also, any chance you’ll be writing more YA books? Are we going to see any sequel with Mattie?
Right now I’m working on a new YA novel. Still in the planning stages, so I can’t say too much about that one. I’m also plotting out the third and final Rose book—The Wild Rose. It will—as you may have guessed!—follow the adventures of Seamie Finnegan and Willa Alden. I can’t wait to find out what happens to them. Alas, I’ve no plans for a sequel to A Northern Light. Mattie left me standing on that train platform waving goodbye, and I haven’t heard from her since. But if she ever does start talking to me again, I’ll surely be there to listen!
You know, I’ve been waiting for The Wild Rose since May of last year. It’s torture, I tell ya! You should make that one of your new year’s resolutions: finish The Wild Rose as soon as possible and send Harlot an advance reading copy! *ahem*ahem*
I’ve made a lot of new year’s resolutions—all involving exercise and diet and generally tedious good behavior—simply because it’s so much fun to break them!
Jennifer, thank you so much for your time. I had so much fun talking to you. Any question you’d like to ask your fans? Anything you’d like to add?
I’d love to hear from readers what they’re favorite scenes are in the “Rose” books.**
Thanks so much to you and your readers for embracing the “Rose” books and A Northern Light, and I wish you all a very Happy New Year—one filled with books, um... bustiers, and bodaciousness!
**Dear readers: This is the question you have to answer to enter our The Winter Rose raffle. Post your answers here on the comment section. For those of you who have yet to read any of the “Rose” books, just tell us why you want to read Jennifer Donnelly and which book of hers you’re going to start with.
Labels: author interview