Author Interviews

Interview: Jessica Shirvington, author of ‘Embrace’

October 15, 2010

I’m delighted to bring you my very first author interview, with none other than Australian author Jessica Shirvington! Jessica is the debut author of Embrace, which if you recall, I gave a whopping 5/5 stars to! If you’re so inclined, you can check out my review here! I’d like to thank Jessica and Hachette AU for giving me the wonderful opportunity for sending me both the book and allowing me to ask Jessica a few questions!

Q: ‘Embrace‘ is your debut novel. In your opinion, what makes it so different to everything else available at the moment?

That’s hard to answer because I think there are a lot of things that make Embrace different. To start with, the story delves deeply into the angel folklore. It was important to me that the story be closely tied to the tales of angels and not just from one religion but from many. So for me, that is a definite point of difference.

Secondly, the characters really make this story happen – in particular, Violet. She is a complex character with a past that makes her tackle the big questions in her own unique way.

Finally, and for me, this is the most important – the emotion in this story, as told through Violet, is well … the uncut version I suppose.

Q: Describe ‘Embrace’ in five words or less!

Consequence chases every choice.

Q: What are some of your favourite young adult books currently on the market?

There are so many. I loved The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins – very cool. I also really enjoyed Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series, she’s a fabulous wordsmith. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead and Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver all rate high on my list.

Q: Is there a literary character you have a particular fondness for?

Good question – Other than Alice from Alice in Wonderland, there is a series by Maria V. Snyder – The Study Collection. I adored the characters in this series, in particular protagonist – Yelena Zaltana (I was also very taken with Valek!). They stayed with me long after I had finished the series.

Q: What was the toughest part about writing ‘Embrace‘? What was the easiest?

The toughest part; trusting myself. It can feel like a daunting task when you are managing characters and a story that you know has the potential to be really special. It was important to do them justice.

The easiest; the plot. It came to me very quickly and just seemed to fall in to place at all the right times.

Q: Are there any cliches you desperately try to avoid when coming out with a new Young Adult title?

Sure. I didn’t really want to end up with a bad boy character that – purely for the love of a girl – turns all good. If you’re really bad -part of that ‘bad’ has to stay with you, no matter how much you love someone. On the whole, I try to avoid cliches wherever possible!

Q: Why do you think it’s important to get young people interested in reading again?

Actually I wasn’t a huge reader when I was a teenager (yes, I hang my head in shame) so I now know how much I was missing out on. Intellectually and creatively, reading ticks all the boxes, but on its base level, reading is so important because it is a personal escape. I believe young people need this more than any others.

Q: Is there anything you can tell us about the sequel, ‘Enticed‘?

The hunt is on for the Scripture. More tough choices, more folklore, new characters, unlikely allies, lots of surprises – and of course, Lincoln and Phoenix are right in the middle of it.

Visit Jessica Shirvington

Official Website • Goodreads • Twitter

I like the sound of that! More Phoenix? Yes, please!


  • Reply Mary March 9, 2011 at 8:10 am

    I loved the book embrace l couldn’t put it down, looking forward to enticed and l am woman who is 38 years old .

  • Reply miky February 1, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    This sounds like a really good book. I will have to read it. And i to have read the study series by Maria V. Snyder and i am still obsessed with Yelena and Valek as well. If your book is any thing like Maria’s will most definatly love your book. Have you written anymore books?

  • Reply sarah January 29, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    l love embrace it’s one of the best books l have ever read.l think anyone who reads this book will love it just as much as l did.l also think tha jessica is a a great writer ,l caren’t wait until enticed .thanks

  • Reply Nomes October 15, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    Oooh – great first interview. I loved the questions.

    I really like the cover of this one and am pretty psyched to see an Australian author writing such quality fiction.

    I’m going to have to check it out.

    Also, I love the name Lincoln :)

    • Reply Brittany October 15, 2010 at 8:31 pm

      Thanks so much! I’m really glad!

      :D I know, right? Aussies represent!

      I really hope you enjoy it! I also love the name!

  • Reply Cass October 15, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Nice interview. :)) I’m reminded that I need to read this one, too!

    I think it’s pretty cool that it’s “Out Of Stock” at The Book Depository. Congrats on the fabulous debut, Jessica! Looks great. Can’t wait to see for myself what I think of it.

    • Reply Cass October 15, 2010 at 2:40 pm

      By the way, did you just go ahead and change your layout, or what? I’m 70% certain that your blog didn’t have this last time I visited… Even though it’s pink, it looks so chic and professional. Well done! ;)

      • Reply Brittany October 15, 2010 at 8:29 pm

        I know, it’s great to see that it’s out of stock! I really hope Jessica gains some more readers! I really hope you enjoy it – though, I’m sure you will!

        And yes, I did change the layout! I’m glad you like it :D

  • Reply Kelly October 15, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Oh this does sound like a really good book!
    *adds it to TBR list*
    Thanks for hosting this interview!

    • Reply Brittany October 15, 2010 at 8:30 pm

      It’s a fantastic read! Thank you for reading!

  • Reply Romy (lost in stories) October 15, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Ooohh I have this book just waiting to be read on my shelf, it’s going to be the next one I read.

    Loved the interview Brittany especially how Jessica described Embrace for the five words or less question, ‘consequence chases every choice’ sounds great!

    • Reply Brittany October 15, 2010 at 8:31 pm

      That’s great! I really hope you like it – let me know what you think of it!
      :D Thank you! She provided us with some great answers. I really like how she answered the ‘avoiding cliches’ question!

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