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.