Day 3 of the Blogger Book Fair! Be sure to check out the BBF directory for links to all of the great authors and bloggers who are participating. And don’t forget, leave a comment on any of my BBF posts this week and you’ll be in the running for a $10 Amazon gift card!
Today I’m pleased to welcome Jennifer Barry, author of the YA novel Side Effects, to the blog!
High school can be Hell on Earth, a fact Isaac Matthews knows all too well. How is a guy supposed to deal with Anxiety Disorder, adolescent hormones, and college and career choices all at once? On top of all that, he meets Grace—the beautiful, outgoing new girl who shakes his very foundation and grounds him at the same time.
What he does is try the medication that’s supposed to make him better, knowing that there’s a chance he could just get worse. Warning: Side Effects may include increased heart rate, dry mouth, interrupted speech, elevated body temperature, and dizziness or lightheadedness upon seeing her smile.
Interview with Jennifer Barry
1. Which books/authors have most influenced you as an author and why?
Oh, I’d have to say every book I’ve ever read. Even the bad ones show me what NOT to do. If I delve down into the inspiration, the lessons learned, I’d say Side Effects was influenced largely by my love for The Catcher in the Rye. Holden’s a bit of an asshole (can I say that on your blog?), but Salinger isn’t afraid to let us all the way into his character’s mind. Dark and dirty, light and funny, we see it all.
2. If you could meet one of your favorite fictional characters, who would you choose and why?
I’d have to say Anne Shirley. I imagine hanging out with her for the day would be the most fun. There’s a sweetness and light to her that I think could only serve to soothe my soul. That’s why I visit with her as often as possible—especially when I just really need a lift.
Oooh, I adore Anne Shirley!
3. What fictional world would you most like to visit?
I think Narnia during the reign of High King Peter, Queen Susan, King Edmund, and Queen Lucy would be idyllic. CS Lewis built an amazing world and made us all wish for our own Narnia.
If Narnia is full, I’ll take the next ticket to Hogwarts, thank you.
4. What advice would you give your pre-published self, knowing what you know now?
An English degree—even experience as an English teacher—does not mean you’ll be a good editor. Find a great editor who can help with plot development as well as storytelling devices (active vs passive and show vs tell). Interview editors before you choose. The quality of your story depends on the people who help you polish it.
5. Waiting for the next season of Game of Thrones is hard, but now’s the time to prepare. What three things do you want to have on hand when the Others come down from beyond the Wall?
Oh, man. I’m rarely without answers, but you got me with this one. I haven’t read or watched Game of Thrones, so I’m completely unprepared for these Others. They sound ominous, though, so I’m going to go with the Invisibility Cloak, the Elder Wand, and the Resurrection Stone.
Jennifer M. Barry knows she’s in trouble when people use her whole name, so just Jen is fine. She started her creative career in opera performance, a skill she now only uses on Friday nights for karaoke. Since leaving the stage, she has written fantasy and contemporary novels for young adults and worked as a freelance blogger and ghostwriter. She also works with independent writers and publishers to edit and prepare novels for publication.
In addition to writing and editing, she loves to drink coffee, consume entirely too much Cherry Garcia, laugh at herself on her blog, and watch live music. Jen lives in Nashville with her husband, Liam. They just bought their first house and are freaking out about taxes, redecorating, return on investment, and a million other grown-up things. Life is officially weird.
You can find out more about Jennifer and her book at http://jennifermbarry.com.