Tuesday, September 1, 2009

TBG Author Interview: Jessica Verday

In honor of the release of "The Hollow" by Jessica Verday (which releases TODAY-September 1st, 2009-as a matter of fact! Congrats, Jessica! :) Here for your reading pleasure is an interview I did with the author herself! Thanks again, Jessica! :)

1) Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

No. When I was little, I thought about being everything from a girl detective to a horse jockey to a veterinarian to a lawyer.

2) How did you come up with the idea for “The Hollow”? Did it just come to you, or was it more of a gradual progression?

I've always loved The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving, and I loved the Tim Burton movie; Sleepy Hollow. When I heard Abbey's voice in my head, I decided to take a trip to the real Sleepy Hollow. And it all came together from there.

3) Where do you draw your inspiration from while you are writing? For example, do you listen to music while you write or sit outside?

Actually, I write in bed. And I can’t listen to music because it distracts me. Basically, I just listen to the voices inside my head and put pen to paper.

4) How do you stay motivated to write? Even though you are now published, have you ever wanted to give up? And if so, how did you pull yourself back from the “edge”?

I’m sure everyone has their moments of wanting to quit, when you hit a roadblock or you don’t know where you are going in the story and especially when you read someone else’s book that is so well written, it makes you think you’ll never be that good. Honestly what helps me is having a deadline, knowing that I’m accountable to someone, really helps keep me on track.

5) Tell us about your writing habits: where you write, when you write, how much you write, etc.

I write in wide ruled, spiral bound notebooks with a black ballpoint pen. And I have to start on the second page of the notebook. I mostly write in bed.

6) How do you deal with constructive (or not) criticism? And if it’s negative, how do you deal with it?

I’m actually pretty good about receiving criticism. I don’t think anyone likes to receive it, but sometimes it’s necessary. You just take the parts that make the most sense and leave the rest.

7) How many stories did you start writing before you found a “winner” and how did you know you’d found a keeper?

During middle school I started lots of stories but I wasn’t ever writing with the intention of being published. I’ve started two other novels with the intention of getting them published; one was a romance and one was a dark chick-lit. The Hollow was the first one I finished, so I decided to try my hand at getting it published.

8) Do you have any new writing projects in the works? Can you tell us about them?

I just finished book 2, I’ll be starting something new and different soon, but I haven’t decided which idea to go with.

9) When you started writing "The Hollow” were you planning on trying to get it published, or did that part come later?

Yes, I started The Hollow with the intention of getting it published.

10) What did you do to celebrate when you found out that you were getting published?

I went shopping.

11) What is it like having you're picture taken for the back flap of a book? Did you get it professionally done? How did you decide on what pose to go with?

My husband did the pictures for me. We took a bunch of test shots up at the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.

12) Now that you’re a published author and a more experienced writer, what advice would you give to your unpublished self?

Honestly, I don’t know. Maybe just to stay patient with the whole process.

13) What were the most difficult and best parts of writing your first novel? How long did it take you to write from concept to outlining to completion to sending if off to agents?

It took me a year and a half to write The Hollow. The best parts were when I was re-reading the story and would forget that I was the one who wrote it. I would feel excited to find out what would happen next. The worst part was the waiting.

14) Can you briefly detail your journey to publication after finishing your first book? (Finding an agent, an editor, promoting the book, etc.)

I sent out about 2 dozen queries, received 4 offers of representation, after a slight round of edits the book was sent out and the next day we had our first offer. Less than a week later the book went to auction.

15) What is your writing process like?

I don’t really have one, I just write. Depending on how much time I have on my deadline, sometimes it’s every day, every other day or every week.

16) What kind of atmosphere do you prefer to write in, calm or chaos?


17) Do you have any odd and unusual habits which help you in regards to writing?

My pens must be black ballpoint, preferably with a textured grip and I have to start on the second page of the notebook.

To find out more about Jessica and "The Hollow", go to:


1 comment:

anndrreaaa said...

Great interview!

Looks like we have some similar book interests--I'm now following your blog :]

Feel free to visit mine & be sure to enter my first contest I'm running right now!