Secrets. Lies. Discovery. True love. Betrayal. Acceptance.
What makes your main character unique?
What I like most about Emily is that she’s a pretty innocent person, almost to the point where she’s naïve and a bit gullible, and then we get to see what happens when her world is yanked out from under her. So many characters in YA are so worldly and savvy (including plenty of my own characters), that it was refreshing in a way to write about somebody who has been rather sheltered from the harsher aspects of reality – even though her innocence does work against her in some ways as the story unfolds.
Well, when I wrote Breathless, so much of the material was based on real-life experiences. The main character, Katie Kitrell, is essentially a fictionalized version of myself as a teenager. And in my third book, Between (which comes out next year), the main character is a runner, just like me. But Emily - the main character in Where the Truth Lies – is very different from me in pretty much every way. Emily is more passive, while I’m definitely an outspoken, aggressive person. And Emily is very musical, a gifted singer, while I’m not a singer by any stretch of the imagination. (In fact, here’s an interesting tidbit for you: I can’t even carry a tune. I was actually rejected from chorus in high school, which wasn’t supposed to turn anyone away… but they didn’t want me and my three-note-range!) Aside from the differences between myself and Emily, the plot itself is mostly fiction. I took a few events from my real-life high school experiences and used them in the book, but in no way whatsoever is the story autobiographical. That’s unusual for me; I tend to write what I know to a large extent, and I really stretched my imagination with this book. It was a challenge, that’s for sure, but also a very exciting and rewarding process!
Fill in the blank: "I couldn't have written Where The Truth Lies without __________"
I couldn’t have written the book without going for runs. Every time I’d get stuck on something within the story, I’d lace up my sneakers and head out the front door for a long run to clear my head. It’s incredible the way sustained activity like that allows me to really focus on my thoughts, while clearing my mind of any clutter at the same time. I definitely get my best ideas while I’m running. I’d be lost (and much more stressed out!) without it.
It probably depends on my mood. Sometimes I think I’d like to be Phoebe from Catcher in the Rye. Today, though, I kind of feel like being Cathy from Wuthering Heights. It’s hands-down the most romantic book I’ve ever read. It would be an amazing thrill to meet Heathcliff and experience just an inkling of that incredible relationship.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Sure! I always want readers to know how much I love hearing from them. Getting an email from someone who has enjoyed one of my books truly makes my entire day. It’s definitely the most rewarding aspect of being a writer. My contact info is on my website (www.jessicawarman.com). Feel free to drop me a line! And thank you so much for the opportunity to do this interview! I truly hope you enjoy the book.
Thanks for the interview Jessica!