The official stuff:
Jodi Meadows lives and writes in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, with her husband, a Kippy*, and an alarming number of ferrets. She is a confessed book addict, and has wanted to be a writer ever since she decided against becoming an astronaut.
*A Kippy is a cat.
The unofficial stuff:
Like many writers, I’ve always wanted to do this professionally. You know, after I decided against being an astronaut.
Unlike many writers, I didn’t skip straight from picture books to adult novels. I have fond memories of going to Bookstop every month for the latest Baby-Sitters Club (which I kept reading, even after I realized they were never going to let the paranormal elements be real), and even fonder memories of hanging out in my middle school library. The librarians probably knew exactly what they were doing when they suggested book after book and discussed them with me at length. I, of course, had no clue they were turning me into a book addict, but it worked out for the best. Once I found the books where magic and other fantastic elements were real, I was hooked.
When I was twenty, I met a boy, moved 1,500 miles, and married him all within six months. I now realize that was crazy and dangerous, but it seemed natural at the time and, again, worked out for the best. Not only did we stay madly in love, he worked full time at a hard job so I could stay home to write books and, hopefully, one day get published.
The other crazy thing we did was fall in love with ferrets. They have their own bedroom.
My hobbies, aside from spending all my money on books and Kippy/ferret treats, revolve around yarn. I love crocheting, knitting, and spinning. In addition to several handspindles, I share my living room with a spinning wheel named Bob.
Every Sunday I blog about spinning and other yarn things here. Ferret pictures can be found here.
What’s the first best piece of advice you ever got from another writer that you still listen to today?
"Start with a change."
This is advice on beginnings, from when I was having difficulty figuring out where my story started. It's been years since I received this advice, but I always come back to it, every time I begin a new story. (Or a sequel or whatever. Same thing applies.)
I like this advice to counter "start with action" because action doesn't necessarily mean interesting. Starting with a car crash is definitely action, but if the reader doesn't know the characters or hasn't been properly grounded, the impact is not nearly as strong as it could be.
If you could insert yourself in to your story as any character, who would it be and why?
I would want to be some side character nothing ever happens to.
What? It's dangerous living in fantasyland. I definitely don't want to be a main character!
What’s the strangest request you’ve ever gotten from a fan?
Once, someone asked me, "What's the strangest request you've ever gotten from a fan?" which is a pretty strange request, right?
If you could go on a book tour to five cities with four other authors, where would you choose to go and what authors would you bring with you?
Oh that's hard. Do the other authors have to want to go with me? I mean, I might feel guilty if I dragged someone along who didn't want to go on tour, buuuut . . . Oh! Do the authors have to be alive? Or real? What about the cities? Also have to be real/still in existence/in existence already/in this dimension? And are there rules against bending space-time in order to merge several cities into one, so I can actually visit like -- say -- fifty while physically being in just the one spot (but multiple spots)?
You did think about the kind of person you were asking this question, right?
Cleary, I didn't keep in mind who I was asking this question to but I have say - this answer is quite perfect!
What moment is more surreal for you, seeing your book cover for the first time or seeing your book in a bookstore for the first time?
Seeing it in the store still doesn't feel real. Usually I don't think about it, because it's pretty overwhelming when I actually do. Even when I'm doing signings or something, I distance myself from actually thinking about it because I'd probably just sit there and gibber and who wants to see that??
Which book was the hardest to write out of the trilogy?
ASUNDER took a lot of rewriting, which was pretty difficult. I had about a million* drafts for just the beginning of that one, and even when I thought I'd managed to write a strong beginning, my editor was all Nooo, I don't think so. Let's talk about this. So that was pretty hard. Then again, INFINITE involved trashing the entire first draft of 75,000 words, trashing another 10,000 words, and finally dumping the synopsis to write a new one before I got the book right.
I don't know. Writing is hard. (I should add that INCARNATE wasn't easy, but I wasn't writing it under contract, which took off a lot of the pressure. Writing under contract is very, erm, pressurey.)
What advice could you give to aspiring authors out there who face writers block?
Ask yourself this:
1. Are you being lazy? If you're being lazy, sit down and write your book and stop being lazy.
2. Did you mess up somewhere a few scenes ago? Rethink what happened. Check your characters' motivations and make sure they're behaving how they should be have. It's possible you just took a wrong turn. Back up and try again.
3. Do you know what happens but when you sit at the computer your mind is just uuuugggghghhhhh, stupid book? It's okay. Sometimes that happens. Usually when you're stressed or burned out. (But sometimes you just really think the book is stupid, in which case you might reconsider writing it and go with something that does interest you.) Sometimes, you just need to rest your brain, or refill your creative well. I suggest reading. And napping. And going out and having a few life experiences. It happens to me every so often, and can usually be cured by a week away from the book. By the end of that week, I reallyreallyreally miss it, please, I'll never say mean things like that about you again.
But sometimes it's just laziness, so be honest with yourself.
What’s some good YA books that you would recommend to readers in a heartbeat?
Do you have all day?
Actually, I do have a nice list on my website, which probably needs to be updated soon. But I'd recommend all of those books.
Ferrets or Cats?
You're awful! Why are we friends??
Physical book or E-book?
Print. I just really like paper books.
Fantasy or Contemporary?
Fantasy. I'm reading a lot more contemporary than I used to, but I still find myself attracted to fantasy books more than anything.
Summer or Winter?
I'm inside a climate-controlled house. What do I care?? (And if the power goes out, I'm complaining either way.)
Bad boy or Underdog?
Sam or Samm?
Is my life in danger? If not, Sam. If yes, Samm.
Solo Book Signings or Group Book Signings?
Group! YA writers seem to be the co-dependent type.
Vampires or Werewolves?
It doesn't matter. Well, I mean, is one trying to kill me? Or are we talking boyfriends? I suppose werewolves are only wolfy a few days a month whereas vampires are pretty much always vampires. I don't know. I don't think either would be a great option as far as boyfriends go. Or, I guess, if you're offering me options of imminent death.
Cupcakes or Cookies?
I hope Cupcake Jen doesn't hate me, but in general, cookies. But only because I can convince myself they're more snacks and not desserts and I really can't do that with a delicious tower of frosting-topped cake. When I have friend time, though, we always get cupcakes.
Hardcover or Paperback?
Hardcover. I just like them so much. (And they make better weapons in case someone tries to steal my book.)
Jodi has questioned our friendship on multiple occasions and yet, she keeps coming back for more so I must be doing something right! ;) But seriously - we started our friendship out with me talking about stabbing a certain character in the eye in the first book (in case you're wondering, here's the actual tweet). I want to thank Jodi for being an awesome friend and especially thanking her for taking the time to do this interview and for making it as entertaining as it was (you have no idea how hard it is to come up with questions for someone you're friends with)!
INTERNATIONAL readers: If you are chosen as the winner, you can choose any ONE of Jodi's books to get personalized.
US readers: If you are chosen as the winner, you will win the WHOLE trilogy by Jodi and yes, they'll all come personalized!
I know, it's a bummer I can't do this for international readers but the shipping to send just one book is crazy expensive - sending three would just blow my mind.
You have until January 14 at 11:59 PM EST to enter to win.
a Rafflecopter giveaway