Author Jenny O’Connell was kind enough to grant me a copy of The Book of Luke. It was even signed! When I asked her for an interview, she kindly said yes (that’s english for yes).
Below are her answers to my probing question.
-What was the hardest part about writing TBOL? For me the hardest part of writing any book is the middle. I always know how it starts (I LOVE beginnings) and how it ends but rarely know what happens in the middle. In this case I just let Emily and Luke do whatever felt like would be natural given their situation.
-What/Who was your inspiration for your main character and their relationship with each other? (In TBOL) There really wasn’t an inspiration, other than writing a girl that had been raised to do everything “right” and finally decides she keeps getting screwed so nice isn’t the way to go anymore. While there was no real inspiration for the exact characters, Emily’s high school is eerily similar to my own – it’s what I pictured when writing about everything from the hallways to the place they all go for lunch.
– Do you have a favorite place to write? I always write at a bookstore with wifi, best place ever to be inspired, be able to look things up on the Internet if I have questions and have a bite to eat in the process.
-What advice you you have for beginner authors? Read and write. I never set out to be a writer but I LOVE to read. Constantly. I actually thought I wanted to be an editor, not a writer. Reading helps me know what I like (or don’t like) in a story and characters and writing and I find it charges me up. As for writing, you just have to sit yourself down and do it. I have ideas and notebooks and send myself emails all the time about new scenes and lines, etc. but when it comes right down to it you have to sit at your laptop and write.
-What do you think is the best cure for writers block? Read. Then the ideas just start coming. I always read with a notebook beside me to jot down ideas.
-How did you come up with the title for TBOL? I totally don’t remember! But, obviously, it’s a historically biblical title (although I’m not religious), it just totally fit the story to me.
–Is there any music that helped you write TBOL?If there’s music on in the bookstore while I write, that’s fine, but music doesn’t play a big part in getting my fingers typing.
-How did you come up with the idea for TBOL?Actually, it started with Emily’s mom. I thought, “what if a girl was raised by someone who knew how to do everything right?” I figured that would be really tough, so Emily’s mom, an etiquette guru, sort of set the stage. Then I thought how fun it would be if the girl who raised to do everything right (and believe that if you do what’s right you’ll always finish first) decided she was ready to do something really, really wrong. And then Luke entered the picture, and Emily’s friends and the whole thing fell into place.