Today on the blog I'm excited to have the chance to interview Julianna Baggott! Critically acclaimed, bestselling author Julianna Baggott also writes under the pen names Bridget Asher and N.E. Bode. She has published seventeen books over the last ten years. Film rights for her forthcoming novel PURE have been acquired by Fox 2000. The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted, written under pen name Asher, was published in spring 2011. There are approximately 50 foreign editions of her novels to date.
You have written many books over the last ten years. How have you been able to make the time to write?
It's not easy -- like making a loaf of bread from dust swept up in the corners. Making time is a creative act in and of itself. I have four kids and have been a full-time professorial type, so those are more demands -- ones I love. I have no hobbies. I have no spare time to cultivate them. I have a system of writing that helps. And yet I always heap more things on. I write essays -- sometimes political ones -- and poems, and my husband and I co-founded a nonprofit to get free books to underprivileged kids in Florida so that also slips in. I will say that my husband is the stay-at-home dad, the home-maker, as he likes to put it. It helps very much that my home is made -- by him. He's also my creative partner and we're tied together throughout each day. Somehow it works.
Has motherhood affected your writing in any way?
Absolutely. In fact, I wouldn't have written PURE without my specific life experience -- much of which has been defined by motherhood. On a general level, kids have mined my soul. But, too, the idea of fusings -- a defining element of PURE -- wouldn't have come to me without motherhood. There are characters in the book called The Mothers, and well, there you have it. My novels tend to be about family, even when they seem to be about something else.
What is the most difficult part of being a writer?
I need the writing part. I protect my relationship with the page. It's brutal there some days, but I don't want it to be easy. There are days where it should feel like bear-wrestling. Hard, but good hard. Now, the publication part -- that's work. It's a job. You think it will be the delightful reward for your labor, but it's hard -- for me at least -- to go public. To lay it out there. And sometimes it's simply like being a traveling salesman, which wasn't really what I'd ever imagined.
What is the best thing about writing for a young adult audience?
They leap. Adults don't. Often adults will dig their heels and refuse to go with you. You have to convince them, which is fine. I like a good debate. But there's something really liberating when the reader simply takes you on and meets you on your own path, right up to the cliff.
I see that you want the making of the PURE trilogy to be an interactive collaboration. How did you do come to that decision?
Maybe you're talking about the film deal. The film rights are with Fox2000 and I'm interested in what a director will bring to the work, visually. Oh, but maybe you're talking about PURE: THE INNER CIRCLE. I have a private blog that people can sign up for. That's where I post things about the process. And, in the near future, it's where the small band of followers will see the cover for FUSE and give feedback. They will also get early excerpts of FUSE... In return for their input, I write occasional behind-the-scenes updates, publishing-centric. It's not that it will be an interactive collaboration. (I've written a collaborative novel and two authors is hard enough.) But I do want input on some major decisions, yes. I want to know what readers are thinking. I didn't want to be completely cut off from readers.
How will the collaborative process work?
Here's the skinny: People can sign up HERE.
It's designed for articulate readers who are interested in the publishing industry as future writers, editors, publishers, art directors, copy editors, web designers, book critics, translators, as well as the process of books being made into films... I write the behind-the-scenes pieces at an invite only blogspot. We'll ask them to comment on things like book jacket covers, web design, book trailer, and apps. They’ll see early sections of the second and third books in the trilogy while still in edits. And they'll be able to submit questions to me.
What other projects do you have in the works that you can tell us about?
FUSE is Book II in the trilogy. I'm deep into edits now. In fact, this is a wonderful opportunity for me to slip away for a while. It's intense.
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