1) And Then Everything Unraveled is your latest book. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
UNRAVELED is part mystery, part romance, and part what-do-you-do-when-your-entire-life-comes-apart-at-the-seams. Here’s the official description from the book jacket:
Delia Truesdale has no idea her life’s about to change forever. She’s too busy enjoying the California summer. Her Internet tycoon mother, T.K. Truesdale, is out of town, and that means Delia can spend all her time at the beach, surfing.
That is, until everything unravels. Her mother suddenly goes missing, and everyone thinks she’s dead — except Delia, who knows T.K.’s way too organized to simply disappear. But Delia’s still sent to New York to live with her two aunts — a downtown bohemian and an uptown ice queen. And in case that’s not bad enough, she also has to deal with a snooty new school and trying not to fall for the wrong guy. Oh, and finding her mother.
As she delves deeper into the tangle of conspiracies and lies surrounding T.K.’s disappearance, Delia begins to suspect that the wrong guy may be the right guy ... and that some secrets — especially the dangerous ones — were never meant to be unraveled.
2) What inspired you to write And Then Everything Unraveled? Did something similar happen to you?
Sadly, my life is pretty dull compared to Delia’s! The inspiration for UNRAVELED was one of my favorite books, Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis. It’s about a boy who’s orphaned and sent to live with his madcap aunt in New York in the 1920s, and it’s a fabulous read – incredibly comic but also moving without being cloying. So thinking about how a situation like that would play out today was my starting point, but from there I began throwing in other bits and pieces drawn from what’s going on in the world today (i.e., global warming, energy crises) and from people I know (i.e., my mother, who loves her label maker even more than Delia’s mother loves hers, my friend who dresses a lot like Delia’s aunt Charley). And I kept adding and mixing and eventually I ended up with a story...
3) All of your previous novels have been aimed at the Adult market, so why switch to Young Adult for And Then Everything Unraveled? Also, did you notice any big differences in writing for Young Adults then Adults?
I love reading YA books, and a surprising number of the readers of my adult books were teens, so writing a YA seemed like a natural next step. The most significant differences in the writing were the age of the heroine and how that ended up shaping character and plot. The fundamentals that drive people — things like love, family, ambition — aren’t that different across age groups — but a teenager has constraints that an adult doesn’t, in terms of the ability to make and act on her own decisions and the lack of experience she has to inform those decisions. So there’s a different set of obstacles for her to navigate, but so much is new and fresh, too, which makes it especially fun to write.
4) If you could pick a theme song for And Then Everything Unraveled, what would be? Why?
If I had to pick just one, it would be “This Must be the Place (Naïve Melody)” by Talking Heads. It’s about looking for home and finding it in a person rather than a place — sort of poignant and joyful at the same time.
5) What is one of your favorite things about being an author? Least favorite?
Writing is one of the few things I’ve done that can truly take me out of myself. You get caught up in the characters and what they’re thinking and feeling and how that moves them to act, and the next thing you know a lot of time has passed but in a very absorbing and satisfying way. As for least favorite — I think Edna St. Vincent Millay put it best: “A person who publishes a book appears willfully in public with his pants down.”
6) I’m always looking for new books to read. So, what are some of your favorite authors and books?
This is always a tough one — I’m not good at choices! However, to name a few by genre:
Classics: pretty much anything by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Edith Wharton
Charm/humor: Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle; Auntie Mame and The Joyous Season by Patrick Dennis
YA: Bad Kitty and Kitty Kitty by Michele Jaffe
Mystery: Elizabeth George’s Linley series, Dennis Lehane’s Patrick Kenzie series, Lawrence Block’s Scudder series
Historical romance: Philippa Gregory, Anya Seton
7) Since, summer is around the corner. Can you share with us one of your favorite summer memories?
Spending an entire day outside (ideally floating on a raft in a pool) doing nothing but reading. It still is my favorite way to spend a summer day, though now I’m much more conscientious about sunscreen.
8) What’s next for you? A sequel to And Then Everything Unraveled perhaps? ( *crosses fingers*)
Yes, there will be a sequel! And Then I Found Out the Truth takes up where Unraveled left off, so please stay tuned!
Ooh, I'm soooo excited!
Thanks so much Jennifer!