Quick Qs and As with Jen Nadol

Jen Nadol is the debut author of The Mark, a book that I'm eager to read, which is now out, and today I have her answering some few of my questions.


 Can you describe The Mark in three words?

 Choices, fate, responsibility.

Are you similar to your Cassie, the main character in Mark, in any ways?

Our circumstances are very different, but I spent a lot of time in Cassie’s head while writing The Mark, trying to think what she’d do in this situation or that. As a result, I think she thinks a lot like me.

What was your favorite aspect of writing The Mark?

Editing. Which is probably also my least favorite. It’s so hard to dig back into a story that you’ve written “The End” on, but so unbelievably rewarding when the changes really start to come together and you can see how much better the book will be because of them.

How did the title The Mark come to be?

It was called Marked when it sold and soon after my editor told me we’d need to change it to avoid confusion with the PC Cast book. I came up with fifteen or twenty pretty awful alternatives and, in the end, we decided the most obvious was the best choice so The Mark it was.

What part of the writing process to do you find the most challenging?

The first draft is the hardest because a lot of the time it feels like you’re just grinding it out and there’s so far to go and, my God, will this story never end? And do I even know where I’m going with it?

What’s you favorite part of being an author so far? Least?

My favorite is just loving my job. Really, really, can’t-wait-until-I-can-work loving it. I honestly don’t have a least, yet, though I imagine it’ll be doing presentations or public speaking because that kind of stuff is pretty scary.

You part of an amazing group called the Tenners which leaves me to wonder what you experience has been like working with all those talented authors.

It is unbelievably great. Jackson Pearce, who started this community for the 2009 debuts, is an absolute genius IMO. There is so much you don’t know and wonder about during the process leading up to, and even after, publication. It’s fantastic to have a group of people who are fun and funny and supportive and talented to ask questions and share ideas and commisserate with. I do not know what I’d do without the Tenners and am kicking myself that The Mark’s Acknowledgments were already submitted when I joined. My belated thanks will be in Book 2!

What’s a really great book you’ve read recently?

Life As We Knew It was incredible, gave me nightmares. I also really loved Dirty Little Secrets by CJ Omololu.

What’s your typically day like?

I have three boys under 6 so a typical day involves a lot of building, throwing footballs, playing cars and trucks, laundry, food prep, a little diaper duty and, during sitter-hours, writing.

What’s up next for you next book-wise?

I’m just starting edits to The Mark’s sequel which will be out sometime in 2011. After that, I have three other YA novels in early stages competing for attention!

Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thanks so much for having me!
Thanks, Jen!
Other Links:
The Mark on Amazon/Barnes and Noble/Indie Bound
Jen's website
Jen's twitter


  1. Interesting interview. This books just came on hold in the library for me so I can't wait to read it.

  2. Great interview. It would be so much fun to be her sitter. I used to babysit for a writer and her family and their best friends (the surfers) were my fave.

  3. Great interview. I wish there was a Tenners thing for UK debut authors. I really think they could use the support. Can't wait to read The Mark.


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