Saturday, April 14, 2012
Getting to Know You
Yo! So my good friend Haley wanted to interview me, and I realized that you guys could get to know me a little better through these things, too. And I love interviews. ^_^ SO! Getting to Know You, Round One!
1. Your name? Jasmine Brown
2. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Well, I'm five-foot-five, African-American/Filipino/Hispanic/ScotchIrish, with short dark brown hair and glasses. My hair is straight right now. Um, I'm a bit sarcastic, and I like to crack witty jokes. I'm a witty person.
3. Do you have any published books? Nope. But I'm getting there.
4. Tell me about your books. Okay, well, the first one I ever completed was "Oops". It's about a boy named Rocky, a rock star (yes, it's hilarious, I know) who gets kidnapped by ex-gang member Maya and her sister, Nani. Action, adventure, humor... the first in a trilogy. I like trilogies. The second book is "Between a Rock". And my other one is "The Lucky One"... or "Harm's Way", I haven't decided on the title yet.
5. When did you first start writing? Since I was… oh, six or seven.
6. What was your first book? Technically, my first book was a fanfiction (yes, I’m one of THOSE authors). It was a Hardy Boys story, and it was a lot of fun to write. Considering I was, like, nine when I wrote it, it was pretty terrible, but fun nonetheless!
7. How did you choose the genre you write in? I actually have jumped around in my genres, from mystery/thriller to action/adventure to sci-fi to fantasy/supernatural… I just really love fast paced, humorous, fun adventure books.
8. Where do you get your ideas? Everywhere. For Oops, one of my friends (Danielle) was writing a book on gangs and when she stopped I really longed to continue that plot line, so I wrote a little something where an ex-gang member is forced back into the job for some strange reason. And—ta-da!—Oops was written.
9. Do you ever experience writer’s block? Doesn’t everybody?
10. Do you work with an outline, or just write? Both. No matter how much research you do or organization you plan, step by step by step, the plot always mutates and you tend to stray from your original ideas, and that’s okay.
11. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult? I loved Anthony Horowitz and his Diamond Brothers series (and his Gatekeepers series). The Diamond Brothers because it was a mystery series and it was just so funny while at the same time it was thrilling and intriguing. And the Gatekeepers because it was creepy! So good! As I grew older, James Patterson rose as my favorite author, next to Rick Riordan (of course) and Ally Carter, both for their ability to incorporate humor into a usually scary scenario.
12. Can you tell us about your upcoming book? Well, it still doesn’t have a title (anybody wanna help me with that?) but it’s about a girl named Sophia who is so bored one summer day that she buys a book that tells her how to separate her soul from her body—like astral projection. So she tries it, and when she wakes up it’s fifty years in the future. Humans have discovered that ghosts are real and ‘hunt’ them for both fun and profit. She also finds out that her parents cryogenically stored her body, so if she can just reach it before either the ghosts recruit her to fight in an upcoming war between humans and ghosts, or the humans catch her and vaporize her, she will be able to reclaim it. It’s adventure/humor/sci-fi/supernatural, which is an odd combination, and I’m excited for it.
13. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination? I’ve always believed in the supernatural. Love thinking that I’m psychic or that ghosts are present, plus, I’ve had so many experiences I can’t count them all on one hand. Most of it is off of my imagination, though, yes.
14. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why? I love the part where she wakes up and nothing makes sense to her. Everyone’s freaked out because she’s more powerful than a regular ghost (considering she’s not actually dead), and the first meeting between her and Eli is just priceless.
15. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment? To just write how I write, not anyone else. It’s so hard to distinguish yourself between your favorite authors, when you look at your work and just think it’s not good enough and you want to compare it to Rick Riordan’s, or Sherrilyn Kenyon’s, or James Patterson’s. But your writing is your writing, and if it’s good it’s good. The best compliment… I wrote an earthquake survival story and one of my readers commented and told me that she forced her husband—who was a Medical First Responder—to sit down and read it with her, and he said that it was really accurate. That was huge for me, because I’ve never experienced an earthquake and for all of my research I couldn’t find accurate procedures that First Responders use, so it was a huge compliment from her, and from him, that my story was accurate despite my lack of research. She also said that the emotional viewpoint from my crush victim was spot-on. I just love sharing my writing with people and making them feel the way I feel when I read a really food book.
16. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers? Don’t procrastinate. It’s the biggest killer. That’s what gives you writer’s block. And don’t be discouraged if you don’t get it right the first try. If you believe in it, it’ll happen. Don’t give up and keep trying. J.K. Rowling got rejection letters on Harry Potter when she first started out, and now she’s famous for creating one of the most popular series in writing history. So keep at it!