Thursday, May 30, 2013

Interview Thursday: Welcome Jodi Meadows


Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you want to be something else? 

Welcome to Author Thursday hosted by Never Too Old for Y.A. Books from Goodreads.

Today we are very excited to welcome author Jodi Meadows to the group and blog.

Have you read Jodi's totally and completely amazing books?

NEWSOUL
Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

NOSOUL
Even Ana's own mother thinks she's a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she'll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

HEART
Sam believes Ana's new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana's enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else's life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life



DARKSOULS
Ana has always been the only one. Asunder. Apart. But after Templedark, when many residents of Heart were lost forever, some hold Ana responsible for the darksouls–and the newsouls who may be born in their place.

SHADOWS
Many are afraid of Ana’s presence, a constant reminder of unstoppable changes and the unknown. When sylph begin behaving differently toward her and people turn violent, Ana must learn to stand up not only for herself but for those who cannot stand up for themselves.

LOVE
Ana was told that nosouls can’t love. But newsouls? More than anything, she wants to live and love as an equal among the citizens of Heart, but even when Sam professes his deepest feelings, it seems impossible to overcome a lifetime of rejection.

In this second book in the Newsoul trilogy, Ana discovers the truth about reincarnation and will have to find a way to embrace love and make her young life meaningful. Once again, Jodi Meadows explores the extraordinary beauty and shadowed depths of the soul in a story equal parts epic romance and captivating fantasy




I had the honor of getting to meet Jodi not too long ago at an event at Books of Wonder in NYC. She's totally awesome and so super sweet!



So, without further ado, let's see what the most awesome Jodi has to tell us! Welcome Jodi!

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you want to be something else? 
I’ve always been a storyteller. I went through the usual phases of wanting to be a model/singer/princess/astronaut, but once I discovered I could write as a job, that’s all I wanted.
How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?
It depends on the book, but I wrote the first draft of INCARNATE in about two months. It was more than a year later that I turned in the final draft.
How do you come up with themes for your stories?
They appear naturally. I usually have to draw them out a little more, once I (or someone else) identify them, but they always just appear around whatever my characters are going through. I don’t really go into a book with the foreknowledge of its theme.
Do you have a schedule of when you write? 
I write all the time. See below about balance.
How are you able to balance other aspects of your life with your writing?
I don’t understand this balance thing you speak of.
Or do you mean the parts of life where I get to sleep? Sometimes I’m allowed to sleep. But usually I just have to sit here and type. Pretty sure my agent has spy cameras by my computer. . . .
What elements do you think make a great story line? 
I think probably anything can be made into a great storyline if it’s well-written and compelling. There’s no magic formula!
What was the hardest thing about writing a book?
All of it.
Seriously, though, I don’t know. Putting new words on paper is incredibly difficult. Fixing the broken parts . . . even just identifying the broken parts is a challenge.
Reading over the manuscript for the hundredth time. Ow.
How many books have you written so far? Do you have a favorite? 
INCARNATE was book #17. I’d written 16 before that. After the Incarnate series, I have Unspeakable Story, Sparkle Story, and Broadway Story, though Broadway isn’t finished yet. So . . . 21?
Do you have a favorite character?
Nope! I try not to pick favorites. It makes me feel guilty.
Where do you write?  
In the ferret room. Surrounded by utter chaos.
When deciding on how to publish, what directed you to the route you took? 
I’ve always wanted to publish through a big house. While I don’t have anything against other methods of publishing, they’ve never been part of my goals. For me, getting an agent, getting an editor at a big house -- these were all signals to me that I was writing publishable stories. Until then, I wasn’t ready to share my stories with the world. It took me a long time (at least, it felt like a long time -- years!) to get here, but there were never other options for me.
Have you gotten feedback from family about your book(s)? What do they think?
My mom reads everything I write. She does offer criticism when I ask for it, but she loves my books. My sister just threatens me when she wants more books. She’s only read the Incarnate trilogy (yes, she’s read book three -- I was afraid of what will happen if I didn’t give it to her), though.
What kinds of things do you like to do outside of writing?
You mean activities that don’t involve books? That kind of thing exists?
Kidding. I knit, crochet, and spin my own yarn. My favorite things to knit are socks and fingerless mitts. I keep trying to love lace, but it takes much more focus than I can give it. So . . . I dunno. I’m working on it, though.
My spinning wheel’s name is Bob.
What kinds of advice would you give to someone who wants to start writing? 
Write. Read. Learn to take (and give) criticism. You will probably get rejected. That’s okay. Keep writing, reading, and taking criticism. Learn to write better. You will get more rejection. That’s okay, too. Keep writing. Don’t give up.
What is your favorite book? favorite author? Do you have an author that inspired/inspires you to write? 
I have lots of favorite authors and books!! I would go on forever if I tried to name them all, though. But the book that made me realize writing was an actual legitimate job was WAIT TILL HELEN COMES by Mary Downing Hahn. I don’t know what it was about that book, but suddenly I realized that people had to write books and there wasn’t any reason why I couldn’t be one of those people.
Do you have any go to people when writing a book that help you with your story lines as well as editing, beta reading and such? 
People always say what a solitary pursuit writing is -- and it often is! -- but I can hardly imagine writing without the brainstorming power of a handful of writing friends. Typically they tell me what I already know, poke holes in bad plots, and ask all the right questions. It’s like they can see into my brain, which is both cool and scary.
Are you working on anything now? 
Absolutely! I’m not allowed to talk about them yet, but there are two projects I’m working on right now. Their code names are Sparkle Story and Broadway Story.

Thanks so much for stopping by today, Jodi! It's been SO great to have you here. I am really looking forward to the final book in the Newsoul series for sure. And anything else you are going to be writing!



The official stuff:
Jodi Meadows lives and writes in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, with her husband, a Kippy*, and an alarming number of ferrets. She is a confessed book addict, and has wanted to be a writer ever since she decided against becoming an astronaut.
*A Kippy is a cat.
The unofficial stuff:
Like many writers, I’ve always wanted to do this professionally. You know, after I decided against being an astronaut.
Unlike many writers, I didn’t skip straight from picture books to adult novels. I have fond memories of going to Bookstop every month for the latest Baby-Sitters Club (which I kept reading, even after I realized they were never going to let the paranormal elements be real), and even fonder memories of hanging out in my middle school library. The librarians probably knew exactly what they were doing when they suggested book after book and discussed them with me at length. I, of course, had no clue they were turning me into a book addict, but it worked out for the best. Once I found the books where magic and other fantastic elements were real, I was hooked.
When I was twenty, I met a boy, moved 1,500 miles, and married him all within six months. I now realize that was crazy and dangerous, but it seemed natural at the time and, again, worked out for the best. Not only did we stay madly in love, he worked full time at a hard job so I could stay home to write books and, hopefully, one day get published.

The other crazy thing we did was fall in love with ferrets. They have their own bedroom.
My hobbies, aside from spending all my money on books and Kippy/ferret treats, revolve around yarn. I love crocheting, knitting, and spinning. In addition to several handspindles, I share my living room with a spinning wheel named Bob.
Every Sunday I blog about spinning and other yarn things here. Ferret pictures can be found here.

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