Ask the Author: Jen Malone
What would you like readers to know about you?
I’m the author of twelve middle grade and YA titles- most of which are light and fluffy beach reads. My latest still has a lot of light and fluffy and is hopeful, but set against a darker subject matter. I’m a teen at heart, though my three teen kids roll their eyes at me over this often. I’m currently in the process of turning a shed in our backyard into a pottery/art studio, so I can have a place to escape their persecution 🙂
What is your book about for those who haven’t read it?
The Arrival of Someday is about a confident, fun-loving roller derby girl who has to learn the difference between bravado and the vulnerability required by actual bravery when a disease she hasn’t had to contend with since infancy flares up, requiring her to receive an organ donation to live. However I’d like to note that she’s asymptomatic for most of the story so this isn’t a “hospital book,” per say.
What has been your inspiration for writing it?
This was actually inspired by a teen in my town who passed away on the very day a liver donor was finally located—I couldn’t get over the tragedy of that, but I’ve since learned it’s very common since organs are prioritized to go to those with the most urgent need, but there’s a fine line between sick enough to receive one and too sick for the body to accept it.
What was your favorite scene or part of your book to write?
There’s a point in the story where Amelia reaches her breaking point while on a nighttime beach “date” with her brother’s childhood best friend, Will. Allowing her to become completely unhinged and driven by pure emotion was wild and wonderful and I felt more writing that scene than I have with any other in any of my books. I’m ridiculously proud of it.
What books or authors inspired you to become a writer?
Only about a billion! I read constantly as a kid (I even skipped kindergarten because I was reading so far ahead of my age at the time) and continue to find books the most comforting place to escape. I think reading all the Harry Potter books out loud to my husband when we were renovating our crumbling 130-year-old Victorian fixer-upper rekindled my love for kid-lit stories, but when it came to writing my own book, I drew most heavily on the humor in the Ramona Cleary books and the banter-y dialogue in the adult romances I used to sneak from my grandmother’s bookshelves as a teen.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors who want to write a book?
Trick yourself! Facing down a blank page knowing you have 300 more to fill after it is really hard! But (as one example) writing a short story and then later expanding it into a novel isn’t as daunting because you have a road map to follow. I’ve found a now do a lot more of this type of pre-writing. It might be a Pinterest board or playlist that helps me get into the mood of the story or it could be interviewing my character or writing a chapter by chapter synopsis (or all of the above).
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