Jessica Day George

Thursday, January 31, 2008

So that's who that chick with the notebook was!

I just got on board with "Google Alerts", which is a nifty little search engine that keeps an eye out for whatever you ask it to, and then emails you links.  So this week my husband set it up so that we get emails everytime someone, somewhere out there, mentions my so-famous name.  (Oh, I KID!  I am not that vain.)  In fact, Google Alerts is keeping me humble, because it's also brought me a rather, er, lukewarm review of Sun and Moon.  What irritated me about the review though, was actually that she gave the whole story away!  From beginning to end and everything in between!  That was more shocking than anything!

But I digress.

Last week I did a school visit at Copper Canyon Elementary.  It was WONDERFUL.  The kids were so excited to see us, their teachers and showed them our books in advance, and they had lots of good questions about getting published and writing books.  Apparently they have an Author Day every year, something which makes me green with envy.  I never had stuff like this when I was in grade school!  It was me, Brandon Sanderson (Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians), Howard Fullmer (The King's Highway), and Alvina Kwong (My Imagination).  There were also a couple of women there with notebooks and cameras who I naively assumed were with the PTA.  (Hey, I never said I was very observant!)

After a little while, I realized that the women with notebooks were newspaper reporters.  One was from the Salt Lake Tribune, and the other from the Valley Journal.  They asked me some questions, and even got permission to interview some of the students.  One of the fifth grade teachers had read Dragon Slippers aloud to her class, and they asked the kids what they thought of it, which made me very nervous-- what if they hated it?  That wasn't the case, to my relief, or maybe they just let those kids go to lunch early. 

Now, I don't get the Trib or the Valley Journal, so I wasn't sure how I would find out if I actually made it into these papers.  But thanks to Google Alerts, I got this link this morning: 

It's so very thrilling for a newbie like me to see my name in the paper!  And there's even a picture of me!  I like that I'm wearing all black, makes me look very dramatic and author-y.  I'm just glad they didn't take a picture of me almost falling out of that tall chair.   (I never said I was graceful, either.)

Although, talking about Author Day, I do remember one author always coming to my elementary school.  Well, one of them.  (I went to three different elementary schools, in three different towns.)  When we lived in Pocatello, Ken Thomasman would come to our school every year and talk about Lewis and Clark and Native Americans.  He has written a number of wonderful books about real boys and girls growing up in Native American tribes in the Idaho/Northwest area.  I read all of them.  The two titles I remember are Naya Nuki: Girl Who Ran and Soun Tetoken.  Naya Nuki was a childhood friend of Sacagewea.  They were both kidnapped and became slaves to rival tribes.  Naya Nuki actually ran away, and walked across three states to get back to her family.  When Sacagewea brought Lewis and Clark to her home tribe, she discovered that her friend had made it home, and Lewis and Clark recorded the girl's story in their journals.  Her preparations for running away are fascinating.  She knows exactly how much food she'll need, and how to conceal it a little at a time . . . it's ingenious. 

And on a note of "Jessica Recommends": I'm reading The Thirteenth Reality by James Dashner right now, and loving it.  Oh, sorry for the tease, it's not out until March, apparently.  Well, mark your calendars!  The Thirteenth Reality!  (I'm privileged enough to know Dashner, and he gave me an advance copy.)  In the meantime, you might check out Ken Thomasman's books!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Now my head might really explode. . .

I just wrote a whole long blog entitled My Head Might Explode, and hit 'post', and it disappeared! 

Where have you gone, little blog?  Will you ever return?  Who can say?  The internet is capricious and arbitrary.  Gee, you'd think Al Gore could have done a better job inventing it. . . .

But what I was talking about, that seemed so important at the time, and now seems rather vain, is how I will never be able to write all the books I want to write before I die.

Now, I'm not sick or anything, and I'm pretty young, especially in this age of vitamins and botox, but it's just that the book ideas keep multiplying on me!  They're like rabbits, and I think I need to isolate the males from the females

(For those of you who don't think that there are girl books and boy books, I will start keeping a tally of how many times I am asked, Is this a girl book? by both boys and their parents.)

The original blog posting, which we shall now refer to as the ur-posting (it's a literary term that comes from German and means 'the original'), had a rather interesting count in it that I'm still quite proud of.  To wit:

I have had two books published, and there is a third being printed right now.  I have one manuscript being edited, for publication next year.

I have completed five other manuscripts which may or may not see the light of day.

I have written 50+ pages of no less than six manuscripts, including a third Creel/dragon book and a sequel to next year's Black Wool Chain.

I have first chapters and notes for seven other books.

And one picture book.

That's twenty-four books, people.  Sure, Stephen King's written like, a HUNDRED books.  But the problem I have is that I know by the time I finish one manuscript, I will have jotted down notes for two more.  Which means that, like the hydra of myth, the more stories I "kill" the more that will crop up.

But that's good, right?

Not if you're laziest person alive!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Okay, so I haven't blogged in a long time.  And I'm sorry.  It's partly busyness, partly laziness.  Just to be honest.  But I return to you now with several stellar book recommendations.

First off: Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer, by Laini Taylor.  BRILLIANT!!!   I love this book passionately, and cannot wait for the sequel, Silksinger.  It was so cool, it made ice look warm!  And it had a guy who KNITS, which is just the way to my heart, if you want to know the truth.

Secondly: The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick.  Yeah, I'm probably way behind on this.  But I had been wanting to read it, and was further spurred on when it won the Caldecott.  Now, the Caldecott (for those of you who don't obsessively keep track of kid lit awards), is the award normally given to picture books, because it is for illustration.  I had Hugo Cabret all pegged for the Newbery, which is for well written kid lit.  So I read it, and figured out why the Caldecott.  It was like a silent movie: more than half of the book was rendered in beautiful black and white drawings.  It was an AMAZING book, but it definitely owed too much of the story to the drawings to qualify for the Newbery.   Two thumbs way up for that one.

As to questions about the recipes on the site.  They are sitting in the inbox of my webmaster (aka, The Husband), waiting to be added, and I'm very sorry that it hasn't happened yet.  Sorry.

Friday, January 11, 2008

It's me, on TV!

So, I managed not to make any snorting noises, or have a "wardrobe malfunction" on tv the other night.  I actually really enjoyed it, and the guy had read Sun and Moon all the way through, so he asked some really good questions and was very complimentary.  You can watch the clip here if you go to "Books", then "Sun and Moon", and "Interviews."

I also had the big launch for Sun and Moon last night.  It was great fun, and I think there were about fifty people there.  Quite a turnout!  Thanks to everyone who came, and weren't those cookies to die for?  I'm gonna have to remember that place.  It's a little German bakery only a couple of miles from my house, and everything I've had there (I sampled a few other things when I ordered the cookies for the party) has been killer.

So it's out, it's official, Sun and Moon is released upon the world.  The first copies have been signed, readings have been read, Scandinavian wedding cookies have been consumed.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow, is OUT, baby!  Hooray!

So check the Meet Jessica page to see the dates and times of my TWO launch parties.  But the basic rundown is: Friday the 11th at The King's English in Salt Lake City, Saturday the 19th at the Jordan Landing Barnes & Noble. 

And I'll be on TELEVISION tonight, if you can believe it!  I'll be on Mountain Views with Ori Hoffer, on Park City's TV station.  So if you live in Utah, check your cable channels, you might have this and don't know it.  We have Comcast Digital and I believe that it's channel 102.  The show's at 6 pm, and I'm SO NERVOUS I CAN HARDLY STAND IT!

So look for Sun and Moon at your local bookstore, and if you're lucky enough to live in the Salt Lake area, look for me at King's English and BnN, and on TV tonight!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Favorite Books of 2007

This year I decided to go with two categories, one for adult and one for younger readers.  I've also had to include an "Honorable Mention" category, since there were a few books that wanted on the lists, and yet that would have left me with a weird number. . . . It's a whole big thing, y'know?

Drumroll please!

Favorite Adult Books of 2007

  1. The Road, Cormac McCarthy (I'm warning you, though, this may be one of the best books written in our time, but it's DEEPLY DISTURBING.)

  2. The Thirteenth Tale, Diane Setterfield

  3. The Yiddish Policemen's Union, Michael Chabon

  4. Empire of Ivory, Naomi Novik

  5. Widdershins, Charles de Lint (Wherein he finally does right by Jilly.)

     Honorable Mention:

Crossing to Safety, Wallace Stegner

Favorite YA Books of 2007

  1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J. K. Rowling

  2. The Queen of Attolia/The King of Attolia, Megan Whalen Turner (Because you can't read just one.)

  3. An Abundance of Katherines, John Green (For older teens only!)

  4. The Pinhoe Egg, Diana Wynne Jones (Best Chrestomanci book!)

  5. Into the Wild, Sarah Beth Durst

  6. The Book Thief, Markus Zuzak

  7. Book of a Thousand Days, Shannon Hale

  8. The Looking-Glass Wars, Frank Beddor

  9. Uglies/Pretties/Special, Scott Westerfeld (Again, you can't read one!)

  10. Alfred Kropp and the Seal of Solomon, Rick Yancey

     Honorable Mentions:

Born to Rock, Gordon Korman 

The Blue Girl, Charles de Lint