Jessica Day George

Monday, January 26, 2009

Hooray for Midnight Ball! Hooray for Neil Gaiman! Hooray for lists!

Just, in general, hooray!

Today the Newbery Awards were announced, and I am beside myself with glee! Neil Gaiman's Graveyard Book is the winner! And Savvy, by Ingrid Law, is one of the honorees. I have not yet read Savvy, but I've been hearing such good things about it, I cannot wait! For a complete list of the winners, also the winners of the Printz and other fine awards, go to:!

And in other news:

Princess of the Midnight Ball is out! YAY! It actually came out last Tuesday, but I haven't had two seconds to blog! But it's here, and it's fabulous. Go, buy, read, love. It is my joy and my delight, as though it were one of my very own children. Kirkus gave it a RAVE review- Thanks, guys!

If you check the "Meet Jessica" page, you will see that I will be out and about promoting this wonderful book in the month of Love, aka February. And speaking of love, I have yet to post on that page that I will be in Tooele at 2 pm on February 14th at The Purple Cow Bookstore. More details to come on that one, as I will be reading and signing and making merry with other authors like Sara Zarr and Randall Wright!

Remember, kids, Midnight Ball is my ode to knitting, and there are knitting patterns that go along with it. The patterns have been added to the Midnight Ball page, and if you knit one of them, send me a picture. I think I'm going to start posting "fan knits!" on there too! So if you're a knitter, wear your best knitwear to my signings! I'll have THE black wool chain with me, and am elbow deep in yarn making some other fun things to wear.

And now it's that time when I post my favorite books of the year. I'm doing something a little different this year, as you will see. They're in no particular order, and they may not have been published in 2008, that's just when I read them.

Favorite Kids' Lit

The Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer, by Laini Taylor
The Exchange, by Graham Joyce
The Game, by Diana Wynne Jones
Life As We Knew It, by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Chalice, by Robin McKinley
Suite Scarlett, by Maureen Johnson
The Absolutely True History of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
Fighting Ruben Wolfe, by Markus Zuzak
The Invention of Hugo Cabrey, by Brian Selznick
The Patron Saint of Butterflies, by Cecelia Galante
Ten Cents a Dance, by Christine Fletcher

Best Adult Books

Ysabel, by Guy Gavriel Kay
Angle of Repose, by Wallace Stegner
The First Man in Rome, by Colleen McCullough
Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen

Best Non-Fiction

Yes Man! by Danny Wallace
Eating Chocolates and Dancing in the Kitchen, by Tom Plummer

Best Short Stories

The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories, by Susannah Clarke
M is for Magic, by Neil Gaiman
Let it Snow! by Lauren Myracle, John Green, and Maureen Johnson

Best Picture Books

Llama Llama, Red Pajama, by Anna Dewdney
No Babysitters Allowed! by Amber Stewart and Laura Rankin
Cinderella, by Cynthia Rylant
Fifteen Animals! by Sandra Boynton

Go now, my people, and READ!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Interview with Janette Rallison

Today, gentle readers, we have a first: an interview with fellow YA author Janette Rallison! YAY! I've never interviewed anybody before, so this is very exciting for me, as is the reason for the interview: Janette's new book!

My Fair Godmother

My Fair Godmother is the story of two sisters, two hot guys, and a not-so-great-fairy godmother. Not to mention the glass slippers, dwarves, gowns, Black Knights, princes and princesses that seem to go along with godmothers! It all starts when the two sisters, Jane and Savannah, both fall for the same guy. When Jane gets the guy, Savannah's godmother steps in. She's not a full-fledged fairy godmother yet, and her grades have only been, y'know, fair (hence the title), but she's there to grant Savannah three wishes anyway. Unfortunately for Savannah, Chrissie the godmother isn't that great at listening, which leads to some hilarious misinterpretations of Savannah's wishes!

I won't reveal any more, but the book is a hilarious look at the reality behind life in the Middle Ages as well as several fairy tales. Plus I just love the combination of a very modern, appearance-obsessed girl and well, Ye Olden Stinky Tymes!

Let's get down to some interviewin'!

You normally write contemporary fiction. What made you take on fantasy?

To tell you the truth, the idea for My Fair Godmother came when I wrote a skit for my daughter's church youth group. The theme was Fractured Fairy Tales, so I wrote a short play about a girl who wanted a prince of a guy to take her to prom. Her "Fair" godmother (because her grades weren't, great, or good, but you know, fair) messed up her wishes and sent her to the Middle Ages to be Cinderella and then Snow White. This involved a lot of cleaning on her part, and not much fun.

I thought it was such a cute play (and my daughter did such a great job as a less-than-concerned fairy godmother) that I decided to write it into a book.

I loved how you evoked the look (and smell!) of the Middle Ages. Did you do any research?

I have a Middle Age romance plotted out (er, that means a romance that takes place in medieval times, not a romance about middle aged people). So I have a ton of books on the Middle Ages. I still haven't gotten around to writing that romance, but it made the research for this book really easy.

You did an amazing job of putting us in the head of first the studious sister, Jane, and then her more popularity-minded sibling, Savannah. Which were you in high school: the bookworm, or the more outgoing type?

I was a bizarre combination of the two of them. I prided myself on getting straight As, and it was actually painful if a teacher handed me a B on something. At the same time I loved drama, shopping, and all things girly. I wasn't at all organized or punctual, so I guess there is really more of Savannah in me.

If you were stuck in a fairy tale, which one would you want it to be?

Hmm. I'm trying to think of a fairy tale where the heroine isn't knee deep in housework, or being threatened by evil forces before a prince shows up to rescue her . . . Although I've always loved Cinderella, my dislike of chores is going to make me choose Sleeping Beauty, because, hey, all she had to do to get her prince was sleep. I can do sleep very well. I practice a lot.

Are you planning on writing any more fairy godmother adventures? I'd love to see what Chrissy's next assignment is!

Originally when I wrote the first draft, I had Chrissy accepted to Fairy Godmother University, but then I decided it would be much better to keep her out and give her another assignment. I'd love to write another book with her, but I don't have anything plotted out quite yet.

This is my favorite question to ask authors: What is your favorite book (you can have more than one)?

You mean beside mine? (I'm very partial to everything Janette Rallison has written.) I would have to say The Princess Bride, Pride and Prejudice, and the Phantom Tollbooth. (I obviously have a thing for P titles.)

What are you reading right now?

Whitney award nominations. But Austinland is sitting on my nightstand waiting for me to get to it. It's that love of Pride and Prejudice (and Shannon Hale too.)

Valentine's Day is coming: What is your ideal Valentine's Day date?

I think it would be something along the lines of my husband whisking me off to Cancun to a resort that had lots of calorie free chocolate desserts.

Tell us about your next project!

I have another book coming out in March called Just One Wish. It's about a girl who drives to Hollywood to find and convince the hunky teen actor who plays Teen Robin Hood to visit her little brother before he goes in for brain surgery.

It's a romantic comedy, but has a more serious side to it than my other books because the heroine spends a lot of time thinking about the purpose of life and what happens after death. I think my fans are going to really like it.

Sounds amazing. I will defintely be reading that one as soon as it comes out! Thanks for being my first interviewee, Janette!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Ring out wild bells. . . .

Yes, it's a new year. A year of stuff and things! And I haven't blogged in ages because . . . hello! Trying to enjoy Christmas over here! And enjoy it we did! There was food (oh, so much food!) and games, and presents! I got to play Nerts with the family. If you don't know Nerts, you're missing out. Everyone gets their own pack of cards, and it's kinda like playing solitaire with yourself and everyone at the table simultaneously! We also discovered a game called Apples to Apples, which is hilarious. And then the presents! Santa Claus was very good to your Aunt Jessy this year, people. Very good. Sooooo many books, plus a 5,000 horsepower blender for all my blending needs! (I have a lot of blending needs, okay?) Boy got a bike, Baby Girl got soft toys to amuse her.

And then the editing fairy came. . . .

Yes, kids, the editing fairy sometimes even comes during the holidays. Unfortunately for that cheeky little pixie, I did not have time to bow to her whims. Consequently, I have 145 pages left of Dragon Spear to read over. Oopsy. But fear not, I shall have them done forthwith. And then we will concentrate on launching that book of books, that masterpiece, that book we like to call: Princess of the Midnight Ball!


But now please enjoy these dogs decorating a Christmas tree!