Thursday, October 1, 2009

Author Interview: Janette Rallison

I thought you might be done reading what we have to say about the fabulous I thought I'd let Janette say something about herself! She was gracious enough to take time out of her current writing schedule in order to answer some questions for our readers! Enjoy!

Q: How old were you when you started writing?
JR: I've been writing since I was old enough to hold a pencil and misspell my way through a story. (My plots have improved even if my spelling hasn't.) I have notebooks and computer files full of my early writing. I tended to get 70% of the way through a story and then start something else, which is not the best way to go about getting published. I finally got serious about my writing in my late twenties. My first book was published when I was thirty.

Q: And what was your very first book about?
JR: My first book was a young adult romantic comedy for the LDS market called Deep Blue Eyes and Other Lies. It's the prequel to All's Fair in Love, War, and High School which was published in the national market. Like a lot of my books, it's about love, friendship, and those way-too-many awkward moments that plague teenagers.

Q: Have you ever been star struck by another author? If so, who was it?
JR: Jane Austen. I was so excited to tour her house in England. I have a picture of me sitting at the table she wrote at. Sometimes when I'm at home writing, the oddness of canonizing authors strikes me, and I try to imagine some futuristic tour guide showing tourists around my house:

"This is where Janette typed, kept stacks of research, and basically ignored the laundry."

The crowd lets out a simultaneous, "Ohhh!" and snaps dozens of pictures.

Q: What inspires your stories?
JR: My distaste of housework. When I can clean the kitchen or write, I always write. I also take ideas from my own life and from my kids. Kids are just a neverending supply of story ideas.

Q: Your novels have a lot of humor. Why do you think humor is important?
JR: Researches have done multiple studies that prove humor not only makes you feel better, it makes you healthier. It lowers blood pressure and increases your T-cell function. It increases your memory too.

But besides that, if people don't learn to laugh at themselves and their problems, they'll be miserable. Bad situations can often be turned around if you just apply a little humor.

Q: If you had to become one of your characters, who would you pick?
JR: Good question. (I'm suddenly wondering why I haven't given any of my characters magical powers, because then it would be an easy choice.) I love Annika from Just One Wish because she's so focused, smart, and goes for whatever she wants--but she has a little brother with cancer, and I wouldn't want that. It would be cool to be Savannah from My Fair Godmother and get to have adventures in the Middle Ages, but when it comes right down to it, I like indoor plumbing and electricity more than adventure. Probably I'd choose to be Alexia in My Double Life because she gets to go to Hollywood and hang out with famous people including her hot rock star boyfriend. Look for that book next May.

Q: Do you re-read your books once they've been published?
JR: I don't plan to reread them. By the time they come out I'm sick of them. But usually a few years later I'll be flipping through one of my books looking for some paragraph to use for a writing workshop and I end up reading the whole book. I'm always surprised that I like the book again.

Q: What are your top five favorite YA books (other than your own, of course)?
JR: Not in any particular order:
The Princess Bride
Hunger Games (note from Aubrey: one of my faves too!)
The Doomsday Book
The Phantom Tollbooth
Lord of the Rings

Q: What is your favorite food?
JR: Chocolate, which I could gladly live on. Bacon is a close second with guacamole coming in third.

Love it! Thanks so much Janette. I am excited to read more of your stuff! Good luck on your current project! And here's to hoping your male protagonist looks like Ben. ;)


Sara said...

Hmmmm... I love homemade guacamole too. I should make some. But I don't have any ingredients. Darn.

You know we love you Janette, and I can't wait for your new book to come out in May!

Sara said...

Great interview. I've never read her stuff, so I'll have to check her out!

Allyson Condie said...

What a fun interview! I'm looking forward to Janette's next book too. Thanks for posting this!