Saturday, May 5, 2012

Day 5 - Q&A with Denise Jaden

It's day 5. :) I have to say, after planning this out since about mid-January, it's so nice to have everything come together. Plus now the authors can look back and go, "that's right, I did answer some questions for that crazy book nerd girl." ;)

Today's Q&A comes from a local (well, to me) author, but it feels weird to say local because I haven't yet met her. I do think I caught a flash of her curly hair at a signing once or twice, but that was it. ;) Denise Jaden is the author of two contemporary YA novels, Losing Faith and Never Enough, the latter of which comes out two months from now on July 10. :) My review of Never Enough won't be up until July, I actually haven't read it yet, but you can always check it out on Goodreads or at Denise's website.

Q: A big part of your first book, Losing Faith, is about religion, about having faith, about finding it, which makes it a rather moving book. How important was it to write about faith and religion?

A: Thank you! I didn’t go into the book with the intent of writing any kind of “message” about faith or religion, but to be honest, it’s something I spend a lot of time thinking about, so it didn’t surprise me when it became a main theme of the book. I loved exploring spirituality from so many different character viewpoints while writing it!

Q: Was Brie, or any character in the book, inspired by anyone?

A: Brie was named after my husband’s birth sister, whom we first met a few years ago. But only their names are the same. If any of my characters was inspired by a real person, it would be Tessa. When I was in high school, I befriended a tough girl a little like Tessa, and I thought of this girl often while working out Tessa’s dialogue.

Q: Tessa is such a unique character, and her family situation was rather unexpected. Why Tessa as someone for Brie to connect with after Faith's death?

A: Tessa was not in my original outline for the book. When I was maybe about a third of the way into writing the novel, I realized that Brie was spending too much time alone. I wanted a helper for her, but someone who would bring some added conflict. Tessa showed up and fit the bill (and then some!)
Q: Never Enough comes out this July and is about two sisters and eating disorders. Why eating disorders? Was there a specific reason? Was it one of those instant flashes of a book idea?

A: I have a fairly lengthy author’s note at the end of NEVER ENOUGH explaining in more detail why I chose to write about this subject, but as a short answer, let me just say that I was very close to someone who struggled for years with eating disorders and I felt like it was something I had to write about in order to understand my friend better.
Q: Is there anything you've read recently that you'd plug to your heart's content? YA or Canadian or otherwise.

A: Yes! A few books, and they’re all YA. WANDERLOVE by Kristen Hubbard, UNBREAK MY HEART by Melissa Walker, ZERO by Tom Leveen, and THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green. All breathtakingly beautiful books!
Q: Perhaps the most important question: will a future book have a Polynesian dancer? ;) (For those who weren't aware, Denise spent time as a professional Polynesian dancer.)

A: You know, I’ve thought of that, and I’ve tried to work it into a couple of stories, but so far it hasn’t quite worked with any particular book. I hope so one day!

Thanks so much to Denise


  1. I adored 'Wanderlove' and I can't wait to read 'Unbreak My Heart'!

    I liked Denise's first book, so I can't wait to check out 'Never Enough'. =)

  2. I just discovered this blog and am enjoying the interviews.

    I will be watching for that Polynesian dancer book...


  3. I love that Tessa wasn't even in the original outline, and yet became such an important character -- gotta love revisions!

    Great interview. Thanks, Denise and Lindsay! :)