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Wednesday, 15 May 2013

An interview with author JOY PREBLE and a GIVEAWAY!!! :)


Today's the day where we talk to Joy Preble, author of the Anastasia series (dreaming anastasia, haunted, anastasia forever) and most recently The Sweet Dead Life, which I talked about yesterday.

So without further ado, let me welcome one of my absolute favourite authors ever, the awesome Joy Preble!

*crowd goes wild*

1) When we talked last time for the Anastasia Forever blog tour, you said Tess Edwards was the most like you, but which TSDL character are you closest to?

I guess I’d have to pick Jenna. She is definitely the ‘mouthpiece’ for my worldview, although not always. Jenna and I are different in many ways, but I she does occasionally express opinions that I agree with.

2) What's your favourite of your books so far, and which was the hardest to write? Why?

All my books are my favorites when I’m writing them! To answer the opposite of what you asked, THE SWEET DEAD LIFE has definitely been the easiest to write in terms of first drafts. Jenna’s voice just begs to be written. Everything else has been fairly equal, give or take whatever is happening in my life at the time.

3) If you could only read one more book for the rest of your life (torturous thing to consider, I know, but IF) which would you pick? Why that one, over all the others?

Gah! I can’t answer this question. I simply can’t. But if I have to... for you, my favorite fan in Kent England!!... I would say the final Harry Potter. Not because it’s my favorite book of all books, but because it would remind me of all the other volumes and thus be like 7 books in one. While I’m wasting away on that desert island or whatever.

4) When you torture your readers/characters, do you feel remorse or a stereotypical-British-accented-movie-villain glee?

Glee, mostly. Occasionally I feel bad for them. But mostly it’s kind of fun. To paraphrase my master Joss Whedon: You give your readers what they most want for your characters and then you rip it away as painfully as possible. That’s what makes good storytelling.

5) If you had never discovered writing, what do you think you'd be doing right now? (you can't say teaching english to high school students, that's cheating)

If I’d worked harder at math, there is a great possibility that I would be a vet or a physicist! Also, I originally had plans to study occupational therapy! In fact, I was accepted at U of Illinois to do just that. And then I told them no and became a frivolous English major at Northwestern. The rest is history.

6) If you had to be one of your characters, with every detail of their life, past, friends, family, fears, hopes, dreams, etc, who would you live as?
Wow! That’s some question there, Hannah! In the TSDL series, I would probably pick Jenna’s bff Maggie. Which would match my choice for the ANASTASIA series, which would be my fave girl Tess Edwards. I guess I write fictional bff’s the way I’d like a life to be! In the upcoming THE A WORD (Soho Press, May 2014) I would pick someone you won’t meet until then -- a rather difficult angel named Bo Shivers. He has had quite the life. I know this because I gave it to him!

7) What was your inspiration for The Sweet Dead Life? Has it evolved at all from the original spark?
Well, the actual inspiration for TSDL was my editor, who emailed me and my agent one day in the spring of 2011 and said, hey, I’d like to work with you again (he’d moved to Soho Press by then). Do you think you could write a book about a stoner dude who bit the dust in the a car accident in his beat up Prius and came back as his possibly dying sister’s guardian angel? Cause I would love to see you do that.

And I said, Hell yes. Because you never say no to brilliant ideas.
And then I said, what if I set it in Texas and sent him sample pages and then we began pitching it as FALLEN meets VERONICA MARS meets PINEAPPLE EXPRESS and other Judd Apatow movies. And the rest is history. Except for the part where we argued over the title. But we both agreed that THE SWEET DEAD LIFE was perfect! Beyond that, the only real change is that the book developed as a more serious and sweet story of family and love and sacrifice and the healing power of kolaches.

8) Jenna Samuels has her brother, Casey. Who would you say is your guardian angel?
You know every time I’ve had my palm read (which is not often, but things happen when you’re in New Orleans or at the Renn Fest), I’m always told that I have guardian angels around me. Of course, the cyncial part of me says they say that to everyone. That said, the surprisingly serious answer would be that my mom passed away over 10 years ago and I often think that she’s watching my success and cheering me on. Beyond that, I would also pick my editor for this project because he is such a pleasure to work with.

9) We're all just dying (pun completely intended) to know: What's next for Joy Preble?
Well for now what I can say is that THE A WORD, which is the sequel to TSDL, comes out in May 2014. Hopefully I will have more news soon.

10) BONUS FUN ROUND! Answer the very first thing that comes into your head:
Edward or Jacob?
Jacob. Definitely Jacob.

Gale or Peeta?
Gale. And someday I will convince Suzanne Collins how right I am about this!

Guardian Angels or Immortal, Spell-casting Russian Monks?
Ha! I love my guardian angel world, but I will always have a soft spot for spell-casting Russian monks! Oh Ethan. I kinda miss you some days.

Breakfast tacos or kolaches?
Tacos, actually. I loves me a good breakfast taco with egg, potato, bacon. No cheese though. But salsa!

Cowgirl boots or ballet shoes?
Definitely cowgirl boots!!

You can visit Joy here:

And here:

And now for the part where I GIVE AWAY FREE STUFF!!!

One lucky commenter will receive a totally free copy of The Sweet Dead Life!

To enter and show your loving support, just post a comment below with name/nickname and an email address I can contact you at if you win. Alternatively, if you're uncomfortable with giving out your email for all to see, you can leave a comment with your name and then EMAIL ME at readerwritercookiebaker[at]gmail[dot]com, letting me know who you are in the comments. If you win, I'll email you to let you know, and then put you in contact with the Soho publicist so she can mail you your prize. Winner will be picked out of a hat by my sister to eliminate any possibility of bias.

Giveaway will run until FRIDAY the 31st of May, and a winner will be announced on SATURDAY the 1st of June. If the winner hasn't contacted me within a week, I'll pick someone else, and so on until somebody replies.

I am obligated to keep this US only. It's just due to high p&p costs, and I'm really sorry. If you have a US-dwelling relative or friend who won't mind receiving your book for you if you win, then internationals can still enter. Otherwise, you can still read The Sweet Dead Life, you just have to buy it yourself. It's definitely worth it though ;)

Good luck all! I wish I could give a free book to each and every one of you!