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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Question Every Decision You’ve Ever Made With GCC Member Jessica Brody’s New Book

So can you remember that really horrible decision you made in high school? Yeah, so can Brooklyn Pierce, the main character in GCC Member Jessica Brody’s new novel, MY LIFE UNDECIDED out this month through FSG. But would you ever let the blogosphere decide your life for you? She did. And I can't wait to see what happens.

As always, here’s a little bit about the book to get you hooked:

PLEASE READ THIS! MY LIFE DEPENDS ON IT!

Okay, maybe that was a bit melodramatic, but I’m sorry, I’m feeling a bit melodramatic at the moment.

Here’s the deal. My name is Brooklyn Pierce, I’m fifteen years old, and I am decisionally challenged. Seriously, I can’t remember the last good decision I made. I can remember plenty of crappy ones though. Including that party I threw when my parents were out of town that accidentally burned down a model home. Yeah, not my finest moment, for sure.

But see, that’s why I started a blog. To enlist readers to make my decisions for me. That’s right. I gave up. Threw in the towel. I let someone else be the one to decide which book I read for English. Or whether or not I accepted an invitation to join the debate team from that cute-in-a-dorky-sort-of-way guy who gave me the Heimlich Maneuver in the cafeteria. (Note to self: Chew the melon before swallowing it.) I even let them decide who I dated!

Well, it turns out there are some things in life you simply can’t choose or have chosen for you—like who you fall in love with. And now everything’s more screwed up than ever.

But don’t take my word for it, read the book and decide for yourself. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll scream in frustration. Or maybe that’s just me. After all, it’s my life.

Here’s what Jessica had to say:

Q: In AMIGAS AND SCHOOL SCANDALS, Mariana takes a road trip to Cornell. What’s your funniest road trip story?

Jessica: Well, I’m not sure how funny it is. At the time it was actually kind of scary. My mom and I were driving from Colorado to California and we ran out of gas in the middle of Utah...in the middle of the night. It was totally dark and there was no cell phone reception so we couldn’t call AAA. We had to wait for a trucker to pull over. He offered to drive to the next town, buy us some gas, and drive back with it. Thank goodness he did, otherwise, who knows how long we’d be stuck out there!


Q: I often talk about how I didn’t always “know” I wanted to be a writer. Did you? Or did you have other plans when you were little?

Jessica: The short answer is yes, I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Although it took me a long time to figure that out. In second grade I turned in a four page book report (the assignment was to write one paragraph) and the teacher made such a huge deal about it. I really couldn’t understand why. Writing just came naturally to me. At that moment I remember wanting to be a writer. But somewhere along the way I convinced myself that I needed to get a “serious” job…you know, one that comes with dental insurance. So I majored in Economics in college (very serious!) and went on to be a financial analyst for MGM Studios. It wasn’t until later that I realized “serious” wasn’t for me. So I quit to pick up where I left off at age seven.

Q: Throughout the AMOR series, Mariana and her friends celebrate their Sweet 16s (and 15s). What did you do for your Sweet 16 or Quinceañera?

Jessica: I drove. Seriously. I was so excited to finally get my license I think the first thing I did was hop in the car and speed off into the wind.

Q: I wrote the AMOR series organically, no outlines. My new manuscripts, I’ve outlined extensively. How about you? Are you an outliner?

Jessica: Outline! Outline! Outline! LOL. It’s true though. I never start writing until I have a concrete outline done. And I use a very special “tool” for my outlines. It’s called the Save the Cat Beat Sheet and it was invented by the amazing Blake Snyder, author of the Save the Cat screenwriting books. He’s a genius! The beat sheet was actually created for screenwriters but I found it works just as well for novels (or any story, actually!) and so now I never write another book without it!

Q: Where were you when you found out that Endless Summer was going to be published? Tell us the story.

Jessica: I was in my home office (which at the time was in the dining room of my tiny apartment) when I got the call from my agent. I remember it feeling very surreal. I couldn’t bring myself to believe it. To this day, four books later, it still doesn’t feel real. I wonder if it ever will!

Thank you, Jessica! And if you’d like a visual peek inside the world of Brooklyn, check out Jessica’s fantastic new book trailer. Now, everyone go out and buy books, lots and lots of books!

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