I am so excited to have Jessica Warman, author of the new release Beautiful Lies, here on the blog today! I absolutely loved her novel Breathless! She was gracious enough to answer a few questions for us.
JESSICA WARMAN is the author of Breathless, Where the Truth Lies, and Between, which have received six starred reviews among them. Between was published in a total of twelve countries around the world. Jessica has an MA in creative writing and lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Please join me in welcoming Jessica to Living Fictitiously!
So Jessica, we'd like to know what is your favorite writing place/setting?
I prefer to write at home. I’m very fortunate to have a home office – it was one of our “must haves” when we were looking for our current house. But my office has recently become home to a litter of kittens (looong story), which has made it difficult to work there for a number of reasons. Right now I’m typing this at my kitchen table, which works just as well. I’m not one of those people who can plop down at a coffee shop and work in public; it’s too much of a cliché, and I can’t wear my pajamas to a coffee shop. Yes, I’m in my PJ’s right now.
It's always nice to know how down to earth authors are. I'm sitting in my PJ's right now too!
Who and/or what in your life has most influenced your writing? (Whether it is your desire to write, your writing style, etc.)
It’s tough to say, because I can’t remember ever wanting to be anything besides a writer. When I was a little girl, I did pretty much nothing besides eat, sleep, read, and write. My parents used to confiscate my books in the summertime in an effort to force me outside. They’d put them in suitcases and hide them at the top of their closets; after I’d been outside for a decent enough chunk of time, they’d let me “visit” my books for the rest of the day. I have a tattoo of a reading rainbow. I’m quite single-minded about it; if I’m not reading or writing I’m probably acting very anxious and annoyed with whatever else is going on. My house is strewn with random pieces of paper on which I’ve scribbled notes about whatever I’m writing at the moment. If I could be more organized about the whole thing, I’d probably be a lot more productive. But when it comes to what has most influenced my writing, I guess I’d have to say that it means simply everything to me. Being a writer is my identity. Take it away, and everything else feels sort of meaningless.
Wow Jessica! That's awesome! I think it's rather funny that your parents let you "visit" your books too. (I'm cracking up right now by the way!)
So moving on... What are your top 3 favorite books? Top 3 favorite authors?
This is an ever-changing list. Right now, my favorite book is Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, a YA novel by Benjamin Alire Saenz. I had the privilege of meeting Mr. Saenz at TLA in Houston last year; his warmth and kindness are definitely reflected in this gorgeous flower of a novel. I read it in one sitting, and it’s one of the only books I’ve read that has moved me to tears of joy. I slept with it under my pillow for a few nights.
Aside from that one, A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace will always be in my top 3. It’s a collection of nonfiction essays that simply blew me away from the first sentence. I first read it over ten years ago, and it still hasn’t let go of me; I have something like seven copies of it in my house, because I’m constantly lending it to friends, then freaking out at the possibility that I won’t have one on hand if (when) I decide to read it again – so I’m overstocked, just in case.
Finally, I think Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut is pure magic. I love all of his books, but this one is my favorite. Mr. Vonnegut was a wizard, and they should name a planet after him. Or a galaxy.
My favorites are always changing too, and I will definitely have to add these to my TBR list. Thanks for sharing those!
If there was only one subject you were ever able to write about again, what would you choose?
This might be kind of nebulous, but I’ve always been fascinated by unexplained disappearances. For example, if I’m at the movies with friends and one of us gets up to use the bathroom, I’ll always think to myself, “What would happen if they just never came back?” The idea of someone just dropping off the face of the earth, leaving almost no clues, is probably the most interesting and horrifying thing I can think of. So I’d probably write about that. It would be great fun.
Oh, I'd love to read a book like that! Now, the next time I'm at a movie and my husband gets up, I'm going to think... "Hmmm... I wonder what Jessica would write about this?"
And finally, just for fun…. If you could take a vacation anywhere in the world and money and/or time was no object, where would you go and what would do?
A few years ago, my husband and I went to Bruges, Belgium for a week. We arrived in the afternoon and went right to sleep, and we didn’t wake up until around 10 at night. We went on a walk to find a restaurant, but everything was closed, and the streets were mostly dark. All of a sudden we turned a corner, and there was a huge field in front of us with a carnival set up – it seemed to come out of nowhere. There was an enormous Ferris wheel in the middle of the field, so we bought tickets and hopped on. Once we were all the way at the top, we could see the whole city on the ground beneath us – everything was quiet and still except for this small, lit-up patch of the universe, and we were at the center, together. I’d do that again, no question.
Wow, that sounds amazing! I bet it was spectacular.
Thank you so much for sharing with us Jessica, and taking time out of your busy schedule to answer our questions.
If you enjoyed our interview with Jessica Warman, you should check out her website and her new release Beautiful Lies.
|Buy Beautiful Lies HERE|