"A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe." — Madeleine L'Engle

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Author Interview: Jennifer Archer (Through Her Eyes)

Today we have Jennifer Archer. She's the author of several books and her most recent book, Through Her Eyes, which comes out on April 5th! Jennifer is also hosting a huge giveaway for pre-ordering her book between March 1, 2011 and April 4, 2011! For more information just click here!

Having lived in different places, did you ever have a favorite place were you stayed? Why?

The majority of my moving occurred between the time I was one year of age until I was eleven. I did move once more the summer after my sophomore year of high school. I liked different places my family and I lived for different reasons, but Emporia, Kansas is the town that holds my best memories. The school I attended, Maynard Elementary, was mostly responsible for that. The teachers and the curriculum were wonderful, with lots of fun and interesting field trips, extracurricular school events, and programs. I grew more self-conscious as I became older, but back then, I loved being on stage in front of a microphone. I tried out for all the programs offered, and as a result of that, I was in a few plays and even sang a couple of solos. Believe me, no program director would choose me to sing a solo now! I lost my decent singing voice when I grew up, along with my love of performing!

How do you think your writing has changed from when you first started to how you write now?

I hope it’s gotten better! I do know that it’s become a bit darker in tone. Most of my earlier published works were more lighthearted and humorous than what I’m currently writing. Those books all had somewhat emotional undertones, or dealt with underlying serious issues in a lighthearted way. THROUGH HER EYES and my second YA novel, THE SHADOW GIRL, that will be released next winter, take the opposite approach. These stories are primarily darker or more serious, with moments of humor.

What made you decide to write a book for teens after writing books for adults?

I’ve always enjoyed reading teen fiction, but stopped reading as much of it during the early years of my career, when I was mainly focused on adult fiction because I was writing it. I was substitute teaching one day during this time, and the teacher had a copy of the classic novel A WRINKLE IN TIME on her desk. I recalled reading it and enjoying it when I was in school, and I picked it up and started reading it while the students were working on a paper. I was instantly drawn in – and blown away – by the story, the characters, and the writing. A few days later, I was talking to my agent and mentioned it, as well as my interest in trying to write a novel for young people. She encouraged me, and the next morning, I literally woke up with Tansy’s character and the bare bones of the plotline for what would become THROUGH HER EYES in my mind.

Do you think that if you hadn't lived in all those places you would still have had the idea of becoming a writer?

That’s hard to say. I have noticed that there seem to be a lot of writers who grew up moving a lot. That makes me wonder if constantly being transplanted to places where you don’t know many people, or anyone at all, during the formative years, encourages a child to turn to books for companionship and comfort, thereby developing an unusually healthy imagination and active fantasy life. Books certainly became my cherished friends and a great escape during lonely times. Whatever the case, even though moving so much was difficult in many ways, I don’t regret my upbringing. I was exposed to many different types of landscapes and weather conditions, cultures, customs and mindsets because of my family’s migratory lifestyle, and that certainly hasn’t hurt my writing, because I can draw from those many different experiences.

What kind of research did you have to do to write Through Her Eyes?

My personal photography experience equates to ‘point and snap.’ I don’t have a fancy camera with a lot of different lenses, and I’ve never developed photographs in a darkroom. So I read up quite a bit on photography, and also turned to my sister-in-law, who is a wonderful photographer, to clarify a few things for me. It’s also been quite awhile since I was a high school student, so I spent a day sitting in on classes in a high school located in a small Texas town similar to Cedar Canyon, the fictional town in THROUGH HER EYES. I spent time browsing the businesses and neighborhoods in that town and another small Texas town nearby where I live. A seventeen year old girl I was mentoring through a program at her school was also a great help to me with current teen language and trends. I remember one fun and funny afternoon when Summer explained the difference between nerds and geeks, and Emos and Goths! It was a very educational meeting!

Thanks for having me on your wonderful blog, Diana! I would love to hear from readers on Facebook, Twitter, my blog, and/or my website. Links to all of the above are on my site: http://www.jenniferarcher.net/

The book trailer:

Through Her Eyes - Book Trailer from Emily Greaser on Vimeo.

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