Friends, I am so totally pumped to host†Jessica Brody on Good Books And Good Wine today as part of the Authors Are Rock Stars tour. Why am I so excited? Namely because Jessica is such a versatile author and is able to go from genre to genre and create excellent stories. Also? I think she totally doesn’t get enough credit for her awesome books so why not feature an underrated, awesome author? As someone who LOVED†The Karma Club, I am so ready to welcome Jessica Brody here.
Without further ado, Jessica Brody:
Iíll admit it. I was very naive when I set out to write UNREMEMBERED. I thought, ďHey, Iíve written five contemporary novels before, this canít be that different!Ē
I was wrong.
Writing the UNREMEMBERED trilogy has been by-far my biggest challenge as an author (to date.)
My husband and I have this little joke. Whenever Iím having trouble with a book manuscript, I whine and pout and sometimes even cry. Our conversation goes something like this:
Me: Iíll NEVER be able to finish this book! Itís the hardest book Iíve ever written! Iím a hack! Iím quitting and becoming a blackjack dealer.
Husband: You said that the last time.
Me: Well, this one is worse.
Husband: You said that the last time, too.
So the joke goes that every book is hard. Every book has moments that make me want to toss my computer out a twenty-story window. Every story is a story I have vowed to stop writing at some point along the way.
However, my husband will be the first to admit that these books (from The Unremembered Trilogy) have definitely been harder on me than any Iíve ever written. (And thatís saying a lot!)
I just finished writing book 2 of the trilogy, UNFORGOTTEN, which will be released in February of 2014, and Iím gearing up to write the final book. And Iím gonna give it to you straight: Iím terrified of writing book 3. Book 1 was hard enough, book 2 nearly killed me, book 3…gosh, if I survive, itíll be a miracle!
Why are these books so hard? And why are they so much different than writing contemporary comedies? Well, Iíve spent a lot of time thinking about this (probably when I was procrastinating actually writing them.)
Thereís the obvious answer: sci-fi is a whole different genre and when you leave the contemporary ďrealĒ world, you have to do some world building of your own. Hence, harder.
And yes, thatís true.
I did have to do some world building in this series. I built new weapons, new technology, and Seraphinaís many ďsuperhumanĒ abilities were sometimes difficult to keep track of and effectively build into the story. In the end, though, I had a lot of fun with all of these aspects of the story.
But honestly, itís the unobvious answer to the question that really got me. The one I wasnít expecting. And here it is, in seven simple (albeit crass) words:
Writing a book about memory loss SUCKS!
Seriously though. This was my biggest challenge of this trilogy.
First (and foremost) there was the issue of creating a character who had zero memories of her past. She was basically a blank slate. I didnít really realize how problematic that would be until I actually started writing the book. She has no experiences to pull from, no references to anything in her life, and it was difficult to give her personality and yet stay true to the memory loss part of the story.
And Iíll say this much: I didnít succeed in the first draft!
In my contemporary comedies, Iíve always relied on characters and their histories to bring the books alive. In My Life Undecided, Brooklyn is an epically-flawed, decisionally-challenged character who often pulls from her past, her family, and her friends to narrate the book. In 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, Lexington is a spoiled teen heiress who has a whole history with her father that becomes a B-story to the plot.
With Unremembered I had none of that.
Seraphina is a girl who survives a plane crash only to discover she has no memories, no family, no friends, and no identity!
The second thing I discovered while tackling this series is this: When you have a story in which an evil corporation is actually erasing peopleís memories, you have a lot of memories to keep track of (remembered and unremembered). Every time you write a scene or piece of dialogue, you have to ask yourself, ďIs this person supposed to remember that?Ē And it gets very difficult to juggle. Particularly as Iíve gotten into books 2 and soon 3. There are more memories being erased and more characters with memory lapses. And donít forget! Memories can be stolen from you, but they also can be given back. And how do you ever know if the memories implanted in your brain are real?
How do I, the author, even know that?
Welcome to my world.
But in the end, I like to think of every writing challenge as an opportunity to improve as an author. Every book inevitably makes me a better storyteller and gives me experiences that will help me in plotting the next project.
That being said, I am very much looking forward to writing my next standalone contemporary novel. ūüôā
About The Author
Jessica Brody is the author of 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, My Life Undecided, The Karma Club, and the recently released, Unremembered, the first in a sci-fi/suspense/romance trilogy. Her books have been translated and published in over 20 countries and several have been optioned for film and TV. Sometimes she wishes her memories could be erased so she could reread all her favorite books for the first time. She splits her time between California and Colorado. Visit her online at www.JessicaBrody.com
After a daring escape from the scientists at Diotech who created her, Seraphina believes she is finally safe from the horrors of her past. But new threats await Sera and her boyfriend, Zen, at every turn as Zen falls prey to a mysterious illness and Seraís extraordinary abilities make it more and more difficult to stay hidden. Meanwhile, Diotech has developed a dangerous new weapon designed to apprehend her. A weapon that even Sera will be powerless to stop. Her only hope of saving Zenís life and defeating the company that made her is a secret buried deep within her mind. A secret that Diotech will kill to protect. And it wonít stay forgotten for long.
Packed with mystery, suspense, and romance, this riveting second installment of Jessica Brodyís Unremembered trilogy delivers more heart-pounding action as loyalties are tested, love becomes a weapon, and no oneís memories are safe
Unforgotten releases February 25, 2014.
If you have not yet read†Unremembered, you are in luck! Jessica has generously agreed to giveaway a copy of†Unremembered to one lucky reader. Just use the rafflecopter to enter!