Thursday, March 17, 2011

Through Her Eyes Blog Tour - Jennifer Archer Interview

Next stop on the "Through Her Eyes" Tour!

Today we have an interview with the lovely Jennifer Archer. Her book, "Through Her Eyes" is something amazing!

1. How did you come up with the title?

The title evolved with the book. By that, I mean that the book had several
different titles before we chose Through Her Eyes. Originally, it was Picture
This, but after an extensive rewrite, I decided to change it to Luminosity because
I thought that was a better fit for the story’s darker tone. When my agent was
about to begin shopping the book around, she admitted that she didn’t like the
title, so we brainstormed a bit and ended up selling Through Her Eyes to Harper
Teen with the title Click. After the sale, my editor pointed out that a movie had
recently premiered with the same name, so we made a list of possible options for
yet another title and gave it to the team at Harper. They wisely choose Through
Her Eyes.

2. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

My main goal when writing a story is to entertain my readers; I hope that the book
is fun to read and hard to put down. However, Through Her Eyes does touch on
the importance of truth, learning to embrace change and differences in others,
and moving on with life after a loss, so if Through Her Eyes challenges readers to
think about those issues, I would be very humbled by that.

3. How much of the book is realistic?

I can relate to Tansy. I grew up moving frequently, so I know what it is like to
leave old friends behind and to try to fit-in at a new school. I wasn’t exactly
like Tansy, though – she is braver than I was as a teenager. Still, I’m sure her
character sprang to life in my mind at least in part due to my own childhood

All of my stories are a mixture of truth and imagination. I live in Amarillo, a town
of around 175,000 in the Texas panhandle, which is surrounded by many smaller
towns. I visited several of these small communities to get a sense of what the
fictional town of Cedar Canyon might be like. I also researched life in the 1930s
so that Henry’s world would be as realistic as possible.

4. What books have influenced you most?

The Pink Motel was my favorite book during elementary school, and it very well
might be the source of my lifelong fascination with beaches and the ocean. A
Wrinkle in Time taught me that well written, compelling fiction can stretch the
mind, making confusing subjects more interesting and accessible. Escape from
Warsaw and To Kill a Mockingbird exemplified how powerful and life-changing
a well-told story can be. The Great Gatsby brought me an understanding of
symbolism and imagery, and illustrated that if handled deftly, those elements add
depth of meaning to a story. Rebecca proved that tone and atmosphere can set
a desired mood and stir a reader’s emotions. Go Ask Alice showed me how one
person’s story and words can impact another person’s choices.

5. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Long before I ever published a book, I took creative writing classes from two
romance writers: DeWanna Pace, and NYTimes bestselling author Jodi Thomas.
Both of these talented women went on to become my friends, as well as my
teachers. I’ve learned a lot about the craft of writing from them and consider
them mentors. I’ve also learned so much from my friend Kimberly Willis Holt,
who won the National Book Award for Children’s Literature for her novel When
Zachary Beaver Came to Town. And every day, I continue to learn and grow as
a writer with the help of my incredible critique partners, author Mary Schramski,
NYTimes Bestselling author Linda Castillo, and soon-to-be-published authors
Marcy McKay, Anita Howard, and April Redmon.

6. What book are you reading now?

I am reading The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver with my book club.

7. Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

I can think of several, but will name just a few for the sake of space! Sophie
Jordan isn’t new – she has written romance novels for years and is a New York
Times bestselling author. However, she is new to teen fiction, and when I read
her YA novel Firelight that came out in September, 2010, I was hooked. I’ve also
become a fan of Lauren Oliver, who wrote Before I Fall and Delirium. And a
somewhat new author, Rebecca Stead, wowed me with her John Newbery Award-
winning novel, When You Reach Me.

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