How did you get into writing?
Thanks for having me on the blog, Nicky! I’m so happy to be here. I was a voracious reader as a kid – an addiction I’ve happily never gotten over. From that it was a short jump to writing professionally, everything from plays to videogames to my current work as a screenwriter and novelist.
What advice would you give other authors?
It sounds blindingly obvious, but finish things. Many aspiring novelists and screenwriters have a single half-completed book or script that they just keep tinkering with. I recommend that you finish a project, give it a solid and thoughtful rewrite, then move on to the next. You’ll only get better with practice.
If you could be a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?
Does witch count? I’d love to be a witch like Tilly, the best friend of the heroine Celia in my Parish Mail series. Powerful, in touch with the natural forces around us, and able to do good in the world with that power. Plus, she has an awesome raven as a familiar.
What’s your favourite social media outlet and why?
Twitter’s my favourite. Breezy and simple, it’s a great way to stay in touch with friends and interesting people, catch breaking news, and be entertained.
What’s the last book you read? And what was your thoughts on it?
I recently finished THE WORLD WITHOUT US by Alan Weisman, which describes what might happen to the Earth if every human vanished suddenly. Fascinating speculation, and a sobering portrait of the harm we’re doing to the planet. I read it chiefly as research for THE 100, the TV show I’m currently working for, but it’s the kind of book that I read for fun. I love science. I usually alternate nonfiction with novels, and so right now am reading PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, which I’m honestly embarrassed to not have read before now! It’s marvelous, of course.
If the Parish Mail books were made into a series, who would you cast as the leads?
My ideal cast would require some time travel to get all the actors at the right ages. Kandyse McClure (BATTLESTAR GALACTICA) as Tilly, Liam or Chris Hemsworth as Donovan, Avan Jogia (ABC Family’s TWISTED) as Luc. Jason Dohring, Alexander Skarsgard, or Joel Kinnaman as Sloan.
Celia, the books’ heroine, is a special case. I could see her played by actresses like Kristen Bell, Rosario Dawson, or Jamie Chung. Careful readers of Parish Mail will notice that I never describe precisely what Celia or her family look like. I want the reader to be able to picture Celia as any race.
What inspired you to write Dead Letter Office?
I was intrigued by the idea of how the ghosts of not just people but events – dark energy left by traumatic incidents like murder and war – might travel through time and affect the present. And how cool would it be to give a very modern girl, who’s skeptical of anything paranormal, the clues to solve present-day crimes in the form of letters that are decades or centuries old? New Orleans is the perfect place for these mysteries: it’s one of the few American cities where the new and the very old exist side by side.
If you can have dinner with a literary character, who would it be and why?
A double date with Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy from PRIDE AND PREJUDICE and my husband would be delightful. A lovely dinner, some dancing, witty wordplay…
What are you working on right now?
I’m writing the next Parish Mail book, codenamed PMX, which will be out later this year. Follow me on Twitter or check out my blog for clues as to what it’s all about.
I’m also busy on THE 100, a fantastically cool new YA science fiction show coming to the CW for midseason. It’s LOST meets BATTLESTAR GALACTICA with a LORD OF THE FLIES vibe.
Where can fans find you online?
I’m on Twitter @sugarjonze, and my blog is http://what-fresh-hell-is-this.blogspot.com. I’m also on Goodreads and Readmill. I love talking to readers, so please do drop me a line!