Saturday, 25 August 2012

Interview with J Anderson

Today we're chatting with author J. Anderson about her book, AT WHAT COST.

Welcome to We Do Write! Tell us a bit about yourself.

I'm a wife and mother of three who tries to write between loads of laundry and kids' activities. I live in the same small town in which I grew up. Most of my days are spent writing in the few minutes I have while the baby is napping. :)
How long have you been writing?
I used to write short stories in high school, but I really got serious about writing  about six years ago. That's when I started this story. I had been teaching English at the middle school level (Grade 7-8) and was reading what the kids were reading. That's where I fell in love with YA. I knew I had to join the ranks of the awesome authors who write YA. It took me six years from concept to publication. 

Tell us about AT WHAT COSTWhat’s the story about?
At What Cost is the story of a teenage girl who finds herself with an unwanted pregnancy. She feels scared and alone and is terrified to tell her parents, especially because her mother is constantly reminding her not to taint the family name. So when her boyfriend suggests she get an abortion, it seems like the perfect plan. She wouldn't even have to tell her parents that she's pregnant. But as with all perfect plans, it doesn't end up being as perfect as she thinks. No matter what she chooses, there are severe consequences she'll have to deal with. Once she does make a choice (I won't say what she chooses.), the story follows her through dealing with those ramifications. 

How did the idea of the story come to you?

Honestly, I prayed about it. The abortion issue has always been on my heart. I can remember back in high school doing debates in government class about the issue. So, when I started praying about what the topic should be, abortion was the answer. 

Are you a planner or a pantser?

I'm a planner, but I leave room for a little pantsing. I even create these elaborate plot charts with rising action, climax, falling action and all that. It keeps me on target and helps me make sure I stick with the conflict. But there's always a little room for change. 

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

The first draft is the hardest. Just getting that plot line down is horrible. I procrastinate as much as possible, usually by doing promotional stuff on Facebook. But once I have the basic draft, I can edit it into what I want. Editing rocks!

I agree! What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?


Me too. ;) If you could have any super power, what would it be?

Hmmm, good question. Maybe super speed. That way I could clean my house in minutes an spend the rest of the time writing. Maybe if I had super speed, my house wouldn't look like a tornado hit it. (Three kids, remember.)

What's the weirdest thing you've googled?

Dang, these questions are hard! I don't even remember what I googled yesterday! Maybe folding an origami Star Wars X-wing fighter. It was for my son.

LOL, sounds creative. Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: ambiguous, sanctuary, and mutter.

The ambiguous figure crouched in the back row of the sanctuary, muttering something I couldn't understand; something about "the body" and "forgiveness". 

Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ...

Feeding/changing the baby or doing crafts with my daughter.

Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.

I have to start with my family, especially my hubby, Todd, who believed from the beginning that I would be published, even when I had my doubts. And to my parents, who still post anything they find about me (the latest being an article in the local paper on my publishing accomplishment) on their refrigerator like they did when I was in grade school. A special thanks goes to my awesome betas, Wendy, Bri, Jeanine, and Tracy, and to the women who shared their stories with me. To my editor, Kay, and the rest of the crew at Astraea Press, you are awesome, and to Steve, my agent, who totally rocks, thank you!

And finally, where can people find you and your book online?


Ink in the Book said...

I absolutely love the idea of your book. Whatever your MC chooses, I'm sure there is a valuable lesson young girls will take away from the story.

Nice to meet you:) I'm always encouraged to learn there are other authors dealing with family survival while trying to write a story.
Best wishes for your book. I can't wait to read it!

Anonymous said...

Great interview. This sounds like a very important book. Just got my copy from Amazon. Thanks Dorothy and J. :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Ink and Linda. :) It is always a struggle to find enough time to write and balance family life. I hope I'm doing both well enough.

Thanks for having me on the blog today, Dorothy. It's been fun. Your questions were hard! But challenges are always good for us.

BTW, the D in my Twitter name stands for Dorothy. It's a family name. :)

Patricia Kiyono said...

Nice interview. It's fun getting to know more about you.

Dorothy Dreyer said...

It was a pleasure having you, Jessie! And how cool that Dorothy is a family name. Yay!