5 autographed copies will be given away on Friday, October 14, 2016!
The summer before Ivy’s senior year is going to be golden: all bonfires, barbecues, and spending time with her best friends. For once, she will just get to be. No summer classes, none of Granddad’s intense expectations to live up to the family name. For generations, the Milbourn women have lead extraordinary lives—and died young and tragically. Granddad calls it a legacy, but Ivy considers it a curse. Why else would her mother have run off and abandoned her as a child?
But when her mother unexpectedly returns home with two young daughters in tow, all of the stories Ivy wove to protect her heart start to unravel.
Exclusive interview with the author:
1) What scene or bit of dialogue in the book are you the most proud of and why?
There’s a scene in which Ivy’s best friend, Alex, finds her kissing another guy at a party – someone she doesn’t know very well yet – and yells at her for it. He’s hurt; he’s in love with her; she is sorry he is hurting. But she makes it very clear that she’s NOT sorry for kissing that other boy and that Alex has no say in who she kisses or whether it was a bad decision. It’s HER decision. I’m proud of it because I think too often we see guys’ jealousy portrayed favorably as cute, as sympathetic, whereas girls’ jealousy is portrayed unsympathetically, as crazy or controlling. And that’s not very feminist.
2) Which character was the most fun to write and why?
Ivy’s best friend Claire is a very confident, outspoken feminist. She doesn’t care what other people think; she has no f*cks left to give. She was super fun to write, both as a foil to Ivy (who is much more self-conscious and very much cares what other people think) and in her own right. In fact, I’m hoping to write a companion book from Claire’s point of view next!
3) If your main character, Ivy, could give one piece of advice to teen girls, what would it be?
I think she would say that you are enough. There are so many pressures and expectations for teen girls and for women. It is easy to feel – like Ivy does throughout the book – that you aren’t good enough, that you’re constantly coming up short, because we try to do so much and fulfill so many roles (friend, girlfriend, daughter, sister, etc). It can feel like you’re failing if you’re not perfect. But that isn’t true. You get to define yourself and set your own goals and expectations for yourself – and then adjust and readjust as needed.
4) What’s the first thing you do when starting a new book? What’s the first thing you do when finishing a book?
The first thing I do when starting a book is to name the characters. I cannot start actually writing until I have the right names. The Social Security name index is very helpful, especially for finding historical names; they list the top 1000/500/100 most popular names for every year since 1880. I don’t really look at meanings much; I focus on how the name sounds and what it conveys to me. I can’t associate it too closely with anyone I know… The first thing I do when I finish a book is usually to take a nap, honestly. When I’m very immersed in a story, close to finishing something, I become a total night owl and stay up until the wee hours and then crash. After that, I usually buy myself a small present – a fun dress from Modcloth or a cute ring from the local farmer’s market or a pair of fingerless gloves.
5) If you could choose one snack food that you could eat as much as you want of (and never gain an ounce!) what would it be?
Veggie nachos. I love veggie nachos – tortilla chips, spicy queso, pinto beans, grilled peppers and onions, pico de gallo, sour cream. I could literally eat them every day.
About the author:
Jessica Spotswood is the author of WILD SWANS and the historical fantasy trilogy The Cahill Witch Chronicles (BORN WICKED, STAR CURSED, and SISTERS’ FATE). She is the editor of A TYRANNY OF PETTICOATS and the forthcoming THE RADICAL ELEMENT (Candlewick, 2018). Jess lives in Washington, DC with her playwright husband and a cuddly cat named Monkey, and she works as a children’s library associate for the DC Public Library. Visit Jessica online at jessicaspotswood.com.
5 autographed copies will be given away on Friday, October 14, 2016.
Can’t wait? Order a copy now!
PLEASE NOTE: If you already follow us (or the author) on Twitter, or Like us on Facebook, there is no need to unfollow/refollow or unlike/relike to get your entries. Just follow the directions in the widget to verify you already follow/like us and it will count your entry.