5 autographed copies will be given away on Friday, July 28, 2017!
The very first thought that enters my mind as I watch my boyfriend kissing my best friend is…you chose wrong.
Three years ago, Kennedy Rhodes secretly made the most important decision of her life. She declined her acceptance to the prestigious Windsor Academy to attend the local public school with her long-time crush, who had finally asked her out. It seems it was the right choice—she and Austin are still together, and Kennedy is now the editor-in-chief of the school’s award-winning newspaper. But then Kennedy’s world is shattered when she walks in on Austin kissing her best friend and she wonders if maybe her life would have been better if she’d made the other choice. As fate would have it, she’s about to find out…
The very next day, Kennedy hits her head and mysteriously awakes as a student of the Windsor Academy. And not just any student: Kennedy is top of her class, she’s popular, she has the coolest best friend around, and she’s practically a shoe-in for Columbia University. But as she navigates her new world, she starts to question if this alternate version of herself is really as happy as everyone seems to believe. Or is it possible this Kennedy is harboring secrets and regrets of her own?
Get the first 7 chapters of IN SOME OTHER LIFE for free here!
Exclusive interview with the author:
1) How did you get the idea for this book?
This idea (of a girl who finds a portal to a parallel version of her life) has been tumbling around in my mind for so long (more than 5 years) that I actually don’t remember the initial spark. BUT I do remember how many iterations the idea has had…which is SEVERAL!
I’ve always been a fan of movies like SLIDING DOORS and MR. DESTINY and THE FAMILY MAN. Basically any story that explores the question of “What If…” I instantly fall for. So I’ve been wanting to write my own version of that story for a long time. In the very, very original version of this book (that I wrote about 5 years ago), the main character had missed the bus home from school and that’s what splits her life in two directions (similar to Sliding Doors). But then, I realized I really wanted the “split” to be based on something SHE chose, not a twist of fate. So many times in our lives we’re presented with major decisions that we later come to regret. So I wanted THAT to be the focus of the story, to explore what might happen if we’re able to change that major decision.
Once I’d settled on what that decision was, I decided I wanted to write a story where the character could travel between the two versions of her life at will. Like a universal revolving door. When she got sick of one life, she could pop over to the other one and hang out there for a while. But that idea got to be too confusing and unwieldy to write. So I simplified it and decided she would be stuck in the new version of her life…the one she was so convinced was the better version, which creates a whole new level of conflict for the story. What if she discovers this version of her life isn’t all its cracked up to be? Can she ever get back?
2) Who’s your favorite character in the book and why? Who was the most fun to write?
My favorite character in the book is definitely Frankie, Kennedy’s little brother. He’s what I call a “Window Character.” He’s the one Kennedy confides in when she wakes up in this new parallel version of her life (like a “window” into her thoughts.) And he’s the only one in her life who actually knows (and understands) what’s happening to her. He’s sort of a 11-year-old wiz kid.
He was so much fun to write because he borders on the ridiculous (and I love writing characters like that.) For instance, for the past six-months Frankie has been working on creating a theoretical physics board game called “What’s the Matter” which according to Kennedy is impossible to learn how to play. I had the best time creating the game and adding in confusing details every time Frankie talks about the game or tries to explain how it’s played. It’s sort of an on-going gag. How impossibly confusing can I make this game? I think it worked. I certainly don’t know how to play it!
3) How do you come up with your character names?
From readers, actually! It’s getting to the point where, after writing more than 15 novels, I’m starting to run out of good character names. But the great part about this job is when you do book signings, you’re literally presented with hundreds of names. When I sign books to readers, I keep a little list of names I like and when it comes time to name a character, I go to that list and find one that “feels” right. Kennedy was on that list! So if you’re ever at my book signing, beware! Your name could end up in my book one day!
4) Which came first, the title or the novel?
I find with my novels that titles either come WITH the idea or not until the very last, about-to-send-the-book-to-press moment. With this book, unfortunately it was the latter. We did NOT have a title for this book the entire time it was being written. During the writing and revising process it was called: Untitled Parallel Lives Book (compelling, I know). Over the course of this process, it has had the following titles:
Some Other Me
Parallel Lives and Other Inconveniences
Story of My Lives
As Fate Would Have It
Answers to What If
But we probably had a list of about 200 title ideas, all submitted by me, my agent, and my brilliant author friends (who I had to thank in the acknowledgements because they really did spend SO much time brainstorming titles with me!) Finally, right before the book was in its last round of revisions, my editor came up with, IN SOME OTHER LIFE, inspired by a conversation she overheard in which someone said (sarcastically) “Yeah, maybe in some other life…”.
Everyone agreed it was THE title and it stuck!
5) If you could have one super power what would it be?
The ability to write in my sleep. C’mon, how awesome would that be???
About the author:
Jessica Brody is the author of more than 15 novels for teens, tweens, and adults including In Some Other Life, The Chaos of Standing Still, Addie Bell’s Shortcut to Growing Up, A Week of Mondays, 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, the upcoming Better You Than Me, and the three books in the sci-fi Unremembered trilogy. She’s also the author of the Descendants: School of Secrets series, based on the hit Disney Channel original movie, Descendants. Her books have been translated and published in over 23 countries and Unremembered and 52 Reasons to Hate My Father are currently in development as major motion pictures. She lives with her husband and four dogs and splits her time between California and Colorado. Visit Jessica online at http://jessicabrody.com.
5 autographed copies will be given away on Friday, July 28, 2017.
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