Jessica Wollman is a children’s, MG, and YA author. Her book, Second Skin, was released on July 14.
1. Did you ever want to be more popular in high school?
I went to a very, very, very small all girls school from the 5th to the 12th grade. There are, for obvious lack-of-guy reasons, drawbacks to attending such a place, BUT a nice plus was that popularity didn’t really exist. By the time we got to high school we all knew each other so well and were so comfortable at the school that the whole social-hierarchy thing became sort of a moot point. I must admit, I did occasionally fantasize about attending a more “normal” sort of high school and, of course, in those fantasies, I was spectacularly popular, but it really wasn’t an obsession.
2. Where did you get the idea behind the second skin?
I’ve always liked the idea of “commoditizing” coveted, hard to attain states of being such as wealth, fame and popularity. I’m also a firm believer in the whole “be careful what you wish for” cliche. I guess Second Skin was a natural outgrowth of both lines of thought.
3. Are any of the characters based on people you know in real life?
Not really, although I suppose there are shades of my own voice in Sam’s.
4. In the book, Sam’s friend, Gwen, loves food. Do you have a love of food like her?
I definitely love food (and since I’m several months pregnant now I’m definitely loving food more than ever!) but sadly, I’m not the gourmet Gwen is.
5. Do you have any advice for teens?
I just remember being so stressed out when I was a teen – if I had to do it again I’d be a lot more relaxed. Life has a way of happening, regardless of your stress level!
6. What do you like about writing YA novels vs. children’s or MG novels?
I love the diversity and flexibility the whole YA genre offers. In a YA section of a bookstore, I’m always amazed by how many different types of books there are — no matter what type of a reader you are or what appeals to you, you can always find a book. That same diversity and flexibility is a huge plus when sitting down to plot a YA book — there’s really very little you “can’t” do or few topics you “can’t” explore.
7. What is your writing process?
First I come up with a basic idea. Then I obsess about it for literally months and months. Next I write a proposal, send off to my agent…and keep my fingers crossed!
8. Is there anything else you would like to add?
Yes – I really hope it stops raining! This summer has been absolutely miserable!
Thank you Jessica for participating! If you would like to know more about Jessica Wollman or her books, visit her website.