May 6, 2012

Author Interview: Carrie Jones of the Need Series

I was so very excited when Blombury contacted me and asked if I wanted to be part of the blog tour for the last book in Carrie Jones' Need series - Endure. I absolutely love this series, so being asked to be part of the tour was a dream come true! And then I was given the oppurtunity to ask Carrie Jones some questions. Even better!

First Let Me Tell You a Bit About Endure

Zara is at the center of an impending apocalypse. True, she’s successfully rescued Nick from Valhalla, but it simply isn’t enough. Evil pixies are ravaging Bedford, and they need much more than one great warrior; they need an army. Zara isn’t sure what her role is anymore. She’s not just fighting for her friends; she’s also a pixie queen. And to align her team of pixies with the humans she loves will be one of her greatest battles yet. Especially since she can’t even reconcile her growing feelings for her pixie king . . .

O.M. Gosh!!!! When I read that I couldn't wait to read and find out what happens! I will have a duel review up later today. One of my students loves the series almost as much as I do, and I was able to work it so she could read and review it as well.

Ok enough of that. I'll be able to gush more later :)

Now I'd like to welcome Carrie Jones to The O.W.L.!!!!!!

A bit about Carrie

Carrie Jones
 is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of the Need series, as well as After Obsession with Steven E. Wedel. She is a distinguished alum of Vermont College's MFA Program, and a part-time police dispatcher in Maine because she likes cop stories. Really. She blogs about her dogs, cops, and a bit about writing too at

We'll start with the easy questions
Point of View - 1st or 3rd:  First.

Boy or Girl main character: Girl
Genre: Fantasy

Middle Grade or Young Adult: YA

More boy or girl book (stereotypically): Girl

The Serious Questions!
I absolutely love the Need series! And as the books have gone along I have loved them more and more. Mostly because who I thought the characters were is not who they completely were – I thought I had them figured out but then they showed much more of themselves. This happened with the events too! I’m curious then - what part/character/event are you most excited/proud about?

Oh my word, this is such a hard question that I actually started off by writing, “Oh my word.” That really says something. I think that the last book is actually the one that I’m the most proud of because it had some really emotionally difficult scenes for me to write and Zara had to really put it all out there. I’m proud of her for that. That sounds terribly cryptic, but I’m trying not to give out too many spoilers. Maybe I can rephrase it a little bit… A lot of people in my life have died, and right now my mom is dying, and I have randomly found a lot of dead people and witnessed a lot of accidents. In ENDURE, Zara has some really tough and emotional scenes with people who are dead. I’m proud of her for going beyond her comfort zone there. I’m proud of her for becoming a leader and accepting responsibility in the fourth book, too.
And that is so nice of you to tell me you love the series and why! That really is kind, and I am so glad that you do.

Tell about your writing process. How long did it take you to write these books from idea to finish? Did they come easier with each book or harder? Was one the most fun or easiest to write? Please tell about revision is you can!

Hm. The first draft of each book took about a month to two months depending on what else I was working on at the time. The revisions come in intensive 1-2 week spurts. There are usually multiple revisions. I have a toughie editor who is lovely and works so hard to make the books the best they can be. In the first revision, I do it myself and look for places where there can be more mushy scenes. Then in every other revision, my editor makes me take out the mushy scenes… She is mean like that.
Usually early in the process I try to put in depth, objective correlatives, layer images, try to get to the emotional truth of the piece by finding where the awkward pauses are. Then I try to align the plot of the novel to the three-act structure. Then, my editor tells me to cut.

The first idea for the book arrived at the Common Ground Fair in 2006, I think. I am HORRIBLE about years and dates. I actually forget my own age all the time. So that number might be a bit off.

CAPTIVATE was the most fun to write, but I think ENTICE was the easiest to write because the plot line was much straighter. It’s a quest. The hardest to write was also ENTICE because my brain tends not to think in straight lines and sequential order. I tend to have thoughts that branch out like tree limbs. This is cool because it makes my brain a not-so-boring place, but bad when it comes to writing books.

One of the things I really like about this series is the start of each chapter with first the phobias and then the bit of information. How did you come up with that idea?

It began with NEED because Zara was obsessed with phobias, but she grows and moves beyond that so by the time we get to ENDURE, those blurbs at the beginnings of each chapters reflect the world around her, the bigger picture. I thought it would be cool for the blurbs to reflect Zara’s development (From self-obsessed phobia girl to someone who sees the bigger picture). It was also a lot of fun to further the story’s tension through the use of those as it does in ENDURE.

How did I come up with the idea? I think it was in the shower when I was eating strudel. I get my best ideas that way.

When you were in middle school kind of student were you? Did you write then?

In fifth grade, I was a total writer-a-holic. We had this thing called AUTHOR OF THE MONTH. Everyone would stand up in front of the class and read the story that they had been working on. There were two winners. The teacher would pick one. The class would vote on the other. I knew that I would never win the teacher one because I didn’t write the way the teacher wanted me to write (full of description, pastoral) and commas and I hated each other. So, I made sure I won every single class vote. I did this by making sure that each story would have:

1. A fight scene

2. Space aliens

3. Cute puppies

4. A musical number

5. Romance (Often between cute puppies and space aliens)

It worked.

And because it's the owl my standard question always is: WHOOO do you admire when it comes to writing? OR WHOOO do you like to read or really enjoyed in HS or middle school?

My favorite poets in the universe as of this moment are Sherman Alexie and Seamus Heaney. I am, however, totally fickle and can be persuaded to love other poets by offers of Nutella and strudel.

I admire pretty much every writer out there. I’m always thinking, “OH man…. That is SO good. Darn it! Why did I not do that? Ugh.”

In middle school, I was totally in love with Madeline L’Engle’s books. I wanted adventures like her characters had. I wanted to be kind, to be awesome, to save the world, and to have massive dogs.

The Fun Questions! (based on what 7th graders do!)
Do you chew gum? Yes or No If yes favorite kind?

I am not allowed to answer this question because my mother might see it but….


Trident. Any kind that pretends to make your teeth whiter. But I am not sure of the point of this because you don’t chew gum on the outside of your teeth.

Do you text?

So much… So, so much….

shakes head

I need to join a support group about over texting, I think.
Was school lunch just as yucky then as it is now?! 

It was so bad… so, so bad…. Think: French fries that were so hard that you could stab people with them. French bread pizzas that you could bludgeon each other with.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for sharing your answers!  I too think I need a support group for texting :)  And I loved hearing about your writing process.  It always fascinates me how authors create the works that hit the bookstore shelves.  

Stay tuned.  Later today I'll be sharing my thoughts - as well as the thoughts of one of my students - on Endure. 

1 comment:

  1. Great interview Carrie and Jill. I love this series. I can't wait to read Endure. And I'm amazed at how quickly Carrie can write her first drafts.