Monday, March 26, 2012

Loss Blog Tour: Interview With Jackie Morse Kessler + Giveaway

Photo by Michelle Rowan
Jackie Morse Kessler grew up in Brooklyn, NY, with a cranky cat and overflowing shelves filled with dolls and books. Now she’s in Upstate NY with another cranky cat, a loving husband, two sons, and overflowing shelves filled with dragons and books (except when her sons steal her dragons). She has a bachelor’s degree in English and American Literature, and yet she’s never read any Jane Austen (with or without zombies). She also has a master’s degree in media ecology. (The living study of technology and culture. Which is cool, but she still can’t figure out how to use Tweetdeck.)

Jackie spends a lot of time writing, reading, and getting distracted by bright and shiny new ideas. (She just came up with a new idea right now.) She has a weakness for chocolate and a tendency to let her cat take over her office chair. 
I am delighted to have Jackie Morse Kessler, author of the HUNGER, RAGE and LOSS, here today, as part of her blog tour. She very kindly took some time and answer some questions for me. Read on for more!

Was any one Riders book more difficult than the others to write? Do you have a favorite book in the quartet?
Each book gets harder than the one before it! Whew. It’s been an emotional roller-coaster ride, but at the end of the day, it’s been worth it. Hunger holds a special place in my heart because it was the first, and I had been waiting so long to write it, but I’m really happy with all three books. (I’m in the middle of writing Breath right now, so the only official feelings I have for it are ARGH DEADLINE ARGH.)
Haha, that kind of seems like the normal author response to ANY book. Good luck!

Pestilence has been my favorite Rider ever since we were first introduced to him. Did you have his story planned when he first appeared, or did you come up with it after?
After, definitely. At first, Hunger was going to be a standalone novel. It wasn’t until after my agent asked me which Horseman I would write about next that I started really thinking about the other three. We saw one side of him in Hunger, and then a completely different side in Rage. Both of those set the stage for LOSS, which delves into the history of the White Rider (Pestilence, also known as the Conqueror).
I think I'm with a lot of people when I say THANK YOU to your agent!

All the Riders books tackle problems that people face every day, and do so in a raw and honest way; yet they make bulimia, cutting, bullying, etc. so easy to relate to. How have you gone about balancing the harsh realities with a story that is hopeful despite the pain that it shows?
I try my best to be real and yet positive. These aren’t some quick-fix issues, and they deserve more than a simple “And they they lived happily ever after.” That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for hope — and, actually, I think that hope is the most positive thing we have going for us—for characters, for readers, for people. Hope is what keeps us going. I sprinkle a little levity in the books, too, because otherwise it would be too brutal for me to write. Gallows humor, you know? And I think that’s something else that we all do: we find a way to cope with horrible situations. So I try to tap into all of that — the raw situation, the coping mechanism, the hope for a better tomorrow — when I write these books.
I do love the Gallows humor sprinkled throughout. And it most definitely works since most of the time it's Death that brings the funny.

I love the covers for the Riders books! Did you have any input with the cover design?
I love the covers too! I am the luckiest author in the world. :) The artist is Sammy Yuen and I couldn’t be happier. I had nothing to do with the covers, other than see them and gush over them.
That man is a genius!!

Do you have anything in the works (that you can share) post-Riders?
I have a short story that I’ll be writing — going back to my adult UF/par-rom roots for this one, because it’s a fun-loving Jezebel story. Heaven knows that after the Riders, I need something lighthearted and evil. Fun evil, not deep, dark, despairing evil. :)
I don't blame you for a little lightheartedness!

GIVEAWAY: (*Straight from Jackie)
One lucky commenter below will win a small cover poster of LOSS—and will be entered in the grand prize drawing! The grand prize winner will receive signed copies of HUNGER, RAGE and LOSS—and will get to name a character in BREATH, the fourth book in the Riders of the Apocalypse series. The grand prize winner will be picked on Sunday, April 1, 2012. No foolin’.

Find Jackie Morse Kessler online:


Vivien said...

The covers are definitely a great aspect to this series! Can't wait to read more from the Horsemen.

deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

momma8385 said...

The artist did a wonderful job on the covers! Would love to read these awesome books. Thanks for this giveaway.
:) Jeanne,

Bea said...

I keep thinking that I need to pick up this series. It sounds so fascinating and the Four Horsemen have not, to the best of my knowledge, been done over and over again.

I follow Jackie on Twitter and enjoy her tweets. The cat truly does take over the office chair on a regular basis. :D

Jennifer said...

Jackie is an amazing author. The first two books are absolutely amazing and filled with emotion. I can't wait to read Loss. Thanks for the giveaway. Fingers are crossed I get lucky.

Jessica B. said...

I totally agree about the covers; they are amazingly gorgeous! Thank you so much for having this giveaway! Oh, nice people are so great!

Tore said...

Awesome giveaway. I really want to read this series. It sounds very good. I love the covers. Please enter me in contest.

Moirae(thefates) book reviews said...

I've always liked the covers of these books. I think it's the simplicity.


angel said...

Love it! Thanks for the giveaway

Amy S. said...

The covers are just fantastic, some of the best I've ever seen on YA books. I loved Hunger, especially the scene where the main character is eating just one french fry. It was just such an incredible scene. I can't wait to read the rest of the books. Thanks for the giveaway!

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