The DMS was lucky enough to interview Jessica Day George. Lizzy reviewed her book Tuesdays at the Castle, and it was great to share our thoughts about it and hear yours! We're excited to learn a little more about her story. So, without further ado... take it away, Jessica!
What inspired you to write Tuesdays at the Castle?
I’ve always wanted to live in a castle, especially a magic castle. One night I was thinking about living in a magic castle and I thought, if your castle was magic, what would it do? Could it move? Could you talk to it? How would you know if it liked you or not? And then I thought, what if your magic castle got bored? Kaboom! Idea!
Tuesdays at the Castle is part of a series. Did all of the books take you the same length of time to write or do they each have a process of their own? Which one took you the longest to write?
Each of them came from a different angle. Tuesdays was just starting it out and finding out what the Castle could not do. Wednesdays took the longest to write, partly because all I knew was that I wanted to have her hatch a griffin egg, but also because while I was writing it I had a baby, and then I got really, really sick. I tried to keep writing while I was sick, but it just wasn’t very good, so I ended up writing Wednesdays all over again, TWICE. Thursdays was a lot easier because I knew I wanted them to find out some stuff about the Castle’s history, and I knew how it had to end.
What are some of your favorite books from childhood? Were there any specific authors who inspired you?
I loved Beverly Cleary, especially Ramona, and I read them over and over. I also loved Daniel Pinkwater’s books like The Last Guru and Alan Mandelssohn, Boy From Mars. And I am a huge fan of Diana Wynne Jones, especially Howl’s Moving Castle and Dogsbody. I also really liked Frances Hodgson Burnett’s A Little Princess.
When you were growing up did you want to live in a castle? Do you have a favorite castle that from either a book or a movie, or maybe one you have visited?
Yes, I so wanted to live in a castle! But one with toilets! I always wanted to live in Howl’s Moving Castle, although rereading the book as a grownup I realized that it is actually very small. I’d like a nice big comfortable castle. The most delightful I’ve ever been in is Bran Castle in Romania. It’s all painted white with big windows and has window seats in every room!
|Bran Castle in Romania|
The path to publication varies from author to author. Every author has a unique story and one that other authors can learn from. Can you tell us a little bit about your path to publication or do you have any advice for new authors?
My advice is to write the kind of book you’d want to read yourself. I spent nine years writing serious books for adults that I would never read myself. Then one day I had an idea for a story about a girl who makes friends with a dragon, and has a pair of magic shoes. I decided to write the story and just keep it for my kids, because my other books had been rejected over 200 times. But I was so excited about it that I couldn’t stop telling people about my dragon book, and a friend arranged for me to meet with a children’s book editor. After talking to her for twenty minutes, I sold Dragon Slippers.
If you could live anyplace real or fictional, where would it be? Why?
I would like to live in Bergen, Norway. Because it’s gorgeous.
If you could befriend a character from one of your books, who would you befriend? Why?
Who wouldn’t want to be friends with Shardas, king of the dragons? Amirite?
Are you currently working on a book? If so, can you tell us a little bit about it?
I just finished editing Fridays with the Wizards! And that’s all I’m gonna tell you!