Friday, March 13, 2015

Author Interview with Jessica Day George

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.
Bergen, Norway
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!







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54 comments:

  1. Hello, Jessica! Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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    1. The Armchair Squid- Thanks for visiting! :) ~L

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  2. I adore castles! Who wouldn't want to live in one? A sentient bored castle is a fabulous idea for a book. Wishing Jessica much success!

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    1. Lexa- I agree with you and Jessica. Castles are awesome! :) ~L

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  3. Great interview! I didn't realize this book was part of a series! Very clever! Wishing Jessica good luck with her books and writing!

    betty

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    1. Betty- Thanks! I think it is a cool idea for a series too! :) ~L

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  4. Congrats, Jessica! I enjoyed the interview. Who wouldn't want to live in a castle--with toilets, of course! :)

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    1. Cherie- Yes, a modern castle would be perfect! :) ~L

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  5. Wonderful post, thank you. To be friends with the king of the dragons sounds magical, I certainly now of several children who would love this.

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    1. Tracy- Glad you know some children who would enjoy this one. It is a fun read! :) ~L

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  6. Oh what a fun idea for a set of books. (I'd love to live in a castle too heh). Bergen looks AMAZING!

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    1. Anna- I agree with you about the series. Now I want to go to Bergen! :) ~L

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  7. These books look great. Thanks for sharing your journey.

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    1. Rosi- I can't wait to read the rest of the series! :) ~L

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  8. Yeah that this is headed inot the fourth book. Such a cute, fun series. I adored Ramona when I was growing up as well.

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    1. Heidi- Ramona was one of my favorites too! So happy for Jessica and the success of this series. :) ~L

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  9. Oooh. I have just definitely added this series to my list.
    Of course I would love to live in a castle. Preferably a sentient castle. And dragons are always on my list.
    Congratulations Jessica - and thank you so much for introducing her to me.

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    1. Elephant's Child- Castles and dragons are so much fun! Hope you enjoy this series. Thanks for visiting! :) ~L

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  10. great interview and I agree, always write what you'd want to read!

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    1. Beth Ellyn- It is such good advice! :) ~L

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  11. "What if your castle got bored" - I love authors. They are so much more creative than me.
    Bran Castle looks gorgeous. I can't believe you were able to got to Romania.
    I would rather live in Howl's Moving Castle even if it's small. Well, as long as it was clean...
    I really need to read Tuesdays at the Castle. It's been on my to read list forever. Lovely interview!

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    1. Adriana- I would like a clean castle too! Any size would be fine. I especially love the one in Tuesdays at the Castle! Hope you get to read it soon! :) ~L

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  12. When I was a child I loved fairy tales and castles. Living in a castle was my dream. They're so fascinating and magical. I never lived in a castle, but it's fun to read stories about them. Congratulations on your books, Jessica. They look adorable.

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    1. Beverly- I often dream about living in a castle or getting to explore one. They seem to hold so much mystery and magic. Thanks for stopping by! :) ~L

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  13. This really looks and sounds like an exciting series! A griffin egg. :) The Ramona series contributed a lot of fun in my childhood, too. I'd love to visit a castle to sit by the windows and read, and Norway one day. Thanks for introducing Jessica to us, Jess & Stephanie!

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    1. Claudine- I read all the Ramona books and basically everything I could get my hands on by Beverly Cleary! I hope to visit Norway one day too. I have heard from multiple people that it is a must visit place. :) ~L

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  14. Great interview and so magical:) One day I want to visit that castle in Romania. My castle I wanted to always see and finally did was Neuschwanstein. Your books sound great for kids because who doesn't love fairy tales

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    1. Birgit- How amazing that you got to visit Neuschwanstein. I have seen pictures and it looks so magical! Thanks for visiting. :) ~L

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  15. I loved reading this interview...very inspiring!

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    1. Romancer Reader- So glad you enjoyed it! :) ~L

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  16. I love anything with castles. Wonderful.

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  17. Seems like a fun series. We stayed overnight in a castle in Lexington, Kentucky (I think it's still open for reservations if anyone wants to stay in a castle, by the way). It was SO inspiring. At the time I wanted to come up with a book out of it but I was in the middle of something else at the time.

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    1. Stephanie- So far I have only read the first, but I can't wait to read the rest! How cool that you were able to stay overnight in a castle. That sounds like so much fun!!! :) ~L

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  18. I think I could definitely go for a nice big castle...with plumbing of course. And a library :) Thanks for the fun interview!

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    1. Meradeth- Plumbing and a library- definitely! :) ~L

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  19. Delightful interview. And the books are adorable. So far I've only read the first, so I clearly have some catching up to do!

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    1. Joanne- Glad you enjoyed the interview. I have some catching up to do too! :) ~L

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  20. When I was younger I also loved the book A Little Princess, and I can see how it would help inspire a novel like this one. The idea of having the castle moving because she want to live in one is very unique. I know I would love to live in a castle xD Imagine, I could have one whole room just for books! A personal library!

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    1. Olivia- I can see how A Little Princess helped inspire this series too. Living in a castle seems like a dream come true! So many fun places to explore and a library or two is a must! :) ~L

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    1. Lauren- So glad you enjoyed the interview. :) ~L

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  22. I love hearing how ideas came about to bring a book out... I totally agree with writing what you love ♡

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    1. Launna- I loved hearing about that too! Writing what you love is key! :) ~L

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  23. It's a wonder how a great book has begun in one brilliant mind. Thanks for sharing this interesting conversation/interview.

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    1. Lux- You are welcome! I always love hearing where the ideas for books come from. :) ~L

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  24. Living in a magic castle sure would be fun. As long as it had running water haha

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    1. Pat- I couldn't agree more! :) ~L

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  25. I would love to visit Norway. It's the only Scandinavian country I've never been too.

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    1. Stina- I am so jealous that you have been to all the rest of Scandinavia. I hope you get to add Norway to your list. :) ~L

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  26. Great interview! I agree - I'd live in a castle with windows and toilets! ;)

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