We would love to welcome Jess Shirvington, for the very first time. We couldn't be anymore excited to be part of this blog tour.
Jessica is absolutely one of my favourite authors, Aussie no less and I was thrilled when she announced she had a new book planned. I love her Violet Eden series, but at this point, I'd read anything this woman writes.
We decided to dig a little deeper in terms of research and the technical side of things, rather than plot. So we asked her a few questions which plagued us, and here is what she had to say....
1. How difficult was it adjusting to writing a stand a lone book than one in a series? What made you want to write a stand alone book instead of starting a new series?
Not difficult, but it takes time and consideration. The way you pace and plot is different and you need to be very aware of your end point. I really loved the challenge and that was part of the reason I wanted to write Between the Lives. Also it was between books in my series and I felt, as a writer, that it would be good to work on something else and take a break from the series so that I could go back to it with a fresh perspective.
2. With writing this book plus having the Violet Eden books, did you ever confused key plot lines or events? Or even came up with an idea for one book but decided it was better suited for the other?
No, there was never confusion. I was worried a little at first, that I might lose touch with Violet (the protagonist in the series), but realised very quickly that it wasn't going to be a problem. The books and worlds are very different so there has never been any crossover in story or scenes so I haven't struggled with that. Actually, it all went quite smoothly this time.
3. The Violet Eden books are about angels and deals with a lot of mythology. This one doesn’t seem to have any supernatural creatures in it. Did you have to do any kind of research?
It wasn't the same kind of research, that's for sure! The Violet Eden Chapters involves a lot of digging. Sometimes I'm not sure what I am looking for until I find it so that means I spend a lot of time looking at things I never use. For Between the Lives it was different. The things I researched were in direct relation to scenes or story concepts that I had already committed to so it took less time. That said, due to some of the scenes and confronting themes that run through this book, a loot of thought went into how exactly I would handle them and how much i would put out there. I spent a lot of time talking with doctors and other medical professionals to ensure I was comfortable with the content.
Was it easier to write a story and not having to deal with a lot of mythology?
Yes and no. Yes, in the sense that I wasn't bound by it and the research was a little more straight forward. No, in the sense that mythology leads to a lot of great story threads and it can anchor a story very well for readers. Not having that was a new experience. I like both ways!
4. What interested you about someone living two separate lives, and how you if you were in that position would tackle a situation like that? How did you come up with this idea?
I like exploring concepts that can seem enticing or fun from a surface perspective but when you then dig deeper you can discover all the problems. This was one of those situations. The more I thought of it, the more I realised how awful it would be and that intrigued me from a story point of view. The idea itself developed from many small ideas all merging together rather than one lightning bolt moment. But the bottom line is that I wanted to see if it was possible to explore the darkness of suicide but from the point of view of someone who was desperate to live.
5. What are you currently working on, and is there anything you can share with us about it?
Right now I am working on EMPOWER, the final book in The Violet Eden Chapters. I can't share too much just yet since I have been sworn to secrecy! But I can say it will be the last book in the series and a lot of questions will be answered. Apart from that I have another book that is a little different again and will be part of a duology scheduled for next year. It's about one girl's fight against a private corporation who have introduced a new technology allowing people the ability to rate anyone they come into contact with and know if they are a potential match (friendship, lust or love) or if they are a negative (to just that person or to everyone they come in contact with). :-)
Above all else, though I try not to think about it, I know which life I prefer. And every night when I Cinderella myself from one life to the next a very small, but definite, piece of me dies. The hardest part is that nothing about my situation has ever changed. There is no loophole.
Until now, that is…
For as long as she can remember, Sabine has lived two lives. Every 24 hours she Shifts to her ′other′ life – a life where she is exactly the same, but absolutely everything else is different: different family, different friends, different social expectations. In one life she has a sister, in the other she does not. In one life she′s a straight-A student with the perfect boyfriend, in the other she′s considered a reckless delinquent. Nothing about her situation has ever changed, until the day when she discovers a glitch: the arm she breaks in one life is perfectly fine in the other.
With this new knowledge, Sabine begins a series of increasingly risky experiments which bring her dangerously close to the life she′s always wanted… But just what – and who – is she really risking?
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HarperCollins is giving away TWO copies of this fabulous book. So be sure to enter for your chance to get your hands on an exclusive copy.
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