Interview: Michele Jaffe
Current Mood: silly
Current Song: I Love Lucy theme song
Last year, I read Bad Kitty by Michele Jaffe, then passed it around my workplace. At least three people read the book before I got it back. I caught up with Michele earlier this month, and she shared some exciting news with me.
What is this I hear about a sequel AND a manga version of the first Bad Kitty? (1)
Yes yes yes! MangaKitty! SequelKitty! Tons and tons of Bad Kitty will be arriving for world domination in stores in 2008.
The Bad Kitty manga comes first, in June. It's called Catnipped and it's the first in a three volume mangastravaganza! It's a whole new adventure about Jas and her pals that I wrote, but didn't draw. So I made up the story, and the dialogue, and wrote how I thought it should go, and basically did a lot of stuff that made my manga artist InSaNe. Apparently, they do not enjoy making footnotes in manga. Or long dream sequences in which the main character and all her friends dress up as tacos and go disco dancing. Who knew??? In this first volume, Jas and her pals get involved in a jewel heist at the mall. In the course of solving it, they face peril, pure evil, and pretzels. Not necessarily in that order.
Then, in July, KITTY KITTY, the sequel to Bad Kitty, comes out. It takes place six weeks after the first book, when Jas has been transplanted by her father, the Thwarter, to Venice Italy. Its got all the same stuff as the first book -- mayhem, mystery, toxic fashion disasters, kissing -- only now with pizza! I'm going to be updating my website and my MySpace in February with More! Thrilling! Details!, so check them out then. Also, HarperCollins will be giving away advanced gallies to people who beg for them, so if you want to be the first on your street to know if Jas and Jack stay together, or even if Jas survives her latest adventure, visit HarperTeen.com early and often.
Bad Kitty has had various covers. Which do you prefer? Also, though we both know not to judge books by their covers, how do you think cover art effects sales and readership?
Oofa. That's a tough one. The cover creation process is loooooooooooong, arduous and filled with perils. Everyone has an opinion about what will work, but not everyone has the same opinion, so there are tears, and bloodshed, and lots and lots of conversations.
Well, okay, maybe not bloodshed.
That's because covers TOTALLY effect sales. But it's a frustratingly imperfect science. IF I had any grey hair, which of course I don't, at least half of it would come from cover conversations.
And if I had to pick which of the Bad Kitty covers was my favorite, I'd say the original hardcover cover, the one with the dots and the sparkle kitty on it, is my favorite because it has a SPARKLE KITTY. I mean, honestly. What is better than SPARKLE KITTY? That's right, nothing.
Have you any cats of your own? (2)
I am the fairygodperson to two superfantastico kitties. One of them right now is, in fact, trying to type this. He doesisodkfj spell so gooooooooodieeofjjdsf.
When writing for teenagers, what is the biggest challenge you face? (3)
Putting in enough kissing. Adults like kissing too, but not as much as teens.
Do you have different rules or procedures when writing for adults?
I think the only difference between writing for teens and writing for adults is the age of the characters you're writing about. And that teens are waaaaaaaaaaay better dressed.
Are there any other vocations you'd like to pursue?
I want to be a roller derby queen! If not that, I would like to be the inventor-slash-spokesperson for a new exciting line of airplane food that would be more interactive. Like assemble-it-yourself gingerbread houses. Or Make Your Own S'mores. Delicious AND delightful! Also, I would like to ride an elephant while wearing sequined outfits in the circus. I'm not sure what that job is called BUT I WANT IT.
What are your ten favorite books of all-time?
I can't answer that question because just thinking about having to narrow it down that much makes me come all over shaky and have to eat cookies to recover. When I'm writing, as I am doing all the time HELLO PUBLISHING PEOPLE IF YOU ARE READING THIS YES THAT IS RIGHT I AM HARD AT WORK, I try to only read books by the dead. because books by living people make me nervous and insecure. And then I have to eat MORE cookies. And then my computer keyboard gets sticky and I have to take my laptop to the Apple store and say "how come the letter K doesn't work?" and they take out the letter K and find chocolate chip cookie crumbs under there and I am very embarrassed and make up a long story about how I lent my computer to someone who has this problem and of course they don't believe me so I try some exciting dance moves to distract them and then security comes and it all ends in tears.
Many thanks to Michele for the chat.
And now, footnotes!
(1) Congratulations, congratulations!
(2) My cats: Twinkie, Hollywood, and Spooky.