Interview: Mary E. Pearson
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Current Song: Geographical Cure by Lucy Woodward
Good morning, readers! I'm pleased to welcome acclaimed author Mary E. Pearson to Bildungsroman today. I've enjoyed her books for years, and I've had the good fortune to interview her before. Today, she's dropping by to celebrate the release of her novel The Fox Inheritance, a follow-up to The Adoration of Jenna Fox, a book I truly adored.
Book Giveaway! The first person to leave a comment on this interview will receive a personalized, signed hardcover of The Fox Inheritance for free! Simply leave a comment below with your email address so that Mary may get in touch with you.
And now, onto the interview:
The Fox Inheritance is told from Locke's point of view. Why was he given narrator duties instead of Jenna or Kara?
I knew from the get go that I wouldn't use Jenna's voice. For one thing, I felt The Adoration of Jenna Fox stood alone, and I didn't want to take away from Jenna's journey and story, but just as importantly, the spark that prompted The Fox Inheritance begged for it to be told by either Locke or Kara. I had wondered, what if copies of their minds still existed? Jenna was tortured after just eighteen months in the mind "environment." How could Kara and Locke survive it for 260 years? Could they possibly come through it all unscathed? And what if one of them didn't? I wasn't sure who would narrate the story at first. Should it be Locke or Kara? I was afraid if Kara narrated, I might slip back into Jenna's voice, but then one afternoon when I finally wrote a first chapter with Locke as the narrator, his voice exploded in my head. I knew I had made the right choice.
The Adoration of Jenna Fox had a lot of mysterious elements; facts were revealed to readers as Jenna discovered the truth of her situation and her world. The Fox Inheritance puts its main characters on the run, and the story has more action and pursuit than its predecessor. Was it difficult to make that switch in tone and pacing, or was it a welcome change, a fun challenge?
No, it wasn't difficult to change the tone or pacing because I had an entirely different narrator. It was Locke's story, told Locke's way. I followed his lean and his entire experience was quite different from Jenna's. Even his outlook about his new body was different. At times he may have been self-conscious about it, but he never questioned that he was glad to be alive. As he says in the book, "I got a second chance. A gift horse," even if he had to go through hell to get it. I thought it was important to show different perspectives and outcomes to the same technology. And of course, Kara's perspective and outcome is very different from both Jenna's and Locke's. Does one take away from another or dictate if and when this technology should be used? Different outcomes are always the dilemma of science.
Speaking of pursuit tales, do you like stories like The Fugitive?
Oh, yes! Especially when it's the good guy on the run. Even "almost good guys" like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, or Thelma and Louise. One thing I like is they're having to think fast on their feet, because when you're on the run, the game plan is always changing!
What are you currently working on?
Right now, I'm working on the third and final book of The Jenna Fox Chronicles trilogy (see my previous Wednesday blog stop for more about this) so yes, there are futuristic elements, but this story takes place in one of the oldest cities in the country, Boston, so there's an interesting mix of old and new. I'm not sure what I'll be working on after that - it depends on what character or idea comes knocking and won't go away.
Would you ever return to Jenna's world?
I never say never when it comes to writing, but I think with this third book (especially with the way I think it's going to end) there will be no going back to this world. Jenna and Locke's story will be complete.
Considering all of your protagonists and main characters of your various books to date, which one(s) would you most like to befriend?
Hmm, that's a tough one. I would probably have to say Zoe. Most of my other main characters seem to have a pretty good handle on their futures, but Zoe is still on shaky ground. I think she has the fewest resources and friends, and could use a good friend more than any of the others. But as far as secondary characters go, I would love to have a party with Opal (A Room on Lorelei Street), Mira (The Miles Between), Lily (The Adoration of Jenna Fox), and Dot (The Fox Inheritance). Can you imagine them all in the same room?
Think of the kids who will next inherit the world. What would you like to tell them?
Oh, boy. That's a BIG question and I'm not sure there's any single answer for it, but here's a shot at one: Small consistent changes can add up to big differences in the world. Your very existence makes a difference. What kind of difference do you want it to be? Or to borrow the timeless words of Margaret Mead, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
Now that you have the inside scoop on the book, check out these additional goodies:
Book Giveaway! The first person to leave a comment below with his or her email address will receive a personalized, signed hardcover of The Fox Inheritance from Mary.
Audio Book: Listen to a clip of The Fox Inheritance here or here.
Blog Tour: Tomorrow, The Fox Inheritance blog tour will take Mary to the Squeaky Books blog where Kara (yes, Kara!) will answer some exclusive interview questions. For previous blog stops and the full tour schedule, visit MacTeenBooks.
Visit Mary E. Pearson's website and LiveJournal.
Related Posts at Bildungsroman
Book Review: The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
Book Review: The Fox Inheritance by Mary E. Pearson
Book Review: Fox Forever by Mary E. Pearson
He Said, She Said: The Adoration of Jenna Fox and The Fox Inheritance by Mary E. Pearson
Book Review: A Room on Lorelei Street by Mary E. Pearson
Interview: Mary E. Pearson (2008)