August 26th, 2011

wish, daisy

Interview: Mary E. Pearson

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)


Interview: Elisabeth Rohm

Elisabeth Rohm Elisabeth Röhm admits to thriving under pressure - and she has quite the busy schedule. In the past year and a half, she has acted in nearly a dozen projects and released her first novel. Meanwhile, her role as a parent has inspired a popular blog at, with her young daughter keeping her on her toes.

The graceful and grateful Röhm seems to handle everything with a naturally upbeat and considerate nature. Recognizable from her long-term roles on television series such as Law & Order and Angel, Elisabeth will soon be seen on the big screen in films such as Abduction with Taylor Lautner and Lily Collins and Transit with James Caviezel.

Here now is an exclusive interview I conducted with Elisabeth in July 2011. This was originally published in Valley Scene Magazine.

When did you know - truly know - that you were an actress?

I think I truly knew when I gave birth to my daughter Easton. I decided that as much as I love my daughter I know that I'd truly miss the work and craft that acting adds to another part of my life.

Was your family supportive of your career choice?

Absolutely. I come from a family of heart-oriented people, who are deeply passionate. My family motto is, "What you can do or dream you can, begin it; boldness has genius, power and magic in it."

What did you study in school that you find useful in your career?

I was a history major and writing minor at Sarah Lawrence and my interest in the world outside of acting actually supports the acting.

What did you discover on your own, outside of the classroom, that has had an impact on your career philosophy?

I think my mother taught me that if I had a passion for something to not look for approval but to look straight ahead and keep on moving. She said this knowing that one day I would achieve what it was I was looking for.

How do you prepare for auditions? Does your routine differ depending on the role or project?

Whether audition or job, my method, if I can even call it that, is an accumulation of my experiences in all the time that I've been doing it. Although, when I do a job, I work with a coach on the script to help me push myself past my comfort level.

Would you like to balance your plate with even shares of theatre, TV, and film work, or do you want to focus primarily on one avenue of the business?

Right now I am very interested in getting back to television because I think it has become the most exciting place to be these days. I of course would love to do a play one of these days. But for now I'm excited to do another series.

You've appeared on soap operas (One Life to Live), fan-favorite sci-fi series (Angel, Heroes), dramas (Law & Order), and more. What genre have you yet to tackle on TV that you'd love to try?

I definitely find drama and sci-fi to be my sweet spot, but I absolutely would love the opportunity to tackle comedy.

What was it like to transition from one-episode roles to recurring roles to being a series regular? Did you want to be a regular on a series - were you working towards that goal, that dream?

I've mostly done recurring or regular roles and find that it is very satisfying because it allows you to commit to them for a greater length of time. They feel more secure and therefore allows you to take greater risks. However, I would definitely welcome some juicy guest star roles.

I enjoyed the TNT series Bull. Can you tell me a little about that experience?

Bull was such an incredible highlight of my career. The entire cast and crew have became and remain friends of mine. I was so sad to see them especially before 9/11 when the bull market became fraught with stories to tell.

After filming 85 episodes as A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn, you had a lovely behind-the-scenes goodbye from Sam Waterson and the cast and crew of Law & Order. What did you take away from your time on that series?

It's hard to encapsulate what I took away from that show. It would be more like a laundry list of changes, improvements, and growth that I experienced during those years with Sam Waterson and Jerry Orbach. One of the most important things I learned from those two is that your life is more important than your work, that you have to find balance and love your family.

At the time of this interview, you have half a dozen films in various levels of production. Congratulations! Which recent film role has been the most challenging?

I'd have to say Joel Silver's Transit that I just completed with James Caviezel and James Frain. Shooting an action film in the hot Louisiana swamps with actual alligators was quite the adventure.

Do you find it's more challenging when the character is like you, or when she's unlike you?>

The key is to identify elements of yourself in every character you play.

We've touched on some of your professional landmarks. What about your personal landmarks?

2008 to date has personally been a very tumultuous time in my life, from the birth of my daughter Easton to losing my mother a year and a half ago. One of my personal memorable landmarks is when I started to volunteer with the Red Cross 7 years ago. It really changed my life to learn the value of giving and I'm very grateful to them for leading the way toward a philanthropic outlook on life.

You're a published author now, having released the novel Nerissa, as well as a journalist, contributing to and other publications. How do you deal with looming deadlines?

I've always thrived under pressure and leave everything, absolutely everything, to the last minute.

Rumor has it you're an avid equestrian. Have you always had a fondness for horses? Have you taught your daughter to ride?

I started riding at 5 years old and it's a tremendous feeling. I put Easton in a saddle around the time she learned how to walk, ha ha!

Why do you act? What moves you to do what you do? How have your motivations or inspirations changed over the course of your career?

As time goes by, I think all of our motivations become clearer to us. But I've always been interested in the human experience and why we do the things we do.

When you look ahead ten years, what do you see yourself doing?

Just more of the same and bracing myself for the time when I have a teenager.


To learn more about Elisabeth Rohm, please visit

The film Abduction opens in theatres on September 23rd.