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Interview: Jaclyn Moriarty

July 21st, 2010 (07:49 am)

Current Mood: thirsty
Current Song: Covert Affairs score music

Jaclyn Moriarty's novel The Year of Secret Assignments is one of this month's recommended reads at readergirlz. Here's a little something from Jaclyn:

Readergirlz kindly invited me to write something for this blog - maybe on my latest book, they said, or my writing schedule, or on the theme of courage.

I'm a very indecisive girl. I couldn't choose. So I ended up doing all three.

My latest book: The Ghosts of Ashbury High is part of a series of connected books but it also stands alone. Some characters from The Year of Secret Assignments have starring roles, but there are also two new characters: scholarship students named Amelia and Riley who have mysterious pasts. I got the idea for the book when the foundations of a convicts barracks and lunatic asylum were uncovered just behind my parents' house. I had a lot of fun writing it, partly because I ate rocky road and drank apple-and-cinnamon tea. And the other night, when I was sick with a feverish flu, I became convinced that James Cameron should make a movie of this book. I was awake most of the night while my mind raced through a filmscript, and tried to figure out how to get in touch with James.

But that was just the fever. The book is nothing like a James Cameron film.

My writing schedule: It changes all the time. Used to be, I'd write into the night and sleep half the day. A lot of ideas came to me in the strange half-dreams of late morning. Then I had a baby and started writing whenever he slept. Now my baby's at preschool two days a week, and I start those days by walking to a café where I listen in to conversations, and read books that are connected to my current work. So, I'm working on a trilogy about the Kingdom of Cello at the moment, and I'm reading a novel about a cellist. In fact, my trilogy has nothing to do with the musical instrument, but I pretend to myself that this is research.

On the other days, a babysitter comes for the afternoons and I write upstairs while they play downstairs. Those are my favourite times - especially when I know they're baking cookies.

Courage: The other day I made an appointment to see my dentist. It was tricky to do because I couldn't remember his name. (It had been a while since I'd been to the dentist.) I had a feeling his first name was John, and I thought it was probably John Turturro or John Tarantula. But the first one's an actor, and the second one's a spider. Eventually, I called my sister - she goes to the same dentist - and then I made the appointment. Doing something that scares you, like going to the dentist – that takes some courage. But having to go through several steps to do it – including googling actors and spiders - now that is truly courageous.

- Jaclyn Moriarty


Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: July 21st, 2010 09:31 pm (UTC)
From aquafortis:

Very fun guest post! I can't wait to read The Ghosts of Ashbury High.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: July 22nd, 2010 05:16 am (UTC)
Re: From aquafortis:


Posted by: A Deserving Porcupine (rockinlibrarian)
Posted at: July 21st, 2010 10:29 pm (UTC)

This post actually made me say, "Okay, I've been mildly interested in these titles in passing before, but now I am SO going downstairs RIGHT NOW and checking out a Jaclyn Moriarty book." Got Bindy MacKenzie and am looking forward to enjoying it now! (Our catalog SAYS we have Year of Secret Assignments in but it was NOT on the shelf where it belongs...)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: July 22nd, 2010 02:57 pm (UTC)

I think it's neat that this post inspired you to seek her books!

Posted by: A Deserving Porcupine (rockinlibrarian)
Posted at: July 22nd, 2010 05:49 pm (UTC)

And I'm in the middle of a different book right now, but hers is sitting on the table CALLING to me! I meant to read the rest of my books from The-Library-I-Don't-Work-At-And-So-Have-a-Due-Date-For before I start this one, but I might have to make an exception. This is what renewals are for.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: July 22nd, 2010 05:54 pm (UTC)


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