Guys, let's welcome the fantastically awesome Jessa Russo. She's stopping by to share a few fun things about her debut novel, Ever. Give her some finger snaps, and let's have some fun.
Before we get to the questions, here's the back copy to give you an idea of what the story is about:
Seventeen-year-old Ever’s love life has been on hold for the past two years. She’s secretly in love with her best friend Frankie, and he’s completely oblivious.
Of course, it doesn't help that he’s dead, and waking up to his ghost every day has made moving on nearly impossible.
Frustrated and desperate for something real, Ever finds herself falling for her hot new neighbor Toby. His relaxed confidence is irresistible, and not just Ever knows it. But falling for Toby comes with a price that throws Ever’s life into a whirlwind of chaos and drama. More than hearts are on the line, and more than Ever will suffer.
Some girls lose their hearts to love.
Some girls lose their minds.
Ever Van Ruysdael could lose her soul.
1. If all the characters in your book were in a running race, what would happen? Who would come in first? Last? How would they act at the end?
Haha, um, I think Ever would probably come in last because she’s not super active or sporty. (She gets that from me. Lol) Jessie would definitely be in the lead, probably tying with Greg and Toby. Jessie loves volleyball and is very active, and Greg is a football player. Toby is just physically fit, so I can see him being able to keep up with Greg and Jessie. Frankie, poor Frankie, would be at the house because he’s a ghost and he’s stuck there. I’m pretty sure Jessie would cheer Ever on at the end. She’s really supportive and I imagine she’d be a respectful winner.
2. If your main character eavesdropped on his/her parents having a conversation, what would he or she hear?
Honestly, Ever’s parents are still very much in love. She’d probably hear them talking about how in love they are, which would make her pretend to gag, but really she’d be smiling inside because she knows how lucky she is to have parents that love each other so much.
3. What would the most minor character in your book have to say about the conflict?
I’m trying to think of who the most minor character is. I guess it would have to be Jessie’s mom, or her mom’s nasty, drunk boyfriend. He’d probably laugh, grab another Budweiser tallboy out the fridge, settle back down on Jessie’s couch like he lives there, and tell the girls to get over it and get lost. But in a much nastier way, I’m sure. And probably with cussing, and a boob comment directed towards Ever.
4. If your manuscript could talk to you, what would it say?
I don’t know what EVER would say to me, honestly. But EVER TWO would probably say something like, “Stop stressing and write the rest.” I don’t know, that’s what it should say though.
5. This one is something from me. A few weeks ago I blogged about the little things in our manuscripts/stories that we like and I asked a few friends and then the readers to give me 5 small things they like about their novels. Nothing plot related or big, just the small things.
- My main character hates her name (Eleanor). There’s nothing wrong with her name, but I think it’s so typical of teens to focus on things like that, and it became a trait of hers that I love. She wishes for a “normal” name like her best friend Jessie. This stemmed from the fact that growing up, I’d always wished I had a cool, different name. Jessica was just so Jessica, you know? My mom almost named me Felicity, so as a kid I thought I’d been ripped-off. Felicity was just so much cooler. Now I love my name. It’s who I am.
- I love that Ever’s parents are so in love. We never see that in YA books because a healthy, loving and present parent(s) would make it a lot harder to explain why the MC is gallivanting around the world, killing vampires, or whatever. But I wanted to write a healthy family, with love and trust – but with the big elephant in the room. (Frankie, the ghost.)
- One of the love interests, Frankie, was originally a ghost who’d been stuck in Ever’s home since he’d died in the late 1950’s. When I changed the story, making him a modern teenager who’d only been dead two years, I didn’t change him. So now he’s this super-hot rockabilly guy with a pompadour, who loves classic cars, wears high-top converse, and smokes cigarettes like cigarettes aren’t actually frowned upon. These things made him who he was originally, and I couldn’t change them. I love who he is. And I love his Buddy Holly style glasses.
-Jessie is probably my favorite character to write. I love her spunk, and her joie de vivre, for lack of a better phrase. She’s confident and sassy and strong, and so unlike me. She’s a healthy combination of my best friend and another girlfriend of mine, and I love imaging how they would handle a situation.
- Toby’s tattoo. I’m a sucker for tattoos, and I guess that just wrote itself into the story. It’s a giant angel wing that stretches from the top of his shoulder, all the way down to his stomach. It’s think-lined and black, and it takes Ever’s breath away when she sees it.
Jessa will always call Southern California home, where she lives with her husband Jon, their daughter Faith, Bronco the Great Dane and Lola the Chihuahua.
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