Welcome to the Debut Author Bash!! Today I get to feature Debut Author Trina St Jean. Find out about her book below and then enter to win it!! She was also kind enough to answer some of my questions, so I hope you will show her some love in the comments!!
Blank by Trina St. Jean
Paperback : 312 pages
Published : April 1st 2015
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
It’s all fun and games until someone loses an I.
I remember. That’s what the Man and the Woman in the room want Jessie to say. But she can’t, because it would be a lie. All she knows is what she has been told: she’s fifteen, and thanks to a run-in with a bison bull she is stuck with a brain injury. The rest of her life is a blank her brain no longer fills in; she struggles with memory loss and a temper she can’t control. When the doctors send Jessica home, she tries desperately to piece together her shattered life. No matter how hard she tries, she can’t be the old Jessie everyone misses so much. Then a new friend comes along with an alternative to staying in her old life, and Jessica must confront the reality of what it means to truly leave her past behind.
Where do your ideas come from?Anything that either moves or intrigues me. Or both.
How do you develop your writing ideas?Things start off pretty slowly: jotting down notes, scribbling down lines. Then, when I think the idea has merit, I try to sketch out a rough idea of what a plot might look like. I don’t plan a ton of detail, but I need to know there’s a big enough problem there to move the story forward.
Where do you find inspiration for your characters?Honestly, everywhere. Friends, family, students, characters on TV. Also, I admit, there are voices in my head.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?In grade two, when I wrote a goofy story about Martians trying to replicate earth Christmas on Mars. I cracked myself up writing it and my friends loved it, which totally fed my blossoming ego.
What makes you unique as a writer?Whoa, that’s a tough question. I hope it’s my ability to tune into a character’s mind, to really put myself into an imaginary person’s shoes.
What writers inspire/d you?So, so, many over the years. As a kid, I loved Judy Blume, E.B. White, Katherine Paterson, C. S. Lewis and Lloyd Alexander. Now, I really admire adult writers who can balance humour and emotion like Heather O’Neill and Miriam Toews.
How has your writing career changed since you started?My real career has only just begun – my first book, Blank, was published this April - but already my goals have changed from “I just want to get published” to “I want to make my next book even better.” Which I think will be the mantra for the rest of my career.
What does your writing process look like?Messy, and long. I change my mind A LOT, and about everything from character names to major plot points.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I get really, really sleepy in the afternoon and no matter how much caffeine I consume, end up dozing off for 15 minutes. I’ve decided not to fight this anymore.
What are your writing goals for the next year?To finish my next novel, and not have it take 10 years like Blank did!
Name the five biggest distractions from your writing.
- Laundry. Lots and lots of stinky soccer clothes at my house.
- Online real estate listings.
- Dried mango covered in dark chocolate (I swear it whispers my name from the kitchen cabinets).
- A blue sky and sunshine outside. Which, fortunately and unfortunately, happens a lot where I live, in Calgary.
What character would you most like to be stuck in an elevator with?Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?I’m just starting to. The most interesting thing I’ve been asked is whether there will be a sequel about the character of Tarin, the main character’s rebellious friend. Hadn’t even thought of that one.
Some Get to know me Questions
What’s the best vacation you ever had?Camping for two weeks with my family in beautiful British Columbia. I also loved other trips to Mexico, France and Italy, but I find camping especially relaxing. Ah, the sound of buzzing mosquitoes.
What’s your favourite rainy day movie?The Princess Bride.
If you could be any age again for a week, which would you choose and why?Maybe around 5, when the world was a very magical place.
If you could have personally witnessed one event in history, what would it be?The Renaissance. (Not an event, I guess, but an era.)
What's you favourite place to read?In the bathtub.
When you walk into a book store, where do you head first?New adult fiction, then teen fiction.
If you had a million dollars, what would be the first thing you would buy?An outdoor hot tub and an indoor sauna. The air is starting to get chilly here in Calgary!
Trina St. Jean grew up in a small town in northern Alberta, Canada, but left in pursuit of degrees in psychology and education. During a decade out east, she picked up a husband with a cute accent and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College. She now lives in Calgary, where she teaches ESL and tries to stay out of trouble with her husband and two daughters. Blank is her first novel. You can pay Trina a visit at http://www.trinastjean.com or like Author Trina St. Jean on Facebook.
2 paperback copies of BLANK, open to US & CANa Rafflecopter giveaway