Monday, April 15, 2013

Jessica Brody

Jessica Brody's latest novel is Unremembered.

From her Q & A at RT BOOK REVIEWS:

At the beginning of Unremembered Violet doesn’t remember anything. But it is not only her past, she has to relearn everything from the type of food she likes to how to use a cell phone. Violet’s mind is like a clean slate. How did you put yourself in her position while you were writing her story?

This was probably the most challenging aspect of writing the novel. Especially after writing so many contemporary novels where pop culture references are such integral parts of the storytelling. To get into the headspace of an amnesiac, I watched a lot of documentaries and movies about amnesia. But to achieve that extra authenticity of a truly “blank slate,” as strange as it sounds, as I was writing, I tried to look at the world around me as though I were an alien visiting the planet for the first time. Which is a game I often play with myself. I call it the “alien test.” If aliens came to Earth, which things about our life would seem really weird to them? What would they think was cool and “inventive” and what would they swore made no sense at all? This is very much how Violet sees the world.

Her memories may be gone, but Violet does retain some remarkable talents. Why did you choose to make her a genius at math and languages? Is her intelligence really important if she has no context to use it?

Without giving away too many spoilers about the plot, I will say this: the people who “made” Violet the way she is, did have very specific reasons for doing so. On a more personal level, the “abilities” I gave to Violet as a writer were fairly aspirational. I’ve always loved math and languages. And I’ve always fantasized about being a walking calculator and speaking multiple languages. It’s one of the reasons I loved the show Alias so much (which was a huge influence for me when writing this trilogy). But that’s kinda the rub, isn’t it? What good are her skills if...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Jessica Brody's website and blog.

Writers Read: Jessica Brody (October 2009).

My Book, The Movie: 52 Reasons to Hate My Father.

Writers Read: Jessica Brody (August 2012).

--Marshal Zeringue