Jackson Pearce is a busy woman. At the top of this month, she’s turning in her latest manuscript and launching her latest YA novel from her Fairytale Reimaginings Series, Fathomless. You can also find her on the Local Prose stage at this year’s Decatur Book Festival. So I was more than grateful that Jackson took the time to answer five questions for Southern Spines YA readers.
SS: What draws you to the YA genre of writing?
JP: I really have no idea, to be honest. I love, love, love writing YA, but I love it the same way I love the color blue and Fruit Rollups–I just do. The coming of age experience is so timeless, amazing, beautiful and ugly…I think part of my love, at least, is how rewarding I find tapping in to that.
SS: At what point did you decide to go beyond Sisters Red and incorporate the Reynolds family members into other Fairytale Reimaginings? Or did you map it out as a series all along?
JP: I didn’t map out the series, but I had loose ideas as to where the different books would go. The Reynolds family was always meant to be the connection between the stories, though I didn’t necessarily know which brother/sister would play what part.
SS: What impact has growing up in the Southeastern U.S. had on your writing?
JP: I adore the South; it’s where my family has been for ages and ages. I feel like the South often gets a bad rap– we’re seen as uneducated, uncultured, and unsophisticated. That’s not the case at all. Truth is, the South has a rich, complex cultural heritage full of summers and superstitions and larger than life characters. It’s difficult, sometimes, being proud to be Southern– I suspect it’s a little like being proud to be German after World War II; there’s so much to be ashamed of lumped on top of the good. But…I am proud of that good. I love where I live, I love where I’m from, and I love how it’s shaped who I am.
JP: Silas and Samuel have three sisters, triplets– Celia, Anne, and Jane. Anne can know the future, Jane can know the present (and thus read minds), and Celia can know the past. When Celia meets Lo, a girl who lives underwater and can’t remember her own past, Celia’s power is useful for the first time in her life.
SS: You are an active video blogger (whose work was recently shown on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart!) and host a live online show on Tuesday nights. What is your purpose? Is this just a form of creative expression, an extension of your work, an opportunity to connect with your audience, or a remedy for boredom?
JP: I vlog and do liveshows just for fun, honestly. It’s a form of expression outside of my books, it’s a way to interact with fans, and yep, sometimes it’s just from boredom. I sometimes use videos and shows as a platform to discuss controversial topics, and sometimes use them to discuss cutting mangoes. Just depends on the day!
If you’re in the Atlanta area, Jackson’s release party for Fathomless takes place Saturday, September 8th at the Barnes & Noble in Alpharetta, Ga. You can learn more about the party and other Jackson happenings at her website, jackson-pearce.com.