Thursday, November 17, 2011

Author Interview: Jus Accardo

We are so thrilled to have debut author Jus Accardo here with us today. Her novel, Touch, came out just a few weeks ago and is getting great reviews everywhere you look. We were lucky enough to get an interview with Jus and hope you enjoy it, but first a little about this awesome book:

Touch by Jus Accardo
Release Date: October 9, 2011
Genre: YA Paranormal

About the book: When a strange boy tumbles down a river embankment and lands at her feet, seventeen-year-old adrenaline junkie Deznee Cross snatches the opportunity to piss off her father by bringing the mysterious hottie with ice blue eyes home.

Except there’s something off with Kale. He wears her shoes in the shower, is overly fascinated with things like DVDs and vases, and acts like she’ll turn to dust if he touches her. It’s not until Dez’s father shows up, wielding a gun and knowing more about Kale than he should, that Dez realizes there’s more to this boy—and her father’s “law firm”—than she realized.

Kale has been a prisoner of Denazen Corporation—an organization devoted to collecting “special” kids known as Sixes and using them as weapons—his entire life. And, oh yeah, his touch? It kills. The two team up with a group of rogue Sixes hellbent on taking down Denazen before they’re caught and her father discovers the biggest secret of all. A secret Dez has spent her life keeping safe.

A secret Kale will kill to protect.

***Interview***

BCM: is your first novel to be published. What has your writing journey been like?

JA: The best word I can think of is surreal. Before I wrote TOUCH, I queried a book for almost a year with no interest at all. I mean, like, I got no requests. While I was waiting to hear back from the last few queries, I
debated going back and rewriting large portions of the ms, but then I got the idea for TOUCH. I started writing on June 1st and couldn't walk away until it was finished.

This is where the surreal comes in. I finished the draft, revised, and started querying by the middle of July. By the end of July, I already had 4 requests. 4! In a few weeks. I really can't say what I was expecting--but it wasn't what I got. After months and months of no thank you's, here I was getting a ton of yes, please's! It was amazing. By the end of September, I had 5 agent offers for representation. Every step along the way has been full of amazing surprises.

BCM: Your characters have unique but very cool names. How did you decide on them?

JA: Well, I apparently have a thing for names that start with D, K, and M. Sometimes S, too. I can look back to pretty much everything I've written and there's a ton of Ds, Ss, Ms, and Ks. As for the names themselves, I
had a friend named Kale and I've always loved the name. It's different and I love different.

BCM: All is not as it appears when it comes to Deznee. It's easy for readers to expect one thing from her at first, but soon we learn she's more than meets the eye. How did her character grow as you wrote Touch? Was she always as multi-layered as she is now?

JA: Dez was always a complicated character--not because I planned her that way--but because its the way she came out. She had a mind and personality all her own right from the start. It was like I'd known her for years. At first it looks like she's just a brat out for nothing more than to piss off her Dad, but as we get further along, we find out she's really just desperate for a reaction--any reaction--from him. At her core, she really
just wants to be loved. She was always multi-layered, but we really deepened things in editing. With the help of my awesome editor, Liz, Dez ended up perfect!

BCM: If you had to choose one album to listen to over and over as you wrote, what album would that be and why?

JA: Ooo this is a tough one. I don't know that I could pick just one album. Music is a huge deal to me. I have detailed playlists for each book, and for each individual character as well. My lists cover everything from
Beethoven to the Murder Dolls. Really, it totally depends on what I'm writing. Everything has it's own mood and voice.

BCM: What were some of your favorite books growing up and how did they  influence you to be the writer you are today?

JA: My first real fantasy book was The Heavenly Horse from the Outermost West by Mary Stanton. I still think about those characters and the amazing world Stanton created. I was also a big S.E. Hinton reader. Her characters were real. They were flawed--and that's my favorite kind of character.

BCM: Describe Touch in 5 words or less.

JA: An unforgettable rush of adrenalin

Thank you so much for joining us today, Jus! 

2 comments:

  1. I definitely like names that start with As and Ss, those are my favorites.

    I do love the name Kale and he is an awesome character.

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  2. Sounds like a can't-put-down read. I love the whole concept and wow, Jus even has family betrayal in there, too!

    And I definitely know what you mean by the surreality. I went from tons of No Thank Yous to getting two offers within two days for my first book. It's kind of a head trip, no?


    Smiles!
    Lori

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