Tuesday, July 2, 2013

2013 Summer Author Promo: Jessica Lee Anderson

Calli by Jessica Lee Anderson
Published Date: September 2011
Publisher: Milkweed Editions
Genre: YA

The Story:
Fifteen-year-old Calli has just about everything she could want in life—two loving moms, a good-looking boyfriend, and a best friend who has always been there for support. An only child, Calli is excited when her parents announce that they want to be foster parents. Unfortunately, being a foster sister to Cherish is not at all what Calli expected. First Cherish steals Calli’s boyfriend, then begins to pit Calli’s moms against one another, and she even steals Calli’s iPod. Tired of being pushed around and determined to get even, Calli steals one of Cherish’s necklaces. But this plan for revenge goes horribly awry, and Cherish ends up in juvenile detention.

Isolating herself from her moms, her boyfriend, and even her best friend, Calli wrestles with her guilt and tries to figure out a way to undo the damage she’s caused. When her moms are asked to take on another foster child, Calli sees an opportunity to make amends for her past mistakes.

Funny, moving, and emotionally rich, Calli is a portrait of an endearing young woman caught between adolescence and adulthood, striving to do the right thing even when all of her options seem wrong.

About the Author:
Jessica Lee Anderson is the author of Trudy (winner of the 2005 Milkweed Prize for Children's Literature), Border Crossing (Quick Picks Nomination, Cynsational Book of 2009), as well as the forthcoming young adult novel, Calli (2011). She's published two nonfiction readers, as well as fiction and nonfiction for a variety of magazines including Highlights for Children. Jessica graduated from Hollins University with a Master of Arts in Children's Literature, and instructed at the Institute of Children's Literature for five years. She is a member of The Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrels and hopes to be more sweetheart than scoundrel. She lives near Austin, Texas with her husband and two crazy dogs.


Why I chose to become an author:
After reading LITTLE WOMEN by Louisa May Alcott, I decided I wanted to become an author like Jo March.  As a tomboy and someone who didn’t always fit in as a child, I could really relate to Jo’s character and her love of books and writing.  But that dream seemed short lived when I struggled with writing projects at school, especially as I moved frequently and each school seemed to have a different set of standards.  I still enjoyed writing but the idea that I’d ever become an author seemed impossible.  Fortunately, I unknowingly created the perfect “internship” by continuing to read voraciously. 

            By high school, that author dream nudged at me again when I got the idea to write a novel.  I drafted some solid first chapters and had a perfect ending in mind.  Given my previous struggles and many self-doubts, I kept the writing a secret, hiding the manuscript pages underneath my dresser.  When the middle of the story got rough, I ditched the story and let the dream slip from me once again. 

It wasn’t until I went to college to become a teacher and took a children’s literature course that I decided to give the author thing another chance.  I had an idea for a novel inspired by events happening in my life, and this time, I shared my convictions with friends and family who held me accountable and encouraged me.  My failed novel attempt in high school taught me a lesson on perseverance and the importance of overcoming the sagging-middle-of-the-novel syndrome.  Amazingly, Milkweed Editions pulled this manuscript from the slush pile!  I had a complete Jo March moment when I saw the novel, TRUDY, on the bookshelf for the first time. 
I feel blessed that I’ve had subsequent Jo March moments—my novel CALLI is the most recent, but I’d be lying if I didn’t share that I still have self-doubts especially when unexpected changes in the industry have happened or when the writing gets tough or when negativity in the form of rejection or criticism sets in.  When this happens, I remind myself of what is important and awesome and renew my author vow.

* Twitter party: Friday, July 19th at 7PM; The hashtag: #2013SummerAuthorBlitz
* Facebook Event: Friday, July 26th at 3PM
Summer Author Blitz Schedule!
Come one, come all to the 2013 Summer Author Promo Blitz! 
Follow along for author interviews, guest posts, giveaways, a super-fun scavenger hunt, a twitter party, a Facebook Event, and a full-panel author discussion on Authors on the Air! 
Belle and Tabatha hope everyone enjoys meeting all these new authors and bloggers during this month-long blitz!

July 1
SWAG Contest!
July 2
Jessica Lee Anderson
Guest Post
July 3
Janet Fox
July 4
Happy Independence Day!

Nicole Story

Janet Lee Carey
July 5
Cory Putnam Oakes
Guest Post
July 6
Steven E. Metze
July 7
LB Whittington - creator of book covers and trailers
July 8
Kimberley Griffiths Little
July 9
Stacy A. Moran
Guest Post

Michelle Pickett
July 10
Missy Jane
Guest Post

Janni Lee Simner
July 11
Cinda Chima Williams
July 12
Nikki Lofkin
Guest Post
July 13
Faith A. Rice-Mills
July 14
L.S. Broomfield
Guest Post
July 15
Melissa Studdard

Joy Preble
Guest Post
July 16
E. Kristin Anderson

Alberto Arcia
July 17
Krissi Dallas
Guest Post

Jo Whittemore
July 18
Belle Whittington
July 19
PJ Hoover

CC Hunter
Guest Post

Twitter Party at 7 PM: Use #2013SummerAuthorBlitz
July 20
Heather Lamb
July 21
Nickie Seidler
Guest Post
July 22
Jonathan Maberry

Ashley Nemer
Guest Post
July 23
Heather Poinsett & Chris Dunbar

Guest Post
July 24
Ali Cross

Mickey Mills
Guest Post
July 25
Jennifer Bray-Weber

Dom Testa
Guest Post
July 26
Dicey Grenor

July 27
Dean Wilson
Guest Post
July 28
Hafsah at IceDesigns
July 29
Tracee Ford
Guest Post
July 30
Heidi McLaughlin
July 31
RH Ramsey
Guest Post

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  1. I loved this interview!!!! <3 Jessica, it was terrific getting to know more about you!

    But, oh, aren't all us Texas gals a little bit scoundrelous? ;-)



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