Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Jessa Russo Interview!

Some of you are aware of my delightful Crit Partner, Jessa Russo, and her recent AMAZING news - her book deal with Curiosity Quills.

Well, her debut novel EVER has been officially released, and you hardly know anything about Jessa and EVER.

Today, we change that. I give you... Jessa Russo!

Oh, and if you aren't following her blog RUN! Follow her now and avoid the rush.

She's also on Twitter

You guys don't even know how excited I am about this. I'm this excited. Seriously.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that Jessa and I were Crit Partner-less until we found each other this year. When we met - ALL THE THINGS HAPPENED! SO if you don't have a crit partner - RUN out there and FIND ONE! But not mine. She's taken.

Sidenote - look how gorgeous she is!

Dontcha wish your CP was hot like mine? Dontcha wish your CP was a... *cough* Let's get to the interview, shall we?

1. Your debut novel, EVER, comes out October 1st. Tell us a little about it.

EVER is a story of first love(s), friendship, new experiences, and a little bit of the paranormal because I think EVERYTHING is better with a dash of paranormal. EVER started out as a story about a young girl with a house full of ghosts, but over time (and after many revisions), it became a story about a young girl with one ghost – her best friend and secret first love.

2. What made you decide to sign with Curiosity Quills - other than their awesome logo? ;)

Aside from the logo, huh? Well in that case, my editor Krystal was the other reason. She was able to tell me exactly what she loved about my story, as well as exactly what needed to change. She didn’t just gush about it – though there’s nothing wrong with gushing – but she gave me a solid critique, and was thorough. A good balance is something I’m finding I love about reviews now as well. I want to hear both sides of a review because having likes and dislikes is honest and normal. Though there is an upside to strictly gushing, and when people gush about loving EVER, I don’t need much else. In that note, there’s a downside to not gushing at all, and those reviews take some time to get over. I’m not supposed to read them, but aren’t all of us a bit masochistic by nature?

3. Is the editing process as brutal as you'd imagined? Did you have any darlings that were particularly hard to kill?

The editing process doesn’t bother me as much as I expected it to. Well, no, that’s not really true. I didn’t really know what to expect, to be honest. The worst part about my editing with EVER was that Krystal asked me to change the tense from present to past, which wouldn’t have been so painful had I not already changed it from past to present. As you already know, Tam. Lol ;-) But the best part about editing? Going through that process, as long and as hard as it was at times, has made me a much better writer and editor, and hopefully that will pay off in future works.

4. One of Ever's love interests is a ghost. Do you believe in ghosts?

Yes. Absolutely. I don’t have an explanation for them, because their existence kind of goes against my Christian upbringing, but I do believe. There have just been too many instances in my life of “seeing” something that shouldn’t have been there, or “feeling” something odd, to be blamed on anything but the paranormal.

5. Writers often talk of those dark days where they wanted to give up on their work. Taking a different angle, did you have a moment when writing EVER where you knew you HAD to write it, and get it published?

Hmm. You would know best about my dark days, and there were many as you know. But as far as having moments where I just knew I had to get EVER published or even finished? I don’t know that I can recall any specific moments like that. I just have a ridiculous perseverance (surprising even myself) and I apparently don’t take no for an answer. Who knew?

6. Other than hard work, was there anything instrumental in getting EVER *there*? (Caffeine, chocolate etc.)

My critique partner. And I’m not just saying that because I’m on your blog, so just stop shaking your head at me. I honestly don’t know if EVER would be published had I not met you. Not only was your critique instrumental in getting EVER to the place it needed to be, but you were able to keep me moving forward when I tried to give up. I can’t even put into words how much that means to me.

And yes to coffee as well. ALL THE COFFEE.

7. *Blushes furiously from #6* If you could choose, who would play you in the made-for-tv movie all about how you were the stunningly talented author of the wildly successful EVER series? (Doubters can suck it - this is NOT flattery!)

Hahaha! See!? THIS is why I love you. I have NO idea who would play me. That’s a tough question. But obviously it would have to be someone brilliant and drop-dead gorgeous. OBVIOUSLY. Lol!

8. OBVIOUSLY! :D You recently accepted a position at CQ - as Acquisitions Editor! How does it feel to be on the other side of the velvet rope?

It feels amazing. Except when it doesn’t. Then it feels like poop. Like when I have to reject a submission. But I think I can offer something that many literary agents and publishers/editors aren’t able to offer: compassion. Now, before anyone jumps on me for saying that, I’m not saying they aren’t compassionate (well, those of us who’ve ever been in the query trenches know that some actually are not) but I am saying that because I know VERY WELL what it feels like to receive heartless form rejections, I try not to do that to the authors I am in contact with. I know all too well how heartbreaking it is to receive a rejection, even more so when the agent calls you Sir (when you’re clearly not a Sir), or misspells your name. So I like to think that since I’ve been there, I may be able to soften the blow a little bit more than others who haven’t experienced query hell.

9. Finally, tell us something you'd like everyone to know about EVER.

EVER is my very first book. I have many works in progress now, but EVER is my firstborn. So even if someone hates my book, or thinks my writing needs work, etc, I have only one direction to go, and that is UP. And I have NO intention of not climbing the ladder in front of me.

Also, there’s a LOT of myself in EVER. The death of my father when I was 16 – something I hadn’t planned on including in the book – just happened to find its way into the story. The beautiful best friend I never felt I measured up to – she’s still my best friend, she’s just as amazing as I hope you find Jessie, and I still don’t think I measure up to her. The good guy vs. the other guy (not bad, but not necessarily good either) – pretty much my dating history in a nutshell. I’ve dated them all. I ended up with a really good man WITH tattoos. It’s a perfect combination. Like Ever, I’m both awkward and strong, shy and confident. It’s a strange mixture.

10. I'm so proud of you, and happy that the world is going to meet EVER:) *hugs*

I love you and can’t wait to make YOU answer questions for your stop on my blog! Now hurry up and get MOONDREAMER agented so I can gush about Draven to everyone I know!!! You’re the best CP a girl could ask for.


  1. Love to see Jessa's journey. Read the book in just about 24 hours, so it's definitely a page-turner. Feaky, thanks for posting this great interview. Fun and informative :)

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  3. It's way more difficult than you may think to find the book from here, so here's a link to help anyone who may be looking. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1620070898?ie=UTF Congratulations and good luck in the future!

  4. What a fun interview! Can't wait to read EVER. Been excited about its release since June -- May??? -- all summer. :)