Hi guys! We’re doing things a little differently this week. Instead of Wordy Wednesday, I had the honor of interviewing the lovely Jessa Russo. Jessa is the author of EVER, which was recently released by Curiosity Quills. From its Goodreads blurb:
Seventeen-year-old Ever’s love life has been on hold for the past two years. She’s secretly in love with her best friend Frankie, and he’s completely oblivious.
Of course, it doesn’t help that he’s dead, and waking up to his ghost every day has made moving on nearly impossible.
Frustrated and desperate for something real, Ever finds herself falling for her hot new neighbor Toby. His relaxed confidence is irresistible, and not just Ever knows it. But falling for Toby comes with a price that throws Ever’s life into a whirlwind of chaos and drama. More than hearts are on the line, and more than Ever will suffer.
Some girls lose their hearts to love.
Some girls lose their minds.
Ever Van Ruysdael could lose her soul.
Hi Jessa! Thanks so much for joining us around these parts.
Hi! *waves wildly* Thanks for having me!!
First of all, I have to ask the dreaded question: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hmm. Well, that’s a very vague question. Lol! Let’s see … I’m 32 years old, a mother and wife, and I’m completely obsessed with reading YA. I find that YA books are so much more creative than anything else. What else … I’m also a huge fan of New Orleans … slightly obsessed with Ian Somerhalder … addicted to coffee (aren’t we all?) … addicted to makeup and shoes, though don’t spend much money on either … in love with all types of pasta … I love to cook but I suck at it … I love the beach but I’m scared of the water now that I’ve seen way too many scary movies … I hate clowns but love the movie IT … I think being a mom is the most important job I’ll ever have and I’m secretly terrified that I’m failing … I still don’t believe I wrote and published a book. Surreal doesn’t even begin to cover it.
How long have you been writing?
I have been writing seriously since 2009. I believe I started EVER in late 2010. We’ll just pretend those stacks of angst-filled poems from my youth don’t count. 😉
I had the pleasure of reading an ARC copy of Ever. Let me just say – wowza. What was your inspiration for writing the story?
Awww, WOWZA? That’s awesome! Truthfully, I have no idea what my inspiration was. I know that’s a terrible answer, but it’s the truth. Ever as a character had been floating around in my head for a while, but I hadn’t known what her story would be yet. Then I started writing – she lived in a house FULL of ghosts, and somehow fell in love with one of them. The ultimate case of loving a boy she couldn’t have. Eventually, I killed off a lot of my darlings, and whittled the [ghost] story down to Frankie.
If you had to describe Ever in one word, what would it be? What was your favorite part of writing her character?
Yikes. That’s a hard one. But I keep coming back to loving. Ever is full of love, whether for Frankie, or for Jessie, her mom and dad … eventually Toby. She’s a loving person. She follows her heart. Even if it leads her in the wrong direction. She’s a hopeless romantic, and she believes in true love wholeheartedly.
Do you believe that ghosts truly exist? Or do you just enjoy writing about them?
Yes. There are just too many things that can’t be explained. And too many moments in my own life where I’ve seen something that shouldn’t be there. I swear I see my dead cat walking through our house, and my mother-in-law’s house smells like cigarettes sometimes and she has never been a smoker. Just little things like that make me wonder.
If you had to dream-cast Ever, Frankie, Toby, and Jessie, who would you pick?
Ever is tough because she’s built like a real girl, and not like a model or actress – I would need someone on the shorter side, with curves. But as far as faces go, I guess Emma Roberts would be a good match. For Jessie, I’d say Amanda Seyfried or Candace Accola. Candace’s spunk as Caroline in TVD is perfect for Jessie, but Amanda Seyfried looks more like how I picture her. Toby is EASILY Alex Pettyfer. YUM. And Frankie … hmmm … another tough one. If we were casting (I wish!) I’d ask them to throw on some glasses and their hair would need to be done up in a pompadour so I could really answer this question. But without being able to do that, I’d say it’s a tie between Steven McQueen (TVD), and Matt Prokop (Geek Charming).
And now, a few quick-fires:
ALL. Honestly, I love everything. To give you an example, my top favorite songs of all time are probably Golden Years by David Bowie, Stay by Shakespeare’s Sister, Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd, Neon Moon by Brooks and Dunn, and Man in the Long Black Coat by Joan Osborne (the Bob Dylan original is good too, but not my fave).
Favorite writing snack?
I don’t have one. But I do drink a lot of coffee in the morning, and that’s my best writing time, so I’ll say coffee.
Sweet or salty?
BOTH! Combine the two and I’m a happy girl.
Beach or mountains?
Beach. ALWAYS the beach. What can I say – it’s probably my Southern California upbringing.
Frankie or Toby? (And yes, you must pick one!)
Toby. Definitely Toby. But if I could combine the two of them into one amazing fictional boyfriend, that would be more fun.
Thank you again, Jessa!
EVER is now available for purchase, so grab your copy. This is one you don’t want to miss out on!