Friday, 15 April 2016

Flashback Reading: An Interview with Jodi Meadows

As many of you know, I've been a fan of Jodi Meadows since I picked up an ARC of Incarnate many moons ago. In fact, I finished reading her most recent release, The Mirror King, just last week and plan to have a review up soon. But for now, I was thrilled when Jodi offered to come do an interview to talk about the Incarnate trilogy, the books that started it all.

In your own words, how would you pitch the Incarnate trilogy?

INCARNATE is the story of the only new girl in a world where everyone else is perpetually reincarnated. She needs to figure out why she was born, and what happened to the person she replaced. 

What inspired this series?

I really wish I could remember! I had the idea for Incarnate in 2006 (that's ten years ago now!), but I didn't feel like I could properly write such a challenging idea until 2009 -- when I felt I had nothing to lose by trying. Somewhere in the three years the note for the story sat on my computer, I just . . . forgot what inspired it. 

How did you feel about releasing Incarnate in the months leading up to it? Did releasing Asunder and Infinite feel different?

Oh yes, they felt different! Before Incarnate came out, I was both nervous and excited. There was this feeling that everything would be completely different on January 31, 2012. Completely different. I had so much anxiety and apprehension and anticipation for that day, but ultimately, nothing really changed, except that I had a book on the shelves of my local bookstore. Which *is* life changing, but also not. In a way, I'd built the day up so much that the actual day was a bit anti-climactic. Not in a bad way, just . . . nothing really changed. I still had to write my next book.

With every book I've released since then, there's been a minor sense of that life-changing possibility, but nothing remotely to the level of Incarnate. Which is nice. That was exhausting! 

Any exciting launch day memories for the books?

For Incarnate, I went to one of my local bookstores only to find that they'd lost a couple copies of my book, and when they went to the back to hunt down the ones they could find, they just asked if I wanted to buy one. So that was great? But my other store had a HUGE display of the books. Which WAS great.

For Asunder, I got stuck on a plane next to an older gentlemen who wanted to know if I wanted to move to Argentina with him and write about adults. (No thank you?) And then a car almost ran me over in a Whole Foods parking lot when I was lost on my way to my agent's house. But then we had my launch party and there was rainbow cake.

For Infinite, I think I was literally the last flight out of Atlanta before it closed for . . . snow! And Texas (where I'd gone for my launch) was basically shut down for ice. But lots of people still came to the launch party and I got to see my sister and her family for the first time in years (they'd been stationed in another country). 

Do you have any reader reactions that really stood out to you?

Oh gosh, yes. There were people who cried all through the first book because they identified so hard with Ana. And there were people who told me that the books changed their lives. There are people who've read the books almost as many times as I have. This is kind of amazing to me!
Now that you've finished up your second series, how does the feeling of releasing your first book compare to releasing books now?

I think . . . instead of extreme anticipation, I've been feeling more a sense of satisfaction. I mean, there's always anticipation. There's always worry. I have a constant fear that my established readers won't like whatever new thing I write. The fear of disappointing readers can be overwhelming. 

But . . . when I just think about my books making it to shelves, it's more satisfaction. I'm happy I've been able to work on them. I'm happy readers are buying them and allowing me to continue doing the job I love.
Because I'm a music junkie - did you make a playlist for the books in this series or do you have any songs you associate with them?

Yes, absolutely.

One of the songs I wrote most of the first of Incarnate to was "Drought" by Vienna Teng. That song will always be associated with Ana and Incarnate for me. Even thinking about the song puts me back in the snowy forest with Ana as she begins her journey to discovering herself. 

Was the writing process different for you in writing the Incarnate series vs. writing The Orphan Queen duology?

In a way, yes. In general these days, I try to do a bit more plotting out my series before I get started. There are always changes. The changes I made to Infinite -- because of edits and writerly growth in the first two books -- are pretty massive. The first draft of that book is almost unrecognizable from the final product. But of course there are similarities -- and the end point did not change. 

With OQ and MK, I wasn't quite as good about plotting to the end -- deciding that all-important end point for the characters -- as I should have been. This created a whole lot of trouble when I needed to write MK on a deadline. 

The Mirror King just released, finishing up another series. So what comes next?

Yesss. I'm so happy about THE MIRROR KING. It was one of the most difficult books I've ever written, but I am so, so proud of how it's turned out.

Next up, we have MY LADY JANE, a collaborative book between Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, and me. It's about Jane Grey. We didn't like the way such an awesome girl died, so we decided to fix it. 

And following that is a new fantasy trilogy (from just me this time) that may or may not keep the series title: The Fallen Isles. The books themselves do not have titles, but I have been calling them Cell Story. 

There are dragons.
Anything else you want to mention?

All my books have had code names. Incarnate was Reincarnation Story. Orphan Queen was Broadway Story. Cell Story is Cell Story. 

Only two out of three actually have anything to do with the book. Broadway Story was proposed because of my friend CJ Redwine. Something about an attacking army of show-tunes singing centaurs. Those aren't in the book, either, but that sounds either wonderful or a more terrifying threat than the wraith. 
Thanks so much for stopping by, Jodi! I loved hearing about the differences that came with these two series that I love. If you haven't had the chance to check out the Incarnate series, I strongly recommend you do! You can read my review of the first book here and add it on Goodreads here. And, of course, you can check out more info on The Orphan Queen here. Also you should really follow Jodi on twitter and on Instagram because there are many photos of books, cats, and knitting. 


1 comment:

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