Author Interview & Giveaway-- Jodi Meadows


Connect with Jodi:
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Incarnate was the talk of the town late last year/early this year, and the sequel (Asunder) is building up some awesome buzz, too (have you SEEN that cover?!). So I'm very pleased and excited to welcome Jodi Meadows to the bash! Be sure to check out my interview, enter to win Incarnate and then party with Jodi!


So, when I started reading Incarnate I thought it was a book about reincarnation. Then I was bombarded with dragons, sylphs, hot musicians, and a mystical deity. Holy cow! When you started writing did you know that you were going to pack SO MUCH into the book? Did one idea come first, or did they all rush in together?

INCARNATE started with one idea: a society of perpetually reincarnated souls who remember everything . . . plus a new soul.

The note on my computer is dated summer 2006, and I didn't get the courage to write the story until fall 2009. (I like to think I spent those three years working on other things to get good enough to write INCARNATE, but the truth is I spent those three years avoiding it. It sounded too hard. The best ones usually do.)

I went about writing INCARNATE differently from my usual process, which was just open a blank document and start going. This time, since the premise was so complicated and needed so much forethought, I did a lot of planning. I made notes about how a society like that might work, came up with different worldbuilding aspects based on that, and plotted out all three novels, though they've evolved a lot since those early synopses. I'd also done a lot of thinking about teenage girls and their hot immortal boyfriends, so I wanted to make sure there was something real about Ana and Sam's relationship, something that would tie them together even when they fought.

All that early planning involved a lot of daydreaming, and one scene I couldn't get out of my head was a girl alone in the woods, trying to sleep, but shadows begin to attack. From there, the world just kind of . . . unfurled in my head, like it had been this real and whole thing all along, but I was only just becoming aware of it.

Well, I think you've done a masterful job of combining the elements. But... being attacked my Sylphs is kind of... terrifying. So if you could live in the world of Incarnate would you want to? And if you did, would you want to be an “old” soul or a newsoul?

Gosh, no. I mean, I love my characters and I think the world is cool -- I'd totally visit -- but life there is dangerous, and since they only have the million people, they don't have much of a concept of fiction about other people. My job -- making up stories about people who exist in imagination -- would be pointless there.

. . . Or make me filthy rich.

Can I change my answer?

HA! Since there are only a limited amount of people in the world of Incarnate, how much, if any, of Incarnate is based off real-live people/events? Do you know any hot musicians? Ever dived in a freezing lake? Gone to a masquerade?

Nothing in the story is really based off my real life, or people in my real life. I'm without hot musicians. I try to avoid being outside when it's cold, so the lake thing is out. And no one has invited me to a masquerade . . . yet. I have a feeling the masquerade thing is the most likely to happen. I'll be watching my mailbox.

What is inspired from my real life, though, is Ana's feelings of inadequacy, her desire to be good at something important to her. I've had all those feelings and that need to succeed, not just with writing, but with music and dance as well. It's a difficult, ugly place to be, needing more approval than anyone can ever provide.

I’ve always been under the impression that ferrets are mean, yet yours are some of the cutest things I’ve ever seen! Why the love of ferrets?

Ferrets are not mean! They're totally maligned in fiction. I don't know why.

Ferrets are different, that's for sure. Their personalities are this weird cross between puppies and kittens. They're ridiculously playful. That is, when they're not asleep.

I fell in love with ferrets when I first saw them in a pet store, shortly before I got married. They were just so cute! And they wanted looooove. And I wanted to give them my love! So I spent about a month doing as much research as I possibly could before I decided I could offer a ferret a good home. (Their needs are much different from cats' and dogs' needs, and certainly more involved than a lot of other small animals'.)

And that was that. My first ferret's name was Miss Suzi, and then I began to experience something called ferret math, where I needed "just one more."

Do you read a lot of YA? I ask because YA authors often say they don’t read YA while they’re writing because they are concerned about absorbing too much of another author’s voice. Is that an issue for you?

I read a ton of YA. It not only keeps me inspired, but it keeps me knowing what is out there and what other people are reading and writing. I figure I read much more quickly than I write, so I'm unlikely to absorb anyone else's voice long enough to affect my story. And that's what revisions are for: getting everything just how I like it.

Speaking of revisions, how much say did you have in the title for Incarnate? Did you have the same amount of say when titling Asunder?

A lot, actually. The original title for INCARNATE was . . . Erin Incarnate. (Ana had another name once. Boy was that a change that took getting used to!) And ASUNDER was once called Erin Asunder. (The last book was titled Erin Eternal, but just in case anyone thinks they're clever and can spot the trend, the last book will not be titled Eternal. There are already fifty million and they're all about vampires, as far as I can tell. IN3 will have a completely different title.)

For the first book, we just chopped the name off without much of a fuss, though we did consider a few alternatives. For the second, I came up with another list of options -- a big list! -- and then Marketing told me they really liked Asunder, so we'd be keeping that.

I have a few ideas for IN3, which I've already sent my editor so she can agree/disagree/send it to Marketing to deal with, but my file on my computer is Ana Notitle. Maybe Marketing will just want to call it Notitle. ;)

And now a mad-lib! As always, credit for this idea goes to the reviewers at Everead.

We stood in the middle of the butterfly without twisting for what seemed like eons. The sparkling in my eyes kept me staring at the star cups on the table, steam rising and he probably knew it. If he'd had any decency, he'd excuse himself to use the ferret or something, give me a chance to haunt my cloud into submission.

!!Giveaway Time!!


You can win a Signedcopy of Incarnate! Today's giveaway is hosted by Debz Bookshelf. Head on over to win. This giveaway is open TO US ONLY!





All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

34 comments:

  1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Incarnate! It's one of my favorite novels EVER:) Ana and SAm? They're perfect together - and I agree with Jodi that they really have that special connection that keeps them together no matter what.

    How cool is it that Jodi had to design her world before writing it - I see why - it's so beautifully complex and unique, and I LOVE the dragons:)

    Great interview:) Jodi sounds super nice:)

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  2. I liked hearing about her writing process. Great interview.

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  3. I am really looking forward to reading Incarnate and Asunder. I've always liked Mad Libs. That was an interesting little addition to the interview.
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  4. I've heard great things about this series but didn't realize what they were about. They sound Amazing!

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  5. I always wondered why re: the ferrets, and they are incredibly cute! I walked into a pet store on time to find two ferrets: one was sleeping, the other was on its back, trying to scratch its way free. Needless to say, I wanted the hyper one because HE WAS SO CUTE.

    great interview. :)

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  6. Can't wait for Asunder! Great interview!

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  7. Wow, I didn't know so much stuff was packed into this series! It makes me even more eager to read it!

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  8. I completely agree with Jodi about ferrets. They are maligned in fiction, and it's so unfair. In movies they are given unrealistic behaviors, and they are dubbed with making a sort of squeaking sound that they can't physically make. Real-life ferrets are the most hilarious creatures in the world. <3

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  9. I adored Incarnate! One of my favorites of the year!

    Great interview! Heh, ferrets...

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  10. This is a really great interview! I agree i love ferrets, they are so entertaining!

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  11. Jodi sounds like she has a personality like mine.

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  12. I wasn't sure I wanted to read this book until I read this interview. I have reconsidered and am adding it to my TBR pile. :)

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  13. I love ferrets when they're somebody else's :) Thanks for the interview. I'm really excited to start reading this series!

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  14. Great interview. I love the questions you asked and Jodi's responses! She was very honest and open. Good work!

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  15. *fist pumps for ferrets* I think ferrets are darling!

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  16. Great interview,I'm looking forward to reading Incarnate!

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  17. Wow, after hearing all of this I'm inspired to read it! Thanks for the interview! It is interesting to see how ideas come about.

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  18. I am super excited to read Incarnate and Asunder! They sound awesome, and the covers are just GORGEOUS! Thank you so much for the amazing interview and giveaway!

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  19. Great interview! Hearing how witty an author is during an interview sure inspires me to read her books! I'm looking forward to Incarnate, now that I know what it is about :)

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  20. Wow, these covers are so pretty! I love them. Sad to say I haven't read Incarnate yet, though I really want to. It sounds interesting and very different from a lot of other YA books. :) Thanks to you both for the nice interview and giveaway!!!

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  21. I always love hearing about the name changes and or title changes of novels. It's truly amazing how a book can be altered in so many different ways before it actually hits the shelves. Great interview!

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  22. I'm so looking forward to Asunder! The concept of Incarnate was devastatingly beautiful, and the execution was great. Thanks for spending time writing the book!

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  23. I lOVED this book. thanks for the opportunity to win! I like how nothing in the book was based off of her real life. I think such a thing is rare for a writer. Most writers draw from real life experiences to create, and she does not!

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  24. I loved this book! It was a unique idea and it had a great style to it. Definitely looking forward to Asunder. :)

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  25. Thank you for the interview! I cannot believe you thought ferrets were mean! lol I have 3 and they are amazing! I love finding things in books that relate to my real life, it sucks me in even more! =)

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  26. LOL at the ferrets being scary! haha! But yes this book was different, with dragons, reincarnation, EVERYTHING! Great interview!
    - Farah @MajiBookshelf

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  27. Incarnate really opened my eyes to how cool the fantasy genre can be! I could feel Ana's emotions as I was reading, and Sam is such a wonderful, dreamy character. I love that the sylph idea just came to Jodi from a daydream. It's awesome what the mind can come up with while you're just typing away. The world building in the book is amazing:)Dying for Asunder!
    -Jenna

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  28. I haven't got to read this book but it has been on my want list the cover is beautiful! Great interview.

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  29. I adored Incarnate!! Sadly, I borrowed someone's ARC so I don't have a copy, but I'd love to have one that's signed. Awesome interview and thanks for the giveaway! :)

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  30. This book came as a surprise to me! I really didn't like the beginning but the ending more than made up for it!! I can't wait to read Asunder.

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  31. I loved the whole concept of Janan. It was cool and different. I hadnt seen anything like it befoee.

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  32. Jodi is so wonderful! I also love her knitting, super amazing.

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  33. Great interview! I had no idea that Incarnate was full of dragons & other awesome things!!

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  34. I loved Incarnate when I got to read it through Netgalley and would love to have my own copy! I also have loved following Jodi Meadows on Twitter, and that she's even replied to some of my tweets I've sent her! It was great hearing her writing process, as that's something I always wonder about as I'm trying to write.

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Thank you so much for commenting! I read each and every one.

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