The Compulsive Reader: October Book of the Month: An Interview with Jordanna Fraiberg

Thursday, October 23, 2008

October Book of the Month: An Interview with Jordanna Fraiberg

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Today Jordanna Fraiberg, author of our Book of the Month, In Your Room, was kind enough to sit down and take a moment to answer a few questions about her debut novel.

How did you come about the idea for the premise of In Your Room?

I came up with the premise during the first five minutes of watching the first Sisterhood movie. I had not yet read the books, but at the time I was still a film exec, so from that perspective, I was wondering how they were going to pull off the movie while all four main characters are mostly apart (we were actually just about to hire the director for another project, which is why I was watching it). That's when all of a sudden I wondered how two strangers could fall in love while being apart and living in each other's rooms. I pitched the idea to my agent, the fabulous Kate Lee, who loved the idea so that's how it all started.

Do you have any talent for making clothes like Molly?

I wish I had that talent! One of my close friends, Mireille, used to make her own clothes in high school. I was always so impressed with how effortlessly she pulled off her unique style, and how confident she was doing so, just like Molly. When I was in India during my junior year of college for a semester abroad, my friend Maggie and I used to visit this local tailor every day and bring him designs we drew in our journals. We'd choose the fabric and within a day or two, we had our brand new garment for practically pennies in US currency. I can't say I was talented, but it was so much fun. It was also an excuse for us to practice the Hindi we were learning while we were there with the tailor and his family who lived behind the shop.

What was one of your favorite books when you were a teen?

The Judy Blume books. Blubber and Are You There God? It's Me Margaret are the top contenders. I also loved Lord of the Flies. It was the first book where I learned about symbolism in a meaningful way.

Do you have any weird "writing quirks" you'd be willing to share?

Is procrastination a quirk? if so, I have it in spades. Sometimes it feels like ideas are ballooning in my head, and it's like they're ready to burst unless I sit down and spew them out. I like to experiment with my schedule, but ultimately, as long as I get a certain word count in a day, it doesn't always matter when or where I write. I go through long stretches of writing in my home office. Other times I go to coffee shops. Sometimes it will be the same one for an extended period; sometimes I'll do a coffee shop "tour" and go to a different one every day to experience different parts of LA. I try to have a mix of inspiration and discipline.

What are you writing now?

I'm writing a new YA novel for Razorbill, with a (hopefullyl!) juicy love story at its center.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

Heal the sick to get rid of disease.

What are you going to be for Halloween?

Good question. I usually figure it out on the day itself, which either leads to great inspiration (the time I was a fortune teller and met my future husband four years ago!) or a total flop (the time I dressed up as a beatnik, replete with black turtle neck, beret and fake beauty mark and NOBODY knew who I was! although I was the only warm female at the outdoor party, that's for sure, and it was worth it!)

What was the hardest aspect of writing In Your Room? What was the easiest?

The hardest part was getting the first draft down on paper and writing through the story. I think it was especially difficult because I was really nervous that my editor was going to hate it, since Razorbill bought the book off a partial manuscript. Once I got the first draft done, it was much easier having it to work from. I had such amazing guidance and support from Razorbill, so once I relaxed, it became a really joyful process honing the story and really finding the love and connection between Molly and Charlie. It's sometimes easy to forget that the best part about writing is what you discover along the way.

Anything I didn't ask that you wish I had?

Nothing, these were great questions!

Thanks so much, Jordanna!

Now, some of you may have noticed a rather lack of posts lately...that's because I've been experimenting with making book trailers, which is actually surprisingly easy once you get the hang of it. Anyways, my first attempt was to make a trailer for In Your Room. There are a few flaws (like the type, which was easy to see in the program, is now a bit hard to see in the video), but for the most part, I'm happy with it. Let me know what you think about, and if anyone has any tips, I'd really appreciate hearing them!


Sara said...

Great interview, and great book trailer! I've benn wanting to read this book for a while now, and this post just made me want it even more!

As you said, the text in the video was a little hard to read sometimes, but it wasn't that disturbing. I love the music you chosed for the trailer too. it was good background music, nothing that disturbed you or made you lose concentration of the video. Good work!

Lenore Appelhans said...

What a great interview - it really makes me want to read the book!

Anonymous said...

Good work!
amy g koss

Anonymous said...

That was a good book trailer! Yes, the color was hard to read, but otherwise, it was fantastic! Make more! ;)

Alea said...

Great book trailer! I wonder how you can get the type to pop better, that's a hard one. Awesome job!

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty much dying to read this. I eventually pestered my library to buy this book and am waiting impatiently for it to arrive =)