The Compulsive Reader: Book of the Month: An Interview with Jillian Cantor

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Book of the Month: An Interview with Jillian Cantor

Jillian Cantor, author of March's Book of the Month, The September Sisters, stopped by to answer a few questions about The September Sisters, writing, and more.
How long did it take you to write The September Sisters?

It took me about three months to write the first draft of the book, but it took about four and a half years from the time I wrote the first word until the time the book sold, and I did a lot of revising in that time period!

What was the hardest part about writing it? The easiest?

The hardest was definitely the ending. I have about 20 different versions of the last chapter. I love Abby so much that I wanted to give her a good ending, but I wanted the story to feel real and believable. It took me a lot of tries (and good advice from my agent and editor) to get it right. The easiest part was writing Abby – her voice just came to me, and as I wrote that first draft her story almost seemed to write itself.

What's one thing you want your readers to take away from The September Sisters?

Abby is a really strong and smart character, who faces adversity – she attempts to take control of her own destiny even when it feels impossible. She’s also able to look past stereotypes and see people for who and what they really are, stripping away appearances, and I think this is a really admirable trait.

What are you writing now/what can we expect next from you?

What you can expect next from me is a second YA book called THE LIFE OF GLASS, which will be out from Harperteen in early 2010. It’s the story of 14-year-old Melissa, and the book follows her through her freshman year in high school as she struggles with life, loss, love, and beauty. I’m also writing two new things right now – I’m finishing up revisions on a book for adults, and I just started working on my third YA novel.

What's one good book you've read recently you'd like to recommend to your readers?

The last YA book I read was Sweethearts by Sara Zarr, and I thought it was a really great book. I loved the way she entwined the past and the present, and I could not put the book down!

As a debut author, what's one piece of advice you'd like to share with other authors (or aspiring authors)?
Grow some very thick skin! As a writer, you will get rejected -- a lot! It’s always part of the package -- even after you’ve found an agent or sold a book – there will still be rejection. Don’t take the rejection personally, and take anything constructive from it that you can and move on. Keep believing in yourself, and keep writing through it!

If you could choose any author, alive or dead, to colloborate with, who would it be and why?

That’s a really tough question. There are a lot that come to mind, but I’m going to say Nora Ephron, who wrote some of the best romantic comedy movies ever (When Harry Met Sally, which she wrote, is my absolute favorite movie). I love romantic comedies, books and movies, and I also think you can learn a lot about novel writing from screenplays and screenwriters. I feel like I could learn a lot from her about dialogue, pacing, and comedic timing.

Is there anything I didn't ask that you wish I had?

Hmmm, how about: I’ve seen your awesome book trailer – who made it for you? I agree, the book trailer is quite awesome! And it was made for me by the fabulously talented Compulsive Reader herself! Thanks for the great interview todayJ. If you want to learn more about me or The September Sisters, stop by my website: http://www.jilliancantor.com/

Thanks so much, Jillian!

And here is that trailer:

Want to win a signed copy of The September Sisters? Then leave your name and email address in the comments, and I'll pick one winner on April 1st! No foolin.
Also, unfortunately, this contest is only open to US residents. To everyone else, I'm sorry!


Michelle Zink said...

This sounds fantastic...

And look at you go with those book trailers!


Sounds interesting!

pepsivanilla said...

This book sounds awesome, as does The Life of Glass! Great job with the book trailer too :)


Lisa Schroeder said...

Great interview! And your book trailers are fantastic!

The Compulsive Reader said...

Thanks, everyone! I'm glad you like them.

Emily said...

Trailer was great!

Bow-ties are Cool: Alyssa Guyll said...

This book looks great! I think I may have to hunt it down.


Unknown said...

This book sounds pretty interesting!

Anonymous said...







Chantele Sedgwick said...

Awesome interview! Looks like a great book!

Katie said...

Enter me!


WhatBriReads said...

Sounds like a good book!


Cassie said...

yeahh this sounds amazing!



Sara said...

Please enter me for the contest!!


Cynthia said...

WOW! Sounds interesting!

生活記事本 said...