I’m interviewing author Jacquelyn Sylvan today. Jacquelyn’s debut novel, “Blind Study” has recently been released and she’s now touring with her book. Enjoy the interview!
1) How long have you been writing?
About eight years now. It was never something I planned to do; like all the best things, it just sort of happened.
2) Is Blind Study your first novel? If not, please tell us a little about your first book.
No, not even close to my first book. My first book was called Surviving Serendipity, and it was published through a small press about six years ago. Unfortunately, it’s now out of print. And I’ve written…jeez…I think I’m currently writing my 11th book.
3) Tell us about Blind Study.
The basic breakdown is that, about a year before the book starts, Alice had a terrible accident, which she’s never fully recovered from. As a last resort, she enters a study for a new pain medication. The medication works, but it has the very unsettling side effect of horrifyingly vivid nightmares—which are shared by all the participants, as she finds out when she meets Riley, a boy she previously only knew from the dreams.
It’s about a lot more than that, though. It’s about trying to reconcile the person you were with the person you are now, especially after a traumatic event like Alice had—it’s about making hard choices, and hurting people with those choices, even if they’re the right ones.
4) Why did you choose young adult as a genre for your novel?
People ask me this all the time; “Why don’t you write for adults?” Personally, I think young adult is a genre and a time of life which is so fantastically full of possibility. At that age, there’s still a gap between the person you are and the person you will be; it’s a time of self-discovery, and that’s without the addition of crazy supernatural adventures. I also think it’s a genre which translates across so many age groups. I read a lot of YA, and so do most of the writers I know. Look at Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Twilight! I think pretty much everyone can relate to being a teenager, since we’ve all been there, and because of that you can reach a lot of people outside the target audience.
5) Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
You should be reading as much, if not more, as you’re writing. Read diversely and critically. Every book you read has a lesson to teach you. And, when you start writing, finish it. Even if you’re sure it sucks and it’s horrible and no one will ever want to read it, finish. Then go back and fix it. No one ever gets it right the first time.
6) Do you have any works in progress you’d like to tell us about?
Well, soon I’m going to choose another book from my backlist to publish, so there’s that…and then I’m also writing book two of a planned three book series, about a professional teenage thief who gets herself in deep after a simple job turns out to be much more trouble than she bargained for.
Author: Jacquelyn Sylvan
Genre: YA Supernatural Thriller
Eighteen-year-old Alice has spent the last year of her life in a hospital bed, held hostage by pain from a freak accident. Doctors can neither explain nor cure her condition, and her medical insurance is about to run out. Then, she’s offered one last chance—inclusion in a study for a revolutionary new pain medication.
Miraculously, the medication works. There’s only one side effect—vivid, terrifying nightmares, of imprisonment in a pitch-black cell, with no memory of her identity or how she got there. At least, she thinks that’s all they are, until someone from her dreams shows up in real life.
When other sinister happenings cross the boundary between dreaming and waking, Alice must choose: return to a half-life of isolation and agony, or confront the malevolent force behind the dreams, before she and those she cares about are trapped in their nightmares forever. But by the time she makes her choice—it may already be too late.
Before Jacquelyn Sylvan became a writer, she worked as a waitress, video store clerk, trail-riding guide, and veterinary technician, among other things. She’s a few inches shy of five feet tall, which means she’s sometimes mistaken for a child when she rides her bike, and often looked at suspiciously by amusement park ride operators. When she’s not writing, you’ll probably find her watching Vampire Diaries or trying to warn people about the impending penguin apocalypse. Jacquelyn lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two cats, and two very large dogs. Her YA novel, Blind Study, a supernatural thriller, comes out August 20, 2013.