Hello Everyone! Today I have something fun in the form of an interview with Jaci Wheeler.
MTG: Tell us something about the book that is not in the summary. (About the book, character you particularly enjoyed writing etc.)
Jaci: Wes was my favorite Character to write. I have two kids who have autism and are non-verbal. I wrote Wes as an older version of my son, and it was my way of giving him a voice.
MTG: How did you come up with “United”?
Jaci: It was so random. One day my husband and I were having a conversation based on politics and I went off on a little rant about “if I was president this is how the country would be run…” That sparked the idea and I just went with it.
MTG: Where do you find inspiration for your writing?
Jaci: I find it all around me. Obviously through my kids, they inspire most of what I do. I also take in new experiences when I’m writing. I like to expand my senses so I go to new places and try new foods. I like to be open to inspiration whenever it may strike.
MTG: Where do you usually find yourself writing?
Jaci: I always want to write in the middle of the night right when I get comfy in bed and am ready to fall asleep. Something always comes to me and I usually get up, sneak in the kitchen and just start writing. The house is still and quiet and nothing is going to distract me and I can go for hours.
MTG: What has been the biggest reward to your writing so far?
Jaci: The friendships that I’ve made. I try to do a few book signings every couple of months and I’ve made some amazing friends with both readers and other authors alike. I met an author at my first book signing who introduced me to my now publisher and she is now one of my closest and cherished friends.
MTG: What do you think is the most important aspect of making a dystopian novel believable?
Jaci: I really feel like you need a believable base to start. If your world is too farfetched it’s just too hard to believe. You need some new twists obviously, but I think a believable starting point is always best.
MTG: Do you have a favorite book(s) and why? I know it’s often impossible to narrow it down to one, so just pick one (or a few) that is a new favorite or consistent “go-to”.
Jaci: The first book that ever really spoke to me was "The Giver" by Lois Lowry. I was in 8th grade and didn’t like reading at all. "The Giver" was the first book I could connect to and that could engage me. I read it every few years and it still is just as strong now. My favorite somewhat current book is "The Brightside" by Kim Holden. That lady is a rockstar and I’m a huge geeked out fan of hers.
MTG: What books are you reading now?
Jaci: I’m a reader first. I love to read and do so every night before bed. I just finished "Honor" by J.L. Drake this weekend, and "Never Never 3" by Colleen Hover and Tarynn Fisher last night.
MTG: Give us three “Good to Know” facts. Be creative: first job, likes/dislikes, hobbies, favorite way to unwind – whatever comes to mind.
- I abhor leaf blowers. They seriously piss me off. What is the point, it’s not like they do anything but blow stuff around and make a ton of noise, not to mention take forever!
- I’m a horrible candy addict. I have at least 3 candy drawers in my house chalk full, always a stash in my purse and I take a different type with me for every book signing.
- I’m not quite 5 feet tall and usually the smallest person in the room, yet I hate to wear heels because they make me feel like I’m much too tall. It’s such an awkward feeling for me so I just rock the shortness.
MTG: Do you have any upcoming projects?
Jaci: Yes! Too many! ;) At the moment I’m working on a spinoff of United that is 3 maybe 4 books long. The 2nd book in that series is very close to my heart and is going to be a bit different than anything else I’ve seen.
About the Author
Jaci Wheeler lives in the Central Valley of California with her husband and two precious kids. Her love of literature began in Jr. High when she was introduced to Lowis Lowry’s books. Since then she has had a passion for writing Young Adult books, and creating strong female leads. When she’s not writing she is advocating for Autism Awareness and involved in the deaf community. Her favorite things to do are play with her children, craft with her friends, sleep while her husband watches movies and indulge in her favorite addictions: Coffee, candy and shoes. Her first book "United" was just released with at least two more planned in the series.