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Friday, January 8, 2010

Interview: Carrie Jones (Author of NEED and CAPTIVATE!)

Carrie Jones, author of NEED and its much anticipated sequel, CAPTIVATE, was kind enough to answer some questions for The Hiding Spot! Read on and see why you should read CAPTIVATE, the one thing you need to be a writer, and a little sneak peek at Carrie's next book that isn't about pixies, werewolves, and the girl that is caught in between.

A Brief Biography:
Carrie Jones occasionally wears mismatched socks, always loves Great Pyrenees dogs, and never drinks coffee. She also loves Skinny Cow fudgsicles and potatoes, and is the award-winning author of Girl, Hero; Love (and Other Uses for Duct Tape); Tips on Having a Gay (Ex)-Boyfriend; and Need. Carrie grew up in Bedford, NH where she once had a séance with uber-comedian Sarah Silverman; she now lives in Ellsworth, Maine.

The Interview:
Give a short description of or a statement about CAPTIVATE that will lure in readers.
Sexy werewolf. Sexy pixie king. Girl who makes tough choices and has the guts to do anything to save her man.
I stink at those. Sorry!

In CAPTIVATE, Zara seems to be a less fixated on phobias than she was in NEED. Was this detail planned or just coincidence?
It was absolutely planned. There is a scene near the end of NEED where Zara partially gives up her reliance on phobias. It comes out again in CAPTIVATE but only in dire stress. It’s part of her character growth.

How do the animal shapes of the weres in your novels reflect who they are when they are in human shape? I feel that some parallels are easier to see than others (Nick vs. Mrs. Nix).
The animal shapes do parallel the human shape in a certain extent. Nick is a little hairy, strong, fast like a wolf. Mrs. Nix is squat and solid like a bear. When she hugs it is an absolute bear hug. Betty is lithe and feline and strong. It’s more than just their shape, however, their personalities are also heavily influenced by their animals.

How many books do you plan to write about Zara, her friends, and pixies?
It will probably be four or five.

I often laugh aloud when reading your novels, especially scenes involving Issie and, in CAPTIVATE, when reading the Pixie Tips. Is it difficult for you to incorporate that humor when writing or does it come naturally?
I don’t even think of it as laugh-out-loud funny so I am so glad you do. I grew up in Bedford, NH with comic Sarah Silverman. The Myers brothers who are on SNL and Mad TV grew up there. Adam Sandler went to high school the next town over, so humor and weirdness was pretty much everywhere. In my family people constantly tease each other and find humor in pretty much everything. When I grew up and went to a college boyfriend’s house in NYC I was stunned that nobody laughed or made jokes. I didn’t even realize families could be like that.
That is an incredibly long way of me saying that I don’t try to be funny. It just happens. Right here my brother would say, “Yeah funny looking.”

Did you do any research while writing CAPTIVATE? If yes, please explain.
Yes. I researched Norse mythology and pixie mythology online and via text.

What was the most difficult aspect of writing CAPTIVATE?
The structure of it was hard for me and cutting a lot of the love scenes. Plus, some of the things that happened to Zara just ripped me apart. It was a hard book for me to write.

Did you always want to be a novelist?
No. I wanted to be a human-rights attorney.

What jobs did you have on your way to being a writer? Did they help you in any way as a writer?
Salad bar girl at Wendy’s – I got fired after one day
Pretzel girl – I sold one to Bob Dylan
Ear piercer
Dispatcher for Security Department
Research assistant
Church Secretary
Victim-Witness Advocate
Newspaper Reporter/Editor
Gymnastics Instructor
Writing Instructor
Magazine columnist
Police dispatcher
Gymnastics Instructor
Some of those bad boys overlapped. I was a newspaper person the longest. They ALL helped. I really believe every single life experience you have makes you a better writer. It teaches you about interactions between people, about emotion, about cause and effect.

When and where do you usually write?
I usually write in the morning at a rickety table smooshed between the refrigerator and the piano. Sometimes I write in the car waiting to pick my daughter up from swimming or something.

Is there something that is a must have for you to be able to write?

What author or book most influenced you as a writer or in general?
Sherman Alexie’s poetry. In person, Kathi Appelt, Time Wynne Jones, Rita Williams Garcia, Sharon Darrow , Cynthia Leitich Smith and Lisa Jahn Clough made me believe in myself enough to do this. They are brilliant cheerleaders/writers/therapists/teachers/humans.

Can you tell us anything about your next YA novel(s)?
I just finished the first draft of the next book in the NEED series, but I’m not allowed to talk about that. Sorry. I know it’s frustrating.
I also just co-wrote a horror story with adult author Steve Wedel. It’s scary. It’s upper YA. It takes place in Maine and my agent will be sending it out soon, I think.

The Hiding Spot is dedicated to my personal hiding spot, books. Is there a place, activity, or person that is your hiding spot?
I am so pathetically needy that I have a lot.
My body guard is so big and funny and kind. He is my number one hiding spot.
My stuffed Grover is the personification of my internal cheerleader (all writers must have one to balance out our internal editors).

Anything else you would like to share with us?
Oh gosh no. Thank you so much for taking the time to write all these questions and then for reading the answers. It’s really kind of you.


  1. Great questions! 100% with Carrie on sexy werewolves and sexy faeries. *o*
    Thanks for reminding me how much I still need to get Captivate!

  2. Carrie is pretty funny...not funny looking..haha. But that remind me of my sister..she alway saying she's fuuny...which she is not. I (the funny one) would say, "Funny looking. haha."

  3. There's another book to the series? Eeeek! :)
    Carrie Jones is hilarious, she needs her fingers to write, haha!
    I find it hard to believe that she writes in the car! To me that's the most un-inspirational place ever! :)
    Great interview!

  4. I really liked the author and what she said about humor. Here where I live, our culture is really loud and just upbeat and when I go to the states in some places is so quiet, it's really strange. Good interview!

  5. Love the interview! Thanks for sharing!

  6. I Always Love Learning New Things You Wouldn't Usually Know About An Author. I Love Adam Sandler How Kool That He Was Only A Town Over From Where You Lived. Wanting To Be A Human-Rights Attorney Is A Pretty Kool path To Try And Walk. Really Great Interview.

  7. I love it that she grew up in the same town with Sarah Silverman! No wonder humor comes naturally!

  8. Wow. Great review. My sister just started this series.

  9. Great interview. Now that I know more about the author I am more in tuned to read her books. I can't believe she had that many jobs BEFORE she became a writer. Very cool that she grew up in the same town as Sarah Silverman.

  10. You had great questions! I can't wait to read the book, I am so excited for it :) Great interview!

  11. Oh yay! 4-5 books in this series?! I can't wait to read them all

  12. Carrie sounds like a riot! She certainly has a lot of comedic influence. Loved your questions too! I really need to read these books. It sounds like I've been missing out! Great covers too. :)

  13. Carrie seems awesome! Her long list of occupations makes me not feel so bad about mine. :) I can't wait to read her books!

  14. I've always had a thing for fae mythology. There aren't too many books out there that feature much about pixies though. Loved the interview!

  15. She had me at 'sexy werewolf' then wouldn't let go after reading the rest of her description. Definitely want to read!! Wow, she's had quite a lot of jobs! Cool to have experienced in so many areas. Loved the interview and she's totally convinced me that I need Need! :)

  16. This is such a funny interview. Definitely makes me want to read 'Need' and 'Captivate'!

  17. Great interview.I like learning more about authors and their books.Glad to hear there will be 4 or 5 books in the series.

  18. I'm so excited to read this series now. Werewolves and pixies, interesting combo. I like that there is a bit of humor in it. Great interview!

  19. Nice interview. Carrie sure worked a lot of different jobs.

  20. Great interview. Very good questions. Glad to hear there are going to be more.

  21. Great interview. Carrie Jones is such an interesting writer.

  22. It always amazes me when authors are so down to earth, though I don't know why. Maybe it's because they're like my own personal superheroes. Anyway, Carrie is like that, and so many jobs, some of which are very interesting. Not to mention growing up with so much humor around her. Very interesting.

  23. How exciting to hear there will be so many books. I was hooked just by reading her short description.

  24. Wow, she had a crazy amount of jobs. I can see where she gets her inspiration, with all those experiences and people.

  25. I loved the short discription Carrie gave about Captivate to lure in readers.
    Sexy werewolf. Sexy pixie king. Girl who makes tough choices and has the guts to do anything to save her man.
    I stink at those. Sorry!
    I really loved this.. There were other things about her but this stuck with me.

  26. I love Carrie's books! they are fun and very thrilling! I can never put one down! Carrie, you are a great author. I really admire you and your books. You should try to make them into a movie! I love these amazing books!


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