Jennifer Bosworth is the debut author of STRUCK. Earthquakes, doomsday cults, a teenage lightning addict, and the end of the world. May 8 2012, FSG/MacMillan.
The Fangirl found another great author on Twitter! One day I saw that Jennifer was following me on Twitter, so I checked out her profile and then soon found that EVERYONE was talking about STRUCK. Thus, I knew I had to snag a Fangirl Friday interview!
Fangirl: For those who haven't heard of STRUCK, can you tell them what it's about?
Jennifer: Here’s my newly extended synopsis:
Mia Price is a lightning addict.
She’s been struck so many times she’s lost count. She can’t sleep, she’s covered in veiny red “lightning scars,” and repeated strikes have even stopped her heart on occasion. Still, Mia can’t resist a storm.
That's why Los Angeles, where it never rains, is the perfect place for her to find peace . . . until a massive earthquake devastates the city.
Now Mia finds herself struggling to hold her family together in a strange and terrifying new version of Los Angeles. The beaches have become massive tent cities populated by millions of homeless. Downtown is a wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the attendees drawn to the destruction by a magnetic force they cannot deny.
The blind prophet of a doomsday cult called the Church of Light, who predicted the earthquake with frightening accuracy, says a storm is coming to usher in the end of days, and only his Followers will be saved. Mia’s traumatized mom has become obsessed with the Church of Light, while her younger brother Parker is desperate to join a second doomsday cult called the Seekers. But Mia is the one both cults need.
The Seekers are recruiting people with an energy-based power they call the “Spark,” and Mia has it stronger than most. They claim the false prophet of the Church of Light will bring about the end of the world, and they are the only ones who can stand against him.
But without Mia on their side, they will fail.
Mia’s lightning addiction is both the key to saving the world . . . and destroying it.
Fangirl: How did you come up for the idea for this novel?
Jennifer: It was one of those perfect storms where two ideas collided. I was reading some book I can’t even remember the name of, but it mentioned a fault nearly ten miles deep that runs beneath downtown Los Angeles. If an earthquake ever originated from this fault, L.A. would be in big trouble, because most buildings are not built to withstand more than a 7.0 earthquake. That fact haunted me. Then I read a book by Alice Hoffman called “The Ice Queen,” which was about a woman who is struck by lightning and loses the ability to see the color red. The book included a lot of fascinating factual information about lightning and what it can do to people who are struck, and also mentioned that people who are struck by lightning are far more likely to be struck again.
Earthquakes. Lightning. I put the two together, started thinking about how a fault line creates friction, and friction is energy, and lightning is attracted to energy. I came up with the idea of lightning causing an earthquake. Then I needed a character. A human lightning rod.
Or . . . even better, a lightning addict. And that’s how STRUCK and Mia Price were born.
Fangirl: Did you have any pitfalls on the path to publication? How did you get through them?
Jennifer: Oh yes. Yes, yes, yes. It took me quite a while to find my voice. I started out writing adult dark fantasy. My first two books were 800 pages long because––I didn’t realize this at the time––I was trying to jam at least four books into one. I was taking everything I was a fan of and trying to stuff it into a single book. It wasn’t until I tried my hand at screenwriting that I learned what “high concept” meant. After that, things started to fall into place.
Fangirl: Is STRUCK going to be a stand alone or should we expect more from this world?
Jennifer: Right now I’m working on a book what has crossover elements with STRUCK, but I’m completely open to doing a sequel. The characters have started talking to me again lately, so I feel like it might be about time to start giving them voice.
Fangirl: May 2012 is a long time to wait for this novel, what can us readers do to pass the time in anticipation of this novel?
Jennifer: Well, there are so many fabulous books out there right now, YA and otherwise, so I know I’ll be passing the time reading my friends’ books. But . . . in regards to STRUCK, I’m working on a short origin story of the book’s villain, which will most likely appear on Tor.com next spring. And my husband and I are working on an insane book trailer that, I can promise you, will be nothing like any book trailer you’ve ever seen. Minds will be blown.
Fangirl: If any part of your book could play out in your real life, what part of it would you want to and why?
Jennifer: I’ve always wondered how I would fare in a disaster situation. I’d like to think that I’d be calm and collected and know exactly what to do. So, just out of curiosity, I’d go for the apocalypse.
Fangirl: Did you have any sort of a musical playlist while writing STRUCK?
Jennifer: I actually made a playlist that tells the story of STRUCK, but I can’t reveal it to you, otherwise I’d give away the ending. I’ll tell you three songs that are on the playlist, though, in no particular order.
Danger! High Voltage, by Electric Six
Kill Me Now, by The Chapin Sisters
Too Hot to Sleep, by Eilen Jewel
Fangirl: If STRUCK were to be made into a movie, who would you cast in the lead roles?
Jennifer: I’d have to time travel some younger/older versions of these actors:
Mia Price – Ellen Page. She manages to be cute, smart, and snarky at the same time.
Rance Ridley Prophet – Cillian Murphy. Those eyes . . .
Jeremy – Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Have you seen “Brick”? Wow. That hair. Those glasses.
Katrina – Eliza Dushku, for the sexiness factor.
With the exception of Eliza, I’d just steal the cast of “Inception.”
Fangirl: Favorite book, movie, and food?
Jennifer: The Gunslinger, by Stephen King; Flash Gordon, the 1980 version (It’s my favorite bad movie. Does that count?); and kettle corn. I’ve gone through lone stretches of time where I hate kettle corn for every meal.
Fangirl: Words to live by?
Jennifer: Don’t let other people do your thinking for you. That’s also the subliminal message embedded in the pages of STRUCK.