Please welcome Jeyn Roberts to the blog as part of her tour for her brand new book, THE BODIES WE WEAR! Also, courtesy of the nice folks at Knopf, we’ve got 2 copies to give away to 2 lucky readers (US/Canada)!
Congrats on the new book! Will you tell us a little about The Bodies We Wear and what inspired you to write it?
Thank you! Faye was only eleven when she and her friend, Christian, were forced to take Heam, a deadly and highly addictive drug that allows the users to catch a glimpse of heaven. She survived, Christian didn’t. Now, six years later, she’ll stop at nothing to get revenge against the men who killed Christian and left her with the scars and addiction of a Heam abuser.
I was inspired to write this novel after the death of my father. I was questioning what happens to us when we die. I remember thinking at one point, imagine if there was a drug people could take that would allow the user to see heaven. How would people react? What sort of stigma would that have on society? On religion? On faith? The idea grew from there.
What did you enjoy most about writing Faye, and why do you think readers will root for her?
Faye is far from perfect, the exact quality I love writing about. She’s been through some terrible times, but she has this amazing determination to rise above. She’s both strong and vulnerable, which I think all great characters should be.
What kind of research did you do for the book?
Not a whole lot. The majority of research was my own brain trying to work everything out. I did do a little reading on different types of religion and their views on heaven. I also worked with my friend who is a personal trainer to help create Faye’s workout routines.
What supporting characters, or character, did you enjoy writing the most in The Bodies We Wear?
I loved writing Chael. I shouldn’t admit this, but I kept visualizing a young Colin Farrell in my head. Hahaha I also loved Jessica’s undying search for her missing brother.
What made you decide to write books for teens?
I was studying Creative Writing at UBC and fancied myself to be a literary genius in the making. (Hangs head in shame). I found myself short a class in my fourth year, and the only class available was Writing for Children. The class was taught by Allison Acheson, whom I still think is one of the greatest professors I’ve ever had. I started working on my first YA novel and I’ve never looked back since.
You published your first story at 16, so have been writing, and reading, from a young age. What was one of your favorite books as a teen?
I was really into Stephen King when I was a teenager. There weren’t as many YA books back then. I remember being very inspired by The Outsiders when I was thirteen and Cynthia Voigt’s The Homecoming.
What are a few of your biggest literary influences?
Stephen King. I love all things horror and no one can write like him. Lately I’ve been really into Natsuo Kirino. I love the gritty, unlikeable characters she creates. I think there’s real art involved with writing characters that you love to hate. JK Rowling because I respect that she’s created a world that all ages love equally.
What are you currently reading?
Yesterday I just picked up Neal Shusterman’s UnDivided. So now I’m quickly rushing through all the Unwind books so I can remember everything perfectly before I devour the fourth.
Music has always been a big part of your life. What are a few songs that would be on the soundtrack for The Bodies We Wear?
There is a songlist in the back of The Bodies We Wear that sums up the book perfectly. I will admit, I had ‘It Can’t Rain All the Time’ by Jane Siberry in my head constantly while writing Bodies.
What’s next for you, this year, and beyond?
I’ve got a couple of things going on. I’m finishing up edits on my ghost story that will be out Sept 2015. I’m really excited about that one. I’m also working on my first adult horror novel and trying to work on the third and final Dark Inside book in-between everything else.
**Want to win one of two copies of THE BODIES WE WEAR? Fill out the widget below, and I’ll pick a winner on 11/7!
About THE BODIES WE WEAR:
A streetwise girl trains to take on a gang of drug dealers and avenge her best friend’s death in this thriller for fans of Scott Westerfeld and Robin Wasserman.
People say when you take Heam, your body momentarily dies and you catch a glimpse of heaven. Faye was only eleven when dealers forced Heam on her and her best friend, Christian. But Faye didn’t glimpse heaven—she saw hell. And Christian died.
Now Faye spends her days hiding her secret from the kids at school, and her nights training to take revenge on the men who destroyed her life and murdered her best friend. But life never goes the way we think it will. When a mysterious young man named Chael appears, Faye’s plan suddenly gets a lot more complicated. Chael seems to know everything about her, including her past. But too many secrets start tearing her world apart: trouble at school, with the police, and with the people she thought might be her friends. Even Gazer, her guardian, fears she’s become too obsessed with vengeance. Love and death. Will Faye overcome her desires, or will her quest for revenge consume her?