Today, I'd like to welcome Jessica Martinez.
A bit about Jessica (as found on her website): Jessica was born and raised in Calgary, Canada. As a child she played the violin, read books and climbed trees incessantly. She went on to study English and music at Brigham Young University, and since then has been a high school English teacher, symphony violinist, elementary school teacher, violin teacher, and mother. She currently live in Orlando, Florida with her husband and two children.
The Space Between Us, your second novel, will be released on October 16 by Simon Pulse. Give three reasons why everyone should read it.
a) It takes place in Florida and Banff – two vacations, no airfare.
b) Neither of these sisters is annoyingly perfect, and neither calls their dad “daddy.” You’re welcome.
c) You just might find yourself falling in love alongside Amelia. I definitely did.
Both Virtuosity and The Space Between Us are contemporaries. Is there another genre you’d love to try your hand at someday? Is there a genre you could never see yourself writing?
The novel I’m working on a now (my fourth) is suspense/crime drama. I’ve never written this kind of book before, which makes it exciting, but scary too. After I finished my third novel (also contemp) I felt the need to force myself to do something totally different and this certainly fits that description.
I have a hard time imagining myself writing paranormal or sci-fi. I don’t dislike either genre, but my mind just doesn’t work that way. When I do read it (usually because someone has recommended a book) I find myself tuning out the paranormal and sci-fi elements to focus on the relationships and character development, so I might be missing the point …
What is your writing process like? Are you a pantser or a planner?
I’m both, but mostly a pantser. I start by pantsing it, then at about 10,000 words I freak out and realize I have no clue where I’m going. At that point I make an outline, but I almost never stick to it. Every 10 or 20 thousand words I have to stop and change my outline. My plots are so character driven that it’s really hard to know exactly what my people are going to do until I live through certain things with them. I sometimes think it would be easier if I could just be a planner, but I don’t want to change. I love how my characters evolve and take the plot with them, even if it’s a huge headache and sometimes requires massive rewrites.
Describe your writing space.
My writing space is constantly changing. On any given day I’m writing in bed, in the car, at the kitchen table, at gymnastics, at soccer practice, etc. I used to have a writing room, but now that I’m expecting my third child my official workspace is the corner between the hamper and the rocking chair. Nice, eh? Given that option, wouldn’t you write in the car too? I envy people who have clean desks and writing playlists and physical space to think, but there’s something to be said for making the magic happen whenever, wherever. It’s the only way I can fit writing into my life.
Do you have any writing projects currently planned? If so, can you give a hint of what to expect.
As I mentioned, I’m drafting my fourth novel. My third comes out next October. It’s about best friends, a guy and a girl, who get married so one can stay in the US. It’s dual point of view, alternating chapters, and it’s the first time I’ve written from a male perspective. I loved doing it.
What’s the best thing about growing up in Calgary?
When I was eight years old I got to go to several Olympic figure skating events in my hometown.
You go on a cross-country trip across Canada. What is the one place you have to visit?
As a child I read every book L.M. Montgomery wrote, so I have to do the whole Anne of Green Gables tour on P.E.I.
What's your favourite book by a Canadian author and why?
The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje because while I was reading it I met and fell in love with my husband.
A huge thank you to Jessica for taking the time to answer my questions!
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