Sunday, February 12, 2012

Interview: Melissa Jensen (The Fine Art Of Truth or Dare)

Hey everyone! This is kicking off my week of awesome, all week I will have interviews and guest posts by some amazing authors and bloggers. 

Melissa Jensen is here to start off the week with an interview! 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
You can find my "official" bio here. Beyond that... How 'bout this. What I would carry out of my house if it were on fire, in order: My family. The dog, cat, and hermit crab. My iPhone. My antique "Pride and Prejudice" and Oz books. Anything I own made by Alexander McQueen. My passport.

Can you explain The Fine Art of Truth or Dare in 5 words?
Girl, Guys (1 Dead), Art  

What books did you enjoy reading while growing up?
I absolutely LOVED the Wizard of Oz books. Way too few people know there are 13 more books in the original Baum series, and that they're all better than the first. And James Herriot's "All Things" series. Still adore both and often revisit them. I liked mysteries and was heartbroken as an adult to discover that the Nancy Drew books weren't quite what I remembered. (Her boyfriend gets to go to college; she gets a car and, frequently, rescued. Hmm.) Then I discovered Jane Austen. I will never, ever get tired of "Pride and Prejudice".  

Since the 14th is coming up, are you pro or anti Valentines Day?
That question made me laugh. I have no idea. I have a lovely (and hunky) husband, which means I am all for Love. But my lovely husband isn't a Valentine's Day kinda guy, so... Okay. You know what I think everyone should do on Valentine's Day? Go out with as many people you love as possible. No couples on their own. Lots of friends, maybe a family member or two. Drink a little, eat too much, celebrate how amazing it feels to love people who love you back.  

The main character off your novel has an appreciation for art. Are you at all like Ella in this aspect?
Not to her degree. The Arts have certainly figured into my life. Both of my parents are talented artists, my husband is a photographer, and all of my siblings are singers--two have done it professionally. Me? I'm just dramatic. Or I used to be, anyway. I love art museums; the National Portrait Gallery in London is one of my fave places in the world. I have music playing almost all the time. But wannabe, expert, or addict? Nope.  

Do you have a favorite quote from a novel?
Actually, my all-time fave bookish quote is about a novel. The ever-clever Dorothy Parker: "This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force."  

 Do you have any advice you aspiring writers?
Read. Readreadreadreadread. Everything you can get your hands on, in your genre and beyond. That's the all-important thing. Then, second, FINISH a book. I can't tell you how many aspiring writers tell me that they have pieces of twenty books in their hard drives, but have never gotten to "The End". Look at it this way, if you write a page a day, just a page, you'll have a book plus editing time within a year.  

Thanks so much for the interview! 

Absolutely my pleasure.   

Melissa's novel A Fine Art of Truth or Dare comes out on February 16th! This Thursday (and my birthday!) 

Tomorrow: Katie from Katie's Book Blog!

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