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Jessica Park
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Author Q+A's > Jessica Park Q&A

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message 1: by Nicola (new)

Nicola (nikki-lou) | 2115 comments

This week we have the lovely NYT Bestselling author Jessica Park with us. Jessca is the author of Clear, The Left Drowning Series (Left Drowning and Restless Waters), the New York Times bestselling Flat-Out Love (& the companion novella Flat-Out Matt, Flat-Out Celeste, and Relatively Famous.

Leave your questions for Jessica below!


message 2: by Margay (new)

Margay | 12 comments Do you plan to write more in the Left Drowning series? If not, what can we look forward to from you?


message 3: by Jen (new)

Jen Martin | 9 comments What was your favorite book to write?


message 4: by S.Shade (new)

S.Shade | 170 comments Do you draw inspiration from people you know for your characters?


message 5: by Margaux (new)

Margaux Espinosa (margauxespi) Who is your favorite book character ever and what book is s/he from? Can be any author not just your own books.


message 6: by Rise (new)

Rise | 5 comments Would you ever write a book with an alpha male?


message 7: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Ortiz | 733 comments Who are some of your favorite authors?


message 8: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Jones (melissajones) | 50 comments Where did you get your inspiration for 180 Seconds? I loved it and found it to be so unique!


message 9: by Sioms (new)

Sioms (siomaima) | 16 comments What’s in store for your readers this year?


message 10: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Park | 23 comments Margay wrote: "Do you plan to write more in the Left Drowning series? If not, what can we look forward to from you?"

I don't think so...I mean, I've had some ideas for things that happen to certain characters, but it's important to me not to dilute the previous books with one that doesn't feel as strong for me. I'm really happy with what I have, and it may be best to leave these stories as they are.

Currently, I have an outline and a few chapters of a new book. It's a sweet love story that takes place in small-town Vermont, and it's got a fun color theme running through that I love!


message 11: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Park | 23 comments Jen wrote: "What was your favorite book to write?"

Oh, I can't answer this, ha ha! Each of my books gave me such a unique experience and feel, and I do treasure all of those times. I will say that writing Flat-Out Love was special in the sense that...well, no one was watching or waiting on me. So, I was in this very solitary world, writing as though no one would ever see my words. That came with a certain freedom that was quite enjoyable.

And Left Drowning was the hardest book I've written, but in some ways the most incredible writing time that I've had. I initially wrote the first 30k words in the third person, and on a flight home from California, I started narrating the book in my head...and realized that I was telling myself the story in the first person. ACK! So I made the decision to rewrite what I had. After that, I become insanely engulfed in that world and those characters, and I was writing for 14 hours a day, forgetting to eat, shower, feed my kid, etc. lol. It was a nutty time (and probably not very healthy!), but also a cool one.


message 12: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Park | 23 comments S.Shade wrote: "Do you draw inspiration from people you know for your characters?"

Usually, not directly. Sabin from Left Drowning and Restless is somewhat based on a dear friend of mine who I met during my second week of college. That energy, bounciness, humor masking some pain... But for the most part, no. My characters are my own creations, though probably amalgamations of those I've known or would like to know.


message 13: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Park | 23 comments Margaux wrote: "Who is your favorite book character ever and what book is s/he from? Can be any author not just your own books."

Oh, nooooo! How to pick!!! Well, I am an utter crazy Scarlett O'Hara fan (Gone With The Wind). She's feisty, and naughty, and brave, and complicated, and occasionally compassionate. Absolutely unforgettable. I actually reread Gone With the Wind on a plane trip not too long ago, and she still grabs me!


message 14: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Park | 23 comments Rise wrote: "Would you ever write a book with an alpha male?"

Like, a real, hardcore alpha male? Probably not... Chris from Left Drowning and Sam from Clear are my most alphas, but they have wonderful, sensitive, loving, insightful sides that I really love writing.

For me, the term "alpha male" kind of implies a rougher personality that I'm not sure I connect to. But what do you all think of when you hear "alpha male"?


message 15: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Park | 23 comments Nicole wrote: "Who are some of your favorite authors?"

He will likely be a new author to you guys, but Stephen McCauley is so crazy fabulous. I have read and reread The Easy Way Out and The Object of My Affection (ignore the wildly stupid movie version) countless times. The way he crafts characters is priceless, not to mention his perfect and witty sense of humor. The Kindle prices on his books are not what you're used to, but you can find used paperbacks cheap on Amazon.

Full disclosure, I am good friends with Rebekah Crane, BUT we became good friends years ago after she boldly sent me some chapters of a book she was writing. And she sucked me in FAST. Honestly, she's great f'ing writer, lol. Her latest is The Upside of Falling Down, and I really cannot get enough of her humor and sweetness.

Another full disclosure, I'm also now good friends with Elliot Wake, but only because I read (literally) five pages of Black Iris (written as Leah Raeder), and wrote him to say, "WHAT THE HELL AM I READING???" Gorgeous, lyrical prose in those first pages went on to tell a crazy, raw, dirty, romantic, messed-up story that I recommend to everyone. I was pissed when the book ended. So, then I read Cam Girl and Unteachable, and I fell even harder in love with his writing. I can almost guarantee that you will dig these books.

Also, I have GOT to recommend The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson and anything by Pat Conroy.


message 16: by Debra (new)

Debra Shutters (debrashutters) What or who inspired you to become a writer?


message 17: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Park | 23 comments Melissa wrote: "Where did you get your inspiration for 180 Seconds? I loved it and found it to be so unique!"

Thank you so much! I went through a phase of watch EVERY single social media-positive video that I could...maybe to try to balance out all the bad that was being posted. Yeah, a lot of it was corny, but kill me for crying over dog-adoption videos. :)

This video in particular gutted me, and I just could not shake the idea of the kind of human connection that can happen in such a short time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEcqo...

This is the other piece I loved so hard: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SELDT...

As I was looking this up, I realized that there's actually a site for this, a project called Touching Strangers! (Frankly, that name seems a bit odd to me, but...there you go!) http://www.touchingstrangers.org/

I really wanted to write a story that was focused on positivity and love. 180 Seconds has its heartbreaking pieces, for sure, but I also felt unapologetic about wanting to share a book that was so joyful and inspirational. God, there's so much pain in the world, right? I figured we could all use a story that was uplifting and inspirational. :)


message 18: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Park | 23 comments Jemima wrote: "What’s in store for your readers this year?"

Well, unfortunately, it's probably going to be a bit of a quiet year. I'm working on something now, but it may be a long time until this one is published!

My son was diagnosed with Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome nearly two years ago, and while it's (thankfully!) not dangerous, it's been very stressful and draining. I spent nearly a year unable to do anything but focus on him and trying to manage his physical and emotional symptoms. And even this past year... I'm trying to recover and find a new normal. And trying to find my creativity again. I got kind of tapped out there and emotionally spent for a while, you know? But I'm finding my footing again, and I'm definitely not done writing!


message 19: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Park | 23 comments Debra wrote: "What or who inspired you to become a writer?"

My mother has written a Dog Lover's mystery series for years...and i really had never thought about become an author myself until, she brought up the idea! I'd always loved writing both research papers and creative writing papers in high school and college, but I don't think it ever occurred to me that I could actually write a book.

After I had my son, I was crazy sleep-deprived all the time, and would email her rather funny reports about him and my life overall. At the same time, my chef husband was coming home with insane stories about his job and restaurants in general. My mother suggested that we writing a culinary mystery series together, and I was all tired and hormonal, so I was all, "Yeah, okay." Suddenly we had a contract for three books... Thus, the Gourmet Girl series was born!

When that ended, I knew that--as much fun as I'd had--this wasn't what I really wanted to write. So, I wrote Relatively Famous, my first YA, and I could feel that I was truly starting to find my voice. (As a fun aside here, Miley Cyrus' production company almost bought the film rights to this!).

And then there was Flat-Out Love...and the rest was history.


a collective of books (acollectiveofbooks) Where's your favorite place to write?


message 21: by Cassie (new)

Cassie (exbuffalo2001) | 198 comments What is your "must have" when you are in writing mode?


message 22: by Amy M. (new)

Amy M. | 50 comments What's your favorite book you have written?


message 23: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Park | 23 comments Amy wrote: "What's your favorite book you have written?"

See my reply to Jen above. :)


message 24: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Park | 23 comments Cassie wrote: "What is your "must have" when you are in writing mode?"

Music. Which still seems funny to me, because in my very early writing days, I wanted COMPLETE silence. Now I can't write without my earbuds in. Sometimes it's just low-key acoustic music that's almost background noise, but there are times that I find a song that fits a scene/chapter/mood e so perfectly that I play it on repeat for hours while I write.


message 25: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Park | 23 comments Bookish Addict wrote: "Where's your favorite place to write?"

This doesn't sound very glamorous, lol, but... I always, always write sitting up in bed. I basically cannot write anywhere else. Which is really weird, I know.

I remember years ago writing a scene from Left Drowning in a Starbucks. And I remember this because it was the first time that I used a really naughty word in a book, and I was wondering what my editor was going to think, ha ha! But I think that was the one and only time that I've written in public.

It's comfy... and I have dogs (and sometimes a moody cat) with me.


message 26: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Park | 23 comments Nicola wrote: "

This week we have the lovely NYT Bestselling author Jessica Park with us. Jessca is the author of Clear, The Left Drowning Series (Left Drowning and..."


Thank you SO much for having me here! I'm loving the questions!

And that is quite the Flat-Out Love cover flashback you have going on. Super fun! (Oh, Clear, too!)


message 27: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Jones (melissajones) | 50 comments Jessica wrote: "Melissa wrote: "Where did you get your inspiration for 180 Seconds? I loved it and found it to be so unique!"

Thank you so much! I went through a phase of watch EVERY single social media-positive ..."


Thanks for sharing.....very uplifting, inspirational, and just beautiful <3


message 28: by Emily (new)

Emily Katherine (emkaybee24) | 107 comments I love all of your covers! Do you get any say in what the end result looks like? What's your favorite?!


message 29: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Park | 23 comments Thanks so much! I get some input for the ones that are with my publisher at Amazon, and I obviously get to do whatever I want with my self-published books. I've worked a lot with Damon from Damonza.com (he did the Flat-Out Love series, Restless Waters, and my foreign-rights edition of Left Drowning), and he's always a genius with his designs!


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