Welcome to our July First Friday Breakfast with author Jessica Tornese. Her debut novel, Linked Through Time, was inspired by her home town Baudette, Minnesota. The series also includes Lost Through Time and Destroyed Through Time. In 2011, she published a juvenile novel: M&M Twins – Lost in Browser Cave.
This morning I’m enjoying an omelet with kohlrabi leaves and chives from the garden and an arugula salad topped with apricot, banana, blueberries, pecans, and olive oil, AND after a long week, blueberry coffee is my beverage of choice. What are you having for your virtual breakfast, Jessica?
I am sitting down to a golden Belgian waffle with butter and syrup, a side of crisp bacon and a glass of orange juice.
Yum! Tell us about your writing process from concept to draft to revision.
I usually write a very brief outline- using one of the old school composition notebooks and a pencil. Then I write the book one chapter at a time- and read and edit as I go. I usually have a few readers take bits and pieces and give me critiques, things they are missing, etc for the book as I work on it. Once I have written the story, I reread it several times since I can only write in small segments at a time, sometimes I find I don’t like the book’s flow and have to make changes. In Destroyed Through Time, I kept going back and forth on several issues. I couldn’t decide if I should pick up the series right at the end of the 2nd book like I did with the sequel, and I wasn’t including time travel as the main element in the final book, which made me sort of sad. But I had a lot of loose ends to tie up and it just wasn’t the goal for that story. I ended up going with my gut, and writing about the characters that readers wanted to know the most about—specifically, do Kate and T.J. get together? What happens to Mary after time travel? Whatever happened to Vickie’s body, Gran’s body, and Kate’s mother?? Plus, I had to have some sort of conclusion with the villain, so I focused more on Kate getting the closure she needed to move on with her life.
Tell us about one of your books. What inspired your main characters, time travel, Minnesota setting, and the storyline?
Everything started with growing up in a large family. My Dad was from a family of 11, and grew up dirt poor in northern Minnesota. The stories they have of surviving stuck with me for years, and every time we had a get together, more stories would surface. I guess I wanted to honor the family, use some of their stories, and have a little fun myself by using real events and places, but adding the fictional time travel element. Kate, my main character, was based a little on myself. Her feelings and attitude were a lot of what I felt when my parents moved me to Baudette MN from a huge city. I thought my life was over…but it was really just the beginning. Minnesota is a dear place to me and there is nothing more comforting and genuine than the country life, in my opinion. I get to be around farms, and get dirty. My kids get to see animals and fields of crops, and of course we love hopping on a four wheeler or climbing trees. Jumping in the creek after a hot day of work- there’s nothing better.
Let me top off you raspberry lemonade, Jessica. What did you find fun about writing this story and what was difficult?
I don’t mind the writing, but there is always a sense of nervousness that it isn’t good enough- that people won’t like it. Of course, there are mistakes that were missed even though the book was reviewed so many times. I love the story because it is personal, but marketing it and trying to give it to the world is very hard. Criticism is hard to swallow, but good for you if you want to get better. I can’t believe I have written an entire trilogy- something I never envisioned at the beginning. Linked Through Time was going to be a stand alone book, but I just couldn’t let the characters go. I am really happy about the end result and it gives me the courage to try again.
Tell us about your next project and when it may be published.
I have several books floating around in my computer. I have four YA topics that I want to explore, all very diverse from each other. I have some personal experiences in life I would like to turn into books for teens to help them with their own struggles, but I also write children’s chapter adventure books that I self-publish and I may go back down that avenue as well. There is nothing contracted as of yet, but I have to get focused and pick one before I can move for a goal. It’s hard to find the time with three active kids. I am hoping this summer to really plug away at a YA dystopian I have outlined and possibly my children’s book adventure- a white water rafting trip gone awry.
Thank you for sharing your breakfast and writing life, Jessica. I enjoyed learning more about your writing process. I have Lost Through Time and excited that the third book Destroyed Through Time came out in May.
Thanks for having me!
Here are a few links if you want to read more about Jessica Tornese and her terrific books.
Jessica Tornese‘s website (and blog site): http://jessicatornese.com/
Jessica Tornese‘s Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Jessica-Tornese/e/B008LUYA66/
Before you blast off to Amazon to get your copy of Destroyed Through Time or click http://www.amazon.com/Destroyed-Through-Time-Jessica-Tornese-ebook/dp/B00KO6J96Q/, who would like to join us for a cup of her favorite raspberry lemonade?