Jessica Therrien is the author of Oppression, her debut YA novel and the kick-off of her Children of the Gods series. I am a sucker for anything based on Greek mythology, so I excited when Jessica dropped by the virtual offices to discuss her new series.
[Manga Maniac Café] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Jessica Therrien] I’m a closet goofball, T.V. addict, pajama lovin’ YA book fanatic. I married my crush. I’m 26. I enjoy writing and singing in the shower.
[Manga Maniac Café] Can you tell us a little about Oppression?
[Jessica Therrien] OPPRESSION tells the story of Elyse, a seemingly young woman with an extraordinary ability and a unique destiny. Elyse ages five times slower than the average human, which means that even though she appears to be almost eighteen, she’s nearly a century old. When her parents died, she believed herself to be the only one in the world with such a condition. But after moving to San Francisco, determined to keep herself hidden and alone in the middle of the big city, she quickly discovers she’s not alone. On the contrary, there’s a whole society of people just like her, who age five times slower than normal people, and who have strange, almost magical abilities.
Overall it’s a love story full of heartbreaking conflict and that last shred of hope.
[Manga Maniac Café] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Jessica Therrien] The concept was just an intriguing thought I had after realizing that some of the places in Greek Mythology are actually thought to exist. What if other parts of mythology were real? What if there was some explanation for the myths, like the Greek gods were never really gods, just a supernatural race of people whose abilities were embellished?
The characters started off being based on people I know. I was falling in love with my husband as I was writing Oppression, so he was my inspiration for William. Once the book got going, though, the characters developed into themselves and my creative brain just sort of took over.
[Manga Maniac Café] What was the most challenging aspect of writing the story?
[Jessica Therrien] Editing was the hardest part for me. I had to do some re-writes. It was extremely difficult for me to tear into my manuscript after I had already considered it “finished.” Little did I know, I had yet to write the best parts. The rewrites were well worth it.
[Manga Maniac Café] What are three things Elyse would never have in her backpack?
[Jessica Therrien] A ball gown. Make up. A banner that says, “I’m going to save the world.”
[Manga Maniac Café] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Jessica Therrien] Most of my creative influences are people….My mother and sister, my husband, my critique partner Holly, Molly the Magnificent (as I call her) with ZOVA Books. Also, amazing authors such as JK Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, Suzanne Collins, Veronica Roth, & Moira Young.
And…I really have to say the writers of The Vampire Diaries T.V. show. They are masters of plot.
[Manga Maniac Café] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Jessica Therrien] I need to be in the mood to write, and that’s it.
I’ll write on a napkin in a noisy restaurant if an idea strikes. Eventually, I do need my computer so I can put it all in my manuscript, but that’s obvious.
[Manga Maniac Café] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Jessica Therrien] Harry Potter. I had never read anything so fast in my life. It officially started my eternal search for the next suck-me-in-go-without-sleep kind of book.
[Manga Maniac Café] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Jessica Therrien] Watch T.V. J That’s mostly because I’m tired after a long days work. If I had more time, I would concentrate on my other hobbies: playing guitar, sewing, making jewelry, scrapbooking…I know, basically I’m a grandma trapped in this 26-year-old body.
Thanks for a wonderful interview!!
[Manga Maniac Café] Thank you!
You can learn more about Jessica by visiting her at the following websites:
Oppression is out now! You can order a copy from your favorite bookseller, or by clicking the widget below:
Elyse knows what it means to keep a secret. She’s been keeping secrets her whole life. Two, actually. First, that she ages five times slower than average people, so that while she looks eighteen years old, she’s closer to eighty. Second, that her blood has a mysterious power to heal. For Elyse, these things don’t make her special. They make life dangerous. After the death of her parents, she’s been careful to keep her secret as closely guarded as possible. Now, only one other person in the world knows about her age and ability. Or so she thinks. Elyse is not the only one keeping secrets. There are others like her all over the world, descendants of the very people the Greeks considered gods. She is one of them, and they have been waiting for her for a long time. Some are waiting for her to put an end to centuries of traditions that have oppressed their people under the guise of safeguarding them. Others are determined to keep her from doing just that. But for Elyse, the game is just beginning – and she’s not entirely willing to play by their rules.,