Jessica Warman is the author of Beautiful Lies, which just hit store shelves. Jessica recently dropped by the virtual offices to chat about her new book and writing influences. Check out what she has to say.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Jessica Warman] Introvert w/ a wonderful life doing what I love. Born w/an itch for trouble. Mouth like a trucker. I grow on people. Crazy like a fox.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Beautiful Lies?
[Jessica Warman] Sure! The book is about a set of identical twins, Rachel and Alice, who have always had an incredibly powerful bond. When one of them goes missing, it is up to the remaining twin to figure out what happened, primarily by tapping into this bond. I’ve been told by more than a few readers that it’s a pretty scary book, which pleases me to no end.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Jessica Warman] My family has a strong history of what I’d suppose you’d call clairvoyance. A number of people on my mom’s side of the family have either worked as psychics or else claimed to be psychic. That being said, I’m extremely skeptical about these kinds of things, but it fascinates me nonetheless. My idea for the concept came from sorting through many of the family stories I’ve been hearing all my life, and then putting my own spin on it. Some of the characters mirror members of my own family pretty closely. As for the twins, my husband’s sisters are red-headed twins. They’re gorgeous and smart, and they also have an incredible bond – they were my inspiration for Alice and Rachel.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Rachel?
[Jessica Warman] She’s secretive, guarded, and kind.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are three things Alice would never have in her purse?
[Jessica Warman] The first one is definitely black licorice! Also, a picture of herself and her boyfriend together, and a to-do list.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Are you more like Alice or Rachel?
[Jessica Warman] I’m definitely more like Alice. I’ve always been pretty wild, especially when I was a teenager. But I’ve also mellowed quite a bit with age, to the point where I understand there’s a time and place for certain kinds of behavior. No matter what, though, I think the maniac in me will always be in there somewhere, waiting for an appropriate time to shine.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Jessica Warman] David Foster Wallace is my favorite writer of all time, hands down. His work – especially his nonfiction – is just the greatest stuff I’ve ever read. People talk about art “changing their life” all the time, but in this case it’s true: his writing has changed my life. It’s made me a better person. It has enriched my life in ways I never could have anticipated, and made me feel whole in ways nothing and nobody else has ever been able to do. He was a genius, and we should all support his legacy by reading his work.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Jessica Warman] 1) Complete silence. I mean no noise whatsoever, not even the sound of a kitten purring, or rain falling.
2) I have to be well-rested. I’m nonfunctional if I don’t get enough sleep.
3) I have one of those e-cigarettes, even though I haven’t smoked for years. The cartridges I use are just filled with water, so I’m only inhaling water vapor, but it gives me something to fidget with whenever I need to take a little break from typing.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
[Jessica Warman] “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe,” by Benjamin Alire Saenz. This book… I was awestruck at the end. What he does with words is nothing short of sorcery. It’s just a beautiful, beautiful piece of art. If I ever see Mr. Saenz again, I’m going to hug him. Then I’m going to thank him for sharing this story with the world.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Jessica Warman] Probably “The Twits” by Roald Dahl, followed by everything else he’s ever published. The man was a magician. I recently gave my 7-year old daughter the boxed set of his complete works, and I’m having so much fun living vicariously through her as she experiences them for the first time. Even today, as an adult, reading any of his books makes me feel like I’m getting a big hug from the universe.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Jessica Warman] Well, I read a lot. I read everything I can get my hands on. And as boring as this sounds, I actually really enjoy cleaning my house. I love cleaning up big messes, because it provides such an immediate sense of accomplishment. If I hadn’t become a writer, I think I would have started a crime scene cleanup company.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Jessica Warman] The best way is through email. They can email me at email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or they can send a message via my website, www.jessicawarman.com. They can also follow me on twitter (@jkwarman) or contact me through my Facebook page, which is just www.facebook.com/authorjessicawarman. Sometimes it takes me a long time to respond, but I truly do try to write back to as many people as possible.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!
You can order Beautiful Lies from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the widgets below. Available in print and digital.