Welcome back to the Penguin Teen Author Spotlight! Today we’re very excited to have Jessica Khoury drop by to tell us a little about her lush, romantic debut novel, ORIGIN, which is on sale TODAY! ORIGIN is the first book in our Fall 2012 Breathless Reads campaign, and we’re so excited for you all to get to read it! It’s been garnering heaps of praise; Kirkus called it “utterly refreshing”, while PW gave our girl Pia (the main character of ORIGIN) a shout-out by calling her a “fascinating protagonist.” So without further ado, here’s Jessica!
Name: Jessica Khoury
Available: September 4, 2012 [Ed: That’s today!]
Who’s your favorite author, living or dead? Lloyd Alexander
What’s your favorite thing about your book? The setting! I loved getting to learn all about the Amazon rainforest, and the animals, plants, and people who live there.
If you could spend one year on a deserted island with one character from literature, who would you choose? Oh, this is so hard! I pick Finnick from Catching Fire. Just because he could like, you know, be pretty useful and stuff. I MEAN HE COULD CATCH FISH FOR US TO EAT. Get your mind out of the gutter.
Where do you write? In my messy happy corner! [Ed: See photo above!]
Who is your favorite hero or heroine of history? My favorite is Eva Peron, but she’s not really a heroine. So if I had to choose someone good, I’d pick Martin Luther. I got to travel through Germany and explore all the places he’d lived. He was such a fiery, funny individual and wasn’t afraid to take on the entire Roman Catholic church even though they called him a heretic and controlled everything and burned his books.
Do you tweet? What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever tweeted? Well, I didn’t think it was funny, but other people did. I thought I was giving sage wisdom, in hopes people would learn from my mistakes: “Fact: not all authors are good role models. Example: I just paid a $115 library fine. Why? I lost four—yes, FOUR—audiobooks. #WalkOfShame”[Ed: Follow Jessica on Twitter!]
What is your favorite season? Spring! I love hiking, and spring is best for it, because the weather is lovely and I love seeing the leaves and ferns starting to peep out of the leaves.
If you could teleport anywhere in the known universe right now, where would you go? Here. I have no idea where this is, but here:
Do you have any writing rituals? I try to have a glass of tea (hot or cold, and always sweet) and a few candles. The candles help me relax, and the tea is like jet fuel for my brain!
What is your idea of earthly happiness? Writing books, seeing the world, loving God, and finding goodness, truth, and beauty in everything.
What is the best concert you’ve ever been to? Actually—now don’t shoot me—I hate concerts. I really do. I avoid them at all costs. Do I’ve never really been to one. But if I may, I’ll substitute Broadway show for concert (because I’m nuts about those). And in that case, the best I ever saw? It’d be a tie between seeing Wicked in London’s West End and seeing Ricky Martin perform in Evita on Broadway.
What are you currently working on? The follow-up book to ORIGIN. No, it’s not a sequel. It will, however, be in the same vein as ORIGIN. That’s all I can tell you for now!
Thanks so much for answering our nosey questions, Jessica! :)
You can find Jessica online on her website, Twitter, Facebook, and her blog.
Become a fan of ORIGIN on Facebook and discover more about ORIGIN at the ORIGIN website.
Add ORIGIN to your Goodreads to-read shelf!
Purchase ORIGIN from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your local independent bookseller!