Saturday, October 3, 2015

Interview with Ann Jacobus, Author of Romancing the Dark in the City of Light + Giveaway

Congratulations on your debut, Ann! Can you share with us a bit about your road to becoming a YA author?

Thank you for having me! The road to becoming a YA author has been a long one, going on fifteen years. Romancing the Dark in the City of Light is the fifth novel I’ve written but the first I’ve sold, and I worked on it off and on for over seven years. I have always written one way or another, and have been in love with stories in almost any form since I was a toddler. I earned an MFA in writing for Children and Young Adults in 2007 (from Vermont College of Fine Arts) and it was one of the wisest, most intense and fun things I ever did.

How would you describe Romancing the Dark in the City of Light in one sentence?

A troubled American girl in Paris falls in love with love and death.

What was your favorite part about writing it?

SFOISelling it! I was at the doctor’s office for my annual check-up when my agent called me with the news. This was ideal since I nearly fainted.

What appealed to you about Paris as a setting?

I love Paris. Almost everyone agrees that it is a spectacularly beautiful and romantic city. My family and I lived there for ten years and our children grew up there. So I know it reasonably well and thought it would be crazy not to set a novel there. But I wanted to approach it with a different optic than the usual adoring glorification. It would not look so lovely through the eyes of a depressed and suicidal teen who is unhappy to be there. The fact that my main character Summer has all this beauty and culture around her (not to mention wealth) and cannot see it or appreciate it is a good reflection of her inner state--one of despair and hopelessness. Also, there is a shadow side to everything, even divine Paris.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? The worst?

Writing advice?
“Read, read, read. Write, write, write,” and “Never give up.”
Life advice?
“The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt or caught out or humiliated. And the only thing people regret is that they didn't live boldly enough, that they didn't invest enough heart, didn't love enough. Nothing else really counts at all.” - Poet Ted Hughes in a letter to his son, Nicholas

Worst advice: I can’t really think of any bad advice I’ve taken, but I’ve probably given some!

Romancing the Dark in the City of Light
Romancing the Dark in the City of Light
by Ann Jacobus
Publisher: Thomas Dunn Books
Release Date: October 6th, 2015
A troubled teen, living in Paris, is torn between two boys, one of whom encourages her to embrace life, while the other—dark, dangerous, and attractive—urges her to embrace her fatal flaws.

Haunting and beautifully written, with a sharp and distinctive voice that could belong only to this character, Romancing the Dark in the City of Light is an unforgettable young adult novel.

Summer Barnes just moved to Paris to repeat her senior year of high school. After being kicked out of four boarding schools, she has to get on track or she risks losing her hefty inheritance. Summer is convinced that meeting the right guy will solve everything. She meets two. Moony, a classmate, is recovering against all odds from a serious car accident, and he encourages Summer to embrace life despite how hard it can be to make it through even one day. But when Summer meets Kurt, a hot, mysterious older man who she just can't shake, he leads her through the creepy underbelly of the city-and way out of her depth.

When Summer's behavior manages to alienate everyone, even Moony, she's forced to decide if a life so difficult is worth living. With an ending that'll surprise even the most seasoned reader, Romancing the Dark in the City of Light is an unputdownable and utterly compelling novel.

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Ann Jacobus earned an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lived with her family for many years in the Arabian Gulf and in Paris, France. She now lives in San Francisco where she writes, reads, volunteers weekly on a suicide crisis line, and frequently resorts to crock-pot meals of canned soup, fowl and whatever's in the fridge.

Follow her on these sites

Win (1) finished copy of ROMANCING THE DARK IN THE CITY OF LIGHT by Ann Jacobus (US Only)
Win (1) finished copy of ROMANCING THE DARK IN THE CITY OF LIGHT by Ann Jacobus (INT)
Win (1) of (2) ROMANCING THE DARK IN THE CITY OF LIGHT swag packs (US Only)

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