Jen: Please share a short bio and links to where you can be found online.
Jessica: After graduating from Arizona State University in 2011, Jessica relocated to Los Angeles where she now works in the film industry. From acting to assisting on the Paramount feature Star Trek: Into Darkness, her experiences have only reinforced her love for living in other worlds – whether they be from her own imagination or someone else’s. The Revealed is her first novel.
Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Jessica: In my novel, The Revealed, an underground secret society called The Revealed is kidnapping teenagers across the globe. Lily Atwood has been targeted as their next victim, but she is determined to experience life and stop The Revealed any way she can.
I loved the idea of a coming of age story set against this backdrop of a race against time. The idea originated with thoughts of this underground organization. As the story unfolds, you discover so much more about their purpose. Without giving too much away, I knew what I wanted their motivations and abilities to stem from, and the story developed from there.
Jen: What what age did you discover writing? Tell us your call story.
Jessica: My 5th grade teacher, Don Scott, was a big inspiration in my self-discovery as a writer. It was the first time a teacher had really challenged me to be creative in my writing. He gave my class an assignment to write a scary Halloween story. I’ll never forget it. Instantly, I was in love with creating these new worlds. It was then I knew I wanted to write a novel.
Jen: Do you have a writing routine?
Jessica: The routine is part discipline part dropping everything when inspiration hits. I try to keep to a schedule of writing daily. One thousand words is usually my goal. When I get really excited and drawn to a project – like I did with The Revealed – it isn’t uncommon for me to do nothing but tap away at my computer for days on end. I won’t be able to put the project down until it’s done. The characters will live with me. Everywhere I go, I’ll be searching for an excuse to sneak away and write. I love when I feel that passion for a project. It’s my cue I’m on the right track.
Jen: How do you remember ideas that come to you at odd times?
Jessica: It’s not an uncommon occurrence for me to pull my car over on the side of the street because I need to jot down some dialogue that came to me. I’m all about little moments and scenes that I find inspiring. I weave those instances together to create the story. I have the worst memory, so writing it down is a necessity. Otherwise, I’ll sit in this trance of repeating it over and over in my head until I can scramble together a pen and paper.
Jen: What kind of research did you do for this book?
Jessica: This is a little bit random, but I did a lot of geographical research. There is a lot of talk of different states and cities along the east coast where the novel takes place. Though I’ve traveled there, I’m a born and raised west coast girl. It was really fun to explore different states via map. It definitely inspired me to take a road trip down the east coast! Hopefully that will happen some day soon.
Jen: What’s next for you?
Jessica: I’m continuing Lily’s story. Book 2 in The Revealed series is called The Enraged. (Check out the back pages of The Revealed for a sneak peek of the cover.) I’m finishing up with the first draft now and can’t wait for people to read it! I think the direction of the series will be so exciting and surprising! I’ve had such a great time writing it.