Saturday, February 2, 2013

Showcase: Peeled and Quartered by Jessica Rowe

Peeled and Quartered

Book Summary (no spoilers): Melvin wakes up on an alien planet modeled after an orange (the fruit). He escapes but is still haunted by his alien captor. The end will leave you reeling!
Available at: Jay And Silent Bob’s Secret Stash (Redbank, NJ), (Web Orders), Paras News Stand (San Diego, CA), Taang Records (San Diego, CA).

Q.  What inspires your writing? 
A.  I am greatly influenced by the people in my life.  My family and friends encourage my endeavors and give me constructive criticisms which keep me from becoming stagnate.  My friend Sarah and I share the same sense of humor, and I find a lot of inspiration in that.  It is really beneficial to have friends and family that I can be my weird self with.  In turn, it fosters a great atmosphere for my active imagination.  I've also received a lot of support from one of my professors, Dr. Emily Hicks.  She has been very influential, and has pointed me in the direction of some great literature that I've been inspired to footnote in my next book, 'The Cult of The Rooster.'  She also introduced me to the idea of a chronotopic narrative which is at the heart of my writing.  She's responsible for my first finished product.  My parents are also a source of inspiration for me.  They give me a lot of feedback, both positive and negative.  I have two people in my corner that want to see me succeed in my endeavors, and in life in general. 

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being an author? 

A.  I'm not sure there is just one thing, but I really enjoy the 'idea marination process.'  By the time I'm putting words on paper I've got a solid idea that's been formed over a period of time.  It gives me confidence that what I'm working on has a solid foundation, however obscure it may be.

Q.  What is the toughest part of being an author? 

A.  The most difficult part for me is realizing when I need to break from writing.  I try to spread my writing out over a long period of time so that I'm not rushing anything.  The process of getting a paragraph just right, and making sure the content is not too disturbing is a challenge that frustrated me while working on my second book, 'The Cult of The Rooster.'  While writing 'Peeled And Quartered' I struggled with the ending, only because I intentionally wrote it to be abrupt and worried it wouldn't translate that way.

Q.  If you could not be an author, what would you do/be?

A. I plan on doing freelance research in the future as well as creating disturbanization and science-fiction paperbacks.  Part of me would like to keep my writing sacred, but I do my own marketing so the business aspect has already sullied me.  If I had no inclination to write, I might want to pursue music as a hobby as opposed to writing.  Actually, I think I would focus my spare time into perfecting my chess game and catching up on unread books and comics.I imagine I will always have a nine-to-five of some sort, but I'm okay with that. 

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled? 

A.  'No Time Wasted'

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time? 

A.  That's a tough question, because I have so many favorite books!  I'm really enjoying reading Deleuze's 'A Thousand Plateaus.'  It will remain on my list of favorites.  I also loved reading Hunter S. Thompson's 'The Great Shark Hunt.'  However, my favorite book on so many different levels is Spinoza's 'Ethics.'  I am still studying it, and I get a lot of use out of that book.  I almost didn't return my library copy, but now I've got a copy of my own.  Camus' book 'The Plague' is also up there with 'Ethics.'

 Q.  Which character from ANY book are you most like? 

A.  I'm a lot like Badger and Mole in 'The Wind In The Willows.'  I have a tendency to be a little shy, and sometimes I don't like company when I have a lot going on.  Even when I don't have much going on, I enjoy my own company.  I'm sensitive like Mole, as far as my interests and whatnot.  But I also have a thick skin when it comes to every day interactions, much like Badger.  That's probably why I prefer no company to bad company.  I'm fortunate to have a few great friends as well as some local family to share good times with.

Q.  What character from all of your books are you most like?

A.  I'm a little bit of every character, I suppose.  I sometimes feel inadequate in life, much like Melvin of 'Peeled And Quartered.'  I like to think I have the ability to organize myself like Eduardo of 'Peeled And Quartered.'  He's somewhat obsessed with the process of a project (but I don't take it as far as he does).  I see myself in Margaret Marblay of 'The Cult of The Rooster' as being somewhat of a rebel, although the dark subjects adressed in the book are entirely fictional and have no connection to my personal life.  

Q.  What is your favorite season? 

A.  My favorite season is Fall, although I'm a local San Diegan so I don't believe I've ever really experienced a true season.

Q.  What inspired your book cover(s)?  Or what is your favorite book cover and why?
A.  My book covers are part of my philosophical take on art.  I used the concepts of 'the signified' (a list of what I want on a cover) and 'the signifier' (what the artists come up with using their own creativity) to create different covers for each printing (an idea introduced to me by Dr. Emily Hicks.  I like having a hands-off approach to the creation of a cover, because I cannot draw well. The only thing I can draw decently is a poodle in a sitting position on a sticky note.  Also, I don't want to taint their interpretation of what I've asked them to draw.  I want to keep my nose out of their creative processes.  As far as preferring one over the other, I have no favorite cover.  I love all of them equally, because in my opinion they aren't to be compared.  There's a lot more in a cover for me than just 'art.'  In one instance, I was in a serious pinch and my friend (who goes by the name of Esparanza De Shongo when creative projects are involved) pulled through for me with some lovely drawings.  Shongo put a lot of work into it, and helped me through the formatting process.  The second printing of 'Peeled And Quartered' was done by Davit Buck, who also really pulled through for me.  It's a show of good faith when someone hands me a finished product and I love that.  I'm also a fan of Davit Buck's art in general, and I have five of his original pieces.  He is a great local San Diego artist, and deserves more recognition in my opinion.

Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book. 

A. Well, I sent a book out for a review and ended up with a freelance writing gig.  I thought that was funny because while promoting I usually don't expect to get any response back in return.  Instead of just a response, I got a gig!  I've been pleasantly surprised at all of the opportunities that are presenting themselves to me.  I'm presenting my second paperback, 'The Cult of The Rooster' in March at SDSU's Student Research Symposium as experimental theory-fiction.  I have a feeling that I might spontaneously combust while presenting my powerpoint, which will be the last and funniest thing that will ever happen to me.

Q.  Are you working on something new? 

A.  I am indeed working on a new project.  I am also always working on something in relation to each project as finished products require marketing.  As far as the creative process, I'm in the marination process for 'Candy Cane Cellar.'  It will be another science-fiction, disturbanization paperback.  The name was actually coined via Twitter by my favorite radio personality, Phil Hendrie.  I'm also planning on writing a book about the band Tiltwheel over the summer in relation to Deleuze and Melanie Mitchell's complexity theory.

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?

Thank you for reading this.  Do what you love to do, and pursue friendships with people that encourage your loves and interests.  Don't waste any time!

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