MY INTERVIEW WITH JESSICA BUCHER!
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
Jessica Bucher. My books are all YA, ranging from romance to fantasy.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
The Hereafter, my standalone romance novel, was just an old idea that came to me back in college. It took me years to finally flesh it out, and the story changed a lot over time. I’m so happy with how it came out in the end. It’s true when they say a book really writes itself in a way.
Notes of Magic is my fantasy novel, set in a steampunk-like setting in the future (think old word meets future). This novel was inspired by my travels in Europe. I lived in Germany for a few years and when I visited Prague, the capitol of the Czech Republic, I knew I had to set a story there. Prague is so gorgeous, and one of my favorite things there were the street musicians, so I wrote this fantasy novel about magical street musicians. It’s been such a blast to write.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I’ve been reading YA my whole life, and I will never stop. I knew I had to write YA books, but I’ve been playing around with genre a bit since then. I love a good love story so I knew that whatever I did write would have a great romance in it, which both of my books do.
My next novel is a historical novel, with an alternate history (so WWII if it had ended differently). The research is exhausting, but fun. That novel won’t be out until 2020, but just goes to show that I really do write all across the board. Of course, this novel has a great romance in it too. ❤
What kind of research did you do for this book?
For Notes of Magic, I got to do the BEST kind of research. After I wrote the first draft, I visited Prague for a second time to take lots of pictures and imagine my characters in the various settings, to make sure I got all of the details right.
There is a scene at the end of the novel that takes place in the great hall of the castle at the top of the city. I had to take a tour to see the room, that I had only seen in pictures before that. In the middle of this tour, I was imagining my characters celebrating in that room, and I got a little emotional about it. Needless to say, the people in that tour probably thought I was crazy. But it was so worth it.
Can you tell me about your Series?
The series is called The Bohemians, and so far the only book out is the first, Notes of Magic. I hope to have the sequel, Grains of Fire out this fall/winter. The series will be complete next year with the third book (still un-named).
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
I’m in the editing phase of Grains of Fire now, and it’s by-far my favorite (so far). It revolves around the “antagonist,” and he is just my favorite character, probably ever. There is so much gritty tension between him and the main character, and this novel is his redemption story.
Was it always meant to become a series?
Yeah, I always meant for or The Bohemians to be a series of books. This is the kind of world that you can’t just spend one book in.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
I have three kids, so my writing time is really squeezed into naptimes and after bedtime. If I can get a few hours to myself, I do a lot of writing in libraries and coffee shops. I actually wrote Notes of Magic during November, which is National Novel Writing Month. I get so much motivation from that event.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
Grains of Fire is in the editing phase.
My historical YA novel is still in the early draft stages and still has no name.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
Usually with characters’ names, I will just go with the first one that comes to me. Writing Notes of Magic was fun because it’s a very diverse cast of characters. Yuri is from Hungary. Katia is from England. Kaspar is from Germany, and Ziva is from India.
As for The Hereafter, the two main characters are named after my favorite poets: Nin and Dylan (Anais Nin and Dylan Thomas).
Where do your ideas come from?
My ideas will often come from music. Music has such a way to evoke emotions that it’s not hard for me to write stories from the music I’m listening to.
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
I’m really tempted to write a YA western with a strong female lead. I keep telling my friends about this, and they kind of laugh at me. I don’t know why this idea intrigues me so much, but I love the vision of a badass cowgirl wielding a shotgun, kicking ass. Haha!
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Editing. Most writers will probably tell you that. Writing the story is the fun part. Working on it to make it better is exhausting and frustrating. It’s scary to know that it’s in your hands to make the story right.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I wish I had the skill to make an awesome book trailer! I’m obsessed with watching trailers, so I think they can be a great tool to spread the word about your book.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Writing the books is what I’m most proud of. Here’s a dirty little secret: I’ve written six books. I’m a little bit of a writing addict. I love writing them so much, but the editing/revising/publishing/marketing is like torture for me. So, as you can tell, I’m a little behind on that part.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Meeting readers who love your stories. When people tell me who they ship or that they can’t wait for the sequel, I get the warm and fuzzies.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In ten years, I’ll still be writing and publishing books. I’ll be in the classroom teaching high school English by then, but I’ll never stop writing.
Have you always liked to write?
I have always been a writer, though some of that angsty teen poetry will never come out of the box in my closet.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Just keep writing. You won’t finish a book in a day or find success overnight, but baby steps are still steps in the right direction. Just keep going.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
I’m a certified teacher, and I’ve always been very torn between the two careers. Helping teens find their writing voice is my passion, and giving them something to read is my purpose.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
I do read reviews because I want to see what can be improved and what people love. I read the bad reviews to help build up my skin, but I never respond to any reviews. I think it’s better to have a wall there. I want reviewers to be honest, and I think if I’m there responding it would skew the response.
What is your least favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
Everything after the first draft! Hahaha 😊
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
Sure thing! This is from Grains of Fire…
“She marched into the restaurant where he waited for her. It felt impossible to think about anything else now that she knew the truth about him. He was a liar. On top of being a manipulator and a ruthless dictator, he was a liar. By withholding knowledge, he held the power, and he did it without remorse. He kept this information about her parents from her for years—no, decades, and why? Because it would give her too much power over him, something he would never allow her to have. Well, now she knew, and now she would make him pay.”
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
During my first draft of Notes of Magic, written about five years ago, something kinda crazy happened. My villain started to take over, and it wasn’t long before I realized that he would sorta “get the girl.”
Well, he didn’t really get the girl, but he did redeem himself in a big way, and suddenly became my favorite character. He is so tortured and enigmatic. He does some pretty awful stuff, and he’s so broken that he causes a lot of people some hell, but I think that’s the reason why loving him becomes so much more fun. There’s a lot of conflict in loving him.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Writing energizes me so much. Editing exhausts me.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
I love this question. My kids, bless them, can kill my writing energy very easily. They require a lot of my energy and attention, so I tend to just wait until they’re asleep before I sit down at the computer.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I will always write what inspires me to write. I don’t think I’d be any good at it any other way.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Wow, I have so many awesome writer friends. Jessica Pierce, Nina Walker, and M.F. Lorson to name a few. We are always cheering each other on, sharing each other’s work, and bouncing ideas. I couldn’t do this without them. They are gold.
Where can your fans find you and follow??
I’m on Instagram a lot. @JessicaB_writer
I also have a FB readers group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/217434652136824
My links are all on my website: http://www.jessicabucher.com
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️
Thank you so much for including me! I had a blast answering these questions!