I recently read The Mark by Jen Nadol and really enjoyed. I thought she would be a great candidate for my very first author interview. She was kind enough to answer some questions before she headed off for vacation. I want to thank her time!
Author Bio: I grew up in Reading, Pennsylvania, hometown of Taylor Swift, John Updike and A.S. King. I went to college at American University in Washington DC and graduated with a Lit degree which spent the next twelve years collecting dust while I worked in human resources for a national retail chain. Now I live north of NYC in an old farmhouse with my husband and three young sons. I still love thrift stores, listen to just about anything from Mozart to My Chemical Romance, and have way too many favorite books to name.
THE MARK is my first novel.
Tell us a little bit about your debut book "The Mark" and it’s lead character Cassie?
The story follows sixteen year old Cassie who’s just confirmed that the soft glow she’s always seen around certain people means they’re fated to die within the day. The novel centers around her internal debate about whether to tell them or not. It’s part paranormal, part romance (but not the fairy-tale kind) and part coming-of-age story.
I have to admit I know nothing about philosophy. Did you have some knowledge/interest before hand?
I took one class in college to fulfill a requirement and was shocked at how hard it was! The debate about choice - fate versus free will - was such a natural fit for Cassie’s situation that I knew almost as soon as I came up with the novel’s premise that I’d incorporate philosophy, something I hadn’t seen that often in YA novels.
Did you realize the role mythology would play in the book before you started writing?
I didn’t. I’d actually finished the first draft and was talking about it with my husband. He gave me some feedback and ideas that led to incorporating it – the “key suggestion” I thank him for in the book’s Acknowledgments J
What do you think Cassie should do with the knowledge of knowing someone is about to die? Especially in light of the information she receives at the end (in the book passed down to her) about interfering with death?
I’m not sure there’s a way to answer this. It’s definitely a big part of her quest in the sequel.
If you had to pick a favorite book (or series) what would it be and why?
I love end-of-the-world stories like Life As We Knew It, The Last Ship and The Stand. It’s fascinating to imagine all the great stuff we’ve constructed – physically and otherwise – falling apart, seeing how people react and considering what steps you’d take in a similar situation. I’d never want to actually have it happen, but thinking about the worst case scenario is really interesting to me.
The Mark - Young Adult, January 19, 2010, Bloomsbury Children's Books
Sixteen-year old Cassie Renfield has seen the mark since forever: a glow around certain people as if a candle were held behind their back. The one time she pointed it out taught her not to do it again, so Cassie has kept quiet, considering its rare appearances odd, but insignificant. Until the day she watches a man die. Mining her memories, Cassie realizes she can see a person's imminent death. Not how or where, only when: today. Cassie searches her past, her philosophy lessons, even her new boyfriend for answers, always careful to hide her secret. How does the mark work? Why her?
Most importantly, if you know today is someone's last, should you tell?
For an Excerpt from the book please visit http://www.jennadolbooks.com/html/excerpt.html