Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Jenny Moss Interview
Today The Write Game is excited to welcome JENNY MOSS, the debut author of WINNIE'S WAR.
Jenny has a fascinating background. A former NASA engineer, she seemed always to be writing stories while dreaming of a life among writers. At the same time she loved numbers and that love and talent took her into a very different career--engineering. Still she didn't give up her dream of becoming a writer, and, after earning a master's degree in literature and teaching writing as an adjunct at University of Houston-Clear Lake, she catapulted into a full-time writing career. Winnie's War, her debut novel, is set against the backdrop of the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918.
Here's a quick peek at what's in store for you when you turn that first page.
Set in a sleepy town of Coward Creek, Texas, a place that suits Winnie just fine. Although her troubled mother's distant behavior has always worried Winnie, she's plenty busy caring for her younger sisters, going to school, playing chess with Mr. Levy, and avoiding her testy grandmother. Plus, her sweetheart Nolan is always there to make her smile when she's feeling low. But when the Spanish Influenza claims its first victim, lives are suddenly at stake, and Winnie has never felt so helpless. She must find a way to save the people she loves most, even if doing so means putting her own life at risk.
I'm a real fan of historical fiction, so interviewing Jenny is a special treat. I hope my questions are half as interesting as Jenny's career and her book. Let's see.
Jenny, of all your favorite books, which one do you wish you had written?
A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly.
What fictional character do you wish you could be?
I'd like to jump from book to book.
Now that's an interesting answer and a great idea. But let's get to a truly important issue for writers. After chocolate what do you eat to make the writer-block pain go away?
Not chocolate? *sobs*
Sorry, Jenny. Now let's see if I can come up with some questions that are a tad more scintillating for you.
What drew you to write about the Spanish Influenza? Are there other pandemics that you might tackle with your gift for historical novels?
I've always had an interest in books about epidemics and natural disasters -- particularly ones that explore how people in small communities react to these tragedies. Some of us do respond with a skepticism that's fascinating, like a stubborn optimism that won't be let go of despite very real threats. Some are paralyzed, some overworry, some isolate themselves, some show extraordinary courage. I am unfortunately intrigued by the human loss and property damage
aspects of these terrible events, as well, but most of my interest is with the human reaction.
Are there other pandemics that you might tackle with your gift for historical novels?
Yes, many others, actually! For example, yellow fever hit Galveston in the 1800s, with a terrible impact. I think it would be interesting to research Galveston during that time and to find a character's story there.
So it looks like we'll be reading more compelling history fiction from Jenny Moss. Is there a better way to learn history than to read a story with people experiencing the events of the past? Not in my mind.
Thanks so much for putting in an appearance here and giving us a glimpse of who you are and what your book is about.
Look for WINNIE'S WAR on your bookstore shelves or at Amazon and order your copy now.