Friday, July 16, 2010

Chopping it up with Jackie Morse Kessler

Today I'm chopping it up with Jackie Morse Kessler, author of Hunger. Here's a little bit about her:

Jackie Morse Kessler grew up in Brooklyn, NY, with a cranky cat and overflowing shelves filled with dolls and books. Now she’s in Upstate NY with another cranky cat, a loving husband, two sons, and overflowing shelves filled with dragons and books (except when her sons steal her dragons). She has a bachelor’s degree in English and American Literature, and yet she’s never read any Jane Austen (with or without zombies). She also has a master’s degree in media ecology. (The living study of technology and culture. Which is cool, but she still can’t figure out how to use Tweetdeck.)
Jackie spends a lot of time writing, reading, and getting distracted by bright and shiny new ideas. (She just came up with a new idea right now.) She has a weakness for chocolate and a tendency to let her cat take over her office chair.

Describe Hunger in 10 words or less.

JMK: An anorexic teenage girl becomes the new Horseman of Famine.

How did you get the idea for Hunger?

JMK: I've wanted to write this book for roughly ten years. In terms of the
Horsemen/Famine aspect, I've had a lot of influences, from Marvel Comics to
Piers Anthony to Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. But the eating disorders,
well, that's personal. I finally wrote the book in later 2008. At its core,
HUNGER is an issue novel about eating disorders, and it uses the Horsemen of
the Apocalypse
to tell the story -- it's not a Horsemen of the Apocalypse
book that happens to have an anorexic protagonist.

Tell us something that not a lot of people know about you.

JMK: I wish I could sing. As it stands, people pay me **not** to sing.

Name the sexiest thing about Hunger.

JMK: Heh, that's a tough one for me, because I don't think of it as a sexy
book. (Wait, come back! I'll change my answer! Hello...?)

There are some heavy issues in Hunger involving anorexia. Have you dealt with this issue personally?

JMK: I was bulimic when I was younger, and I've had body-image issues for
what feels like most of my life.

What would be your perfect writing setting?

JMK: Right now, because I prefer writing at my desk in my home office, I
can't picture anything else. Well, maybe if Matt Damon were on hand to
restock the printer and fetch me chocolate and, you know, just stand

Have you read any YA lately that you just couldn't put down?

JMK: So many books!!! I loved Jeri Smith-Ready's SHADE, and hugely enjoyed
Shannon Delany's 13 TO LIFE. And I got to read Heather Brewer's upcoming
TWELFTH GRADE KILLS -- so awesome! -- and I'm about to read a sneak peek of
A.S. King's PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ -- can't wait!

Are you working on anything at the moment?

JMK: This week, I'm reviewing copy edits for RAGE, the second book in the
Riders' Quartet (the Horsemen books), and I'm also writing LOSS, the third

Anything else you'd like to add?

JMK: Eating disorders suck. If you buy a copy of HUNGER, a portion of
proceeds will go to the National Eating Disorders Association.

Thanks so much Jackie for doing this interview with me! If you missed it, you can check out my review for Hunger HERE. Needless to say, I LOVED this. This book hits stores October 18, 2010. Click Here to preorder your copy.


  1. Great interview, thanks!

  2. it's so nice that she's using her novel to promote a wonderful advocacy. thank you so much for the interview!


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