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Author Interview - Corrine Jackson

Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Today, I'm delighted to be interviewing with Corrine Jackson, author of If I Lie and Touched.

Remy O’Malley heals people with touch—but every injury she cures becomes her own. Living in a household with an abusive stepfather, she has healed untold numbers of broken bones, burns,and bruises. And then one night her stepfather goes too far.

Being sent to live with her estranged father offers a clean start and she is eager to take it. Enter Asher Blackwell. Once a Protector of Healers, Asher sacrificed his senses to become immortal. Only by killing a Healer can a Protector recover their human senses. Falling in love is against the rules between these two enemies. Because Remy has the power to make Protectors human again, and when they find out, they’ll becoming for her—if Asher doesn’t kill her first.

Would you tell us a bit about yourself and how you became a writer?
I am a young adult writing living in San Francisco. I like shoes, umbrellas, and owning an absurd amount of books. I wrote my first short story in second or third grade. I wish I could tell you what age I was, but I haven’t a clue. I continued writing short stories throughout junior high and high school, and took creative writing classes in college. But I have to say, I didn’t get serious about publication until 2009 when I began writing Touched and started to think there was a possibility that it could be picked up.

Touched deals with some sensitive topics like abuse, and If I Lie deals with the grey between truth and perception. What made you decide to tackle these kinds of topics?
At the core, the two books do have a similarity. In each a girl is struggling with a question that doesn’t have an easy answer. In Touched, Remy can heal people, but she takes on whatever injury she heals. She heals your broken ribs, and her ribs snap. She has to balance tough decisions about who she heals and how far she’ll go because her life is at risk. In If I Lie, Quinn is keeping a secret, and the consequences of that devastate her world. She loses everything – her friends, the respect of her family and her self-respect. She balances on the edge of loyalty to a friend and loyalty to herself. How do you decide in a situation like hers? I love to ask those questions and see what happens to my characters. Sometimes there are no easy answers.

Have you drawn upon experiences from your own life while writing?
Absolutely. Sometimes I overhear a conversation. All of my characters have little pieces of me or people I know. Sometimes it sneaks out enough that my friends and family notice like when Quinn says, “freaking awesome” in If I Lie. She has my sense of humor, I think. With Remy, a lot of my relationship with my father snuck into the story. The story is made better when the author gets personal in some way, and that’s what I try to do.

There's certainly a lot of emotion in your books. Is the abuse element in Touched related to the creation of Remy's healing abilities?
Yes. Very much so, and that’s an astute question. The abuse isn’t the cause of her abilities. You’ll have to read the series to discover more about that. But the trauma of her upbringing definitely impacts her abilities and her decisions on how and when to use them. She’s a survivor and that comes through in everything she does.

How did you come up with the idea of Healers and Protectors?
I asked myself a lot of questions. What if this girl has this ability to heal people, but every healing took something from her? And what if she had been abused, causing her close off mentally and physically from other people, but her powers required touching? Then when I started thinking of a people who would be the opposite of Healers, I went the opposite direction. What if you hadn’t felt a touch in ages? Things just fell into place from there.

Your debut is a contemporary novel, and Touched has paranormal elements. What are the different challenges in writing contemporary versus paranormal book?
The world building. Egads, the world building is so difficult, plus the paranormal books is a trilogy and it’s so very difficult to write sequels. The tone and characters and world have to match, and I didn’t appreciate how hard that was to do until I had to write Touched 2. In a way, If I Lie has its own kind of world building with the military setting, but at least I had real research to base that on. And I love research. In the end, though, the books have a different tone. My paranormal has a lot more action. My contemporary has more moments of quiet reflection and is literary. They’re both fun to write, though I think If I Lie shredded me emotionally to a larger extent.

Emotions are pretty big in contemporary books, especialy when they deal with a topic like If I Lie, which you dealt beautifully with. If you were a Healer, what would you do with your abilities?
I think that I’d be like Remy. I’d feel compelled to use my abilities to help people, but I don’t think I’d want too many people to know about it. If people knew, I believe they’d take advantage. Apparently, I’m a cynic in that way.

I also think that people would be inclined to asking for help if they knew someone who can heal. More so if an ambulance would be called. What are you working on now?
Currently I’m wrapping edits on Touched 2, and then I’ll be working on Touched 3 to finish up the trilogy. I also have another contemporary in the works, but I’m not ready to say much about that one yet.

Thanks for interviewing, Corrine. I'm looking forward to seeing how the Touched trilogy goes!

Corrine's Website | Facebook | Twitter
Corrine Jackson (pronounced Cor-een) is a young adult author repped by Laura Bradford of Bradford Literary Agency. Her debut young adult novel, If I Lie, will be published by Simon Pulse (August 28, 2012). Touched, the first book of her young adult paranormal romance trilogy, will be published by Kensington/KTeen (November 27, 2012).


1 comment on "Author Interview - Corrine Jackson"
  1. Great interview. Loved hearing about both books. I really enjoyed Touched and can't wait to see where book 2 goes.

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