Monday, January 19, 2009

Five for Jessica Burkhart

Please welcome, Jessica Burkhart! :) 

Jessica is the author of the highly anticipated Canterwood Crest middle grade series. Here first book, TAKE THE REINS, dropped last week, the second book in the series, CHASING BLUE, is due to hit stores in March, the third, BEHIND THE BIT, and fourth, TRIPLE FAULT, will be released later this year. She's also recently signed a contract for four more books to continue the series. Jessica is one busy writer. :) 
1. I love the inspiring background story about how you began writing - the spinal fusion and after reading a bunch of teen magazines, writing yourself. Then, penning a series about your passion. :) Tell us a little bit about the series.

First, thanks so much for letting me hijack your blog, Keri! I'm so glad to be here! :) 

Canterwood Crest is a middle-grade series from Simon & Schuster's Aladdin MIX. The first book, TAKE THE REINS, was released last week and it's the first of eight books. 

In TAKE THE REINS, twelve-year old small-town girl Sasha Silver leaves home to attend Canterwood Crest Academy - an elite Connecticut boarding school. Sasha comes to Canterwood with one goal - to make the school's advanced equestrian team. Sasha and her horse, Charm, are up against tough competition and the pressure is on from the second Sasha steps on campus. 

My biggest wish for the series is to share my love of horses with readers. If kids can't ride or haven't ridden before, I hope they're able to enjoy the thrill of horses with Sasha and her friends. 

2. Do you pull from your own equestrian experiences? Are the characters based on teammates? 

I do think back to my own riding experiences. I loved trial riding, so I take Sasha and her friends on a trail ride as often as possible. :) My stable in Tennessee wasn't super-competitive in English riding - the type Sasha and her friends do. Instead, more people rode Western, so I didn't have many friends who rode English. My best riding friend, Amy, was a fantastic Western rider. I taught her about English riding and she showed me how to ride Western. I try to infuse a similar feeling of teamwork into the Canterwood books. 

3. What is your daily writing schedule like? Do you write everyday? 

I do write every day. Since I'm writing a series, the process is a bit different. With a series, there are days when I juggle different parts of the publishing process for multiple books. So, on one day I might be writing a new draft, but the next day I could be still writing that draft and doing copy edits for another book. 

I turn on my laptop in the morning and check e-mail, read blogs, and, erm, play with Facebook until I'm fully caffeinated. I work until lunch and I'm back at it until the evening. At night, while indulging in bad TV, I use that time to read printed drafts, work on PR, or read. 

4. Besides writing, what is your dream profession? 

If I absolutely couldn't write another book, I'd love to write for TV. Okay, okay, that's another writing job, but it would be different than writing books. :) Does that count? 

5. Who is your fave celebrity? And/or if you could have dinner with any three people (dead or alive) who would they be? 

My current fave celeb is Chace Crawford. My decision was based purely on aesthetic and shallow reasons. :) 

Oooh, three people. Hmm.. so many to choose from! 

Okay, in no particular order: 

Anne Hathaway (Princess Diaries, Prada and Rachel Getting Married. I heart thee, Anne!)
Kate Brian (I'd do a fan-girl squee and scare her.)
Rober Pattinson (So he can propose to me!)

Check out Jessica's website here
Check out the Canterwood Crest website here
Check out her blog, here
And don't miss the chance to win Jessica's first book TAKE THE REINS, here. :) 

Thanks, Jessica! I can't wait to read TAKE THE REINS. I'm a huge fan of passion inspired series' novels. :) 

Have an amazing Inauguration Day, everyone! :) 


Gottawrite Girl said...

Great interview. I like hearing about the process of serial writing... a major coup! Heck ya!

Thanks Keri and Jessica!

Jessica Burkhart said...

Thanks so much for hosting me, Keri!! :)

Keri Mikulski said...

Hi, GottaWrite Girl! You're welcome! Glad you enjoyed it. :)

You're welcome, Jessica! Thank you!! ;)

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks, Jessica and Keri! Great interview!

Alyson Noel said...

Great interview Keri & Jessica!!

Lapillus said...

Great interview! Congrats on your book release Jessica!

Caryn Caldwell said...

Wow! This is exactly the sort of series I would have loved when I was in middle school. Like many girls that age, I longed for a horse, but I had to settle for just reading about them instead. Of course, just because I've long since graduated, it doesn't mean I can't still read middle grade fiction!

Anonymous said...

Great interview! :) I can imagine how challenging it must be juggling several books in their various stages -- way to go, Jessica!

Big Plain V said...

I like this lady. I'm gonna go check out her blog. You don't get any kind of commission for that, do you Keri? Cuz if so, I think you should have to split it with me.

Keri Mikulski said...

Hi, PJ! Glad you enjoyed it. :)

Hi, Alyson! Thanks. :)

Hi, Lapillus! Thanks. :)

Hi, Caryn! Absolutely! Enjoy! ;)

Hi, Shari! I know.. She's amazing. :)

Hi, Big Plain V! Yes, huge. :) And I'll definitely split it. :)

TJ Brown said...

Great interview. Love Jess and can't wait to get my hands on this book!

adrienne said...

Great interview, Keri. What girl wouldn't be crazy for that series? All my daughter read at that age was horse books. Congrats to Jessica.

Tempestt said...

Great interview!

Alyssa Goodnight said...

Wow! That is a lot of books to juggle! Congrats!! Great interview!

Keri, I tagged you for a meme if you're interested.

Keri Mikulski said...

Hi, Teri! Me too. :)

Hi, Tempesst! Thanks. :)

Hi, Alyssa! I love memes! :)