We are so pleased to have Julianna Baggott here today to talk about her highly anticipated just released, Pure. We are also featuring this title in our Dystopian Reading Challenge 2012. Thanks to Hachette/Grand Central Publishing, you also have a chance to win a copy of the book. Comment below for a chance to win!
Critically acclaimed, bestselling author Julianna Baggott also writes under the pen names Bridget Asher and N.E. Bode. She has published seventeen books over the last ten years. Film rights for her forthcoming novel PURE have been acquired by Fox 2000. The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted, written under pen name Asher, was published in spring 2011. There are approximately 50 foreign editions of her novels to date.
Julianna began publishing when she was twenty-two and sold her first novel while still in her twenties. After receiving her M.F.A. from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, she published her first novel, Girl Talk, which was a national bestseller and was quickly followed by Boston Globe bestseller The Miss America Family, and then Boston Herald Book Club selection, The Madam, an historical novel based on the life of her grandmother. She co-wrote Which Brings Me to You with Steve Almond, A Best Book of 2006 (Kirkus Reveiws) optioned by producer Richard Brown and adapted by Keith Bunin with Matthew Warchus set to direct.
Her Bridget Asher novels include The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted, The Pretend Wife, My Husband’s Sweethearts. More info can be found at her Bridget Asher blog.
She also writes bestselling novels for younger readers under the pen name N.E. Bode as well as under Julianna Baggott. The Anybodies trilogy was a People Magazine pick alongside David Sedaris and Bill Clinton, a Washington Post Book of the Week, a Girl’s Life Top Ten, a Booksense selection, and was in development at Nickelodeon/Paramount; The Slippery Map (fall 2007), and the prequel to Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium (2007), a movie starring Dustin Hoffman, Natalie Portman, and Jason Bateman. For two years, Bode was a recurring personality on XM Sirius Radio.
Julianna’s Boston Red Sox novel The Prince of Fenway Park (HarperCollins), was published in spring 2009. It is on the Sunshine State Young Readers Awards List for 2011-2012.
The Ever Breath (Random House) was published in December, 2009.
Baggott also has a highly acclaimed career as a poet, having published three collections of poetry and having been published in the best literary publications in the country, including Poetry, The American Poetry Review, and Best American Poetry in 2001 and 2011.
Baggott’s work has appeared in over a hundred publications, including the The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Glamour, Ms., Real Simple, and read on NPR’s Here and Now, All Things Considered andTalk of the Nation. Her essays, stories, and poems are highly anthologized.
She is an associate professor at Florida State University’s Creative Writing Program.
In 2006, Baggott and her husband co-founded the nonprofit organization Kids in Need – Books in Deed, that focuses on literacy and getting free books to underprivileged children in the state of Florida.
What initially sparked the main idea/concept for your world?
Julianna: It’s a convergence of many strands — some things I’d been working on for years (characters) and a restlessness to write something big (world-building), mixed with history and scientific research — a threading of so many different things all woven together.
Tell us something about your research process and the choices you make when creating the story.
Julianna: The layers of research in science came along as I was writing. I’d want to know about some idea and invariable some version had been invented or some use for the invention was already underway. Fascinating to do the research. This isn’t a sci-fi novel, to my mind. But it’s heavily science-inspired in different parts. I’d say the same for the historical elements. I created a revisionist history to create a new world, a speculative future. These things do have a way of manhandling the plot in ways that I love. To be taken out of authority while writing is a good thing.
What influences and inspirations (both literary and non-literary) did you draw from while writing Pure?
Julianna: I drew on some Marquez and Cortazar, as well as Aimee Bender and George Saunders. I also love the dark poems of Atwood, as well as her fiction. I love reading poetry — poems that are ecstatic and angry and imagistic. I like Terrance Hayes, Rachel Zucker, Olena Kalytiak Davis, Seamus Heaney, Marie Howe, Andrew Hudgins, Adelia Prado… many many more…
What is the biggest challenge you faced while writing Pure?
Julianna: Eventually it’s not writing our doom and destruction. It’s trying to understand what endures. Love, kindness, beauty, faith, hope?
If you could meet any character from Pure, who would you want to hang out with for a day? What would you do for fun?
I’d want to throw Pressia an old fashioned birthday party — pointy hats, balloons, games, a donkey, streamers … I’d want it to be at home with everyone she loves.
If the apocalypse were coming tomorrow and you could only choose four books to keep safe and bring into the “New World”, which ones would you pick?
Julianna: Sorry fiction and poetry, I’d pick all nonfiction. Medicine, construction, farming, hunting, tools, how to make and build things — the basics. I’d be completely practical.
This giveaway is provided by Hachette/Grand Central Publishing
One winner will receive a copy of Pure by Julianna Baggott
Available on February 8, 2012 from Hachette/Grand Central Publishing
About the Book:
We know you are here, our brothers and sisters . . .
Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before. In her sleeping cabinet behind the rubble of an old barbershop where she lives with her grandfather, she thinks about what is lost-how the world went from amusement parks, movie theaters, birthday parties, fathers and mothers . . . to ash and dust, scars, permanent burns, and fused, damaged bodies. And now, at an age when everyone is required to turn themselves over to the militia to either be trained as a soldier or, if they are too damaged and weak, to be used as live targets, Pressia can no longer pretend to be small. Pressia is on the run.
Burn a Pure and Breathe the Ash . . .
There are those who escaped the apocalypse unmarked. Pures. They are tucked safely inside the Dome that protects their healthy, superior bodies. Yet Partridge, whose father is one of the most influential men in the Dome, feels isolated and lonely. Different. He thinks about loss-maybe just because his family is broken; his father is emotionally distant; his brother killed himself; and his mother never made it inside their shelter. Or maybe it’s his claustrophobia: his feeling that this Dome has become a swaddling of intensely rigid order. So when a slipped phrase suggests his mother might still be alive, Partridge risks his life to leave the Dome to find her.
When Pressia meets Partridge, their worlds shatter all over again.
Click HERE to read an excerpt
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