By Sean Tuohy
The word that best sums up international best-selling author Jennifer Fischetto is busy. She currently works on two book series and has another one in works. She pens the award-winning, and very fun, Jamie Bond series with Gemma Halliday, while also working on her own YA series Disturbia Diaries. Fischetto has grown in a well-known author thanks to the humor and original tone she fills her novels with.
Fischetto was nice enough to take a moment to sit and chat with Writer's Bone about her works, her writing process, and what the future holds for her.
Sean Tuohy: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Jennifer Fischetto: My mother read fairy tales to me as a young child, and as soon as I knew how to write, I began creating my own stories (although I may have heavily borrowed ideas from these books!). I wrote a lot in junior high, and then in high school. I was a part of a creating writing class. I knew then I wanted to be a writer. I didn't quite believe it was possible though.
ST: Do you remember the first story you wrote?
JF: The clearest one is from eighth grade. We had a writing assignment in English, and, of course, I went full throttle and wrote a story about a 17-year-old girl who hid the fact that her parents died in a car accident so that she and her seven other siblings wouldn't be separated. It was supposed to be a short story, but mine was much longer. I still remember the construction paper cover I created for it.
ST: What attaches you to the YA genre?
JF: There's something special about this age group. There's the confusion and vulnerability of not knowing who you are and where you fit in yet. And there are such limitations when you're that age; between parents, school, and not having the freedom you desire. It's a time of struggle, and writing about that conflict appeals to me.
ST: Your Jamie Bond series is a wonderfully fun series, where did the idea for ex cover model turned P.I. come from?
JF: Actually, this series is the creation of Gemma Halliday. I had nothing to do with creating Jamie's job choices. It was an idea Gemma had started some years ago, but couldn't find the time to write. She and I had originally connected through "Romance Divas," an online community of (mostly) romance writers. Gemma had mentored me back in 2007. Then one day, out of the blue, she messaged me, asking if I was interested in co-authoring this series with her. A lot of what happens in the books comes from my imagination, but Jamie, herself, is Gemma's baby.
ST: Do you do any research for your novels? If so, what is that process like?
JF: Because I write mysteries, most of my research stems around criminal law and police procedure. There is a wonderful Yahoo group, “Crimescenewriters,” that answers all kinds of police procedural questions, and Google is my best friend. But since I write cozies and romantic mysteries, as opposed to, legal thrillers, I don't need to know intricate details.
ST: What is your writing process?
JF: I'm a plotter, so my process usually goes like this:
- Brainstorm idea: I'll get a snippet of an idea for a plot or a character and ask a lot of "what ifs." This is my favorite part of the process.
- Plot: I plot scene-by-scene in Scrivener. This can be minimal or very detailed. Even with these virtual notecards, I don't always follow it exactly.
- First draft: I tell myself to write fast and dirty, but that doesn't always happen. In the beginning of a story, I tend to go back and edit a lot, but by time I reach the middle, I lock up my internal editor and just move forward. I write in chronological order. I've tried skipping around and it just confuses me. I tend to hold a lot of information in my head. I make notes, but I prefer going my memory, if I can.
- Revisions: This is the fun part, making all those words pretty and cohesive. And then finally, I end with polishing/editing.
Depending on which series I'm writing, I'll either hand over my portion of a Jamie Bond book straight to my co-author, or for my YA series, if time allows, I'll also have my amazing criticism group, "YAFF," take a look.
ST: Do you have a different writing process for YA novels and adult novels?
JF: I do not. Other than the stories themselves, I usually write every book the same way.
ST: If given the chance which of your characters would you spend the day with and what would you do?
JF: I'm currently writing the first book of a new series. It's about a young woman who communicates with ghosts, much like my YA series, but this one is more fun. Her name is Gianna, and she works at her family deli, which is a beacon for ghosts. For reasons she's not sure, the recently departed cross over through the deli. Gianna is a hoot, and a day with her would keep me laughing.
ST: What advice do you give to young writers?
JF: Don't quit. Keep trying. And believe in yourself. Always believe that you can make your dreams come true. It may take time, and it may not be easy, but it's definitely doable. And read, read, read!
ST: What is one random fact about yourself?
JF: I have double-jointed thumbs. Seriously. I can bend them backwards much further than most people. It's something I rarely think about now, but as a kid, my family would always ask me to perform. The circus side show.