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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Author Interview: Jaclyn Dolamore

Jaclyn Dolamore was homeschooled in a hippie sort of way and spent her childhood reading as many books as her skinny nerd-body could lug from the library and playing elaborate pretend games with her sister Kate. She skipped college and spent eight years drudging through retail jobs, developing her thrifty cooking skills and pursuing a lifelong writing dream. She has a passion for history, thrift stores, vintage dresses, David Bowie, drawing, and organic food. She lives with her partner and plot-sounding-board, Dade, and two black tabbies who have ruined her carpeting. Magic Under Glass is her debut novel and it's in stores today.

If you were a time traveler and could only go back in time what era would you choose and why?
Well, if I can pick a specific spot, I would go to the Columbia Exposition of 1893, otherwise known as the Chicago World's Fair. Because, there are so many things in the past I would like to see, but I think that has a lot of it in one place. It was a dazzling display of early electricity, new technology, and the inspiration for the Emerald City in Oz and Disney's theme parks. Must have been something to see...

What’s the nicest comment that a reader has said about your book?
Not too many people have read it yet, and getting feedback is still really a novelty. So every nice thing I hear, I get really excited about. But, when I'm depressed, I must say I look at the Booklist review that says, "Dolamore successfully juggles several elements that might have stymied even a more experienced writer." It sounds like I know what I'm doing. Woohoo!

Have you ever read a book that really changed the way you look at things, if so can you tell us about it?
Hmm. Good question. Generally, it's not so much one book as the cumulative effect of many books that has shaped the way I think, but I have many times read the Material World books by Peter Menzel (and later Faith d'Aluisio). They went to many countries all over the world and had a demographically average family put all their possessions in their front yard, and the family stood with them for a photograph. In Women in the Material World, they visited many of the same families again (and some different ones) and talked to them about their lives. Looking at the pictures, my first instinct is to judge the families by their level of technological progress. Like, oh, they have a TV, they're doing pretty well. But, the more you think about it, the more you notice how the happiness of the family isn't tied to their possessions. It makes you think about what is the best way to live, what can we learn from each other, what really matters?

So, your favorite YA novel is A True and Faithful Narrative by Katherine Sturtevant, can you tell us why you think readers should read it?
This book really had everything I like. The protagonist is a girl who wants to be a writer at a time (16th century) where women did not have many opportunities. The love interest is multifaceted and compelling. There is a political plot line about the Middle East that has echoes of our current day but was also relevant to their time. The writing is smart, and felt very historically accurate while not being stilted in the least. Often, although I love historical novels in theory, they feel more like a history lesson then truly placing me in the time among real individuals. This book didn't have that problem. I loved the characters, and their world felt real, as they would have felt it.

If you had to verbalize a slogan for your life – what would it be?
Pursue what makes you happy. I don't know how snappy that is as a slogan, but I think that's what life's about, and if I hadn't done that, I would not be answering interviews from anybody!

What question are you never asked in interviews but wish you were?
This is a hard question, because the best questions are the ones that make me go, "oh my gosh, I would never have even thought of that question!" But one of my favorite questions to ask other authors is, what themes have stayed with you all of your writing life?

Now, am I supposed to, like, answer that? ;)

I have always written about characters who are in some way outcast or on the fringe of society, who find their place in mainstream society without compromising who they are as people. For some reason I particularly like it when they have something external to deal with, like their race, their species (in a fantasy anyway), a disability or physical difference. In fact, if I tried to write a story without this theme, I think I'd be totally bored and give it up.

What’s next for you and your books?
I have another book coming up about a mermaid who loves reading (an inconvenient hobby for a mermaid) who falls in love with a winged guy (an inconvenient love interest for a mermaid). The pending title is, THE MERMAID WHO LIKED TO MAKE LIFE EXTREMELY HARD FOR HERSELF.

After that, I have other things I'm working on but no one has bought them yet so I don't want to jinx it.

Is there any additional info that you would like to share with your readers?
Lacinato, otherwise known as "dinosaur" or "Tuscan" kale, is far more delicious than curly kale. Please, everyone make it your green vegetable of choice so that every store will carry it and I won't always be looking for it. =D

Thanks Jaclyn!

For more information about Jaclyn Dolamore and her books, please visit her website here.


  1. Great interview! I loved Jaclyn's books. (and I also read A True and Faithful Narrative!)

  2. Ohh, the Colombia Exposition of 1893 sounds fantastic! Great interview, and I definitely can't wait to get my hands on my pre-ordered copy of Magic Under Glass. :)

  3. Great interview! Thanks for posting this

  4. Thank you for introducing me to Jaclyn Dolamore.

    Happy holidays to you all.

  5. I LOVE her pending title. I so want to read that book!

  6. Thanks For A Great Interview With Jaclyn. I Must Add This Book To My To Read Pile.

  7. "Pursue what makes you happy." That's good advice, though I find myself forgetting it frequently! Thanks for the interview!

  8. Interesting interview and some good advice too!

  9. Your next book sounds amazing! *puts mermaid on to-look-out-for book*

  10. I haven't read anything by Jaclyn before, but this looks really like a really great book. Can't wait to read it.

  11. Nice interview. I think this is the first interview I have read about Jaclyn.

  12. Sorry, Jaclyn, I'm not much of a kale person...

    THE MERMAID WHO LIKED TO MAKE LIFE EXTREMELY HARD FOR HERSELF sounds pretty fascinating, though. I'll definitely pick that one up. But by that time, it'll probably have a new name and I'll be surprised and awed by it's wonderfulness. *smile*

    Great interview!

  13. Great questions and answers. I, too, would like to have been at the Chicago World's Fair. What a sight!

  14. Thanks for the interview. I think the Chicago's World's Fair sounds like it would have been such a sight to see.

  15. Very interesting, can't wait to read "Magic Under Glass". Your mermaid book also sounds so amazing - definitely a must on my wishlist. Just love to find new authors!

  16. LOLOLOLOLOL. The next book sounds AWESOME. I'd totally read that.

  17. Great Interview!:) The book sounds good!:)

  18. Happy New Year! Great interview!

  19. Thanks for the interview. I'm looking forward to reading "Magic Under Glass".

  20. An informative interview. Now I'm craving the book. polo-puppy-fluffy AT hotmail (dot) com

  21. Great interview! I love how honest she is!


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