Today we’re bringing you our interview with The Karma Club’s author, Jessica Brody:
How did you come up with the idea for The Karma Club?
This was definitely one of those ideas that just “came” to me. A friend of mine had told me some horrendous story about how a boy dumped her (I don’t even remember the story, I just remember it was infuriating!) and the entire time she was talking, I kept thinking, “Someone needs to do that right back to him. He can’t just get away with that. He needs a taste of Karma!” And then boom, the idea hit me! A secret society of girls who help each other out, dosing out Karma to those who deserve it when the universe is slow to do it on its own. And thus THE KARMA CLUB was born. Of course, as soon as the idea came to me, I also knew that my characters would never be able to get away with it. Karma is a tricky thing. And you definitely don’t want to meddle with the universe!
Do you believe in Karma?
Absolutely! I’m a big believer in Karma. But I also don’t think it’s as easy as doing a good deed and then the next day you’ll wake up with millions in your bank account. The universe works in mysterious ways and sometimes it takes a little searching and a little time for those ways to reveal themselves. But I love giving back and helping people and animals and the planet (even if I don’t get anything in return). Sometimes the “karmic payback” is that warm gooey feeling you get from knowing you made a difference in the world. That’s why I started TheKarmaClub.org. So I could share that feeling with the world.
You’ve written adult novels, too, so what attracted you to writing YA novels?
I really didn’t plan it at all. When I came up with the idea for THE KARMA CLUB (see question above!) at first I tried to plot it out as an adult novel and it felt all wrong to me. Then I started to think about it as a story about teens and suddenly it all started to fall into place. Of course, I had no idea how to write a teen novel. So I started reading a bunch of YA fiction to get a feel for the genre. The first book I read was KISS AND BLOG by Alyson Noël and I fell in LOVE with it. (She and I are now very good friends.) I then wrote out 50 pages of the story, showed my agent and asked, “Am I even close to the mark here?” She read it, liked it and told me to keep going with it. She said I had a “natural YA voice.” I think that’s code for “you’re still 17 at heart” (which I still feel!). Writing THE KARMA CLUB was so much fun I decided to stay in the genre. I have two more YA novels coming out in the next two years and a new YA series in the works too!
Tell us about your next YA book, My Life Undecided?
I’m SO excited about the next book. I think it actually might be my favourite yet (but don’t tell any of my other books that!) My Life Undecided is about a fifteen year-old girl who is notorious for making terrible choices and so she decides from now on, she’s going to post every decision she comes across on an anonymous blog with a poll for readers to vote on what they think she should do. And she vows to do whatever the poll result may be. Obviously problems and hilarity ensue! It was a blast to write. Brooklyn Pierce, the main character, became very near and dear to my heart as I wrote it. I’m excited to introduce her to the world.
What are your favourite books from your childhood?
I was a HUGE fan of Judy Blume. I read all her books. She taught me how to be a girl. I’ll never forget the first time I read, Just as Long as We’re Together. Her books made me feel like I was normal. And that’s a big deal when you’re thirteen!
If you could live if any fictional place, where would it be and why?
Edward Cullen’s bedroom. LOL. Just kidding…sort of. Um, I’d probably choose Hogwart’s Castle. I’d love to have my mail delivered by owl.
In the real world, you live in LA, so what’s the best thing about living and working there? (we are jealous – all that sunshine and The Grove shopping!)
Haha! You know what’s funny, I hardly go to the Grove! I guess it’s one of those things. When it’s right there, you don’t to go! But I do love living in LA. The best thing about living here (apart from the weather) is the fact that it’s a city of dreamers. Everyone here is following a dream. And they come from all over the world to do it. Actors, screenwriters, producers, models, directors, entrepreneurs. Some make it, some don’t, but that’s not the point. Everyone here has stepped out of their comfort zone to pursue something that makes them happy and I love being around that energy. Oh, and the beach is nice too!
Thanks so much for doing this interview! It was really fun!
Thanks, Jessica – it’s a pleasure having you with us. Look out for our review of The Karma Club coming soon, and we’re now eager to read My Life Undecided, too! The Karma Club’s been added to our shop for you now, too.
Find out more about Jessica here and you can follow her on Twitter here.