Inkpop Blog

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inkpopper of the Week: Jessica Wynn

Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on February 7, 2011

“Okay, for starters I’m a junior at an online high school. That’s the first thing most people learn about me, and it totally takes them by surprise. I’m always bombarded with questions about how it works, whether or not I like it, etc. To answer that: I love it. It’s all the academic challenges that a traditional learning environment provides but I have flexibility and opportunities that a lot of other kids my age don’t. I think that if it weren’t for my schooling situation, I wouldn’t be half the writer I am today because I wouldn’t have had the time to set aside and dedicate to my books.

“I live in New York City, and think it’s the most incredible place on earth. There’s so much culture, so much diversity and no matter how long you live here, you’ll always just be in awe at how much you haven’t seen, and all there is to do. This is the one place in the world where you can never say, ‘I’ve seen it all.’ Trust me, you haven’t lived until you’ve been trapped on a subway.

“I have two dogs, who I love dearly. Abby is a 5-year-old Lab who thinks she’s a Rottweiler, and Patches is a 1-year-old Dalmatian mix who I honestly can’t even describe. The two of them together are enough to make someone go mad.”

Luckily, Jessica (aka Jessica Wynn) has not succumbed to madness – unless you want to refer to the creative genius within her, responsible for bringing After Life to inkpop, as such. Since re-joining inkpop back in August of 2010, Jessica has drawn people in to her winning personality, and writing style; thus the reason you can find her popular project After Life sitting pretty at # 41 on the Charts.

Your project After Life is currently ranked as # 41. How does it feel to have broken through the Top 50 and being so close to making it into the Top 5? What is currently going through your mind?

Jessica Wynn: It feels incredible! When I re-joined inkpop with this project (I’d previously been on months earlier but left for personal reasons) I just had the intention of getting feedback from my peers and the audience that the book is geared toward. I never thought that I’d get into the Top 50, and I remember how happy I was when it happened. That being said, there have definitely been some moments that I’ve been frustrated and wanted to just quit because I wasn’t getting anymore advice. Then I think about all the people who have sent me messages or left me comments telling me how much they love my book, and I realize that that’s what matters and what’s so great about what I do. I’m able to reach other people and affect their lives through my characters.

After Life is very unique in that it deals with purgatory, the afterlife, and reincarnation – three things that aren’t often seen in YA fiction. Do you feel that this originality on your part is one of the things which has made After Life such a popular project on inkpop?

Jessica Wynn: Thank you. I definitely think that those contribute to people’s interest in the book. I also think the fact that it isn’t a religious book yet at the same time is able to go over such topics is what really attracts a diverse crowd of readers.

Can you tell us a bit about the creative process for After Life? Where did you get the idea for this particular project? How did you go about developing this project? Did you do any research to make the topic realistic, or…?

Jessica Wynn: Sure! This is definitely one project I didn’t realize was different until I started seeing what was out there. I’d always had ideas about someone coming back from the dead or whatnot, but didn’t get the specific idea for After Life until I was standing in a grocery store, waiting in line for my mom to buy something. There was a stack of those free newspapers near by, and on the cover was a boy staring into the mirror with this very confused expression. That’s when Alex’s voice just came into my head, and I remember getting into the car and asking my mom, “What if someone came back from the dead as someone else?”

The rest is history.

After Life is listed as being complete. Do you think that you would ever revisit the characters or subject matter of After Life, or are you focusing your attentions on something new now?

Jessica Wynn: You know, I think that when you’re an author, your characters stories are never truly over. Long after we write the final word, they’re inside our heads living out there lives and having all these things happen. For a while, I was certain I’d be writing a sort of prequel that dealt with the life of Alex Simmons and Hailey – the girl who Alex sees in his flashbacks – but then decided I wanted to put that to the side and really focus on something new. That’s where my newest book, Scars, comes in.

If you had to create a soundtrack for After Life, what songs would you include and why?

Jessica Wynn: Oh, I actually made one! I know that one song that I listened to a lot while writing the book was Clocks and Timepieces by Search The City. It’s funny, because that song really doesn’t have much to do with the premise of the novel, but at the same time it inspired a lot of scenes. Another that really helped me capture Alex as a person during the time of the book is The Coldest Heart by The Classic Crime. The lyrics to this fit him and how it feels to a T.

What makes your writing unique? What sets it apart from other inkpop projects and books that have already been published?

Jessica Wynn: I think the fact that I’m not afraid to have my character’s sound like teenagers is a big thing, as well as the fact that I tend to not hold a lot back and have a way of putting things out there so blatantly that it’s almost as shocking as having a ton of build-up. I guess that’s where my actual personality really comes through into the characters and book.

How do you combat writer’s block? Do you have any tips for beating out writer’s block that you’d like to share with us?

Jessica Wynn: You know, I used to be an expert at this and it wasn’t until recently that I was hit by my worst case of block ever. I hated everything I wrote and felt like the most uncreative person on earth. It wasn’t until I actually sat down and told myself I was going to write that it all started to fall into place again. My tips for those out there suffering is to one – know that it’s okay to work on more than one project. In fact, it’s even better. Never force yourself to cram out thousands of words or stay in a certain scene. Bouncing back from book to book really can help get the creative juices flowing.

Another tip is to always keep writing. Even if it’s nothing but a small, descriptive paragraph that only makes sense to you, it’s ten times better than not writing at all. Besides, you can always go back later and edit. The key is that you don’t give up.

What made you fall in love with writing?

Jessica Wynn: I think just the complete ability to be myself without anyone telling me what was right or wrong. Writing is one thing in life that you really can’t be terrible at. Even if you aren’t the next New York Times Bestseller or never make it to bookshelves, that’s okay. If you can sit and bring the characters in your head to life, read over it and just feel this inexplicable happiness, that’s all that matters. Writing is one thing where you don’t have to worry about being a winner or a loser.

Pop, Pop, Pop! Rapid Fire Questions:

Favorite ice cream topping? Hot fudge.
What’s on your iPod? Lots of Paramore. I’m a huge fan of them. Dance music that can pick me up on a dreary day; or to listen to when I do homework, and some alternative and pop.
Hidden talent? It’s something so great that it’s even hidden from me.
Favorite cartoon character? Hello Kitty. I’m in love with her.
Favorite vacation spot? I haven’t been yet, but Italy. It’s my dream vacation.

Over to you…who do you think should be the next inkpopper of the Week?

Erika (aka inkpoperika)

8 Responses to “inkpopper of the Week: Jessica Wynn”

  1. Lexie said

    Congrats Jessica! =D Great interview.
    Hot fudge is truly an excellent topping.
    Just sayin’. >_>

  2. Jessica said

    Thanks!!

    and yes, it most definitely is. 😉

  3. Wildgreenskittle said

    Yo gangsta!! Awesome interview!!
    And Your dogs are so cute! ^_^

  4. Laney said

    Congrats! And finally another person who goes to virtual school! Totally rocks! Great interview 🙂

  5. TheRightOne said

    Congrats! And that’s so awesome that you go to an online school. So do I, actually 😀
    By the way, Paramore is the bomb ;]

  6. Jessica said

    Thanks so much everyone!!

    It’s so cool that you guys go to an online school as well!! I haven’t met anyone outside of my school’s discussion board that goes to one!

    @therightone: Yeah, they definitely are. 😉

  7. Lithiawood said

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