Describe your book in one sentence.
Jane Jones: Worst. Vampire. Ever. is about a nerdy sixteen-year-old girl living at home with her embarrassing family, and to make matters worse, they happen to be vampires, and to make matters even worse than that, Jane is allergic to blood. That’s probably a run-on sentence.
A blood intolerant vampire...now that's something we've never read about before. What's the inspiration behind your book?
I was inspired, in a way, by all of the sexy, cool teenage vampires we see in book and TV these days. I was thinking about how awkward my teen years were, and how becoming a vampire on top of all that would not have been sexy or cool, it would have been a total humiliating drag!
If you could step into someone else's shoes for a day, who would it be and why?
Just one person’s shoes for one day? Wow. That’s really tough. I would want it to be someone funny. It would have to be someone with a wide foot. Maybe I should pick someone who’s died so they would sort of get to be alive again for a day? I guess if I take all of those criteria into consideration, my pick would be comedian and singer, Totie Fields. I bet not too many people know who she is nowadays, but you should look her up. She was really talented and brave, and kind of unsung, in my opinion. Of course, in the last few years of her life she had lots of health problems and had to have her leg amputated, but you know what they say. The show must go on! And so did she. So, even though I’d only be stepping into one shoe, I would gladly do that to see what it was like to be someone like her.
What fictional character most resembles you?
I think most fictional characters are way more interesting than I am. I don’t look like Pippi Longstocking at all, but aspire to be like her. I love to make up ridiculous stories and jokes, and I try to be crafty and clever and I love my family and my friends intensely. Though, unlike Pippi, I do not have superhuman strength. Or a monkey. Yet.
Did you put parts of people you know in real life into your characters?
I come from a television writing background, where, even as I’m working on an idea or a sketch, I’m thinking about who might be good to perform in it. That’s how I’ve always read books too. I cast a little movie in my mind as I read, with some parts “played” by people I know in life, and other parts “played” by actors I know from TV and movies. When I wrote this book, I did the same thing. Every character is a composite of different things, but especially people I know and performers I admire.
Let's say you had a time machine that could only be used once. What time period/place would you want to be transported to?
Oh, that’s terrifying! What if I accidentally brought an ant into that time machine with me and that ant’s presence in the new time period or place altered the course of history?!!! Isn’t that what always happens in the movies? I mean, I would guess my presence might also somehow alter the course of history, but they always blame the insect.
Can I save the time machine until I get really old? Then I would use it to go back, maybe to when I first met my husband so that I could get a chance to relive the best part of my life.
Have a favorite word?
My favorite word is “Yes.”
What are your best and worst qualities?
I’m laughing, because I imagine what I believe are my best and worst qualities are probably so different from what someone who knows me might say. I guess my best quality is sensitivity, and my worst quality is oversensitivity.
Fun fact about you that not too many people know?
Seeing gigantic things in person, especially gigantic inflatable things like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons, totally give me the heebie-jeebies!
Thanks so much for the wonderful interview, Caissie!