Author Interview and Contest with Jackie Morse Kessler

"Fast-paced, witty, and heart-breaking! Jackie Morse Kessler is one of the most talented authors I know."—Richelle Mead, author of Vampire Academy

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Jackie Morse Kessler, author of several successful series including the new YA Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Her newest book release is RAGE (review to follow) So, please sit back, relax and join me as we get to know Jackie a little better.

RR: Jackie, you have been a successful adult author, what made you decide to venture into the YA genre?

JK: I had the idea for HUNGER percolating for 10 years. And one day, I mentioned the idea in passing to my agent, who told me that I had to write the book. :) (And a quick note about being a successful author: no matter how successful I am, I still have to change the kitty litter!) ((That last part was typed with Officekitty on my lap.))

RR: I noted that a portion of proceeds from the sales of each of the novels in the Riders of the Apocalypse series are going to worthy causes, what inspired that?

JK: If there’s a theme to the Riders of the Apocalypse, it’s how we choose to destroy ourselves, and how we choose to save ourselves as well. So donating some of the proceeds felt like the right thing to do.

I used to be bulimic, so I always intended on a portion of HUNGER proceeds going to the National Eating Disorders Association. When I was working on RAGE, my critique partner mentioned To Write Love On Her Arms as a possible organization; when I finished the draft, I looked into it, and I was blown away by TWLOHA.

LOSS, the third book in the series, will follow suit, as will BREATH.

RR: What is your book RAGE about?

JK: About 220 pages! :) Okay, condensed version: A teenage self-injurer becomes the new avatar of War, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

RR: What kind of research did you have to prepare for RAGE?

JK: Going into it, I had no personal experience with self-injury. So I started doing some online research, and I found this one amazing site that really was eye-opening, in no small part due to questionnaire responses from people who self-injured. After spending a lot of time on this site, I felt like I had a good enough grasp of self-injury for me to create the protagonist. Luckily, Missy (the protagonist) took it from there. :)

RR. Who was your favorite character in RAGE and why?

JK: Heh. Death. Totally. He plays a mean guitar. And there are moments when you get a glimpse of what he really is, and those are rather chilling. And in LOSS, you’ll see a whole different side of Death. **whistles innocently**

RR: What do you want your readers to take away from your book?

JK: If people start talking more openly about eating disorders and self-injury, I’d be very happy. :)

RR: What was your favorite book that you read as a teen and why?

JK: Hmmmmm. I’d have to go with Tolkien’s THE LORD OF THE RINGS, because it convinced me that adventure awaited just around the corner and that you don’t have to be a hero to save the world. It also blurred good and evil so wonderfully—and convincingly! (The scene at Mount Doom? OMG. Frodo!!!)

RR: What are you in the process of writing next?

JK: LOSS. LOSS, LOSS, LOSS. Oy, this novel! LOL! It’s been a long process. When it’s done, I’m positive it will really work. But until I get to the finish line? Oy! Where’s my chocolate??? :)

Before I tackle BREATH, I’m going to write a middle-grade novel for my boys. **rubs hands gleefully**

RR: What is on your nightstand now?

JK: A manuscript I’m reading for a cover quote, and ENCLAVE by Ann Aguirre.

RR: With all the YA novels that are coming out this year, besides RAGE, what are you most eager to read?

JK: Ooh! EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS, by A.S. King; BITE CLUB by Rachel Caine; BLOODBOUND by Heather Brewer. And for middle grade: THE UNDERTAKERS: RISE OF THE CORPSES by Ty Drago and BEGINNINGS by Heather Brewer. (And for adult: GHOST STORY by Jim Butcher. Hurry up, July!!!)

RR: What is the best way for a reader to find you i.e. facebook/twitter/blog?

JK: LOL, until LOSS is done, I’m in hiding! But then Twitter is where I usually pop up — either @JackieKessler or @JackieMorseKess. I blog, but lately that’s very past tense. I’ll be much better about it once LOSS is done, I promise!

RR: Thank you, for this great interview and I hope to see you again. It has been a pleasure.

JK: Thank you so much! :)

Isn't Jackie the best? You have to pick up RAGE because it is really amazing. In the meantime you can enter this snazzy contest and try your luck there.

RAGE by Jackie Morse Kessler
April 2011 from Harcourt Graphia

Riders of the Apocalypse giveaway! Three lucky winners will receive one copy each of HUNGER and RAGE along with postcards and a mini-poster! To enter, send an e-mail to In the body of the e-mail, include your name and e-mail address (if you're under 13, submit a parent's name and e-mail address). One entry per person and prizes will only be shipped to US or Canadian addresses. Entries must be received by midnight (PDT) on 4/30/11. Winners will be selected in a random drawing on 5/1/11 and notified via email.

Jackie's next stop is Rebecca's Book Blog at


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