Q&A with Jolene Perry

Jolene Perry is the prolific author of young adult titles. Her latest novel, All the Forever Things, is about Gabriella, who has grown up in the funeral home her parents run. Gabe knows that death is a part of life and nothing is forever. Yet Bree, her best friend, has been a constant; it’s always been the two of them together against the world. But when Bree starts dating a guy—the worst guy— from that ultra-popular world, suddenly she doesn’t have time for Gabe anymore. Can Gabe and Bree figure out what a forever friendship truly means?

We were lucky enough to sit down with Jolene to chat about All the Forever Things, writing quirks, and setting a book in a funeral home.

Q: Do you have a regular routine while creating a book?

A: No regular routine, but I do love snacking on Pellegrino and dark chocolate almonds. So I do have a routine, it’s just a snack routine.

Q:  Do you have any writing quirks?

A: I draft fast, which means that I rarely have time to research. I don’t even pause, put my CAPS LOCK on, and yell at myself about things I need to add later.

I also write with my eyes closed. Like, a lot. This freaks out my family.

Q: What’s the easiest and hardest part of creating a book?

A: The easiest part about creating a book is the first draft. The hardest part is turning that rough draft into what you envisioned from the beginning, because that first draft is going to be a mess (at least it will be if you’re me).

Q: Why write children’s books?

A: I’ve taught in middle and high schools, and there is a newness to the world and what it has to offer when you’re dealing with so many first experiences.

Q: Are you working on any other projects?

A: I’m always working on other projects.

Q: What makes your book, All the Forever Things, stand out?

A: The friendship. The obsession with vintage. The cadavers. I love the funeral home setting of this book. I loved that the funeral home was in sunny California. The research was fascinating (touring funeral homes), and I think there’s this stigma around death, or this mystery, so writing in a world that lives in part of that mystery was super fascinating for me and something I’d have loved to read as a teen (and maybe now too).

Q: What was the process of working with your editor like?

A: I love working with my editor. You know you’ve found the right editor when the work is hard, but you’re excited about what their notes will do to your story.

Q: What books did you like to read as a kid? What type of books do you like to read now? 

A: When I was a kid, I read the classics and Stephen King. Now, I read from historical fiction and non-fiction, to sci-fi, to fantasy, to soul-destroying contemporary and everything in between. I’m currently reading Girls on Fire and The Martian.

Thanks, Jolene! Find out more about All the Forever Things on our website. For even more fun, take our quiz to find out which heroine you are from Jolene Perry’s four AW Teen novels!

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Q&A with Jolene Perry