Friday, November 16, 2018

Interview - Jess Vallance, Author of You Only Live Once

Today I am hosting an interview with Jess Vallance whose latest book is You Only Live Once which is published by Hot Key Books.

Read on for the interview and for information on Jess and her book.


How did you get the idea for You Only Live Once?
It feels like messages about living for the moment are very popular. You know the kind of thing – ‘live today as if it’s your last! You might get run over by a bus tomorrow!’
The only problem is, most people probably won’t be run over by a bus tomorrow, so where does that leave you?
How do you decide how much fun to have now and how much boring stuff to do to plan for tomorrow? Nobody knows! And I find that quite interesting. I wanted to write a story about how tricky it can be to get that balance right.

What was your favourite part of writing You Only Live Once?
Thinking up all the stuff Gracie was going to have a go at while she searched for the ultimate YOLO experience. I looked at lots of real life bucket lists and it’s mad the stuff people want to try.
Who is your favourite character in You Only Live Once?
Til. I wanted her to be grounded, loyal and definitely no-nonsense. Gracie comes out with enough nonsense for everyone. 
Are you working on the sequel at the moment?
The sequel is actually almost finished. It’s called To Be Perfectly Honest and is about Gracie making a pledge to be totally honest for 50 days. And she means *totally* honest.
When did you start writing?
I started writing fiction in 2013 but I’ve always written for a living.
What are your hobbies?
Making really big sandwiches and eating them. Doing impressions of what my dog’s voice would sound like if he had one. Watching whole Netflix series without learning a single character’s name.
Quick Fire Questions:
Chocolate or ice cream? Neither. Crisps
Paperbacks or ebooks? Ebooks
Dogs or cats? Dogs
Go out or stay in? Go out – but only in nice weather
Summer or winter? Summer (closely related to the above)

About Jess

The short version:

I’m an author and freelance writer and I live near Brighton.

The long version:

I grew up in Bournemouth but moved along the coast to Brighton to go to Sussex University. I decided to do a law degree as I didn’t have any particular calling and thought at least it would be a route to a nice secure job. The only problem was, the law degree was quite boring. Some bits were good – crime, family, forensics – but most of it was more about covenants and trusts and equity and easements. I can’t even remember what all those words mean now.

When I finished my degree, I decided I’d only train as a solicitor if I couldn’t find something else within a year and applied for every job I could find. Luckily, I was eventually offered a not-too-bad one – as a scriptwriter for an educational media company.

I still write some educational stuff on a freelance basis but now write books too.

I’ve lived near Brighton since moving here for university, although I did live in Paris for a year which was fun.

 (Author bio and photo taken from Jess's website.)

 Title: You Only Live Once (Gracie Dart, #1)
Author: Jess Vallance
Pages: 400
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Release Date: 23rd August 2018

Blurb from Goodreads:

 The start of a hilarious new teen series for fans of Geek Girl.

Gracie Dart has always worked hard and she's got a wall covered with revision timetables and French verbs to prove it. But now GCSEs are behind her and she suddenly starts to think: what was the POINT of it all?

When Gracie thinks she's dying of a disgusting tropical illness, she starts to worry she's been wasting her best years being sensible. It's like people say: you only live once - so isn't it about time she started LIVING?
(OK, so the tropical illness turned out to be a fake-tan miscalculation. Anyone could make the same mistake.)

When Gracie decides to do something, she does it properly. Gracie Dart is about to live out her dreams. However embarrassing.


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