Q&A With Jodi Picoult in Houston

Listen up, y’all. Just read.
This is Jodi Picoult, an author I discovered recently and I have become enthralled with her books. I love the amount of knowledge I gain after reading her books. I can tell that she researches and dives deep into the topics. 
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I discovered that she’d be in Houston, so of course I jumped on the opportunity to see her! It was about an hour of her talking with Q&A, and then she did photographs. We also got a copy of her new book, A Spark of Light! I WAS TOTALLY FANGIRLING. 
I want to share some of what she said, because I sure do wish everyone could have been there.
First of all, I made a new friend last night! As I was waiting in line to get in, someone asked if she could take a pic of my 2 different shoes so she could show her daughter. Needless to say, we became Best Book Friends and sat by each other and got to know each other a bit throughout the night. I’m so glad I met Amy! We even got BACK in line to get a picture with Jodi Picoult together 😀 I definitely hope Amy and I get to spend some more time together! We live on opposite sides of Houston, but meeting in the middle needs to happen, at least!
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Now, A Spark of Light is a book about abortion. It’s a controversial topic, and Picoult was saying last night that the book isn’t pro-life or pro-choice…but people reading it often see it one way or the other. She said that “When women don’t tell their stories, other people make up narratives for us.” She encouraged everyone to share stories of things they’ve been through – abortion, sexual assault, racism, etc. Just share. Talk about it.
Before the event began, we could submit questions to ask….so I submitted 4. 
  1. Is there a topic you’ve wanted to write about, but haven’t quite figured out how to yet?
  2. Did you write when you were younger? AKA when did you start writing?
  3. Who are your favorite authors?
  4. Which book of yours was hardest to write?

Now, she didn’t answer all 4, but 2 of my questions were answered!

In response to question 1, she said that there was a topic that she’d wanted to write about for a long time, but wasn’t sure how. It took her a long time to crack. It’s the recent book she wrote, called Small Great Things (which I just bought at Half Price Books and am looking forward to reading!). It’s about racism in America. She said her book isn’t here to tell people of color about racism. It’s for white people. She said that racism is prejudice plus power, and that she lives her life very differently now because of that book. 

Someone else asked her what her favorite book is that she’s written, and she said it’s Small Great Things. It’s the only book she’s written that’s made her change as a human being. 

In response to my question #2, she said that she did write when she was younger! Her first book, which her mom still has, was called “The Lobster that was Misunderstood” and it’s complete with words and pictures all her own. 

Someone asked her how long it takes her to write a book. She said it depends on the book, and the amount of research needed. It’s pretty easy to find, for example, lawyers to talk to and interview, but harder to find, say, an Eskimo. But in general, it takes about 9 months, which she likened to growing and birthing a baby. 

When asked how she chooses the topics to write on, Picoult said “If I keep thinking about it and it keeps me up at night, I should write a book about it.”

Someone asked about the next book she’s working on, and she said it answers the question “who would you be if you weren’t who you are now?” She added that it also involves Ancient Egypt, to which Amy and I assumed she’s got trips to Egypt in her near future for research!

Also discussed was how to get kids interested in reading when they don’t want anything to do with books. She said to not start with the big classics and popular books….let them read about topics they are interested in! If they love baseball, let them read baseball books and baseball stats. If they love Minecraft, let them read books about Minecraft. Once they read about topics they love, they will naturally fall in love with reading and will eventually be more open to other topics. But let them read what they want. 

She was also asked what the best and the worst thing is about being an author. 

Picoult said that the best thing about being an author is meeting people and hearing how her books have affected them. 

She then said that the worst thing about being an author is Twitter. There are some mean people on Twitter. 

She mentioned a few times about how she enjoys getting and answering fan mail….I’ve never sent fan mail, but you bet your butt I’m gonna. 

There was so much more shared, and I won’t be writing it all here. If you ever have the chance to see an author speak, GO. This was my first time, and I foresee many more in my future. 

What’s your favorite Jodi Picoult book?

 

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