Around the time this review was published, I had interviewed Jodi Meadows for our first Turkish blog tour. Here's the interview for you guys to read as well :)
What will readers find in Incarnate?
Different readers will see different things in every book, but some of the most important themes of Incarnate to me are overcoming the past, looking toward the future, hope, love, healing, and finding one's place in the world.
Most of the YA novels I've read so far deal with the "soulless." How did the idea of creating a community of old souls come about?
I had the idea for Incarnate three years before I actually wrote the story. I made a note about a world where everyone was perpetually reincarnated -- all except one new soul -- and put it in a file on my computer. I didn't touch it for three years because I thought it would be really hard to write. And it was. But when I was ready for the challenge, I pulled out that note and got started.
I don't remember what I was doing when I had the idea anymore, but . . . I'm really glad I did.
I hear you've already finished all the books in the trilogy. How long did that take?
After Incarnate got an agent, I immediately started working on the second book. And when the trilogy sold to HarperCollins, I finished the second book and wrote the third as well. All of that happened in less than a year. I was really excited to work on the story more, and I had a plan for all three books.
But then I did edits on Incarnate that changed things in book 2 (Asunder). And then I made huge edits in Asunder that changed book 3. So instead of trying to revise book 3 using what I had, I threw away 75000 words and started over completely with a new synopsis. I still have to edit book 3 after my editor reads it, but I think it's better than it was.
So from start to now . . . years. I started Incarnate in October 2009. By the time I'm finished editing book 3, it will be January 2013.
Even though Incarnate has quite a dark subject matter, it's also full of hope and love. Which characters/parts were the hardest to write about?
Ana has a very abusive past, and that was difficult to write about. Just knowing what she's gone through, knowing how hard it is for her to trust anyone after that . . . it's really difficult.
That said, trying to get my mind around a society of super old people was quite a challenge!
You mention on your website that once you found books where magic and other fantastic elements were real, you were hooked. What are some books that inspired your writing?
A few authors that really shaped the writer I am today: Robin McKinley, Tamora Pierce, Sherryl Jordan, and Mary Downing Hahn.
You're a knitter! Both knitting and writing are time-consuming activities. How do you make time for it all? Can you take us through your daily routine?
I figure most people will make time for things they love doing, and I'm no exception. I knit while I watch TV, or when I need a break from writing.
I don't have a routine really. I get up, make coffee, check emails and respond to anything that needs immediate attention, write if I'm in the middle of something I can't stop thinking about it. During lunch, I watch TV and knit or spin. In the afternoon and evening, I write. When emails come in, I usually only answer things from my agent or editor.
When I'm between writing or revising something, I read books or critique manuscripts for friends.
Did you imagine your books would be read in different languages all over the world. How does it feel?
I always hoped people would be able to read my stories in their own language, but like Ana, who never imagined she'd get to experience music, this was always a dream for me. And now it's real life. That's pretty amazing.