About Jessica Burkhart
Q. Previous occupations
A. student, graduate student assistant and freelance writer
Q. Favorite job
A. author (of course!)
Q. High school and/or college
A. I homeschooled for high school and graduated from Florida State University in spring 2007.
Q. Name of your favorite composer or music artist?
A. Today, it's Pink. Yesterday, it was JT.
Q. Favorite movie
A. Mean Girls
Q. Favorite television show
A. Gossip Girl
Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
A. Write, lip gloss, sun, gossip, vanilla cappuccino
Q. What is your motto or maxim?
A. You're only limited by the effort you put out.
Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
A. Watching reality TV with my BFF.
Q. What’s your greatest fear?
A. Not being able to be a full-time writer.
Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A. In a cabana in Hawaii! :)
Q. With whom in history do you most identify?
A. Anna Sewell--the author of Black Beauty. She loved horses and was passionate about preventing cruelty to animals.
Q. Which living person do you most admire?
A. My Canterwood editor and best friend, Kate.
Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
A. Like, seriously?! and I know, right?!
Q. What do you regret most?
A. Not saying "yes" the first time.
Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A. Olympic-level gymnast skills. Or any level of gymnastic prowess...
Q. What is your greatest achievement?
A. Moving to NYC. :)
Q. What’s your greatest flaw?
A. Control-freak tendancies
Q. What’s your best quality?
A. Fiercely loyal
Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A. A writer for Pretty Little Liars.
Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?
A. My love of animals. (I may or may not have greeted a squirrel when I passed it on the street last week.)
Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
A. Roald Dahl's Matilda. The girl is smart, funny and she saved everyone from Miss Trunchbull!
Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?
A. Dolores Umbridge. No one who loves kittens and pink should be THAT evil.
Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A. I'd love to meet Laura Ingalls Wilder. She roughed it on the frontier and wrote amazing, wonderful stories that still resonate today. I'd tell her about the present and ask her what kind of story she'd tell about it. (Secretly, I'd wonder if she thinks I'm a spoiled writer because of all of the modern conveniences I use (spell check!) that she didn't have.
Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
A. Laziness and being late.
Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
A. I love watching movies. Often ones panned by critics.
Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
A. Freelance TV writer.
Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A. Humor, honesty and intelligence.
Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
A. Cheeze pizza. Yum!
Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?
A. All the Pretty Lights, Born This Way, Speechless, Teenage Dream, Begin Again
On Books and Writing
Q. Who are your favorite authors?
A. I adore Kate Brian, Libba Bray, Maureen Johnson, Sara Gruen, Stephenie Meyer, Lauren Myracle, Ally Carter and Lauren Weisberger.
Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
A. In no particular order: The Black Stallion Private Eclipse Riding Lessons National Velvet
Q. Is there a book you love to reread?
A. Twilight. I'm going on my fourth read!
Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
A. Write what you love and not what you think people want to read.
Q. How did you come to write Take the Reins?
A. In November 2006, I was a senior in college and I heard about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The goal of the contest is to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. I wanted to participate, but had no ideas! A few days before NaNo, an idea for a horse novel popped into my brain and wouldn't go away. I started Take the Reins on November 1 and had an embarrassingly bad draft on December first.