Hello Jodi, thanks for being here!
As you know, I’ve been positively impressed by the cover of your first novel, “Incarnate” (“Chrysalis” in Italy), which immediately catch the reader’s attention! Also the covers of the other two books of the trilogy are really beautiful. Did you have a chance to select the covers, or you saw them only once they were ready? Do you feel they fully represent the content of your novels?
Jodi: Hello! And thank you!
I wasn’t very involved in the cover-making process. The design team was definitely interested in hearing what I wanted, but they are the cover experts, not me! So they made all the big decisions, and have been very thoughtful and happy to make minor changes for me. (Adjusting the model’s eye color, turning a flame orange when it had been green, etc.) I did know ahead of time what the major symbols for each book would be — butterfly, roses, phoenix — and the art department was very careful to shoot photographs with those ideas in mind.
I really love the covers and I think they capture the book’s spirit and themes beautifully.
How much of your personality is reflected by your characters?
Jodi: It really depends on the character! Some are more like me than others. I think of characters as their own people, though, not extensions of myself. So while Ana struggles with insecurity and wanting to be good at the things she loves — just like me– she’s also a lot braver than I am. She’s more willing to take chances, which is something I really admire about her.
You created a world where nobody is born and nobody dies. People have been reincarnating for millions of years in different bodies, but they have always lived with the same soul, keeping the memories of the past lives. For sure this brings something new in the genre. Where did you get the inspiration?
Jodi: This story tends to change depending on my mood. Sometimes a ferret whispered the story into my ear while I was sleeping. Other times, I saw the story in snowdrifts.
But the truth is, ideas come from everywhere, and you can practice being creative by looking at the world in ways a favorite character might, or simply asking “what if?” a lot.
Since the story talks about change, what does this word means to you? Why did you decide to use the Chrysalis?
Jodi: I actually had nothing to do with this title! So far none of my international publishers have kept my original title, INCARNATE, but all of the titles they chose have been lovely and meaningful, and CHRYSALIS is no exception.
Ana is new, and new means change. Ana is the catalyst for change in her world, forcing others to look at their lives and their world in new ways. She makes them question, which spreads ripples of change throughout the world. The world is completely different because of her presence! And I think the title CHRYSALIS works nicely with that theme.
I saw the booktrailer, I have to say it’s terrific! “I won’t be just a butterfly”. What do you want to communicate through this message?
Jodi: To Ana, butterflies are small and weak, and short lived — all the things she doesn’t want to be. You and I might not think that’s true! But to Ana, being a butterfly is a bad thing . . . at least until she embraces the idea and learns to find strength in her percieved weakness, and power in her newness.
Have you always enjoyed writing? Among your past readings, is there a book that had a particular influence on you?
Jodi: I have always been a storyteller, I think. I didn’t start writing until I was twelve or thirteen years old, and for the next several years I didn’t have much time to write, since I was in school most of the time. But I always thought about stories, and I read as much as I could get my hands on.
Last but not least, here’s my classic question: Why should we read your novels? What is it that will make your Italian readers run to the bookshops, when your book will be on the shelves?
Jodi: To feed my ferrets!
Wait, that’s probably not a good answer. Seriously, I think people who like stories about girls who have adventures will enjoy these books. Also, people who love music, or dancing, or exploring reincarnation in an unusual way. Anyway, I HOPE people enjoy it!
Thank you so much Jodi, you have been really kind. I wish you all the best and I’m looking forward to reading “Chrysalis”!
Jodi: Thank you for the lovely questions!