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Author Interview with Jason Price

Hello everyone! I recently had the opportunity to interview Jason Price the author of Pleasant Grove. From fun facts to learning about his writing process, this was a fantastic interview that certainly makes me anticipate more of his works! 1. What is a fun fact about your book? (behind the scenes)

Pleasant Grove was written for my daughters, to give them a middle-grade novel that captured the same spirit of adventure and wonder that Steven Spielberg’s movies gave me as an adolescent.

2. If you could spend a day with any of your characters, which would you choose and why?

This is a tough one, because the answer is different than my favorite character. The character I’d spend a day with is Agnes’s father...with one caveat: He would have to answer all my questions.

3. Do you have a set writing schedule or do you write as inspiration strikes?

I have a set writing schedule. I’m a night owl, so my writing is done while the house (and most of the neighborhood) sleeps. I brainstorm for many months before I begin formally writing, though - jotting down notes when inspiration strikes, working (and re-working) the puzzle of the plot. I need structure…I need to know the destination. Otherwise, it’s like telling a 5-hour joke without a punchline.

4. Where did the idea for your book come from?

I wanted to write about ordinary people in a small town…and then drop them in the middle of a sci-fi story. Many of my favorite stories observe what happens when the ordinary meets the extraordinary: The Goonies, E.T.,The Twilight Zone…The specific origin of the book is difficult to discuss without spoiling the fun, but here’s an anecdote: I began with the third act and worked backward. This ensured I would stick the landing.

5. What input did you have for your cover design?

I shared every version of the cover with my wife, and her honest feedback was crucial. I wasn’t interested in a traditional middle-grade cover. I wanted a clean design that was impactful.

6. Is there an author or book that inspires you?

Stephen King is a big inspiration. Like Spielberg, King laser-focuses on character; the supernatural is a mere extension of those internal and domestic tensions. If you removed the supernatural from their best works, you’d still have timeless stories that resonate on a spiritual level.

7. If the year 2020 were a book, what would you title it?

1984


8. Can you give readers any hints about your future projects?

Not to dodge, but I keep ideas close to the vest. Even my closest friends didn’t know about Pleasant Grove until it was published. 




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