02 September 2008

Interview with Jennifer Banash author of The Elite

Have you always known you wanted to be an author? If not, what made you decided to pursue it?

Yes. I really always knew from the time I was very little that I wanted to be a writer. It's really the only thing I'm even remotely good at!

How long after you started seeking publishers did you get published?

I used to ghostwrite another bestselling YA series, and so when that series came to an end, I was fortunate enough to be introduced to my editor at Penguin, who was really interested in the concept of THE ELITE. The rest, as they say, is history :) I also published an adult novel called HOLlYWOODLAND: AN AMERICAN FAIRY TALE in 2006.

What was your profession before started writing?

I was, and am, a teacher. I taught at the University of Iowa for 7 years as I was getting my Ph.D in English, and I now teach at The Chadwick School in Plaos Verdes, CA. It's weird--I began writing a book about an exclusive private school, and now I teach at one! I guess art really does imitate life . . . or something.

What was the inspiration behind The Elite?

I attended high school on the Upper East Side, and it wasn't all that and a bag of chips by any means. So, in writing THE ELITE I wanted to provide an escapist fantasy of that world, tempered by a touch of realism. In short, I wanted to give my characters REAL problems.

Are any of the characters based on people you know?

Not really . . . Drew shared some characteristics with my current boyfriend, but mainly all the characters come out of the dark, scary recesses of my overcrowded brain.

When you first wrote The Elite did you plan for it to be a trilogy?

Actually I planned for it to be eight book all together, but Berkeley Jam has only bought the first three. So if you like the series, tell your friends, write BJ an email asking for more!

What do you do to get rid of writer's block?

Eat lots of chocolate and cry a lot . . . Watching movies sometimes helps, strangely enough--it gets the focus off of yourself and on to something else. Sometimes that's enough to help you to break through whatever is holding you back.

Have you written any books that have yet to be published?

I'm currently writing a series about identical twins whose family moves them to Romania after their parents buy Dracula's castle! It's called BITTEN.

Who is you favorite author?

Virginia Woolf or Bret Easton Ellis.

What's your favorite book?

I don't play favorites.

What's the first book you remember reading?
GREEN EGGS AND HAM or the ELOISE books. I STILL love them!

I want to thank Ms. Banash for taking time out of her schedule to answer my questions.
The Elite is in stores now. The Elite:In Too Deep comes out Jan 09 and The Elite: Simply Irresistible comes out June 09.


Julie said...

Great job, Amelia! Fabulous interview and well done!