Hi guys! If you’re here on the Damaged Goods blog tour, welcome to my tour stop! What a great way to end the tour, huh? This series is actually one of my most anticipated reads of 2016! I can’t wait to start it! And today, I have the honor to interview the lovely Jennifer Bardsley, also known as the YA Gal! (*internally screaming insider because I’m so happy I got to interview her*). Let’s get on with the tour!
Title: DAMAGED GOODS (Blank Slate #2)
Author: Jennifer Bardsley
Pub. Date: January 17, 2017
Format: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook
Blanca has everything she ever wanted, a hot boyfriend named Seth and the loving support of her foster father, Cal. She’s finally escaped the abusive control of her birth father, Barbelo Nemo, and her tortured childhood at Tabula Rasa School.
But the scars of Blanca’s Vestal upbringing run deep, especially when the FBI start asking questions. Blanca feels abandoned by Seth who is hunting for Lilith, Blanca’s only blood relative. The Defectos, a support group of Vestal-Rejects, offer Blanca comfort instead.
While the Vestal order crumbles, Chinese rivals called the Guardians rise to power and wrest control of important Tabula Rasa contacts. Now Blanca’s life is in peril once more, and this time, Blanca struggles to recognize friend from foe.
Title: GENESIS GIRL (Blank Slate #1)
Author: Jennifer Bardsley
Pub. Date: June 14, 2016
Format: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook
Eighteen-year-old Blanca has lived a sheltered life. Her entire childhood has been spent at Tabula Rasa School where she’s been protected from the Internet.
Blanca has never been online and doesn’t even know how to text. Her lack of a virtual footprint makes her extremely valuable, and upon graduation, Blanca and those like her are sold to the highest bidders.
Blanca is purchased by Cal McNeal, who uses her to achieve personal gain. But the McNeals are soon horrified by just how obedient and non-defiant Blanca is. All those mind-numbing years locked away from society have made her mind almost impenetrable.
By the time Blanca is ready to think for herself, she is trapped. Her only chance of escape is to go online.
Jennifer Bardsley writes the parenting column “I Brake for Moms” for the Sunday edition of The Everett Daily Herald. She also blogs at Teaching My Baby to Read with the mission of sparking a national debate on the important roll parents play in education. Jennifer is a graduate of Stanford University and a member of SCBWI. She lives with her husband and two children in Edmonds, WA.
GENESIS GIRL will release in 2016 and is about an 18 year-old girl whose lack of a virtual footprint makes her so valuable that she is auctioned off to the highest bidder, the sequel will come out in 2017. Jennifer is represented by Liza Fleissig of the Liza Royce Literary Agency LLC.
Interview with Jennifer Bardsley:
Kester: In your own words, what is your Blank Slate series about?
Jennifer: The Blank Slate series is about a teenager named Blanca who grew up in a quasi-religious cult called the Vestals, where she was shielded from the Internet for eighteen years. Blanca grew up with no online profile or digital footprint. All the Vestals were blank slates, and since that is so rare, it made them valuable. In GENESIS GIRL Blanca’s digital purity gets auctioned off to the highest bidder. In DAMAGED GOODS, Blanca struggles to overcome the brainwashing of her past.
Kester: Why do you love writing? When did you first have a love for writing, and how was it formed?
Jennifer: I grew up keeping a diary. It’s really hard to commit to a diary, and I flaked out a whole bunch, but did manage to write a few times a month. Now I have diaries from when I was ten to fifteen that I treasure. If I was a teenager today though, I’d probably have an anonymous blog instead.
Kester: Who are your favorite authors, and which ones have had an impact on you? Who has affected your writing style the most?
Jennifer: My two favorite authors are Jane Austen and Kurt Vonnegut, which probably explains why I write science fiction with a romantic twist.
Kester: What are your favorite genres to read and write? What are your favorite books?
Jennifer: I’m a huge YA fan, and love to talk about YA books on my Facebook page, The YA Gal. Favorite books include whatever I’m reading at the moment. Books that I read over and over again include ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, LITTLE WOMAN, and PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. I’m a sucker for classics.
Kester: What do you do when you’re not writing? Is writing a part-time or full-time job?
Jennifer: I write a parenting column called “I Brake for Moms” for The Everett Daily Herald. Everett is thirty minutes north of Seattle and where Macklemore grew up. Writing is a part time job for me. I spend the rest my time chasing after my kids.
Kester: Who was your favorite character to write and why?
Jennifer: I loved writing the character of Cal McNeal because he is such a good father.
Kester: Why do you call yourself the YA Girl? Tell us a bit about how you got the name.
Jennifer: Have you read SURVIVAL COLONY 9 by Joshua David Bellin? His blog is called YA Guy. Josh and I are both represented by the same literary agent, Liza Fleissig of the Liza Royce Agency. When I began my Facebook page, I chose “The YA Gal” because I thought it would be clever for Liza to have both the YA Guy and the YA Gal on her roster. But I didn’t ask Josh about it first, which I probably should of out of common curtsey. Lucky for me, he was totally fine with it!
Kester: Because the society in your series values those who do not have a digital footprint, what is your view of technology and humans? Do you think it’s beneficial or detrimental? I know sometimes it’s hard to get off your phone, but at times, you need it!
Jennifer: My view is that technology is definitely a boon and can bring people closer together. But at the same time, it can reflect a lot of fakeness. Not everyone is as happy as they might portray themselves online.
Kester: Would you rather be a Vestal, one without any technology, or Virus, one addicted with it? You can’t be in between!
Jennifer: Virus, all the way. Especially if I had millions of followers!
Kester: How did you come up with the premise for the series? What struck you to write Genesis Girl and Damaged Goods?
Jennifer: I wanted to find a concept that had never been done before. I love vampire and werewolf books as much as the next person, but I hoped my book to be unique. I struggled for months trying to hit upon the right idea, and then finally it came to me while I was brushing my teeth one night. “Girl who has never been on the Internet is valuable because she’s one of the only people left without a digital footprint.” Fleshing out what happened next was the hard part.
Kester: You are a part of Sixteen to Read and the Sweet Sixteens, two groups of 2016 debut authors. How was it like being a part of those groups and becoming friends with debut authors like you?
Jennifer: I’ve made so many wonderful friends through both groups. It’s surreal to go to Barnes & Noble and see books on the shelves that were written by people I know.
Kester: Since you were a debut author in 2016, what are some of the most important lessons you have learned about writing, publishing, reading, etc.?
Jennifer: One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned, which I think readers will find interesting, is that most authors don’t make a ton of money like you might imagine. Almost everyone has day jobs to pay the bills. There are a few lucky authors who are millionaires, but most of them are regular people like you and me.
Kester: Name up to three emojis that would describe your reactions when you found out you would be published and explain your choices.
Jennifer: Shocked Face and Popping Champagne.
Kester: What is your go-to cure for a case of writer’s block?
Jennifer: Going for a walk cures almost anything.
Kester: Have you written any other works? What are also your current plans with your writing career?
Jennifer: I’m not entirely sure what book I’ll write next. But every week, I’m cranking out an “I Brake for Moms” column for the newspaper. Right now I’m working on an idea for Valentine’s Day. Kindergarten sets us up for disappointment because for the rest of our life Valentine’s Day is never quite as good as everyone we know showing up at our desk and giving us a card and candy. Don’t you think?
Kester: Do you have any tips to any aspiring authors or writers?
Jennifer: Believe in yourself and never give up.
(1) winner will receive a Perfectly Posh, Posh To Meet You Set ($20 value), US Only.
1/16/2017- The Avid Book Collector– Excerpt
1/16/2017- Sammeh Lurves Reading– Review
1/17/2017- Lisa’s Loves(Books of Course)– Guest Post
1/17/2017- I am not a bookworm!- Review
1/18/2017- Sharon Lee Hughson, Author– Interview
1/18/2017- Bookish Hollow– Review
1/19/2017- Hidden Worlds Books– Guest Post
1/19/2017- Taylicious Reads– Review
1/20/2017- Bibliobibuli YA– Interview
1/20/2017- Abooktropolis– Review
1/23/2017- Two Chicks on Books– Interview
1/23/2017- Jenn Blogs Books– Review
1/24/2017- Read Coffee and Teen– Excerpt
1/24/2017- Michaela Daphne– Review
1/25/2017- So Few Books– Interview
1/25/2017- Book Review Becca– Review
1/26/2017- Quillable– Guest Post
1/26/2017- Rockin’ Book Reviews– Review
1/27/2017- LILbooKlovers– Interview
1/27/2017- The Starving Bookworm– Review
Hope you enjoyed the final promo stop of the Damaged Goods blog tour! Look out for another blog tour with another Month9Books author!