Interview with Jennifer Bosworth, author of Struck

Leigh here! Today, I’ll be interviewing the ferocious Jennifer Bosworth about her debut YA novel, Struck. Jenn lives in Los Angeles and is the writer half of a writer/director team with her husband, Ryan Bosworth. She is also one of my touring buddies on the Fierce Reads tour this summer. PREPARE YOURSELF, AMERICA.

Struck

Mia Price is a lightning addict. She’s survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her. Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes,is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction.

But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.

Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn’t who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything.

First, let’s talk about your amazing trailer. Readers, take this moment to watch:

I usually hate live action trailers, but yours blew me away—especially since you and your husband are the mad geniuses behind it. What was the biggest challenge in making the trailer and what was the biggest surprise? 

First of all, let me say how relieved I am that you liked the trailer. Not only are you a tough audience, but you used to write them for a living, so you know your stuff. Now, biggest challenge: creating a cinematic, high-end piece while staying within our micro budget. Which, I might add, we failed to do. But it was worth the additional cost! Biggest surprise…I’m going to give you two. The first was how amazing the actors were. We really lucked out with our cast. The second was how emotional I got during the shoot. I like to think I’m an emotionless robot. Stoicism is in my Scandinavian blood. But watching the book I’d lived with for so long come to life before my eyes reduced me to a teary-eyed, hug everyone within arm’s reach, emo wreck. In a good way.

You? Emo? I would have loved to see that. And I have to agree regarding your cast. They seem like the real deal. As much as I like talking pictures, let’s get to the words. Struck is set in post-apocalyptic Los Angeles. How did you go about tearing the city apart? Can we expect to see any famous monuments or sites in the book? Do any celebrities fall into fissures in the earth? 

You know, I love LA and have undying loyalty to this city, which is why I chose to destroy it. You always hurt the ones you love, right? The bulk of the action in Struck takes place in two locales in the city: Venice Beach, and downtown. In the book, Venice Beach has become a vast tent city, where people who’ve lost their homes migrate, and where my protagonist, Mia, goes to get black market meds for her traumatized mother. If you’ve been to Venice Beach, you know it’s already a pretty crazy place.

Now think post-earthquake. Yeah. That’s what I’m talkin’ about. Downtown Los Angeles was the epicenter of the quake, so the towers that currently make up the city skyline have been leveled. All but one, the tallest building, which is called, simply, the Tower. And the whole of destroyed downtown is referred to as the Waste. Probably the most recognizable monument I refer to is the Santa Monica Ferris Wheel on the pier. Only in Struck the pier has collapsed and the Ferris wheel is protruding from the ocean. Alas, no celebrities were harmed in the writing of this book. But I can think of a few I would like to drop into a fissure. I won’t name names, just in case Struck ever sells as a movie.

I can think of a few I’d like to drop into a crevasse. But good gravy, the image of the ferris wheel sticking out of the ocean just gave me chills. I know you’re a big horror lover. Other than fear of being too awesome, what scares you most?

Failure. Haha. No, that’s not a fun answer. I’m actually really afraid of death. That’s the main reason I never go to the doctor if I can avoid it. I’m afraid they’ll tell me I’m dying. If I’m going to die—and that’s a big IF, because I’m trying to find a way around it—then I don’t want to see it coming. Either that, or I want to go out in a blaze of glory, Bon Jovi style. Or die a martyr. That would be all right.

I feel your martyrdom would be well worth attending. Saint Bos of the Teeny Tiny Tarot Wagon. I know your MC Mia is a lightning addict. What’s your guilty pleasure?

You’ve seen me at happy hour, so I think you know. Whiskey! Beer! Wine! And I’m quite fond of scones, and those butterscotch suckers from See’s. And I love bad, 70s horror movies, but I don’t feel guilty about that.

Your love for butterscotch baffles and disgusts me. But it also makes me glad because we won’t have to fight over candy. What do you think will surprise people most about Struck?

I don’t have to guess. Early reviews have cleared up that mystery. The commentary in Struck about religious fanaticism has taken more than a few bloggers by surprise, some in a good way, some not so good. The thing that surprises ME is that this theme isn’t more prevalent in young adult literature when it is still so prevalent in society, especially in the US. Some potential readers hear that I’ve tackled the big R and they immediately put their hands up and back away like the book is going to bite. All I ask is that people read the book with an open mind. If they put it down angry, well, I prefer anger to indifference any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Personally, I think a little controversy is good for a book, and speculative fiction can be most compelling when it finds new ways to take on current issues. Just another reason I’m excited to be touring with you this summer. What are you most looking forward to on tour and what are you most dreading or most nervous about? 

I’m most looking forward to connecting to readers, and to wreaking havoc with Leigh Bardugo! Whoo! Let’s have a contest to see who can throw the most chairs through hotel windows, yes? What I look forward to the least (or what I’m most afraid of) is no one showing up for our events. So please check FierceReads.com for our event schedule and come see us, folks! Otherwise I’ll have to throw extra chairs through hotel windows to make myself feel better.

Oh the gauntlet has been thrown down. Just wait till I hurl myself off of a roof and shout, “I am a golden god!” Now on to the fun stuff. Name your literary pub.

Pavlov’s, where every time a bell rings, I get another drink. Honey bourbon. Malty Belgian beer. Smokey scotch.

LOL. That may be my favorite answer to that question thus far. But let’s say a fight breaks out at Pavlov’s, what’s your weapon of choice??

My fists of fury. And a broken bottle. And the infamous Claws de Bos.

The Claws de Bos are not to be trifled with. 

Swag you might win!

Okay, PubCrawlers, STRUCK goes on sale on May 8th, but you can win a signed ARC and an awesome lightning bolt necklace now!

All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter entry form and leave a comment telling us what give you the chills!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

           

62 Responses to Interview with Jennifer Bosworth, author of Struck

  1. Christina K. Apr 25 2012 at 6:25 am #

    What terrifies me is anything subtle – not the blood and gore, but just a movement in the corner of the room, the coldness in someone’s tone, a sound you can’t place in the night.

    Struck sounds awesome!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. Cassie Apr 25 2012 at 6:51 am #

    What gives ME the chills? I’m with Christina K. here. As a nursing student, blood and gore I can handle any day. It’s the little things (chilly air, eerie silence, the tone of someone’s voice) that make me squirm. LOL. Great giveaway, btw. Struck look awesome.

  3. Nhi Apr 25 2012 at 7:20 am #

    I’m pretty typical in the sense that stuff like insects (especially centipedes, spiders, etc) and rats just generally gross/creep me out. But we can include things like porcelain dolls (which is funny, since I am somewhat of a doll collector myself) and hearing small noises during the night in a completely dark room. Hence why I never close my bedroom door before I got to sleep. I hope I’m not the only one who does that…

    And dare I say – your book trailer was just AWESOME. Although the weird silver-albino leader looked pretty funny (because I am that mature) – for me it is refreshing to see a book trailer that is pretty captivating and doesn’t look half-assed and HILARIOUSLY BAD (in a low budget, so bad its good kind of way).

  4. Laura Hughes Apr 25 2012 at 7:44 am #

    Pretty much anything in the water with teeth gives me the creeps (piranhas, alligators, crocodiles, sharks…).

    Also, thanks so much for the introduction to STRIKE!! It looks awesome, and this is the first time I’m hearing of it!! Adding it to Goodreads now 🙂

    • Laura Hughes Apr 25 2012 at 7:45 am #

      Ugh, I meant STRUCK!! I should finish my coffee before commenting on blogs. Sorry!

  5. alicia marie Apr 25 2012 at 8:52 am #

    what gives me the chills is some things like hearing things in a dark room or thinking you see something that’s not there. also, completely unrelated to that clowns creep me out a lot too with their huge painted on smile and scary eyes.

  6. JoSV Apr 25 2012 at 8:52 am #

    Wow, love that trailer.

    STRUCK is definitely on my TBR list for this summer!

  7. Priya Apr 25 2012 at 9:06 am #

    The one that gives me chills would be seeing shaodows outside my window when i’m alone and it’s dark. Or long, empty hallways, i’m always scared that i might be kidnapped or murdered 🙂
    The books sounds awesome, especially the lightning addiction part is completely captivating. AAND THAT TRAILER! It totally blew me away! It was one BAD-ASS OF A TRAILER!

  8. Amie Kaufman
    Amie Kaufman Apr 25 2012 at 9:27 am #

    I’m not entering, I’m just here to say that trailer was AMAZING! I can’t believe how much you conveyed — and how many tiny teasers there were — in such a short space. I have to know about all of them!

  9. Aimee Cook Apr 25 2012 at 9:50 am #

    The sound of nails on a chalkboard gives me the chills 😐

  10. Andrew Patterson Apr 25 2012 at 11:13 am #

    What scares me is the dark little thoughts that go through people’s minds. Especially when they are brought forth in a novel. People are way creepier than any monster.

  11. Lisseth Torres Apr 25 2012 at 11:18 am #

    What causes me chills…Living in a house full of scary ghosts! LOL, I’m not kidding. I lived in one once & it scarred me when I was little. Now not so much but just watching those kinds of movies gives me chills! Interesting interview & of course I WOULD LOVE an ARC copy of STRUCK! I just can’t wait for it to come out in stores!
    Lisseth @read-a-holicz.blogspot.com

  12. Kai A. Apr 25 2012 at 11:19 am #

    Birds. Or anything with feathers actually, big or small. They terrify me. It might have something to do when I was chased by a huge turkey while I was hauling my bike down the street when I was little, but since then every time I see a bird I get so scared!

    And wow… gorgeous trailer for Struck!

  13. Erin Bowman
    Erin Bowman Apr 25 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    Thanks for a great interview, Leigh & Jenn! And oh my goodness, that trailer! Chills.

  14. Maria Touet Apr 25 2012 at 2:05 pm #

    That trailer is amazing, quite a talented bunch.
    Can’t wait to read the book.

  15. Ashley Loves Books Apr 25 2012 at 2:05 pm #

    I’ve a pretty bad case of arachnophobia, so that definitely gives me the creeps…though I also have this weird aversion to bony hands. Long, bony fingers, that slender look…I don’t know what it is but it’s just so skeletal that it creeps me out. One of my best friends gets super creeped out when someone whistles behind her – says it feels ominous. I always think that’s interesting.

  16. Heather Marie Apr 25 2012 at 2:32 pm #

    I have been staring at STRUCK’s beautiful cover for months on Goodreads. As a matter of fact, I kept forgetting it wasn’t out yet, and attempted to buy it on my Kindle over and over again. I’m not usually a fan of trailers but this one is just phenomenal. I can’t wait to read STRUCK!

  17. Heather Marie Apr 25 2012 at 2:40 pm #

    Oh! I guess I should state what gives me the chills. I really freak out over closet doors being open in a dark room. Hate HATE it!

  18. Christina Franke Apr 25 2012 at 3:02 pm #

    Pardon me while I’m girly as all get out, but I am terrified of almost every insect. *shudders*

    Most terrifying though are bees, wasps, etc. I know that when you see one nearby, you’re supposed to be very still so it won’t be interested in you. Yeah, well, I physically can’t. Everything in my body tells me to run away at my highest speed (note: this is not very fast). To quote actor David Mitchell (who was talking about sharks): “Everything within me says that that is the enemy.”

    • Jennifer Bosworth Apr 25 2012 at 4:53 pm #

      The book I’m working on now would freak you out for sure. 😉

  19. Becky Apr 25 2012 at 3:05 pm #

    The things I can’t see scare me the most — creepy crawlies in murky water are the worst. I’m also freaked out by tight, enclosed spaces.

  20. Lexie B. Apr 25 2012 at 5:44 pm #

    First off, lovely interview! Also, I think that might be one of the best book trailers I have ever seen. The fact that she and her husband made it just blows my mind.

    Regarding the question, I have to go with Jennifer: death. It’s just the thought of vanishing that petrifies me. I don’t believe in anything afterwards, so the thought of just being there and then not is so completely horrifying.

    Also, on a less ~deep~ level, bugs. Hate them. So much.

  21. Vivien Apr 25 2012 at 5:51 pm #

    SPIDERS!!! Bloody spiders…..I get all jumpy around them. Ewww….hate them SO much.

  22. Jamie Apr 25 2012 at 6:48 pm #

    I’m not putting my website information in because I have SUCH a fear that I’m afraid (har) that someone will hunt me down via my website and torment me… I don’t tell ANYONE about my biggest fear because I’m terrified that it will be used against me.
    I am afraid AFRAID of snakes. So much so that, not only can I not stand seeing them in person (I’ve got the heebeejeebies just thinking about it right now!!) but I also can’t stand seeing them on TV. I will put my hand up in front of my eyes if one shows on the screen. And I don’t just mean Nature Channel… I’m talking the opening credits to Harry Potter (CGI!) and even watching the old Disney cartoon Robin Hood (how cute was that movie?! I mean, Cmon!!!) Even the promos for Survivor with the totally fake, cartoony drawn snake? Skeeves me the heck out. I have NIGHT TERRORS about them. I can not go to the bathroom with the lights off for fear that there may be snakes in my toilet … I won’t go walking through the beautiful marshes a few towns over (which i soooo desperately want to do) because I’m terrified that a snake might slither by. Ugh even the word Snake (and slighter) just … bleheherejfhkajhfakdjfakdfj *shudder*
    uhhh… this didn’t have a word count max did it?

  23. Kate Apr 25 2012 at 6:51 pm #

    Ok, so my biggest fear is sharks — I’ll never forget the day I saw a toothy one on TV when I was having some toast for my breakfast. I screamed and jumped making me drop the toast all over the floor and the sofa. Then, once I’d picked it all up again, the programme replayed ths clip, and I reacted the exact same way and dropped it all again. I cried and ran away. But, the thing that gives me the chills more than anything is Zombies! They freak me out so bad. *shudders*
    I’m just about to go to bed, pretty sure I’ll have nightmares now of zombie-sharks….
    I really hope not.

  24. g.marie Apr 25 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    Darkness pressing down on light, when things become hazy and the two blend into eachother.

  25. Carina Olsen Apr 26 2012 at 2:13 am #

    I hate all kings of creepy crawling things. Like spiders, bugs, etc. The freak me out! Not really sure what else I’m afraid of ;p Not sure if this giveaway is international; but I’m hoping it is 😀 *Fingers crossed.* <3
    Love, Carina

  26. Julia Apr 26 2012 at 3:20 am #

    The trailer was amazing!! Even without it I would have wanted to read the book but now I HAVE to 🙂

  27. Ange/Libby Blog Apr 26 2012 at 10:04 am #

    That noise! You know the one. Yep. That one. The one when no one else is there and the hairs on your neck even get scared and stand up. And any fat, fast moving spider! Both are sure to make for a sleepless night.

  28. EM Castellan Apr 26 2012 at 11:16 am #

    I live in an old haunted castle so I don’t really mind looming shadows, chilly air and strange noises. I’m not afraid of spiders or snakes either. What does freak me out are large, moving crowds. With little me stuck in the middle.
    Thanks for the giveaway! I can’t wait for STRUCK to come out…

  29. Bonnie Apr 26 2012 at 11:18 am #

    I have super boring fears. haha I have a ridiculous fear of heights and being alone in a dark house scares me beyond reason!

  30. Heidi @ YA Bibliophi Apr 26 2012 at 11:22 am #

    I cannot stand being totally submerged in water. I mean, I’m totally fine in a pool but a lake or an ocean? Not gonna happen!! I shudder just thinking about it!

  31. Elizabeth Briggs Apr 26 2012 at 12:37 pm #

    Spiders. Eels. Creepy wind noises. Hipsters.

    Can’t wait for this book!

  32. Tracey Neithercott Apr 26 2012 at 1:23 pm #

    I cannot express how excited I am for this. And that trailer? Holy cow.

    So I’ve never been scared at a scary movie, but show me a bug and I’ll freak the heck out. Really any small insect, reptile, or rodent will do it, but I’m particularly fearful of mice, spiders, snakes, and cockroaches. Oh God, I don’t really even want to write this but now the image is in my head so here it goes: I have this terrible, terrible fear of waking up one night to the sound of insects and then seeing cockroaches covering my walls, walking all over them. Ugh. I can’t even…

  33. Erica Apr 26 2012 at 6:34 pm #

    Ghost shows (like Ghost Adventures or Paranormal State) at night give me the creeps. I usually can’t sleep after that!!

  34. Kimberly Cooper Apr 26 2012 at 7:06 pm #

    I can’t wait to read this! Awesome interview!!!

    I’m afraid of Zombies. I know, I know what you’re thinking. But no, really. I saw that movie 28 Days Later and it changed my life. I am super afraid of fast, ferral, murderous zombies. I know it may be an irrational fear, but I won’t even watch Zombie movies. Creep. Me. Out.

  35. Sara M Apr 26 2012 at 11:06 pm #

    I am terrified of tornadoes and clowns. I don’t like snakes or spiders until I’ve identified that they are not venomous or poisonous.

    And You-Know-Who coming back in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire scared the crap out of 13 year old me. It didn’t help that I was reading that part at three in the morning…

  36. A.J. Apr 28 2012 at 12:05 am #

    Vomit terrifies me! I also don’t like movies about scary things that are real like rabies (hello, Cujo!).

    • A.J. Apr 28 2012 at 12:10 am #

      Oops! Actually, I meant I’m scared of movies like that. Very few movies scare me, so when they do, I like them! lol

  37. Soumi Roy Apr 28 2012 at 1:53 am #

    Darkness give me creeps, oh yes when I suspect someone is staring at me, i feel something is crawling beneath my skin

  38. Rebecca Apr 29 2012 at 9:01 am #

    Is this INT?

  39. Lilian Apr 29 2012 at 3:02 pm #

    Dead birds.
    I can do spiders, lizards, rodents…but dead birds make me shudder. I guess it’s because they are all over the streets, and always headless. I think I rather see a dead body than a room of dead birds.

    And I can’t help thinking some of them might be the product of my driving (hey, it’s not my fault they don’t fly higher, stupid birds!)

    Lilian @ A Novel Toybox

  40. Jen Apr 29 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    If it’s a creature then it’s an earwig. Something about those things freak me out.

    I also hear every random noise in the house.

  41. Raven Apr 29 2012 at 8:43 pm #

    Wow. That was one AMAZING trailer. I almost forgot that it was for a book. It made me want to read STRUCK even more than I already do!

    Um…I am afraid of almost everything. Any kind of bug including butterflies (yes, I know). Thunder, lightning, heights, the list could go on lol

  42. Hayley G Apr 29 2012 at 11:32 pm #

    Spiders creep the bleepin bejesus out of me! haha 🙂

  43. Laurisa White Reyes Apr 30 2012 at 5:58 pm #

    Loved the interview! You two are a hoot! Thanks to both of you for coming out to see me & Jenn & Anne. Can’t wait for your tour & launches! Go L.A.!

  44. Monica G Lopez May 1 2012 at 8:38 pm #

    Ants. Yes, ants. *shudders*

  45. Peggy May 1 2012 at 8:52 pm #

    ummm Spiders, clowns, porcelain dolls…..and freaky movies with scary little kids in them 😉

    Awesome Giveaway!
    THANKS <3

  46. Amanda Marie May 1 2012 at 8:56 pm #

    I’m deathly afraid of heights!! I cried on a ferris wheel once.. no lie! lol!

  47. Shirley May 1 2012 at 9:05 pm #

    Um….I hate bugs and spiders :/ Oh. And lizards! *shudder*

  48. Kari May 1 2012 at 9:08 pm #

    Clowns and mascots. Anything that requires a head-to-toe body covering. Which is not cool, since my Aunt moonlighted as a clown for kiddo birthday parties.

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway! I REALLY want to read this! 😀

  49. Maria Touet May 1 2012 at 9:09 pm #

    Waking up during the night to hear what sounds like someone walking in the house. Creeps me out.

  50. Heather May 1 2012 at 9:12 pm #

    Sometimes the unseen evil is even scarier (like in the Blair Witch Project) since your imagination has no limits. Oftentimes once the evil is revealed it is not as scary or suspenseful anymore. I can’t stand evil children or clowns, and sadistic torture like a SAW movie-no way. Things that are impossible are not as scary, but if it’s something one person could really do to another person (true crime) it really bothers me. I also cannot tolerate when anyone is permanently maimed or loses a body part-UGHH! It’s okay if it’s an evil zombie but NOT a good/main character!! (It made me so mad When Xander lost an eye on BuffyTVS!LOL:) That’s why the paranormal is “fun scary” to me and not “I will sleep with the light on and need therapy for the rest of my life” scary!LOL:)

  51. Lilliam Rivera May 1 2012 at 9:16 pm #

    You know what freaks me out? That Geico commercial with the pig that goes “weeee” on a zip line. It completely freaks me out. I would die if I saw that pig in real life. Scared to death.

  52. Desna May 1 2012 at 9:17 pm #

    Just have to sleep with the wardrobe door! Even at my age! Loved the trailer for Struck. Very real freaky earthquake scenes but brilliant trailer. Box-office quality.

    • Desna May 1 2012 at 9:20 pm #

      SOrry – with the wardrobe door closed!

  53. Marthapao May 1 2012 at 9:33 pm #

    Insects! Especially little critters that are hard to see like bedbugs, I’m getting chills just thinking of them!!

  54. Tom Tancin May 1 2012 at 9:56 pm #

    Wasps! Maybe because I’ve had numerous bad experiences with them.

  55. Nikki May 1 2012 at 10:10 pm #

    Bees (allergic to them), ants (hate them), spiders (ew) … pretty much any insect!!

  56. Mike May 1 2012 at 10:18 pm #

    Walking up the stairs from a dark room and imagining that someone or something will come up from behind me, from the dark, and attack me. Or, walking up stairs with no back to the steps and imagining someone or something grabbing my feet and pulling me under.

  57. Tanya May 1 2012 at 11:36 pm #

    What freaks me out is clowns and any insect that flys right at me. June bugs and moths are the worst though.

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