After prevailing through the hurdles of publishing a book, Jessica Khoury is continuing her career in writing. Khoury, now age 23, shall be releasing another young-adult sci-fi adventure Vitro, companion novel to Origin, January 14. I got the chance to sit down with Khoury to discuss her new book and how her career has affected her life.
When asked about the difference between writing her sophomore novel as apposed to the first book, she explained how instead of having to do most of the early editing herself, “I had a whole team of editors helping me from the very beginning, even at the outline stage.” She also said that already having an agent (Lucy Carson of The Friedrich Agency) and a publishing company (Razorbill, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group) made everything a whole lot easier.
As far as comparing it to Origin, Khoury claims that Vitro is written in a similar style and those fans of the former should like the latter. Khoury feels one of the biggest priorities for an author should be to please their already existing fan-base and that Vitro was written to please fans of Origin. However, she also says that one does not need to have read Origin in order to read Vitro, even though they are companion novels and exist in the same fictional universe. Still, for those whom have read Origin, Khoury did tell me that there will be “one character” they will recognize in Vitro. She also informed me that a lot of research went into her upcoming book. Where as in Origin she researched the Amazon rainforest, in Vitro she studied up on some of the Pacific Islands, airplanes and current science to verify that her writing was accurate to detail. “Realistic” is the term Khoury described the environment of the story, where the science in the fictional world is not far off from what one can find being studied and developed here in the real world.
Khoury opened up about all the different places writing has taken her, including the Amazon, the Pacific Islands, Africa and many other places as well. She even mentioned a tale where her and her husband’s hut had been surrounded by lions. Another adventure Khoury has taken up is to blurbing for debut authors. During her travels she got to meet many of her “childhood ‘hero’ writers” such as T. A. Barron, Robin Hobb and quite a few others (she also would like to encourage all those whom have not heard of these authors to go to their local library and check them out, stat). She would go on to inform me of helping other authors by blurbing for their novels. A blurb is a short summary of a book or work, often praise, from an author or peer advertising another’s creation. These can often be found on the back of books or on websites. Khoury states, “It’s always such an honor to be asked to read and blurb books for debut authors. I feel like I’m one of the first to discover something new and wonderful, and I have the privilege of getting to tell others about it.”
I asked Khoury if there was any news about possibly seeing Origin on the big screen. Khoury stated, “They [owner’s of the movie rights to Origin] are reading through Vitro first.” From the sound of it, it seems Scott Steindorff and Stone Village Pictures are looking to see if the books will be profitable as a movie. So nothing certain yet, but the possibility still exists.
If you would like read my previous interview with Jessica Khoury, go to http://talon.tfc.edu/2012/05/small-town-writer-jessica-khoury-to-next-big-author/
For more information about “Vitro” or “Origin,” you can check out Khoury’s blog at www.jessicakhoury.com and updates can be found on her Twitter and Facebook accounts: https://twitter.com/jkbibliophile; and www.facebook.com/authorjessicakhoury