Tuesday, September 3, 2013

GYDO: Jennifer Rush

Jennifer Rush, Author of Altered

Here’s a secret (but not really a secret because this is probably not a surprise to any of you): I started writing way back in my early teens because I was boy crazy. When I was twelve or thirteen, I was obsessed with teen magazines, like Bop and Tiger Beat, and I’d pull out all of the posters and celebrity pictures and plaster them all over my bedroom wall until no wall remained.
I had a major crush on Jonathan Taylor Thomas, and Andrew Keegan, and Devon Sawa (anyone remember him in Little Giants?). I couldn’t watch their movies/TV shows enough, and I realized that I could stay with them as long as I’d like if I just wrote my own story, with my own cute boys.
I started writing vampire fiction (I devoured vampire books at this age). Then I read Sarah Dessens’s The Truth About Forever, and decided I needed to write my own Wes.
Growing up, I was never popular, or pretty. I certainly didn’t have a ton of male suitors. Reading, and later writing, was a way for me to live vicariously through my characters. I got to fall in love with multiple boys without any of the mess (you’re welcome, mom and dad). I was able to kiss a cute vampire. Feel the butterflies from a crush on a brooding artist. Fall for a bad boy (a demon, actually, but he was a super-hot-with-a-sensitive-side demon). 
But something changed, the more I wrote, and the more I thought about the girls telling my stories. I realized, not only could I feel a sliver of the crush on a cute boy, I could feel the empowerment of a strong female, or the rush of an athletic girl, or the passion of an artist.
I started focusing more on my female narrators. I wrote a runner—something I’ve always wanted to do, but have never been successful at. I wrote an artist, because I’d loved art growing up, but never felt I was good enough. I wrote a strong, peculiar girl with tattoos all over, and a best friend she’d die for.
I guess it comes as no surprise then, that Altered is told from the point of view of a girl who can kick major ass. A girl who is passionate, and creative, and kind and caring, but also courageous and strong and determined.
As my writing grows, I want to continue writing strong female characters, but also characters that are real, and complex, and interesting, maybe even weak at times. Because we are all weak at times. 
I hope in the future, that when people talk about my books, they say things like, She writes great female characters, and complex plots, and super hot boys. After all, I couldn’t possibly turn my back on my humble beginnings. :-)

Altered Blurb
When you can’t trust yourself, who can you believe?
Everything about Anna’s life is a secret. Her father works for the Branch at the helm of its latest project: monitoring and administering treatments to the four genetically altered boys in the lab below their farmhouse. There’s Nick, Cas, Trev . . . and Sam, who’s stolen Anna’s heart. When the Branch decides it’s time to take the boys, Sam stages an escape, killing the agents sent to retrieve them. 
Anna is torn between following Sam or staying behind in the safety of her everyday life. But her father pushes her to flee, making Sam promise to keep her away from the Branch, at all costs. There’s just one problem. Sam and the boys don’t remember anything before living in the lab—not even their true identities.
Now on the run, Anna soon discovers that she and Sam are connected in more ways than either of them expected. And if they’re both going to survive, they must piece together the clues of their past before the Branch catches up to them and steals it all away.

Author Bio
Jennifer Rush lives in a little town on the shoreline of Lake Michigan with her husband and two children. She grew up wanting to be an Egyptologist, but realized she hated the desert and declared herself a writer instead. She won her first writing award in the fourth grade (a Mickey Mouse pencil was the prize) and has been crafting stories ever since. In her free time, she likes to read, Photoshop, and consume large amounts of caffeine.


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