YA Books are Epic: First off let’s start by talking about Genesis Girl! What is it about and how did you come up with it?
JB: “Genesis Girl” is about a teenager named Blanca who has never been on the Internet. Her lack of a digital footprint makes her so valuable that she gets auctioned off to the highest bidder. It’s young adult Science Fiction full of twists, turns, and shocking moments. My goal in writing it was to surprise readers and also made them think. I came up with the plot after spending months trying to think of a concept that had never been done before. I didn’t want to be a copycat chasing after trends; I wanted my own unique idea to explore. One night, when I was attaching my phone to the charger, the idea for “Genesis Girl” just came to me.
YA Books are Epic: How did you get into reading?
JB: I grew up in the 1980s back when there was nothing good on TV. Saturday mornings were for cartoons, but afterschool there was soap operas, the afternoon news, or talk shows my mom liked to watch. Books were an easy source of entertainment, and I gobbled them up. We had books in my house, but not a tremendous amount. My mom took me to the library all the time and let me check out ten books each visit. Usually I’d be done with them in a few days, and immediately start reading them again. My cousins had a huge amount of books, and kept the overflow in their garage. Every time I visited them my aunt would let me borrow as many books as I wanted. Now that I’m an adult, having a well-stocked home library makes me feel rich.
YA Books are Epic: Did you have a favorite book series growing up? How did these books influence your writing?
JB: My favorite books were “The Little House on the Prairie” series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, the “Anne of Green Gables” and “Emily of New Moon” series by L.M. Montgomery, and anything written by Beverly Clearly. My third and fourth grade teacher was very strict about her students not reading “The Babysitters Club” because she thought it beneath us, but I’d read those on the sly whenever I could find them. I’m not sure how much any of them have influenced my writing, but a lot of them contain smart, obedient, yet strong willed main characters, and that describes Blanca in “Genesis Girl” perfectly.
YA Books are Epic: Which format do you prefer to read? Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook or eBook?
JB: I always have a paperback or hardcover I’m reading sitting on the end table next to my couch, an eBook on my Kindle, and an audiobook on my phone for the gym. Right now I’m listening to “The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time India” by Sherman Alexie, and it’s read by the author which is pretty cool.
YA Books are Epic: If you could write a book with any author alive or dead who would it be and why?
JB: I would love to write a book with Rose Wilder Lane, who was Laura Ingalls Wilder’s daughter. There is convincing research that suggests Rose was the co-author of “The Little House on the Prairie” series. Laura would write a basic, crummy first draft, and Rose would rewrite it into the books we know today.
YA Books are Epic: Are you currently working on a new book? If so what can you tell us about it?
JB: At this point, I’m not sure if there will be a third book in my series or not. It depends on if there is reader interest in continuing the series beyond “Genesis Girl” and “Damaged Goods.” But I have been playing around with ideas for a third book, and have the first few chapters written.
YA Books are Epic: Thanks so much for doing this!
JB: Thank you for having me!
*If you would like to purchase Genesis Girl or Damaged Goods please click the cover images below!*