Friday, January 26, 2007

Girlfriends Cyber Circuit Presents Jennifer Lynn Barnes

I think I'm winning the war of the sinuses. The pressure isn't so bad today after yesterday's regimen of a more humid environment, lots of fluids, peppermint tea and Mom's remedy of horseradish in tomato juice (I find it kind of yucky, but it does work). Now I'm trying to get a few things done before I take advantage of a rare warmish and sunny day to hike up the hill and see Dreamgirls. Exercise and sunshine should be good for me.

So, I'm turning today over to a Girlfriends Cyber Circuit entry. I last featured Jennifer Lynn Barnes when her young adult novel Golden was released. Now she's gone from Yale to Cambridge, where she's doing autism research on a Fulbright Scholarship, and she has a new book out, Tattoo.

About the book:
Bailey Morgan isn't the type of girl who shows a lot of skin, but somehow, she ends up in a dressing room at the mall with her friend Delia applying a temporary tattoo to her lower back. Never one to suffer fashion doubt, trendsetter Delia knows exactly where she wants her own tattoo: on her stomach, right where her shirt ends—can you say "midriff"? Annabelle, the quiet one, chooses the back of her neck, and tomboy Zo plasters hers on the top of her foot. The tattoos will last for three days, and Delia's sure that with them, the four friends will absolutely kill at the school dance.

Unfortunately, killing is just what someone has in mind, and Bailey, Delia, Annabelle, and Zo are in for the battle of their lives. Along with her tattoo, each girl receives a gift—a supernatural power to help them in their fight. As Bailey's increasingly frightening dreams reveal the nature of their enemy, it becomes clear to the girls that it's up to them to save the world. And if they can get Delia to stop using her newfound power to turn gum wrappers into Prada pumps, they might actually stand a chance.

And now the interview:
What inspired this book?
When I first started thinking about this book, I knew I wanted to write about four friends who suddenly aquire supernatural powers, but I wasn't sure how exactly to make that happen. Then, one day, I found this awesome, sparkly, blue-green tattoo in my drawer, and it crossed my mind that it looked like it could have magical powers. My brain connected the dots, and the premise for Tattoo was born. In a large way, though, the book was inspired by my college friends and how much their friendship meant to me- I wanted to write a book about friendship. Given my preferences genre-wise, it just happened to also be a book about adventure, supernatural powers, and saving the world.

Do you have any tattoos yourself?
I don't have any tattoos. Every once in a while, I think about it, but I'm way too much of a wuss to ever go through with it. I've never even dyed my hair!

If you were to get a magical power from something like a tattoo, what power would you like to have?
This question is easy. I'd want the power I gave to Delia in the book- transmogrification. It's the ability to turn one object into another object at will. So if you've got a dirty sock, and you'd rather have a giant diamond or a bowl of ice cream or Brad Pitt, you will it to be so. I'm firmly convinced it's the best power ever.

What are you enjoying most about living and studying in England?
I really enjoy the language here. The accents are wonderful, but I'm endlessly entertained by English vocabulary, and differences between the way I talk and the "proper English" my friends are attempting to teach me.

What do you miss the most about the US?
I really miss having free nights and weekends on my cell phone and being able to talk to all of my friends on a regular basis. When I went home for Christmas break, it was so nice to (a) be in the same (or a close) time zone to everyone else, and (b) be able to call them at will and talk about nothing for as long as I wanted. I also miss the food.

What are you working on now (other than graduate school!)?
Right now, I'm actually working on a sequel to TATTOO. I can't tell you much without giving away the ending of the first book, but I can say that it's due out in Fall of 2008. I'm also in the final stages of revision on a new series called THE SQUAD, which is about a group of teen operatives whose cover is that they're their school's varsity cheerleading squad. After I finish up with these, I'm not sure what I'll do next, but I'd really like to try my hand at science fiction with a chick lit twist, especially if I could find some way to tie it into my area of study.

For more info, check out Jennifer's web site.

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