Today I am very happy to be kicking off Jessikah Hope Stenson’s A Single Drop Of Perfect & other stories Blog Tour. This is Jessikah’s first ever Blog Tour, which is very exciting 🙂
I have my review of Jessikah’s collection of short stories to share with you, but first of all I have a fab Q&A for you to enjoy…..
For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?
I’m Jess, I’m currently studying for my degree in English at the University of Exeter where I’m also the Chief Editor of PearShaped Music Magazine. I take as many creative writing modules as possible in my degree and have a book blog (called Read By Jess) where I post some flash fiction, but mostly book reviews. After university I want to start a career in publishing but I’ll always continue to write fiction because it’s my therapy. The dream is to work full-time as a published author, but I know that’s probably a long way off at the moment. Also, I don’t want to close myself off to any opportunities. I never intended to get interested in journalism and then I spent last summer writing for a magazine in Belfast – who knows where life will take me. A Single Drop Of Perfect is my first published book and it’s a collection of five short stories which focus on, well, perfection! There’s a strong focus on relationships, including romantic, familial, platonic and even the love for your pet. Sometimes a perfect moment might happen when you least expect it and I think that’s such a wonderful part of life.
Where did/do you get your ideas from?
Well for the first story, A Single Drop Of Perfect, it’s based off personal experience. I was basically in a friendship where the other person felt led on and I found it really difficult to ‘let them down’, if that’s even the right way of saying it. Another story, The Lemon & The Lake is based on a phobia I suffer from. While today there’s a growing understanding of mental illness, I feel like this particular phobia is often misunderstood. I won’t say what it is as I don’t want to ruin the story! The story called Wounds is based on loads of different stories people have told me. I know of a young girl who was attacked by her grandmother’s dog and my publisher was telling me about her dog who attacked her aunt and they realised it was because he was ill and in pain, but the authorities were calling the dog aggressive. Basically, I just think people massively misunderstand animals. The other two stories What Isla Did and The Edge Of A Smile aren’t personal at all, they came from a random part of my brain… I have no idea.
Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?
My friends say they can see a bit of me in some of my characters but other than that not really. Lorenzo in A Single Drop Of Perfect is based on someone I know, but I exaggerated some of his personality and ignored others, so it doesn’t represent him anymore. I find that basing a character on someone you know can hold you back in describing them. Oh and there’s also Miguel who is mentioned in The Lemon & The Lake and he’s based on a real person.
How do you pick your characters names?
Mainly I just google baby names and scroll through them endlessly. I want a name that suits the character, isn’t too common but that people can pronounce – that’s harder than you’d think! I also hate using the names of people I know, it’s creepy!
Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?
I feel the urge to write, I grab my laptop and start writing. I edit right at the end.
Do you have a favourite author?
I have loads but right now it’s probably either Holly Bourne or Morgan Matson. Their YA summer reads are heaven.
If you could meet any author, who would it be? And what would you ask them?
Probably Stieg Larsson who wrote The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo trilogy. He unfortunately died before his books became successful so I’d love to know what drove him to write so many words on those characters and how he developed such complex plots and kept on top of contradictions, because as a writer that’s what I find so hard and he was an expert.
Were you a big reader as a child?
Yes definitely! And I still am. I keep track of every book I read (and use GoodReads which is so helpful). I always read at least a book a week but in the holidays I try and read a book a day.
When did you start to write?
When I was 14 I was set a homework task to write a prologue to a story and then my mum asked me what would happen next in the story so I kept writing… 70,000 words later I was done! Since then I’ve written three novels and lots of short stories.
What are you working on right now?
I’ve just finished writing my first novel which I think is actually good enough to be published. It’s a psychological thriller and I’m hoping that I can get that published this year.
When can we look forward to a new release?
Hopefully sometime between now and Christmas!
How can readers keep in touch with you?
My book blog: http://readbyjess.blogspot.co.uk/
My Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Jessikah-Hope-Stenson-490555721101437/
My Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessikahHope
Thank you so much for answering my questions, Jess 🙂
A Single Drop of Perfect is a collection of five, hard hitting short stories. Each one very different, but all with a strong focus on human emotion.
A Single Drop of Perfect
We meet Carla who is anxious about starting University, dealing with a long distant relationship, a boring job and a friendship which crosses a line.
What Isla Did
I found this quite disturbing. Isla’s parents are torn apart by grief when Isla is killed by a train, accidentally, or so they believe. We see things from Jenna’s point of view, Isla’s older sister.
The Lemon and The Lake
This story explores the importance of making memories and the anxiety of never having enough time.
This story highlights how children cope (or don’t cope) when their parents divorce and a step-parent comes into their life. Also, the bonds we share with our pets.
The Edge Of A Smile
I found this story quite sinister!
Many thanks to Jessikah for my kindle copy of A Single Drop Of Perfect & other stories. I have thoroughly enjoyed them and would happily recommend.
Publisher: Excalibur Press (22nd February 2016)
Buy your copy here – A Single Drop Of Perfect & other stories by Jessikah Hope Stenson
A Single Drop Of Perfect
Carla’s on the cusp of adulthood. As her final weeks in the family home draw to a close she struggles to keep a grip on her true self. With her boyfriend hundreds of miles away, Carla battles with loneliness, finding comfort in unexpected places and experiencing moments of perfection that can never be replicated.
What Isla Did
Isla was young, brave and creative. She is remembered as a golden girl and their beloved daughter, but no one can be perfect.
The Lemon And The Lake
June and Max are exploring the gorgeous countryside of Granada. However, where there’s perfection, there’s horror.
Helen’s new husband Steven brings his dog Wilf into the family home. When Helen’s eight year old daughter Maisie finds herself in hospital, suffering from a vicious dog attack, Steven has a lot to answer for. Moral and ethical questions arise when Helen is determined to have Wilf put down in spite of Steven’s desire to keep is beloved pet alive.
The Edge Of A Smile
Walking home at night, university student Heidi is accompanied by a stranger named Bryony. Both of them have secrets which will destroy the other.
Don’t forget to follow the rest of Jess’s fab Blog Tour…..