Thursday, March 15, 2012

Guest Post: Jolene Perry, author of Night Sky

Hey Pretties!

Today we have the pleasure of welcoming Jolene Perry, author of Night Sky, which released March 1st 2012.

After losing Sarah, the friend he’s loved, to some other guy, Jameson meets Sky. Her Native American roots, fluid movements, and need for brutal honesty become addictive fast. This is good. Jameson needs distraction – his dad leaves for another woman, his mom’s walking around like a zombie, and Sarah’s new boyfriend can’t keep his hands off of her. 
As he spends time with Sky and learns about her village, her totems, and her friends with drums - she's way more than distraction. Jameson's falling for her fast. 
But Sky’s need for honesty somehow doesn’t extend to her life story – and Jameson just may need more than his new girl to keep him distracted from the disaster of his senior year.

Today, Jolene will be talking about her research process and how she researched Sky's Native American culture and background.

Jolene Perry, author of Night Sky

I will readily admit that I cheated in my research of Sky and her culture because it's something I grew up around.

I grew up in Alaska, and most of my family lives in Southeast Alaska, where Sky is from.

I did have to look a few maps to make sure I could create the kind of place she would live, and I didn't want to use an actual village, because I didn't want to offend anyone. I've been to the area, and knew generally where she was from, I just had to find a spot.

The Tlingit people have SO many amazing stories, and SO many amazing ways of showing their art, and their heritage, it was hard not to go crazy with it in the book. I wanted Sky's culture to come in, but not take over. I don't normally love multi-cultural books where the book is ABOUT the multi-culturalism instead of just telling a story. Hopefully I struck a nice balance between her heritage being part of Sky, but not a driving force in the plot.

I loved the quiet, introspective person Sky's background made her, and it was exactly what Jameson needed, and very different from Sarah, the other girl in the book. When I started writing Night Sky, I knew Jameson would meet another girl, but I didn't know she'd have a native background until I wrote her.

It did feel like cheating to use a girl from Alaska, but it was also one of those instances where writing what you know really helps solidify a character much earlier than she would have if I'd tried to do something I'm not familiar with. And it made her even more a "fish out of water" coming from what is almost rain-forest to the desert of Las Vegas. (Las Vegas was easy to write, because my husband and I lived there for a few years, and knew a LOT of people who worked in the casinos).

My husband's job as a prosecutor has also shown me some of the darker side of what can happen between people - especially in confined villages. I don't want to give away the plot, but the big turning point for Sky was taken from a case my husband had done a little over a year ago.

I think so often, there are stories all around us, and it's realizing that the things we know and experience, really are worth being told.

Thanks so much for the chance to be on your blog today!

~ Jolene

So there you have it. Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us, Jolene!

And for everyone interested in checking out Jolene's book, Night Sky, check out these links.

1 comment:

  1. Jesse, thanks for hosting Jolene today so we could learn a bit more about what went into the creation of Sky as a character.


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