In sunny Southern California, seventeen-year-old Ruby Rose is known for her killer looks and her killer SAT scores. But ever since her dad, an LAPD SWAT sergeant, died, she’s also got a few killer secrets.
To cope, Ruby has been trying to stay focused on school (the top spot in her class is on the line) and spending time with friends (her Jimmy Choos and Manolo Blahniks are nothing if not loyal). But after six months of therapy and pathetic parenting by her mom, the District Attorney, Ruby decides to pick up where her dad left off and starts going after the bad guys herself.
When Ruby ends up killing a murderer to save his intended victim, she discovers that she’s gone from being the huntress to the hunted. There’s a sick mastermind at play, and he has Ruby in his sights. Ruby must discover who’s using her to implement twisted justice before she ends up swapping Valentino red for prison orange.
With a gun named Smith, a talent for martial arts, and a boyfriend with eyes to die for, Ruby is ready to face the worst. And if a girl’s forced to kill, won’t the guilt sit more easily in a pair of Prada peep-toe pumps?
And other local & national retailers.
SG: Hi, Jessie! Congrats on your book and thanks for stopping by our blog!
JH: Thanks for hosting this interview, Shannon! It’s nice to have an agency sister involved. Go Team Greenhouse!
So, I decided that I’m going to answer ALL of your questions! But not like I normally would, more like rapid fire! Like Ruby Rose cocking and pulling the trigger, I’m gonna bullet point out these answers like an automatic rifle with night scope vision!
SG: Awesome, I’m ready! So tell us where did the idea for KILLING RUBY ROSE come from?
- From watching/reading the DEXTER series by Jeff Lindsay and reading the HEIST SOCIETY books by Ally Carter.
SG: Jessie, do you outline or use any visual plotting method when you write? Or bullet points, ha ha 🙂 ?
- Yes, I use the beat system from Blake Snyder’s book, SAVE THE CAT. Me and my CP’s call our system of outlining, “Brushing Our Cat.” ;0
SG: Oh I love that book! What are your favorite revision tools?
- Babysitters, busy cafés with high energy, caffeine, and a reward system including chocolate.
SG: How could we ever get through revisions without chocolate! When do you write, when are you the most creative, and what does your schedule look like?
- In the morning. It’s when I’m most focused and creative. I usually have to get up between 5-6:00 am to get any amount of work done because I have to be home by 8:00 am for carpool.
SG: Wow, you are dedicated for sure! So when you venture out so early, where do you write?
SG: Of course! And, where is the weirdest place you’ve written down story notes?
- On the back of a fortune cookie. (Don’t remember what the fortune cookie said though).
SG: Okay, I’ve never heard of anyone writing notes on a fortune cookie! Jessie, did you research much for KILLING RUBY ROSE?
- A little bit. Three years of law school and a grueling bar exam also helped with the legal aspects of the book.
SG: What a perfect background for writing crime! Can you tell us what was the hardest part of writing this book?
- The ending. Before my agent signed me, she made me change the ENTIRE ending. It was hard, I might have had a series of mental breakdowns, several stages of giving up, and a popped out rib from the stress…but I did it!
SG: Ugh! Endings are so hard! I’m so glad you made it, and I sure hope your rib is better! How did you come up with the title for KILLING RUBY ROSE?
- I didn’t. My amazing agent, Sarah Davies did. The second she said it, I knew it was the one. (The title I had come up with was total crap).
SG: Just one of Sarah’s many talents, right? So, Jessie, is this your first book? If not, did you learn anything new when you wrote this?
- No, it was my third (or fourth book–depending on how many times I revamped that first book). I learned a ton from those first couple attempts, namely: stop writing sucky books.
SG: I know what you mean! Have you ever wanted to strangle or shake one of your characters?
- Yes, and then I did. Literally, have them strangled, stabbed, shot, set on fire, etc. What? My MC is a serial killer!
SG: Oh yeah! LOL! SO when you’re sitting at your computer, stuck, what distracts you?
- Checking Facebook for what fabulous things my friends are doing while I’m stuck and suffering.
SG: Jessie, what is your favorite part of the whole process of getting this book from your idea and into the hands of readers?
- Experiencing the making of the book trailer. From hiring the director and actors, to being physically present for the filming, to sharing it with the world. Seeing my characters come alive right before my eyes is cool beyond description. Also, the filmmaker, j.j. huckin, has decided that the footage he’s got is so good that he can’t stand to waste any of it and is turning it into a short film!
SG: Wow! That is incredible! I can’t wait to see it! Okay one more writing question: How long did it take to write the first draft of KILLING RUBY ROSE? Revisions?
- First draft: 6 months. Revisions: 18 months (because revisions started all over again once I sold my book)
SG: And worth every minute of work and popped ribs, etc., I’m sure! Last question, Jessie. As this community is fearless, we’d like to know something you are afraid of and something you are not afraid of.
- I’m afraid of shins. (It’s weird, I know).
- I’m not afraid of failure. (I move past it all the time).!
About the Author: Jessie Humphries was born and raised in Las Vegas, NV. She received a BA from San Diego State University, where she cultivated her love of the beach, then lived in France, where she cultivated her weakness for shoes, and finally earned a law degree from UNLV, where she cultivated her interest in justice. After practicing law for several years she began writing, and, appropriately, her debut novel Killing Ruby Rose is a thriller about vigilante justice set in sunny southern California with a shoe-obsessed protagonist. Jessie currently writes and practices law in Las Vegas, where she lives with her husband and children.
|Shannon Grogan teaches kindergarten by day, and writes at Starbucks while her kids are at ballet and baseball. If she can stay off Twitter and stay awake, she writes at night, in a tiny logging town near Seattle, Washington. Her debut, FROM WHERE I WATCH YOU, will be published by Soho Teen, Spring 2015.|