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Friday, May 30, 2014

Author Interview: Jessie Humphries

Today, we have Jessie Humphries in the HOUSE! Jessie is the author of the YA contemporary thriller, Killing Ruby Rose, as well as a wife, mom, and part-time attorney. Here is more about Jessie...

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.


In sunny southern California, Ruby Rose is known for her killer looks and her killer SAT scores. But ever since her dad, an LAPD SWAT sergeant, died six months ago, she’s also got a few killer secrets.

To cope with her father’s death, 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 Mahnolo Blahniks are nothing if not loyal), but after months of therapy and more than a few months of pathetic parenting by her mom, District Attorney Jane Rose, Ruby decides to pick up where her dad left off and starts going after the bad guys herself.

But when Ruby ends up killing a murderer in defense of another, 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 changing 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?


Author Interview with Jessie Humphries

Your YA novel, Killing Ruby Rose, was recently released. What are some of the thoughts and emotions you’ve experienced since its debut?

Since I love bullet points, I’ve got a few for this question ;) 

Some of the things that I experienced leading up to my debut are:
• Nausea
• Ligament pain
• Shortness of breath
• Dizziness
• Insomnia
• Increased appetite
• Decreased appetite
• Irregular libido
• Excessive loud-mouthia
Among other treatable side effects. My treatment consists of scalding hot baths, pick-me-up Coke Zero beverages, and intermittent counseling sessions with friends. 

What inspired you to write Killing Ruby Rose?

I have a secret. Shhh, don’t tell anyone, but this book (about a 17 year old serial killer) is actually a tell-all memoir about myself!

Just kidding. I was inspired by two particular stories:

• DEXTER by Jeff Lindsey (which is a book turned into a hit Showtime TV series, about a sociopathic killer who only kills bad dudes); and
• HEIST SOCIETY by Ally Carter (which is a book about a young girl who is a thief but only steals things for the right reasons). 

I sort of melded these stories together, and voila…Ruby Rose. 

I love that your main character, Ruby Rose, is a spunky teenager in her “peep-toe Penelopes” who isn’t afraid to face the bad guys. In what ways are you the same or different from her?

I think authors are prone to put a little of themselves into their main characters. I think this can be powerful (because we can add a lot of our own personality and voice) but I also think this is dangerous (for too many reasons to count, the least of which is because we don’t always have good judgment when we are analyzing ourselves).

That said I tried really hard to create a distinct identity for Ruby Rose. Of course, much of my own voice and sassiness came in quite strongly throughout, but Ruby’s got issues. She sees the world through her very dark Ruby Rose-colored glasses. When she looks at a group of her peers, she doesn’t see possible friends, she sees potential informants. She’s highly trained, very smart, and isn’t afraid of much. 

Whereas for me, the only fight I’ve been in was in junior high and my best move was hair pulling. Gah! I’m actually a big sissy. I don’t like scary movies, roller coasters, touching fish, or stalking really scary bad dudes. 

You’re a busy mom, how do you balance all the pieces of your life and still find time for writing?

I find the only time of day that I can focus on writing is at the break of dawn. I swear that my kids can hear creative thoughts forming in my head and will then awake to crush them. So I go to Starbucks around 5:30 or 6:00 am.

What are you currently working on?

I’m back and forth between the second book in the series called RESISTING RUBY ROSE (which releases October 28th (which releases October 28th, preorder HERE) and a new book that I call my “French book” because it's set in France. It’s a little bit like ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS and FANGIRL. I hope to finish it this year. 

What bit of advice can you give to aspiring authors?

Shoot for the stars. Who is to say that you can’t be the next Veronica Roth or John Green? Do all the hard work (because there’s a lot) and then believe in yourself. 

Now for a few fun, off-the-cuff questions that have absolutely nothing to do with writing! :)

If you were to create a slogan for your life, what would it be?

Jessie Humphries…B-Word. Book Writer, Blog Stalker, Bar Member (State of Nevada), Baby Maker, and Beach Lover. 

Finish the sentence: Tomorrow I absolutely refuse to...

Do laundry, make dinner, vacuum, iron, or anything else a “good housewife” is supposed to do. 

What one thing (modern convenience) could you not live without?

My car, which takes me to the beach when I need to go.

Name 2 things you consider yourself to be very good at.

1.Beating my husband at golf
2.Dancing like a white girl

Name 2 things you consider yourself to be very bad at.

1.Housewife duties (all of them)
2.Remembering peoples names (gosh, I hate when I do this…makes for a lot of socially awkward conversations)

If you could have been told one thing that you weren’t told when you were a teenager, what would you like to have heard?

“Stay away from Nick, Corey, Seth, and Dominic (last names are omitted for legal reasons). They are going to break your heart.”

Thanks so much, Jessie! It was a pleasure having you on Unicorn Bell. Jessie has graciously offered a copy of Killing Ruby Rose AND an awesome Ruby Rose tee shirt! Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


mshatch said...

T^his sounds like a really fun book and I can definitely to relate to writing strong fearless characters while at the same time being the biggest wimp in the universe. Ok, maybe not THE biggest, but I'm definitely in the club :)

Liz A. said...

Dexter, huh? An interesting influence.