Today we're excited to chat with J. Anderson Coats, author
of The Many Reflections of Miss Jane Deming!
Below you'll find more about J. Anderson,
her book, plus a giveaway!
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
J. ANDERSON COATS: The book definitely came first. I find titles notoriously difficult, and this one came about the way most of my titles do - writing lists of words until something good emerges from the junk. Somehow my titles end up long and Twitter-unfriendly. Not sure why. :)
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
J. ANDERSON COATS: When I was just starting out, I learned this from Elizabeth Bear, a fantasy writer I admire very much: “Learn to write this book.” There’s no one way to write a book, and every book is going to need something different. Be openminded and let the needs of each book guide how you write it. Very often your backbrain will surprise you with the answer you need without you having to think it up. Think of everything you learn as tools in a toolbox - you might not need them all for the book you’re working on, but you’ll be glad to have them for future books.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
J. ANDERSON COATS: I love Jane's dancing braids and the way the artist captured her energy and curiosity. My favorite part (oddly) may be the sky - how it reflects the many moods of the Pacific northwest.
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2016?
J. ANDSERON COATS: Since 2016 is more or less behind us, let me share two of my favorites that came out this year. I really enjoyed Jessica Spotswood’s WILD SWANS - Ivy tries so hard to be true to herself even when she’s under so much pressure. It’s very relatable. CLOUD AND WALLFISH by Anne Nesbet is a delightful middle-grade historical set during the Cold War with an authentic voice and a creative, intriguing structure.
YABC: What was your favorite book in 2015?
J. ANDERSON COATS: I absolutely loved Dietland by Sarai Walker. Who wouldn’t love a subversive, compelling book about an all-female terrorist group called “Jennifer” who takes aim at abusive men, wrapped up in a keen satire about the destructive nature of beauty myths?
YABC: What’s up next for you?
J. ANDERSON COATS: My next book is a middle-grade coming out in early 2018, also from Atheneum, called R is for Rebel. It’s set in a fictional occupied country, and it’s about the daughter of known subversives who is sent away to be reeducated and must walk the line between resistance and survival.
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
J. ANDERSON COATS: Revising. Definitely. Creating something out of nothing is exhausting, but transforming something flawed and misshapen and lumbering into something sharp and lovely feels infinitely more doable.
YABC: Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
J. ANDERSON COATS: The defense of intellectual freedom and the fight against censorship. Ignorance is at the heart of so many of the issues we face, and dismantling it with the free exchange of ideas and the continued diversification of voices and points of view is our best shot at a world that recognizes each of us as fully human.
J. Anderson Coats is the author of The Wicked and the Just, one of Kirkus’s Best Teen Books of 2012, a 2013 YALSA Best for Young Adults (BFYA) winner, and a School Library Journal Best Books of 2012 selection. It also won the 2013 Washington State Book Award for Young Adults. Her newest book, The Many Reflections of Miss Jane Deming (Atheneum/Simon & Schuster, 2017), is set in Washington Territory in the
1860s. R is for Rebel, a historical fantasy for middle-grade readers, is forthcoming in 2018.
Meet The Many Reflections of Jane Deming!
High-spirited young Jane is excited to be part of Mr. Mercer’s plan to bring Civil War widows and orphans to Washington Territory—but life out west isn’t at all what she expected.
Washington Territory is just the place for men of broad mind and sturdy constitution—and girls too, Jane figures, or Mr. Mercer wouldn’t have allowed her to come on his expedition to bring unmarried girls and Civil War widows out west.
Jane’s constitution is sturdy enough. She’s been taking care of her baby brother ever since Papa was killed in the war and her young stepmother had to start working long days at the mill. The problem, she fears, is her mind. It might not be suitably broad because she had to leave school to take care of little Jer. Still, a new life awaits in Washington Territory, and Jane plans to make the best of it...
Thr Many Reflections of Jane Deming
By: J. Anderson Coats
Release Date: February 27, 2017