Today we are very excited to share an interview with author Ann Jacobus!
Read on to learn more about the author, the book, and a giveaway!
Meet the Author: Ann Jacobus
Ann Jacobus is the author of young adult novels THE COLDEST WINTER I EVER SPENT, and ROMANCING THE DARK IN THE CITY OF LIGHT. She has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, teaches novel writing at Stanford Continuing Studies, and is a former suicide crisis line counselor and a mental health advocate. She learned to tap dance at an early age and wanted to be a theater director until she realized she could produce, direct, cast, and act in any story she wanted by writing fiction.
About the Book: The Coldest Winter I Ever Spent
18-year-old Delilah is in a healthier place than she was a year and a half ago: She’s sober, getting treatment for her depression and anxiety, and volunteering at a suicide-prevention hotline. Her own suicide attempt is in the past, and living in San Francisco with her beloved aunt and working at her art gallery has helped Del see a future for herself.
But when Aunt Fran is diagnosed with terminal cancer, Del’s equilibrium is shattered. She’s dedicated herself to saving every life she can, but she can’t save Fran. All she can do is help care for her aunt and try to prepare herself for the inevitable—while also dealing with an old crush, her looming first semester at college, and her shifts at the crisis line.
After Aunt Fran asks for her help with a mind-boggling final request, Del must confront her own demons and rethink everything she thought she knew about life and death.
. YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
The core of this story came from taking care of my mom who had terminal cancer similar to the one Aunt Fran has in the story. It was hard and even though I’m an adult, I felt like a kid. Also, I wanted to write about a character who was suicidal once, and is doing well, until…life happens.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
The novel. This is about the third title we used. Problem Child was a working title, and we submitted with the title, The Edge of Night.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?
I now have an idea of how many more drafts I still need to go through after I’ve already done a bunch of drafts and I think a novel’s “finished.” Many! This book went through at least twenty-five.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
The “cool” (blue-ish) colors. I like to wear these colors. J I also like the view of the Golden Gate Bridge and the collage-like font/title, as the main character Del loves collaging.
YABC: What was a favorite book in 2023?
I Am Not Alone by Francisco Stork. It’s a YA novel about an undocumented young man who suffers from bipolar disorder and begins having auditory hallucinations and is preyed upon and helped by different people.
YABC: Who is your favorite character?
Aunt Fran. She has such a big heart. I love Delilah, too, and feel protective of her, but she can be a little exasperating.
YABC: Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?
There’s a scene when main character Delilah contemplates (albeit somewhat dispassionately) suicide again after having recovered from earlier suicidality. It was hard to push her there, but she had to think about it intellectually and come to a conscious understanding of why she must fight it in herself—as well as help others.
YABC: Which character gave you the most trouble when writing your latest book?
The main character, Delilah. Her mental health, while improving, is still shaky and I had to keep pushing her harder than she could handle. Writers are meant to make things very difficult for our main characters because pressure reveals who a character really is, and it’s the only way they’ll change and grow. But Del has more to deal with than any 18-year-old should!
YABC: What’s up next for you?
I’m working on a thriller ghost story called Closer Than They Appear. It’s set in Arkansas and is about a young woman who is increasingly bothered by the spirit of a girl who died mysteriously in a nearby lake, pushing the main character to develop her psychic medium skills, help the girl, and save herself.
YABC: Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
Yes, any suicide prevention organization. Fortunately, there are many.
YABC: Is there anything that you would like to add?
Thanks for featuring The Coldest Winter I Ever Spent and running such an awesome YA and younger reader book site.
Title: The Coldest Winter I Ever Spent
Author: Ann Jacobus
Release Date: March 7, 2023
Publisher: Carolrhoda Lab/Lerner Publishing Group
Genre: YA Contemporary
Age Range: 14+
Three (3) winners will receive a signed hardback copy of The Coldest Winter I Ever Spent, a bookmark, and Ghiradelli chocolate (Ann Jacobus) ~ US ONLY
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway!*