Get to Know Jacquelyn Mitchard
Welcome to Get to Know [Author], an interview series in which I ask questions that help us get to know the person behind the book. This week I’m featuring Jacquelyn Mitchard, the author of What We Saw at Night! To learn more about the book, check out my review! If you’re looking for a quick rundown, What We Saw at Night is about about three teens with XP, their new (somewhat dangerous) hobby, and a murder.
Planner or pantser? Planner. Every word.
Ideal vacation spot? Fiji.
Favorite place to write? My bed
Current jam? Sweeter, by Gavin DeGraw
Current read? Tighter, by Adele Griffith, The Other Woman’s House by Sophie Hannah
Three fun facts about yourself?
I have nine kids, the youngest of whom is seven. If I could scuba dive every day, I would. I make the best eggplant parmigiana on the planet. Really. Better than any restaurant. Except for makeup and shoes (and shoes is negotiable) I absolutely hate buying new instead of used.
WHAT WE SAW AT NIGHT revolves around three young people with XP. What got you interested in this disease?
I was interested in the dynamic of people who live their lives at night. People act differently at night than they do during the day, in some pretty profound ways. As a writer, the next thing is always to push your idea. So I thought, what if that wasn’t by choice? What if it wasn’t because of a job? What if there was no other way? What would you see if not only you acted differently because you lived at night, but so did the people you saw?
What was the most interesting thing you learned while writing about it?
How chillingly, hideously ordinary serial murderers usually are.
Allie thinks she witnesses a murder while doing Parkour at night. If you witnessed something similar, what would you do?
I guess it’s different for Allie. For her, it’s what would you do if you were a teenager who could get pulled out of her world and lose her best friends if she says anything? She does try, and it backfires horribly. Me? Listen, a guy who worked at the church down the road cruised my daughter, who’s 14, trying to talk to her while she was walking the dog. He did this, like, three times, and he made her feel creepy. This guy was in his twenties. He worked for the priest, and I told the guy it would be better for his future to never speak to my daughter again, and when he objected, I said that if he wanted to hear this from her three big brothers, he could. THE PRIEST came down to my house and said the guy was only trying to be friendly, but I wouldn’t back down. I’m the person who really believes if you see something, say something.
Bonus question: Can you do Parkour? :)
I’m much better at dancing in toe shoes.