Yes, you read this right. I present to your attention another interview with a wonderful author, whose book comes out in 2015. The book, which I’ve been waiting for a very long time. The book I’m not going to wait that long again, because it goes through the month. Book with beautiful, charming and ironic title MY HEART AND OTHER BLACK HOLES.
You’ll understand when you look at this summary.
Sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. With a mother who can barely look at her without wincing, classmates who whisper behind her back, and a father whose violent crime rocked her small town, Aysel is ready to turn her potential energy into nothingness.
There’s only one problem: she’s not sure she has the courage to do it alone. But once she discovers a website with a section called Suicide Partners, Aysel’s convinced she’s found her solution: a teen boy with the username FrozenRobot (aka Roman) who’s haunted by a family tragedy is looking for a partner.
Even though Aysel and Roman have nothing in common, they slowly start to fill in each other’s broken lives. But as their suicide pact becomes more concrete, Aysel begins to question whether she really wants to go through with it. Ultimately, she must choose between wanting to die or trying to convince Roman to live so they can discover the potential of their energy together. Except that Roman may not be so easy to convince.
And look at this cover.
Hahaha, I was joking. This is not the final cover. I attach the final now and it is much more wonderful.
Finally, you can enjoy this interview.
1) Were there any funny stories while you worked on My Heart & Other Black Holes? Or maybe, at that time, the book had a different name, which now makes you smile?
Sadly, I can’t think of many funny stories surrounding the writing process for MY HEART AND OTHER BLACK HOLES. It was written during a pretty dark period in my life–I was grieving the loss of a very close friend–and so I wasn’t in a very jovial mood. That said, the original title of the manuscript was much more emo-tastic and dramatic–THE HEAVINESS OF EMPTINESS–and I smile when I think about how I came up with the new title. I was sitting in my writing study, talking to my husband about how I was totally freaked out that I’d actually finished the book and that the only thing left to do was change the title because I wasn’t sure the original one was a very good fit for the overall tone of the book. I didn’t like that I was pretty sure my main character, Aysel, would hate the original title, citing that it was too dramatic and trying too hard to be literary and mysterious. So we brainstormed some ideas and jokingly I said: Aysel thinks she has a black hole of a heart, maybe I should just call it MY HEART AND OTHER BLACK HOLES, and instantly we both sort of smiled and knew that would be the title.
2) What inspired you to write My Heart?
I mentioned above the loss of my close friend and working on this book was a big part of my grieving process. People grieve in different ways and for me, creating something, writing this story, was, in part, my way of grappling with those feelings of loss. I also think that for a while I’d had this story trapped inside me. I’d wanted to write an honest story about the demon of depression, exploring the way it can distort the sufferer’s reality. Most of all, I wanted to write a book that honored the importance of friendship and love (in all forms, self, family, friendship, romantic), and advocated for empathy and understanding.
3) Can you share your most favorite quote from your book? (If it’s too spoilery, then your favorite quote from another book).
Oh, I don’t know if I have a favorite quote from my own book. It feels weird for me to choose one, so I’ll choose another quote that I absolutely love and will always love because my husband knew how much I loved this particular quote and used it when he proposed to me: “Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering.”– The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. I had that quote hanging in my college dorm room.
4) How long did it take you to write your novel? What was easier to write: the beginning or the ending?
About four months of frenzied writing and then another month of intense editing. The ending was definitely the hardest part for me. I always find endings to be difficult, as both a reader and a writer.
5) What are your favorite books?
So many and too many to list, but I’ve named a few below in no particular order:
1. Weetzie Bat, Francesca Lia Block
2. Ariel, Sylvia Plath
3. The Sky is Everywhere, Jandy Nelson
4. Diving into the Wreck, Adrienne Rich
5. The Blind Assassin, Margaret Atwood
6. The Professor’s Daughter, Emily Raboteau
And so, so, so many more!
6) If you could, would you write a letter to Aysel and Roman? If the answer is yes, what would be the main theme of the letter?
I don’t know. This is sort of a difficult question to answer without spoiling the book, but I think I would just encourage Aysel to learn hard into self-love and self-acceptance and know that life is going to be full of ups and downs, but to trust in her ability to ride it out.
Thank you, Jasmine. I’m very flattered by the fact that I took an interview with you. You are an amazing person.
And I sincerely advise everyone to run to the nearest bookstore exactly one month later and buy this wonderful book written by Jasmine.