Happy New Week! First of all, let's have a little contest. No…two…No THREE!

My newsletter goes out this Wednesday. Are you on the list of my favorite people to get it delivered to your Inbox? If not go to THIS PAGE on my website and scroll down for the sign-up. OR just sign up in the handy sidebar on the right. Details for the contest will be revealed in this week's newsletter. And the prize? A shoutout to you in the acknowledgments of my next book, Save the Date. A reader emailed me last week and said, “I know you probably won't have time to email me back, so dedicate a book to me.” Well, here's the closest thing.

Contest Numero Dos is for a copy So Over My Head. If you stop by author Lena Nelson Dooley's blog, you can join Lena and I as we discuss the book and also get your name in the drawing for a free copy of the book. Click HERE for that.

Finally, you're gonna love giveaway number three– Cindy Martinusen Coloma's Caleb+Kate. My students are gonna be so jealous I'm giving it to you guys instead of saving it for them.

Today I'm excited to hang out with fellow YA author Cindy Martinusen Coloma, author of books like her newest release Caleb+Kate.

J: Hey, Cindy! Tell us about Caleb+Kate.

C: It’s a YA contemporary love story with ties to the Romeo and Juliet story. On the surface, Caleb and Kate’s lives are very different (he’s from a different culture and she lives in a very affluent world), and their family rivalries mean that they shouldn’t be together. Caleb has high expectations for love, and Kate doesn’t really believe true love exists. Despite it all, they experience a soulful connection that neither can ignore. Their faith in God makes them wonder about things beyond their own lives as well.

J: And I'm happy to report nobody drinks poison or stabs herself. What’s your favorite thing about the character of Kate?

C: I love that though she lives in an environment filled with materialism and a superficial focus, she’s quick to go deeper and seek larger thoughts and truths. She’s restless in her life at the beginning of the book, trying to find something more, though she doesn’t quite know what that more is. I think the openness to seek beyond one’s own self with honesty is a very good trait.

J:  Teen readers will be all about Caleb. Tell our girls alll about him. (I loved his relationship with his dad, btw)

C: I loved Caleb with his dad too! Caleb is a definitely that rare type of guy that girls love. His mother’s death shaped him in profound way – in many ways, it made him more determined to try to get things right. Though he isn’t perfect, he’s very loyal, caring to his family, and he won’t compromise what he believes or what he expects out of life. He’s not the typical guy, but there are guys in the real world like him.

J: Yes, and some of them are even fang-free! So what is the theme of the book?

C: The theme revolves around love, whether true love is real, and if so, how does it stay strong. We all want it to be true – the fairy tale love, the Romeo and Juliet, Edward and Bella kind of love. But what makes that kind of love exist and how can it remain in real life?

J: Very interesting. I like how in this book true love happens to some teenagers because we all know, as writers, we tend to stay away from that.  Okay, so you’re stranded on a desert island and can only take one fiction book. What is it? (For the record, I wouldn't let her take the easy route and pick her Bible.)

C: Yikes, that’s a toughie! I’m terrible about choosing favorites like that. My favorite book is Voyage of the Dawn Treader (C.S. Lewis), but on a deserted island, I’d want the book to be thick, so I’d have plenty to reread, yet something with survival tips might be helpful. Robinson Crusoe or The Odyssey perhaps? Which means, I have no idea what one fiction book I’d pick. I think my house has more books than clothing.

J: If your iPod was stuck on replay all day long, what song would you pick and why?

C: Again, bad at choosing. So today, I’ll say Dancing Nancies by The Dave Matthews Band, but my playlist usually matches either my mood or what I’m writing. That includes varieties like Owl City, Pearl Jam, Cold Play, Keane classical music, international music, Tom Petty, movie soundtracks, etc.

J: I have yet to get on the Owl City bus, but I love movie soundtracks. So tell us what you like as a teen? Any embarrassing moments you’d like to share?

C: I was pretty unanchored as a teen. I struggled with self-esteem issues and wanting to be like everyone else, but I also wanted to be unique/special and to find my way. It was NOT pretty combination.

J: We call this normal where I'm from. ; )

C: I can think of LOTS of embarrassing moments! But one time, I was running through the rain, wearing a long coat and up a grassy hill. My shoes slipped at the top of the hill, and I flew up, landed on my back and my coat was like a sled sending me down the hill upside down. Thankfully, there weren’t that many people around, and I am pretty good at laughing at myself, but that one was embarrassing!

J: That's awesome! I did the same thing at college once when I encountered some wet leaves and a hill. Bad combo. What do you like about writing YA?

C: The teen and college years are such an intense time as people make the huge transition from being a child to becoming independent people. It’s this heightening of everything in life that hits in dramatic spurts. Love can strike like a lightening bolt and disappear just as quickly, friendships turn on a dime, strength and weakness run on dual cylinders. I love exploring these through my characters, and seeing where the story takes them.

J: You just got a ticket to the Oprah Winfrey show. Who are the guests?

C: I should say Maya Angelou or Nelson Mandela, and I’m a little embarrassed to admit it, being a wise, adult female and all (yeah right), but I’d love to see Stephenie Meyers and the cast of Twilight (Team Rob). Please don’t share that with too many people.

J: I would never tell a soul. If you could have dinner with three famous people, who would they be?

C: Harper Lee (author of To Kill a Mockingbird and she rarely gives interviews), Diane Sawyer (she’d be a wealth of great stories), and probably Clint Eastwood or another film director that I like. (My secret answer — Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp would be there too, but my husband probably wouldn’t want me to go to dinner with them, so….)

J: I LOVE Diane Sawyer. Is there any classier gal? Who is one person from history you’d like to meet?

C: C.S. Lewis – I’d ask him to tell me a story.

J: If you could go back in time and talk to your teen self, what advice would you give? (I would tell myself to back away from the Maybelline blue/pink eye shadow.)

C: First, I’d tell myself that permed, big 80s hair will not be in style forever. Mostly, I’d tell myself to get grounded in my faith and who God made me to be, instead of bouncing around on emotion, crushes or reaction to whatever I felt in the moment. I’d also tell myself to invest my wages from Burger King into Microsoft.

J: Oh, great advice. If we'd only known… So what wise words do you have for those wanting to become a writer like you?

C: It’s great to have natural talent, but I’ve met many talented writers who will never get anywhere. Perseverance and hard work are much more important than talent. If someone has a passion and calling to become a writer, then nothing will stop them, except themselves. Also, every writer should continue to learn and grow, no matter how successful – keep getting better.

J: Least favorite food?

C: Not a fan of processed or fast foods. I love organic, healthy stuff as well as a healthy serving of ice cream and chocolate.

J: Finally, what's your favorite scene in the book?

The sea cave – and I’ll leave it at that!

J: They have to check that scene out, for sure. Thanks so much for stopping by, Cindy. Y'all want to grab up Caleb+Kate before Oprah's people discover it, so you can be cool and ahead of the trend.

C: Thanks for having me!! I hope everyone loves Caleb+Kate as much as I loved writing it. Happy summer reading!

Okay, to win Cindy's book (who can resist that cute cover?), just leave a comment on today's post and answer the following question: If Cindy were stranded on this same desert island with just a DVD player and ONE DVD (and, um, a really long, water-proof extension cord), what movie should she take?  You have until Thursday, July 15th, 8pm cst to leave your answer. Winner will be announced on Monday's blog.

Also don't forget to make sure you're signed up for the newsletter. Said to rival the New York Times*, the newsletter goes out Wednesday with special insider info on So Over My Head and Save the Date that's only for subscribers. (*By my mother. But still…)

See you next Monday!

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 41 comments
brenda - July 11, 2010

It’s not Monday yet silly!

Em - July 11, 2010

Oh, I would recommend the Count of Monte Cristo with Jim Caviziel (I think that’s how you spell it!). I can watch it again and again…

Kristin - July 11, 2010

I just read her book “Ruby Unscripted” a few months ago and really enjoyed it. 🙂

If Cindy were stranded on the desert island with only one DVD, it should definitely be “Pride and Prejudice” (the 2005 version). It offers endless posibilites of laughter (Mrs. Bennet and Mr. Collins), tears (the end Mr. Bennet and Lizzie scene), angry fist-shaking (Lady Catherine) and swooning (Mr. Darcy!). It has the most gorgeous music and scenery. Not to mention it’s pretty much the best movie of all time. 🙂


Amy - July 11, 2010

I think she needs CASTAWAY so she can get some survival tips. Or the first season of GLEE for laughs and music. Do I have to pick just one?

If it was a book (besides the Bible), it would have to be JUST BETWEEN YOU AND ME. But that’s not what you asked, did you?

Marta Pereira - July 11, 2010

That’s not an easy question.
A WALK TO REMEMBER, it’s a great movie.

Alli - July 11, 2010

Oh, someone took mine and put it into perfect words, (Kristan) I also believe that she should take Pride and Prejudice. I find that it inspires me when I have nothing to write about. The romance between Darcy and Lizzie is enough to make anyone forget about the world around them; even on a deserted island where your chances of living are probably not the greatest.
If she’s not much for the classic’s (what kind of author wouldn’t be?) I would suggest the Princess Bride. It’s full of laugh’s and daring escapes, and very useful if she may need to sword fight any time on the island 😀

Jae - July 11, 2010

Yeah, I also read Ruby Unscripted and I’m looking forward to the next one 🙂
Oh, only one? How about………………………….
the newish version of the Titanic, just because it’s like, the longest movie ever made.

Cassidy - July 11, 2010

I’d say We Are Marshall. That movie is amazing. It has awesome music that fits the feeling. I love it. Yep. She needs to take that movie = ) That book sounds pretty interesting. I’d love to have it! Enter me in the drawing please = )

Leigh Moore - July 12, 2010

Hey! Don’t enter me in the contest as I already have the book-! Just wanted to say thanks for a great interview! Caleb + Kate is a fun, romantic read and I really liked it. I also appreciated Cindy’s advice to aspiring novelists about hard work & perseverance being so important. I’m in that boat, and it isn’t easy… good stuff~ :o) LTM

My vote’s w/Kristin–that BBC P&P would be a great choice… ;p

Ken - July 12, 2010

I would have to say The Last Song, it was a very good movie, I thought it would be a typical Disney movie because Miley was acting in it, but it turned out to be a wonderful movie

Alison - July 12, 2010

Oh, very nice interview ! I haven’t picked up her book yet, but I think I’m going to love Cabel 😀 ! Haha.

If she was going to take a movie with her, I would recommend Valentine’s Day. It’s about all different kinds of love from different people. It was funny and sweet and overall a really awesome movie !

Alison - July 12, 2010

^ Whoops my bad, I accidently spelled Caleb wrong. Ignore my misspellings XD

Christiana - July 12, 2010

Ah, for a desert island movie, I’d have to suggest the one movie that has it all — The Princess Bride. Classic romance between two star-crossed lovers (sounding not unlike Caleb + Kate), a giant, a sword-slinging Spaniard, a six-fingered man, a washed-up miracle worker and his wife, and a clergyman with the most distinct lisp in movie history, “Mawage, Mawage is whot bwings us togewer today…”

Romance, hijinks, and hilarity. What more could you ask for in a film?

Bethany Ellis - July 12, 2010

Caleb+Kate sounds like a very sweet story 🙂 Let’s see… I’d have to say Enchanted. 🙂

ashley - July 12, 2010

ALSO visit!!!!

And she should take the movie Anchorman. the one liners in that movie are outstanding.

laura kirk - July 12, 2010

I am so excited about Caleb+Kate. I think it is a fabulous book for teens, and, like you said, you wish you had not depended on emotions or reactions to what you felt as a teen. I think this book will help along teens in applying that advice. I think she would want the DVD movie Robinson Crusoe on that desert island. Happy reading everyone! 🙂

karenk - July 12, 2010

how about ‘the sound of music’ 🙂

carla - July 12, 2010

Well, I think Kristin picked my all time DVD pick while Em got another good one.
For my suggestion, I noticed Cindy would like dinner with Johnny Depp in the interview. She could have wonderful mashed potatoes and grilled cheese sandwiches everyday with Johnny if she took “Benny and Joon.” She’ll also have Aidan Quinn to keep her company!

Erin McFarland - July 13, 2010

Great interview! Movie pick: Dan in Real Life. Steve Carell at his best (IMHO)
I think I got a little spoiled with three Jenny posts a week throughout the school year… i’m sorta going through withdraws with this once a week business!! I can’t really talk though, my blog is lucky if it gets updated once a week 😉

Laura G. - July 13, 2010

Anne of Green Gables. I can never get sick of that movie – so sweet!

Tammy - July 13, 2010

She should def take Avatar!!! That’s like one of my fav movies!
And it’s pretty long so that’s a plus 🙂

Crystal Mazzuca - July 13, 2010

It’s got to be the 5 hour BBC Pride and Prejudice. You could never get tired of seeing Colin Firth coming out of the water 😉

Katy - July 13, 2010

That sounds like a really good book! I would have to choose The Little Princess with Shirley Temple in it. I love Shirley Temple!

macy - July 13, 2010

That is such a hard choice but i am going to say Remember the Titans because it would make her feel encouraged while she is on the deserted island. It is a great movie that i could watch over and over and over again.

Sandy H - July 13, 2010

The Sound of Music! She’s going to need something LONG to entertain her while she is figuring out a way to get off the island. It’s entertaining, romantic, has great musical classics, includes historical elements and based on a true story, makes it a perfect movie to take along!

Alana - July 14, 2010

Wow…those are some great movies! Anne of Green Gables, Pride & Prejudice, The Sound of Music, hurrah! One movie that I watch over and over is You’ve Got Mail….I just love the chemistry between Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks,…and it is set in one of my favorite places, a bookstore!

Kim - July 14, 2010

The Princess Bride – it has everything you could every need – romance, comedy, action, miracles, heroes, bad guys, poison, rhymes, etc. Hands down best movie ever.

Great interview. Love that she’s a Twilight fan.

Merry - July 14, 2010

Fun interview. The movie I’d suggest is the newer Northanger Abby, it’s dramatic, romantic and fanciful.

Jenny B Jones - July 14, 2010

Great suggestions, guys. I love SO many of these movies. You’ve Got Mail is such a classic. Princess Bride! P&P! Sounds of Music (or ANYTHING with Julie Andrews)! Anne of Green Gables! (Anyone watching Regis and Kelly this week? They’re on PEI.) And Anchorman…one ridiculously funny quote after another.

Mary H - July 14, 2010

Cindy’s a great writer. I’d love to win her books.

Leah - July 14, 2010

She should take Pirates of the Carribbean. Why? Because it has just about everything- its funny, has lots of action, and it has romance! 🙂

Molly L. - July 14, 2010

You know what she should bring…Sixteen Candles. I bet it would be kind of stressful, being stranded on an island and all. What’s better than a cheesy Molly Ringwald movie to cheer you up? I also bet you could incorporate some of her high school issues into survival tactics. Who sounds great and loved the interview!

Megan - July 14, 2010

I would have to say the old version of Annie… Or Gilligans Island… Though I would personally take Gilligans Island… The classics are the best of course!!!

Maria - July 14, 2010

I think that Cindy would take a movie from the Chronicals of Narnia…. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe maybe?

Melena - July 15, 2010

Beauty and the Beast! My all-time favorite Disney cartoon! : )

Hannah Lane - July 15, 2010

She should take Gone With the Wind. I can watch that ridiculously long movie almost any hour of any day and still love every second.

Emily Sto - July 16, 2010

Definately Spiderman, Star Wars, or something equally nerdish!!! WOOO!!!

Tammy - July 17, 2010

Hey Jenny please take me out of the running for Caleb and Kate I just bought the book 🙂

Demi - July 21, 2010

Ohhhhh…that’s hard!
Probably My Big Fat Greek Wedding or Return to Me…i love any movies with abnormally loud families. It makes me feel right at home.
Agh! Since I can only chooose one…mmmm…I’d hafta say My Big Fat Greek Wedding!

Jane Squires - July 26, 2010

I hate blogs because it always takes so many attempts to get your response to go through unless you have high speed dial up which I don’t.
My favorite classic movie is “Wonder Woman”. The woman who played Wonder Woman is a Christian and my daughter when she was little loved that show. She had pjs, swimsuit, shoes, everything. She’ll be 30 in Nov. and expecting my first grandchild. I bought her that movie as a memory.
I love Cara’s books. Please enter me to win

ugg classicol - August 2, 2010

Ugh, I liked! So clear and positively.
Have a nice day


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