Wednesday, February 8, 2017

YA Guy Welcomes... Jennifer Bardsley, author of DAMAGED GOODS!

YA Guy is thrilled to welcome my good friend, Jennifer Bardsley, to the blog! DAMAGED GOODS, the second book in her YA science fiction series, has just been released, and Jennifer was kind enough to stop by and answer some questions.

YA Guy: Hi, Jennifer, and welcome to the blog! Can you tell us about DAMAGED GOODS and the Blank Slate series?

Jennifer Bardsley: Thank you so much for having me on The YA Guy! I always joke that it's like we are Internet married because my Facebook page is called The YA Gal. (And side note, you were really cool about me ripping off your idea on that one.) I'm so happy to be chatting with you today because you and I both write Sci-Fi and speculative fiction, which are my favorite types of books to read.

My newest book is called DAMAGED GOODS, and is the sequel to GENESIS GIRL which came out last year. They are about a teenager named Blanca who has never been on the Internet. Her lack of a digital footprint makes her so valuable that she gets auctioned off the highest bidder. In GENESIS GIRL readers find out why Blanca was shielded from the Internet her entire childhood and how that impacted her life. In DAMAGED GOODS Blanca struggles to move past her sheltered upbringing and doles out justice to bad guys from her past.

YAG: Sounds awesome! Have you always liked sci-fi? If so, what are some of your favorite stories (books, movies, or both), and why are you into them?

JB: I have always loved Sci-Fi because it's the ultimate escape. In high school Ray Bradbury and Kurt Vonnegut were two of my favorite authors and I watched all of the "Star Trek Next Generation" episodes on repeat, These days, if I turn on one episode of "Battlestar Galatica" I will spend the next forty eight hours binge-watching and morph into that couple from "Portlandia" who are the biggest "Battlestar Galatica" fans ever.

YAG: Cool! Now what about the other half of the equation--the Young Adult half. What appeals to you about YA?

JB: As an adult reader, I love young adult fiction because it's the chance to revisit high school and have fun. When I was in high school, I was so focused on grades and getting into a good college that I never went to a wild party or got caught in an epic love triangle. But I also enjoy YA because they so often include stories of teens taking control of their own lives and forging their own paths.

YAG: You've got a great agent (as I know, since she's mine as well) and have built a great platform for yourself and your books. Any tips for beginning writers about how to achieve success?

JB: My biggest tip for writers would be to not give up. This industry is challenging on so many levels, but there are multiple ways to achieve success. My second tip would be to put your manuscript away for three months and then come back to it with new eyes. I'm a big believer in revision. I never give anything to my agent unless I've revised it twenty-two times, and that includes incorporating feedback from multiple beta readers.

YAG: Excellent advice! Last question: tell us something funny or unusual about yourself that few people know!

JB: People who already follow me on social media already know that I have a poodle named Merlin, but what they don't know is that Merlin has a fetish for old ladies. We think Merlin must have been owned by an elderly woman who died before he went to the shelter that we adopted him from. Merlin is a sweet dog to begin with and friendly with everyone, but when he sees a woman of a certain age, he becomes ecstatic. My kids and I joke that Merlin's dream vacation would be a week at a retirement home.

YAG: Okay, not even your internet husband YA Guy knew that story! Readers, if you want to learn more about Jennifer and her books, here's where to go:

Jennifer Bardsley writes the column “I Brake for Moms” for The Everett Daily Herald. Her novel Genesis Girl debuted in 2016 from Month9Books, with the sequel, Damaged Goods, releasing in 2017. Genesis Girl is about a teenager who has never been on the Internet. Jennifer, however, is on the web all the time as “The YA Gal” with over 21,000 followers on Facebook, 19,500 followers on Instagram, and 9,000 followers on Twitter. On Facebook, she hosts the weekly instant book club called #TakeALookTuesday where YA Gal friends geek out, share pictures of what they are reading, and chat about books. Jennifer is a member of SCBWI, The Sweet Sixteens debut author group, and is founder of Sixteen To Read. An alumna of Stanford University, Jennifer lives near Seattle, WA where she enjoys spending time with her family and her poodle, Merlin.

Title: DAMAGED GOODS (Blank Slate #2)
Author: Jennifer Bardsley
Pub. Date: January 17, 2017
Publisher: Month9Books
Format: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook
Pages: 300
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | TBD

Blanca has everything she ever wanted, a hot boyfriend named Seth and the loving support of her foster father, Cal. She’s finally escaped the abusive control of her birth father, Barbelo Nemo, and her tortured childhood at Tabula Rasa School.

But the scars of Blanca’s Vestal upbringing run deep, especially when the FBI starts asking questions. Blanca feels abandoned by Seth who is hunting for Lilith, Blanca’s only blood relative. The Defectos, a support group of Vestal-Rejects, offer Blanca comfort instead.

While the Vestal order crumbles, Chinese rivals called the Guardians rise to power and wrest control of important Tabula Rasa contacts. Now Blanca’s life is in peril once more, and this time, Blanca struggles to recognize friend from foe.

Title: GENESIS  GIRL (Blank Slate #1)
Author: Jennifer Bardsley
Pub. Date: June 14, 2016
Publisher: Month9Books
Format: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook
Pages: 280

Eighteen-year-old Blanca has lived a sheltered life. Her entire childhood has been spent at Tabula Rasa School where she’s been protected from the Internet. 

Blanca has never been online and doesn’t even know how to text. Her lack of a virtual footprint makes her extremely valuable, and upon graduation, Blanca and those like her are sold to the highest bidders.

Blanca is purchased by Cal McNeal, who uses her to achieve personal gain. But the McNeals are soon horrified by just how obedient and non-defiant Blanca is. All those mind-numbing years locked away from society have made her mind almost impenetrable. 

By the time Blanca is ready to think for herself, she is trapped. Her only chance of escape is to go online.

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