Monday, September 28, 2015

Picture Imperfect by Jelsa Mepsey Interview & Giveaway


Picture Imperfect by Jelsa Mepsey
Publication Date:  Sept 22, 2015
Publisher:  Swoon Romance
Genre:  YA, Contemporary

Sixteen-year-old Max Prescott knows all too well the joys of cheating girlfriends and traitorous friends. He’s not eager to have his heart trampled again, but money and a fresh start can mean the difference between happiness and a dark path with his name on it.

So when Melly Hewson, a perky and enigmatic classmate, asks him to be her model for a year-long photography project, Max agrees. Melly Hewson is everything Max isn’t. She’s outgoing, witty and always knows the right words to say. And despite his best efforts, Max finds himself drawn to her.

Still, he isn’t stupid. He knows a girl like Melly will only use him and then never speak to him again. Besides, he’s been to that rodeo. As long as he keeps his feelings off the market, he won’t make the same mistakes as last time.

Yet underneath Melly’s sweet smiles lies a secret she’d rather kept hidden. And as the year goes on and the photos pile up, Max and Melly will find themselves developing through the negatives, a story that when told could push them to opposite ends of their world. But the only thing worst than the truth is, the facade that surrounds them.


Jelsa Mepsey writes young adult contemporary romance fiction, drawing inspiration from daily life. With her work, she is dedicated to spurring people to think about what they have taken for granted and to shed light on the issues people avoid talking about. As an Asian-American in her 20s, she is excited to explore more of the human experience as she herself journeys through life. Writing, rock climbing 5.12 routes, and playing various instruments have resulted in the formation of many calluses on her hands over the years. When not engaging in her previously mentioned hobbies, Jelsa can be found at her local library with a stack of at least ten books, naming her various pens, or staring at her dog Waffles for inspiration.
Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


1.  When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
There was no defining moment because I’ve always wanted to be one ever since I could remember, even if I didn’t know it. I wrote short stories, including a pop-up book, and also a few editions of a newspaper titled “The Doughnut.” By the time I moved on to writing novels, I barely noticed the transition.
2.  How long does it take you to write a book?
My current shortest record is 11 days, and the longest is about 2 years. It really varies depending on what I’m doing in life and how many problems I encounter while writing the story.
3.  What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I write whenever I can without really having a set schedule. The other day I wrote while standing in line for Chipotle, for example.
4.  What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
It’s a tie between the fact that all my stories are connected in some way or another and how particular I am about my spirals’ colors and what order they go in. (It’s a series of 9 and confuses people).
5.  How do books get published?
Writers either find an agent who finds a company, find a company by themselves without an agent, or go the self-publishing route.
6.  Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Inspiration comes from everywhere, whether it’s the books I read or the thought of fun-house mirrors at a carnival. I research what I need to, but most ideas come from my runaway imagination.
7.  When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I finished writing a book in sixth grade that I refuse to ever publish, so I don’t really count it. However, in eighth grade at the age of 13 I finished writing the first book in an eight-book series. After I rewrite it significantly, I plan to publish it along with the rest of the novels. In between sixth and eighth grade, I wrote a series that spanned 16 spirals about my Pokémon figures.
8.  What do you like to do when you're not writing?
           I rock climb, read, walk Waffles (my dog), and play various musical instruments.
9.  What does your family think of your writing?
That’s something you’ll have to ask them.
10.             What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I’m a very logical person who likes to plan things out, so I was surprised by how “pantsing,” as some people like to call it, works out so well for me. I don’t plan out too much as I write in order to let the characters tell me their stories, rather than me overly dictate theirs.
11.             How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I have about 40 rough drafts, most of which are extremely rough and not ready for the public eye yet. PICTURE IMPERFECT isn’t my favorite just because it’s getting published first. Max is the character who helped me truly find my voice, and that transition is absolutely memorable and tied to this novel.
12.             Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
The best thing that has ever happened to me is getting feedback from other writers. PICTURE IMPERFECT would still be sitting in a document on my laptop without all the help and support I received.
13.             Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
The most recurring comment is people asking me for a sequel. Said sequel may be coming sooner or later.
14.             Do you like to create books for adults?
Everything I’ve written so far is targeted towards young adults, but I may write a book about Max’s dad that would target an adult audience.
15.             What do you think makes a good story?
To me, a good story is one that makes me think, whether it’s about why we exist, how we define our standards of beauty, or controversial material that makes me examine my stances on issues. A good story doesn’t end with the last page.
16.             As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Nothing specific. All I knew was that I wanted to use my life to help people.
17.             What would you like my readers to know?

Thank you so much for your time! An author is nothing without readers, so you’re awesome! Keep loving life and reading books.

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Giveaway Information:  Contest ends October 16, 2015

·         One (1) winner will receive a digital copy of Picture Imperfect by Jelsa Mepsey, and a $10 Amazon GC (INT)