Skip to content

M. Ann Jacoby: Author Interview & book giveaway

October 29, 2008

Ms. Jacoby’s debut novel, Life After Genius, goes on sale today. Here is my interview with her.

TPP: When and why did you begin writing?
MAJ: I took the occasional writing class here and there but was in my mid-thirties when the writing bug took hold. Although I design book covers for a living, it is a design-by-committee atmosphere and I needed something that allowed for a more individual expression.

TPP: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
MAJ: I think you’re a writer as soon as you sit down and put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard. I did not, however, consider myself an author until someone actually paid me for my writing.

TPP: What inspired you to write your first book?
MAJ: My first “novel” was based on a personal failed relationship. It was half-writing, half-therapy. But the story was too narrow to hold anyone’s interest but my own. So I looked to other stories in the family that interested me. Since they weren’t my story, it was easier to fictionalize them and give them a broader appeal. I always loved that my grandfather was an undertaker and my dad was this kid genius. They seemed so different from one another. I wondered what my dad’s childhood might have been like. It captured my imagination and I ran with it.

TPP: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
MAJ: Having people read and critisize it. Some things you try work, others don’t. When it works, it’s great; when it doesn’t, I try to learn from the feedback and then give it another go.

TPP: What do you see as the influences on your writing?
MAJ: I like a voice with a unique point-of-view. I fall in love with characters who are vulnerable. Someone who makes me laugh or smile. It can be a character in a novel or an Indy film or a stand-up comedian or the lyrics in a song. Anything that touches me personally.  
TPP: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
MAJ: I don’t have a favorite author but I have 3 favorite books that I read over and over again because I love the writing:  Stones for Ibarra by Harriet Doerr, Death of Sweet Mister by Daniel Woodrell and J.D.Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye. For me, the main characters in these books transcend the pages.

TPP: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
MAJ: The novel I’m working on now is based on my mother’s parents who were bookies in West Palm Beach, Florida. The main character is Libby Freybaker who shared the pants in the family with her husband, my grandfather.  She’s funny and smart and unconventional. It opens with them being handcuffed and arrested, then flashes back to tell the story of what led up to that point.
TPP: What book(s) are you reading now?
MAJ: The book I just read and loved is Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. Non-fiction. But what a great underdog story. 

TPP: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
MAJ: I don’t have an answer for this question…or I guess the answer is ‘no’ and that’s not a very good answer…they’re probably out there, I just haven’t read them yet. I’m too busy writing.

TPP: Do you have anything that you want to say to your readers?
MAJ: I hope they enjoy spending time with Mead as much as I did. Next to a favorite song, there is nothing I enjoy more than spending time with a favorite character.


Now for the giveaway. Miriam at Hachette Books is offering 3 copies of Life After Genius to my visitors. All you have to do is follow the simple entry guidelines. Due to a little mishap over at Up For Grabs I’m asking that you answer a simple question for your entry to be included. If you don’t include the answer in your comment you will be excluded.

1~ What ‘holiday’ will children here in the States be ‘celebrating’ October 31st?

2 ~ Please include your answer and contact information in your comment. No answer, no entry.

3 ~ US and Canadian mailing addresses only please.

4 ~ Important dates: Giveaway closes Tuesday, November 4th (Election Day in the States) with winners announced Wednesday, November 5th.


Stop by these great blogs and check out their tour stops. The links aren’t pretty but I’ll bet their posts are pretty awesome.”

  1. October 29, 2008 6:50 am

    Hi. We will celebrate Halloween. fourkidsrgreat(at)gmail(dot)com

  2. October 29, 2008 6:58 am

    Don’t enter me – I have the book. I just wanted to say great interview the book she’s working on now sounds great!

  3. Christa Oldsberg permalink
    October 29, 2008 7:23 am

    Christa Oldsberg
    204 W 1st St
    Jordan, MN 55352

  4. October 29, 2008 8:23 am

    No need to enter me! I’m part of the tour, too. I enjoyed your interview with Ms. Jacoby. The book she’s working on now sounds interesting. I also interviewed her for the tour.

  5. October 29, 2008 8:30 am

    Great interview questions. I really liked that she is too busy writing to have found a new author that captures her interest…spoken like a true writer.

    No need to enter me in the contest. I’m part of the tour and hosting a giveaway as well.

  6. Becca permalink
    October 29, 2008 8:53 am

    Halloween is the holiday on Oct. 31st. Please enter me! I would love a chance to win. Thanks!

  7. Sara M permalink
    October 29, 2008 10:25 am

    Please enter me. Oct 31st is Halloween. THanks!
    Sararush at hotmail dot com

  8. October 29, 2008 10:56 am

    Great interview. I can’t wait to read her next book.

  9. October 29, 2008 12:17 pm

    Hello…. I just finished this book and have reviewed it as well. Great Interview and review! Have fun with the give-away and Blog Tour!

  10. callista83 permalink
    October 29, 2008 8:54 pm

    We’ll be celebrating Halloween of course! This book looks interesting and I would have had a copy of my own but I didn’t think I’d finish it by the blog tour date. callista83 AT cogeco DOT ca

  11. Christy permalink
    October 30, 2008 1:30 pm

    We will be celebrating Halloween tomorrow.

    Life After Genius sounds like an interesting read ~ please enter me.

    hawkes (at)

  12. Yan permalink
    October 30, 2008 7:54 pm

    Halloween, where we try to kill little children with poisoned candy! Okay, that’s a lie. XP

    Life After Genius sounds like a fantastic read!

  13. October 31, 2008 11:14 am

    It’s Halloween today! Sounds like a great book.

  14. November 3, 2008 7:53 am

    And the popular answer is: Halloween!

    Thanks for another great giveaway!

    jgbeads AT gmail DOT com

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: