Welcome back, friends! Here is part II of my interview with Jeannie Mobley! In case you haven’t read part I yet, please click here. And, in case you want to read them out of order (which is totally fine with me 😉), this post is an interview with author of the May 2020 release, The Jewel Thief, Jeannie Mobley.
Also, don’t forget to check out the giveaway I have partnered with Jeannie to host on Instagram.
The below answers are written from the author, Jeannie Mobley’s perspective. The questions in bold are written as I asked them to Jeannie.
When did you start writing?
Somewhere around the third or fourth grade, as an extension to my daydreaming. I started daydreaming sometime around when I was born.
Which of your works is your favorite and why?
My newest book is always my favorite, so right now, The Jewel Thief. Plus, I’ve always loved European history much more than American history, but somehow, my first three books ended up in early 20th century America. The setting for The Jewel Thief was much more fun.
Did your academic background play any role in this book or in its inspiration? (I ask because I studied math in college and was really intrigued by the idea of the calculations and physics behind jewel cutting.)
My academic background plays a big role in my writing, but not in terms of math or physics. I have a bachelor’s degree in history (hence the historical fiction) and. a PhD in anthropology (hence my desire to always uncover some of the social issues in my books, like the treatment of Jews in 17th Century France.) I’ve always been a curious person, though, which means that I find all kinds of interesting things when I start researching a book. I never really thought about how the cut influences the way a diamond sparkles, so it was very interesting to research that for this book.
Who was your favorite minor character?
I seem to write a lot of warm grandfatherly figures for some reason. Even though he’s a relatively minor character, I’m very fond of Abraão Benzacar, the Jewish master gem-cutter. That said, I usually have a bit of a crush on my love interest characters, so if René showed up at my front door, I wouldn’t turn him away.
Why YA literature?
I love the quick pacing of YA, and the focus on characters. I think adult literature sometimes gets a little self-important. I don’t think a book should be about showing off how clever the author is. I also think YA readers are so enthusiastic about books, and I love that. I want my book to be something that a reader is really going to savor.
What are your favorite genres or sub-genres? (**For clarity, we are talking about her favorite genres to read.**)
So, so many. I prefer fiction to non-fiction, but beyond that, I’m game for anything.
What are you currently reading?
I’m an eclectic reader, and I always have multiple books going at once, usually one on audio and one or more on paper. This weekend I finished Highfire by Eoin Colfer and Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadette Evaristo. I am part way through The Book of Joy by the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Lovely War by Julie Berry. And as if that wasn’t enough, I just started Spindle and Dagger by J. Anderson Coats. This is probably what an addict looks like.
What are your go-to recommendations for reading?
I’m in two book groups, one that reads for-fun books, and one that focuses on new voices representing unfamiliar or disenfranchised communities. I really like being in a group that pushes me to find and read books I would never have encountered otherwise, even if some of them are very difficult reads. But for fun reads, I pay attention to what my friends are recommending or what I’m seeing on instagram or book blogs like yours!
If you could spend a day with Juliette, would you want to spend it in your time or hers, and, how would you spend that day?
I would spend a day in her world, because I love to travel, so Paris in the reign of Louis XIV, would be quite thrilling (for a day.) As to living in that world, no way. I love my indoor plumbing and antibiotics. But I would love to have her show me around Paris, and I would definitely want that to include the tastes and smells of the city in the 1600s. And of course, I would love to see (and hold) the French Blue as it was when it was completed.
This was my first interview and I can’t express enough what a wonderful experience it was. Jeannie Mobley is an incredibly talented author and was lovely to work with. I loved her answers to everything and I’m so excited to see more of what she writes. To find out more about Jeannie, what she’s reading, and her works, check out the below links!