Monday, July 2, 2012

Author Interview: Denise Jaden

Dropping in today is Denise Jaden to celebrate the upcoming release of her sophomore novel, Never Enough!

As a teen, what was the most notable when you felt like you were "never enough"?

One of my big frustrations and insecurities as a teen was my singing voice. I was a trained dancer, and had been pretty involved in theater, but when it came time for the spring musical at our school, it took all of my inner strength to make myself sing for an audition, and I’d be lucky if I got a bit part. I’ve come to terms with this insecurity over the years—my poor son will tell you how I belt out off-key songs in the car. Besides that, I had all the usual insecurities about my looks and body and fashion sense. Those ones still come and go 

With Never Enough being your sophomore novel, what part about the entire writing process from start to finish was easier for you this time around? Harder?

Um, quite honestly, I wouldn’t say any part of the process was easier. Never Enough was a work in progress for close to eight years, and possibly because I was very close to it, nothing about it seemed easy to fix or problem-solve with. I had to completely rewrite the beginning and the ending when I felt like I’d already written every single version I could possibly come up with. The editorial revisions of this book were very difficult on me, compounded by the fact that I was going through a brutal year in my personal life. When I look back on the revision process of Losing Faith, I want to smile and laugh. When I look back on the revision process of Never Enough…well, I try not to look back on it too often.

Given that Never Enough is about two sisters, how different do you think the story would be if it were about brothers, or a brother and a sister?

I think the story could be similar if it were two brothers (except, perhaps, for the giddiness over boys). I can’t see a brother and sister for this story as easily, since so much of the character growth comes out of their comparisons as part of being the same sex. This story definitely came more naturally to me in the head of a girl, but I do have another work in progress that will be from a boy’s point of view, dealing with different family issues.

If you could pair Loann and Claire with any character from any book, who would you pick for each?

I like Loann with Marcus, the boy she befriends in Never Enough, and honestly, I don’t want to imagine her with anyone else. But I could picture her being good friends with other fun and offbeat characters. Maybe someone like E. Lockhart’s Ruby Oliver would be a good friend for her.

Claire is a little on the superficial side, and I’d love to find her someone who would root her and make her realize what’s most important. Maybe a boy like Jacob from Justina Chen Headley’s NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL.

What god/goddess would be your nemesis?

In Polynesian dancing we learn about a lot of the ancient gods the Hawaiians once believed in. The most well-known of these is Pele, the goddess of fire. She would be my nemesis because I’ve caught on fire (accidentally) more than any other person I know! The worst of these experiences was when I was performing with my Polynesian dance troupe on national television, and stood too close to a flash pot when it went off. My costumes (and hair) went up in flames!

What kind of farm animal would you describe yourself as?

I’d probably be a sheep dog. I’m very goal-driven and I like to make sure everything is happening as it should be.

Thank you, Denise, for stopping on, and congrats on the release! And now check out the trailer:

Never Enough is a wrenching but beautiful story that I highly recommend. It hits shelves July 10, so make sure to watch for it.

To celebrate the release, Denise is giving away a ton of books to 6 lucky winners! Full details will go up on her blog tomorrow for ways to win, but you can check out the prize packs here. Definitely, though, commenting on the various posts throughout this entire blog tour is a great way to be entered (Click the banner below for full details).


  1. I really loved the focus on sisters (just like in Losing Faith)-my favorite element of this book!

  2. This book as been on my TBR list for forever it seems. It just looks so good.

  3. I love the fact that this book is about two sisters. This book has been on my TBR since the moment I first found out about it. Great interview!

  4. ooh, this sounds really interesting. I am definitely adding this one to my TBR! Can't wait to get my hands on a copy! :)

  5. I've been waiting for this one for a while now, sooo can't wait to get it :)

  6. it's sounds really a good book to read..sisters got me :)