"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." —J. R. R. Tolkien

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Former Debut: Jody Feldman, Class of 2k8

I will admit the Class of 2k8 holds such a special place in my heart! I loved being a part of this class so much! I can't believe it's been four years since 2008! Like all the debut groups before and after us, our class had a wonderful bond. And much of that was due to our fabulous co-presidents! I've already featured Marissa Doyle, and today I am thrilled to feature our other co-president, Jody Feldman!


Name: Jody Feldman
Debut Group: Class of 2008

 Hi, Jody! I miss you!

PJH: Okay, so it’s been nearly 4 years since you graduated from your debut class. Personally, I miss the heck out of knowing what my classmates are up to. So give us the low-down. What have you been up to in the last few years? New books? New degrees? New pets? What has been going on, and what do we have to look forward to from you in the future?

JF: It’s like trying to catch up with anyone after several years; so much has happened, but so little to report. Second book, check! The Seventh Level came out in 2010. House remodel requiring a four-month move-out, check! Been back in for about a year. New books, check! Gollywhopper Games 2 and Gollywhopper Games 3 (titles not yet set) coming out in 2013 and 2014.

THE 7th LEVEL by Jody Feldman (Greenwillow, May 25, 2010)

PJH: If you could summarize to a debut novelist the best part of being a member of an author group like the “Class of” groups, what would you say?

JF: You sign your first contract with all that swagger, then you realize how little you know. Being in something like the Class of 2k8 works on so many levels to give you the support you need whether it’s commiseration, celebration, or especially navigation of the author world. The added exposure doesn’t hurt either.

PJH: Though I absolutely loved being a debut author, I’m really thrilled with all the experience I’ve gained since. What advice would you give to those who are debuting now? What do you wish you had known when you started out?

JF: You cannot and should not know and do everything; therefore,
Do not obsess focus so much on the factors you can’t control. I’d always heard you can’t build a career waiting for reviews or suggesting schemes to your publisher’s marketing department. Of course you want to, and of course, that type of support helps. So while I still try to reach teachers, librarians and booksellers, I work even more (as my wise editor suggested) on the most important task – writing an excellent next book.

PJH: In addition to writing the next mega-million bestselling novel, what do you want to accomplish in the next five years? Do you want to write five more books? Get your black belt in Kung Fu? Walk the Great Wall of China? Let’s hear it.

JF: I’ve always wanted to try my hand at writing a romantic-comedy for the big screen. I’ve always wanted to eat pasta in Italy and spend a week on a wind-swept terrace in the South of France. I’ve always wanted to paint something, and I’m not talking about a wall or ceiling or house exterior. All of which could happen in the next five years. Or maybe something else will instead.

THE GOLLYWHOPPER GAMES by Jody Feldman (Greenwillow, March 4, 2008)

PJH: Anything else you want to add? Five reasons to read your book? A picture of your writing space? How you celebrated when you signed your contract? Your choice!

JF: This business has its mysterious ways. I wrote The Gollywhopper Games as a stand-alone. Okay. Yes, of course, I daydreamed about writing a follow-up, but never seriously. And never did a Book 3 creep into in my greatest dreams. But one librarian read the book and suggested it here and there, and this little book that could found its way onto one state list then 16 or so, and that generated enough steam to warrant a couple sequels. Who knew? I sure didn’t. I just wanted to write a book that some kid might want to read all the way through.

PJH: Thank you so much for being here! And good luck with everything in the future!


Jody Feldman blames her 7th grade English teacher (justly or not) for turning her away from writing, yet the world mysteriously led her back. She is the author of The Seventh Level and The Gollywhopper Games. Coming soon, Gollywhopper 2 & 3 (HarperCollins/Greenwillow). You can find her in St. Louis, MO, at www.jodyfeldman.com or as jodyfeldman on Twitter.


Thanks for helping me celebrate former debuts! And if you are a former debut and are interested in being featured, check out this post here


Lauren said...

I like the Gollywhopper cover! And I agree, a week in the South of France would be a nice next place to be.

PJ Hoover said...

It's a great book, Lauren! And yes to France. i will see you there!