Jodi Picoult, 44, is the bestselling author of several novels including Songs of the Humpback Whale (1992), Keeping Faith (1999), Perfect Match (2002), Second Glance (2003), My Sister's Keeper(2004), Nineteen Minutes (2007), Change of Heart (2008), House Rules (2010), and Sing You Home (2011) and her newest novel, Lone Wolf.
Her books are translated into thirty four languages in thirty five countries. Four – The Pact, Plain Truth, The Tenth Circle, and Salem Falls - have been made into television movies. My Sister’s Keeper was a big-screen release from New Line Cinema which is now available in DVD.
Jodi, her husband, Tim, and their three children live in Hanover, New Hampshire with two Springer spaniels, a rescue puppy, two donkeys, two geese, one duck, eight chickens, and the occasional Holstein.
Welcome to Writers in Business! Jodi, I have read all of your books and am astounded at the depth of your characters. They come to life through your written words. The topics you cover in each novel are thought-provoking and I find it impossible to put your books down! Can you tell us how you started as a writer?
I studied creative writing with Mary Morris at Princeton, and had two short stories published in Seventeen magazine while still a student. Realism, and a profound desire to be able to pay the rent, led me to a series of different jobs following graduation. I've worked as a technical writer for a Wall Street brokerage firm, as a copywriter at an ad agency, as an editor at a textbook publisher, and as an 8th grade English teacher. I ended up at Harvard pursuing a master’s degree in education then received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Dartmouth College in 2010 and another from the University of New Haven in 2012.
Can you tell us about your new release, Lone Wolf?
Yes, Lone Wolf looks at the intersection between medical science and moral choices. If we can keep people who have no hope for recovery alive artificially, should they also be allowed to die artificially? Does the potential to save someone else’s life with a donated organ balance the act of hastening another’s death? And finally, when a father’s life hangs in the balance, which sibling should get to decide his fate?
That's a very intriguing topic to sort through. Your books usually offer a balanced approach to looking at both sides of a sometimes controversal issue. I'm looking forward to reading Lone Wolf!
I understand you will be releasing a second book in June of this year.
Yes, Between the Lines will be released on June 26th. It's my first tween/YA novel and it's co-written with my daughter Samantha van Leer!
It’s an absolutely STUNNING book - with the coolest illustrations that remind me of Arthur Rackham’s work from the turn of the century and silhouettes that take my breath away. In other words, it’s a book you want to keep on your shelves and just look at because it’s so pretty. But it’s also sweet, and funny, and charming, and it was a delight to have the experience of writing it with my own daughter! I’m incredibly excited for its publication and we’ll be on tour this summer to promote it!
We wish you all the best with Lone Wolf and look forward to reading more about Between the Lines! Readers can learn more about Jodi's books by visiting her website.
Jodi is currently on a book tour for Lone Wolf which continues through March in the US, Canada and the UK. Check her calendar to find out if she's visiting your area.