Author Interview: Jen Nadol

Friday, January 29, 2010

Jen Nadol

  • The Mark

Cassandra Renfield has always seen the mark—a glow around certain people reminiscent of candlelight. But the one time she mentioned it, it was dismissed as a trick of the light. Until the day she watches a man awash in the mark die. After searching her memories, Cassie realizes she can see a person’s imminent death. Not how or where, only when: today.

Armed with a vague understanding of the light, Cassie begins to explore her “gift,” seeking those marked for death and probing the line between decision and destiny. Though she’s careful to hide her secret—even from her new philosophy-obsessed boyfriend—with each impending death comes the temptation to test fate. But so many questions remain. How does the mark work? Why is she the only one who sees it? And finally, the most important of all: If you know today is someone’s last, should you tell them?

Describe your book in five words or less.

Should you share the ultimate secret? Omg, I just could NOT get it to five words. Clearly, I need an editor!

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer, or did you just kind of fall into it?

Always, but I kind of forgot for a while. I wrote on and off in high school, majored in Lit in college, always thinking I’d write. Then, I graduated and wound up in a corporate-type job to pay the bills. It was only after I left to stay home with kids that I remembered I’d really meant to be a writer.

Approximately, how long did it take you to write The Mark?

About 9 months for a first draft, a few months of editing, then MANY more months of editing as I started getting agent rejections, some with feedback. All in, about three years from first word to agent-offer.

If you could travel back in time, what time and place would you choose? And if you can only take 3 things with you, what would they be?

This is so hard because if I could really do this, I feel like I’d have to pick a moment in history where I could change things for the better. But then there’s the whole question of what you make worse in the future by changing part of the past. I’m going to take the easy way out and go to turn-of-the-century NYC with a camera, laptop (that magically works there), and some money to get around and be an observer rather than participant.

Why did you choose to write for young adults?

That’s the part I fell in to. I didn’t realize The Mark was YA until an agent I’d subbed to (who rejected) told me she thought it might be. It was the whole cartoon-light-bulb thing: *of course* it was YA! And so is every one of my ideas for future books! Duh.

Is there anything else you would like to say?

Thanks so much for having me. I hope you enjoy The Mark!


Thanks so much Jen for stopping by!


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