I’m from Alaska, and my mom’s from Southeast Alaska, where Sky’s character is from. It almost felt like cheating writing a culture that I already know fairly well. I’ve lived in Alaska most of my life and have been able to spend a bit of time in several native villages scattered across the state.
I didn’t remember all the symbolism for the animals on the totems, so I had to look that up, and I double-checked maps to make sure I was “creating” a village, instead of using one that was already there.
The directions Sky gives Jameson to where she grew up are accurate, and I think it’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen – even though it’s been a while since I’ve traveled in that part of the state.
My book “sell story” is pretty simple for this one.
My agent turned it into a publisher that I really wanted to work with on it, and they LOVED it, the editors fought for it, but the company was worried it wouldn’t have enough commercial appeal. My writing in this story did make them want to see more from me, so it still felt like a win.
We turned it into one other larger pub house, and they said the same thing – the writing is great, but we’re worried there’s not enough commercial appeal if the order of events remains as-is.
I told Lauren that I wasn’t willing to change my story simply to give it the commercial hook it could have had – I loved the story too much to alter the order of events.
Lauren said if I want it out, that she’d find someone who loves it as-is, and she did. Tribute Books has been just awesome and supportive, and understood the order of events, and we didn’t change anything in the story. Some of my projects are just closer to my heart than others – this is one I knew I couldn’t change, and it feels awesome to find someone who saw my vision for this book.
I think the lesson is that if the writing is good enough, you will eventually find someone who loves the story (almost) as much as you (because no one will ever love the books I write the way I do).
Thanks so much for having me!!
Night Sky Summary
After losing Sarah, the friend he’s loved, to some other guy, Jameson meets Sky. Her Native American roots, fluid movements, and need for brutal honesty become addictive fast. This is good. Jameson needs distraction – his dad leaves for another woman, his mom’s walking around like a zombie, and Sarah’s new boyfriend can’t keep his hands off of her.
As he spends time with Sky and learns about her village, her totems, and her friends with drums – she’s way more than distraction. Jameson’s falling for her fast.
But Sky’s need for honesty somehow doesn’t extend to her life story – and Jameson just may need more than his new girl to keep him distracted from the disaster of his senior year.
Jolene Perry’s Bio:
Jolene grew up in Wasilla, Alaska. She graduated from Southern Utah University with a degree in political science and French, which she used to teach math to middle schoolers.
After living in Washington, Utah and Las Vegas, she now resides in Alaska with her husband, and two children. Aside from writing, Jolene sews, plays the guitar, sings when forced, and spends as much time outside as possible.
She is also the author of The Next Door Boys and the upcoming Knee Deep.