August 20, 2017

#BookReview: Body Parts by @JessKapp @DiversionBooks #BookGiveaway #Authorinterview

Today we have a wonderful review, interview, and giveaway all thanks to publisher Diversion Books and Jessica Kapp!  We hope you enjoy this post as much as we liked creating it. 

People would kill for her body.

Raised in an elite foster center off the California coast, sixteen-year-old Tabitha’s been sculpted into a world-class athlete. Her trainers have told her she’ll need to be in top physical condition to be matched with a loving family, even though personal health has taken a backseat outside the training facility. While Tabitha swims laps and shaves seconds off her mile time, hoping to find a permanent home, the rest of the community takes pills produced by pharmaceutical giant PharmPerfect to erase their wrinkles, grow hair, and develop superhuman strength.

When Tabitha’s finally paired, instead of being taken to meet her new parents, she wakes up immobile on a hospital bed. Moments before she’s sliced open, a group of renegade teenagers rescues her, and she learns the real reason for her perfect health: PharmPerfect is using her foster program as a replacement factory for their pill-addicted clients’ failing organs. And her friends from the center, the only family she’s ever known, are next in line to be harvested.

Determined to save them, Tabitha joins forces with her rescuers, led by moody and mysterious Gavin Stiles. As they race to infiltrate the hospital and uncover the rest of PharmPerfect’s secrets, though, Tabitha finds herself with more questions than answers. Will trusting the enigmatic group of rebels lead her back to the slaughterhouse?

Jessica Kapp loves to imagine the what-ifs of life as she writes contemporary and speculative fiction for young adults from a small farm in Washington. When she's not reading, writing, or talking books with the barista at her favorite coffee shop, she can be found on the soccer field. Visit her webpage at or on Twitter at @JessKapp

This one reminded of one of my favorite movies called The Island it stars Scarlet Johansen and o god I can't even think what his name is. But the movie is about the world where people are harvested for their organs etc. Basically, you can create a clone and use it when you need it.  Of course, it goes into you finding out along the way that no one knows that their clones are awake.   

Although in that movie there were no renegades I would say that this is The Island for teens.  I really loved how the book played out and parts of it even reminded me of The Maze Runner series.  I really loved all the characters and the book was well paced.  The ending was a little meh but I would love a part two to this one.  Come to think of it this one also reminded me of another book called The Body Institute by Carol Riggs.  So if you want something about how kids are having their bodies taken and how they get out of that situation to save others then check this one out.  It was well written and I couldn't put it down. 

Where can readers follow you?

Twitter: @JessKapp
Instagram: @jessicakappwrites

What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now? 

I write under the name Jessica Kapp, which is a slight variation of my maiden name. I was born and raised in western Washington and traded in skyscrapers for wheat fields when I went off to college at Washington State University. Somehow I keep moving to places that are progressively smaller, because now I reside in a tiny farm town in southeastern Washington where there are quite possibly more cows than people. 

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?

I’ve always loved writing—from the moment I could form sloppy sentences with my #2 pencil. But I remember distinctly in sixth grade that I wanted to be a writer. Then I took a broadcast class in high school and I opted for a career in TV land. News stories aren’t quite as fun as fiction though, and I eventually came back to my true love.

When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?

When I landed my first magazine contract. I had to write a pitch for the story I wanted to tackle, and the editor loved it. The fact that someone liked my writing style and wanted to pay me to tell the story is when it really hit me.

Did it take a long time to get your first book published?

I wrote two other stories before BODY PARTS. The first took almost a year to write but stayed in the drawer (it was cathartic and will never see the light of day). My second novel didn’t get any traction in part because the market was saturated with manuscripts just like mine. BODY PARTS found an agent fairly quickly, but it took several months for it to find a publishing home. All that to say, ‘Yes, it took a few years.’

Do you work another job as well as your writing work?

By day I’m a freelance news reporter. It’s great because I can work from home. I still write for magazines from time to time but mainly a local business paper. On occasion I’ll also moonlight at a local winery, pouring in the tasting room or helping with special events.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?

BODY PARTS is about an orphaned teen waiting for a family only to learn she’s been raised for her organs.

Who is your publisher? or do you self-publish?

Diversion Books is my publisher

How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?

If I’m writing from one perspective, it takes me about three to four months, then another few months to edit. The dual perspective story I’m working on has taken me twice as long, and it’s still undergoing revisions.

Which of your books were easier/harder to write than the others?

Definitely my dual perspective story. Getting the voices right and distinct is challenging. 

What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?

My passion is speculative fiction, but I do have a couple of contemporary stories in the hopper. 

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?

I would love to continue the story! When I wrote BODY PARTS, I had an idea in mind should it ever evolve into a series. The plot is bouncing around in my brain, but for now, the story is a stand-alone. 

What genre would you place your books into?

Speculative Fiction. I like my stories grounded in the real world with just a hint of what if

Where do you get your book plot ideas from? What/Who is your inspiration?

Everywhere. Literally. I can be waiting in line at the DMV or running on the treadmill or talking to a friend. Something will pop in my head—triggered by a scene or a word or just a random thought—and my mind will start pulling the idea together.
I have a list of story ideas on a bulletin board in my office. Some are more developed while others are just a few lines/notes that I hope will turn into something great.

Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?

First I check my email. Then I waste about 10 minutes on social media (who am I kidding, it’s probably more like 20). Then I check my email again. Only when all my messages have been checked do I finally open a Word document. 

I need complete silence to write. No music. No fan. No phone pinging. I’ve tried writing with songs playing in the background but it distracts me too much.

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books? Who designed the Cover of your books?

I came up with the title early on and fully expected the publisher to change it as I’d heard that 99% of author-created titles didn’t stick during the road to publication. To my surprise, Body Parts did! But the credit for the beautiful cover design goes entirely to Diversion Books. They came up with the barcode idea on Tabitha’s neck to signify the fact that she was a commodity while giving it that futuristic feel. They did such a great job, adding smart subtleties on the cover to give the book its SciFi look while grabbing a reader’s attention!

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?

I’m a sequential writer, and I always come up with the title before I write a single word. The only exception is the book I finished at a retreat in June. It’s in the hands of a critique partner right now and it’s killing me that I still haven’t come up with a good title for it. 

How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?

A friend let me use the names of all her children for BODY PARTS. Paige and Meghan are twins in real life, although in the story they’re identical. I also own a Big Book of Baby Names and will consult it often. I love getting ideas from friends and family too.  

Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?

Unfortunately, I’m a terrible plotter. I try, but my characters never want to listen. They make unexpected choices that skew the storyline. They say things that change the tone. And the ripple effect from one character can throw my entire outline out the window. Flying by the seat of my pants is thrilling. The writing feels organic. I think I’m addicted to it. The story surprises me in unexpected ways. But the pain of revising because I’ve created serious plot holes is like coming down from a high. Each time I start a new novel, I tell myself to plot better. To stick to the outline. I have yet to do so.

Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?

Sometimes I can’t get out of a scene, but in most cases (99% of the time) it’s because I don’t want to kill my darlings. I get so caught up in keeping a section or a line, I can’t move forward. I find that if I open a separate word document and paste parts I need to cut—for possible use later in the story—it helps me move on. Truth be told, I rarely use the parts I carve out, but that little trick at least helps me break through so I can keep writing.

What do you do to unwind and relax? Do you have a hobby?

I play soccer every Monday night on a co-ed team. It’s a great outlet and my favorite way to exercise because I’m not thinking about the workout, I’m just playing. I used to play two nights a week but my kids are getting into sports and I’ve started coaching their teams (basketball and soccer). Oddly enough, coaching is a great way for me to decompress. It pulls me away from my fictional words so my brain can take a break.

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?

Yes. I’m working on a story now that’s inspired by a situation I dealt with as a teenager. As far as personalities, the characters might have a few traits from people I know in real life, but they really take shape on paper. Sometimes they surprise me! 

Did you have a favorite author as a child?

I grew up on a healthy dose of Francine Pascal and Beverly Cleary, but it was Christopher Pike who took my love of reading to another level. I loved the way he twisted reality and made me question the world around me.

What do you think about book trailers?

I love book trailers! A good trailer can set the tone and pull in a reader who might be on the fence.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?

Write every day. When you step away from your manuscript for too long, it’s so hard to get back in the flow of the story. Getting into a routine is key. I’m a night person, but if you need to wake up at 5 a.m. to write, do it! And find critique partners who will push you to keep going and offer you constructive feedback when you finish.

Do you or would you ever use a pen name?

I do. My married name is hard to say and people rarely spell it correctly. I figured it’d be better to have a name that was easy to say and quick to find in a Google search.

If you could invite three favorite writers to dinner, who would you invite and enjoy chatting with?

I’ve met Margaret Peterson Haddix, and she is such a lovely person! I enjoy her books and I’d love to spend more time chatting with her over dinner. Marie Lu would be on my invitation list. She’s such a gifted writer and I’d love to pick her brain about her creative process. I’d also invite Suzanne Young. I enjoy her writing style and would like to know more about how she comes up with her story ideas.

Paperback/Hardback or E-book?

I went back and forth on this one... As much as I enjoy paperbacks, hardbacks win by a slight edge.

Read a book once/Reread books more than once?

Reread books more than once! Don’t we all?  

Books or Movies?

Books all the way. Then the movie—just to see if they followed the plot and what actors/actresses got cast as my favorite characters.

Action, Drama, Mystery, Romance?

It’s a tie between Romantic Comedies and Action movies. 

Library or New books from a bookstore?

Both. If I like a book at the library, I usually buy it at the bookstore soon after.

Morning or Evening?


Early Nights or Late Nights?

Late nights. I will never be a member of the #5amwritersclub. 

Coffee or Tea?

Coffee, but with an absurd amount of cream. So really, it’s just cream with a little coffee.

Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter?


Wine, Beer, Soft Drink?

Wine. I rarely drink pop. I do like beer but prefer wine. I’m lucky to be surrounded by a ton of wineries.

Dogs or Cats?

Cats. But we have the most incredible Great Pyrenees. She’s the sweetest and I adore her!

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