Quickfire Questions with Jandy Nelson Transcript
Hey! I’m Jandy Nelson, the author of The Sky is Everywhere, and I’m really excited to be part of the Zoella Book Club with WHSmith. And I’m also really excited to answer some very pertinent questions.
Who is your favourite author?
My favourite author is Virginia Woolf. My favourite novel is To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. My favourite YA at the moment is actually Black Swan Green by David Mitchell, which wasn’t marketed as a YA but the voice of the thirteen year old narrator is so exceptional, it’s so endearing, it’s so hilarious, it’s so bright, it’s so alive. So I’m quite in love with that novel at the moment.
What is your favourite quote of all time?
My favourite quote is by E.E.Cummings, and it’s ‘the thing perhaps is to eat flowers and not to be afraid’, and it’s very beautiful.
What motto do you live your life by?
My motto? Well, as per E.E.Cummings I think my motto is to eat flowers and not to be afraid. But also my writing motto is, I would say, is the quote by Oscar Wilde. He says ‘be yourself, everybody else is already taken’. And I think about that a lot in terms of writing, that when you write you want to get your personality on the page. And then I also really love this quote by Zora Hurston, ‘I do not weep at the world, I’m too busy sharpening my oyster knife’. And I think that’s a really great motto for life.
If you could give your younger self one pieces of advice, what would it be?
The advice I would give my younger self, frankly I think it would be those three quotes. I would tell my younger self not to weep at the world, to get busy sharpening my oyster knife. And I would tell my younger self to be yourself, young Jandy. And to eat flowers and not to be afraid. Especially of aeroplanes, because you know what, so far so good. You shouldn’t have spent so much time being so afraid when you’re 35,000ft in the air.
What makes you happy?
What makes me happy. Well, eating delicious food makes me happy, as do all my loved ones, being around my friends and family and everybody. And as does being in nature, so I think what makes me happiest would be being on a picnic for instance, on a cliff overlooking the sea, redwoods all around me, all my loved ones around me, and we are eating the most delectable food and drinking champagne. It makes me very happy, even the thought of it is making me really happy.
What is your favourite ice cream?
My favourite ice cream is chocolate peanut butter, without a doubt, it’s amazing.
What is your favourite animal?
My favourite animal is the giraffe. Giraffes are marvels. And I’m also very fond of elephants, I have to say.
What is your favourite item of clothing?
My favourite item of clothing I am actually wearing, it’s just my favourite item of clothing at the moment. They’re new and I love them! They’re these pants, they’re bellbottom, paisley pants a la Jenna Straplan and I’m really in love with them. But they also actually remind me of The Sky is Everywhere, they remind me of Sarah because there’s one scene when she goes into the deli where Lennie works and she’s described as a fabric shop specialising in paisley. So actually everytime I wear them I think these would be very good pants for Sarah.
Where is your favourite place to write?
The last question, where I like to write. I like to write – this is very bizarre – but I like to write in a completely dark room, with my earplugs in, with sound machine blasting, with the only light in the room coming from the computer. And so for whatever reason – it’s kind of like a sensory deprivation chamber – but for whatever reason this allows me to live in the story in a much more intense way. So that’s my favourite place to write.
And lastly I just wanted to say one thing. I am sitting here in my livingroom, and if you’ll notice the walls behind me, the walls – well actually my whole house – are orange. All different shades of orange. That’s kind of in honour of The Sky is Everywhere, for Lennie and Bailey who painted their room orange and Bailey said that she thought it was the colour of extraordinary. So it’s kind of for Lennie and Bailey.
And then also I wanted to show you sitting here, because I wanted to show you these two paintings. If you’ll notice, the people in the paintings are green. These paintings were done by my grandmother, and I stole this tidbit from my life and gave it to Gram in The Sky is Everywhere, who only paints green women. And when I used to go to my grandmother’s house, she had her paintings all over, and they were all green people.
So, anyway, it’s been great talking to you, and that’s it! Bye!