Jessica Fortunato stops by TeamNerd to chat with Annabell about her debut novella, The Sin Collector, what makes a woman strong, and what she would do if she got to hang out with her favorite author Oscar Wilde.
Annabell: Olexander was my favorite character! Was he inspired by anyone in particular? Where did his name come from and does it mean anything specific?
Jessica Fortunato: He was actually the one character NOT based on anyone in real life. I enjoyed writing him because he is one of the few characters who seem to hold on to old ways. I don’t know the exact meaning of his name. Olexander was the middle name of a kiddo I babysat for years ago and I always liked it.
Annabell: Liliana is a strong and assertive woman. I read that she was based off of a few women in your life. What do you think makes a woman strong?
Jessica Fortunato: I think speaking your mind makes you strong. Living your truth. Don’t be a wilting flower or damsel in distress. Find your own way down from the tower, absorb knowledge like it’s air. Don’t get me wrong, I still want Prince Charming. However, I want a weapon too, maybe one day I’ll need to rescue him.
Annabell: The characters get to travel to Madrid, Spain, somewhere I desperately want to go to! Why did you choose to place the setting of the second and third half of the novella in Spain? Have you ever been?
Jessica Fortunato: I have never been anywhere…literally. Any place I send my characters is a place I would love to see. Ireland is my dream vacation, and my characters find themselves there a lot. I would also love to visit Australia and Italy.
Annabell: There’s a special dagger the Castus use to eliminate those who are Sin Collectors. Where did the idea for the dagger come from?
Jessica Fortunato: When I’m not reading fiction, I read a ton of religious non-fiction from all over the world. In the bible, and other sacred texts mythical weapons are extremely prevalent. The staff of Moses, the sword of Michael, daggers, spears, and even slings are given magical properties. Since the Castus come from a very religious place, to me it seemed natural.
Annabel: I would love to be able to read a short story on Rebecca. She was also a character I really liked but she wasn’t in the book as much as I wanted. Would you ever write a novella on her?
Jessica Fortunato: I have mulled writing her story for this winter. I gave fans the opportunity to vote for whose story they wanted to hear most, Rebecca or Thomas and Thomas won. His story releases Friday July 20. The votes were close. I will have to see how Thomas’s story goes before I decide about Rebecca.
Annabell: If The Sin Collector became a movie, who would you like to cast as Liliana, Billy, and Olexander?
Jessica Fortunato: I have said that were that to happen I would sell my soul to ensure Ben Barnes played Olexander. The rest of the cast is on the fence. I have never seen an actress who would play a perfect Lily in my mind. I formed a Pinterest board so fans and I could offer suggestions for casting.
The link: http://pinterest.com/thesincollector/the-sin-collector-cast/
Annabell: Liliana is really good with knives. What’s a weapon you would love to be good at wielding?
Jessica Fortunato: I actually just got my sister throwing knives for her birthday, so I can’t wait to try them out with her. I loved archery in school (back before Katniss made it cool) and wouldn’t mind pursuing that if I were somehow given the opportunity.
Annabell: Top Five Favorite Quotes from Dorian Gray:
Jessica Fortunato: That one is hard, but I will do my best.
5. “You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit.”
4. “Humanity takes itself too seriously. It is the world's original sin. If the cave-man had known how to laugh, history would have been different."
3. “There were opiates for remorse, drugs that could lull the moral sense to sleep. But here was a visible symbol of the degradation of sin. Here was an ever-present sign of the ruin men brought upon their souls."
2. “The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.”
1. “Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.”
Annabell: As an Oscar Wilde mega fan (I join you in that love!), if you got the chance to have dinner with him, what are some of the questions you would ask and what would you cook?
Jessica Fortunato: Well Wilde was Irish, so I would probably find some traditional dishes to make, give him a taste of home. I can’t even begin to name all the questions I would ask. I imagine we would keep one another up for days bantering back and forth getting lost in circular philosophical discussions about nothing. I like to think that were we alive at the same time we would have raised some glorious hell together!
Favorite Superhero: The Flash
Favorite Brand of Cereal: Coco Puffs
Annabell: Thank you, Jessica, for stopping by! Had a lot of fun with the interview and am looking forward to seeing what she writes for Thomas. Check out the new short story being released based of one of the characters from The Sin Collector, Thomas.
You can purchase them both on Amazon.
Check out her site at The Sin Collector.