Interview with Jo Knowles, Jumping Off Swings
1. Did you have any teen pregnancy knowledge before the book?
I knew the statistics, particularly in the area I live, and was shocked by them. I also knew many girls who got pregnant while I was in high school, and saw how powerfully it affected them and the people who cared about them.
2. What surprised you about teen pregnancy while writing?
I didn't really have any surprises about pregnancy, but I was surprised sometimes by what I learned about the characters as I got deeper into the story. My favorite part about writing is getting to know each character's story and being surprised to discover why they act the way that they do—just like in real life when you meet someone and make those quick snap assumptions, then realize as you get to know them that you were totally wrong, hopefully in a good way.
3. Did you know how it would end from the start?
No, I had no idea.
4. Why was the issue of "finding love" with sex important to the story?
I'm not really sure that it was so much important to the story as it was simply a part of it. I certainly didn't set out to preach anything or to make any judgment. I think a lot of people often confuse love with sex or try to use one to get the other. This rarely ends well.
5. Complete these sentences: Teens should know ________ before they have sex.
themselves—who they are, what they want, and why—and their partners (same thing)
6. If I was the mom of a pregnant teen I would tell her __________
I love her.
7. Readers should read my book because...
Ashley told them to. :-)