Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Carolyn Hennesy - Pandora Gets Jealous
In conversation with Pen & Ink

“There was a time, during the golden age of men and gods, when mankind became forgetful, almost to the point of its own destruction.” Thus begins Pandora Get Jealous, by Carolyn Hennesy, her first tween novel of a seven book series, published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books. After Pandora Atheneus Andromaeche Helena, Pandy to her friends, accidentally unleashes seven big Evils upon the Earth: Jealousy, Vanity, Laziness, Lust, Rage, Greed and the biggest Evil of all...wait for the book! Pandy is tasked by Zeus to recapture the Evils or face Zeus’ wrath. With her best friends Iole and Alcie, Pandy voyages through the world of 49 BC where Olympic Gods, monsters and mortals co-exist.

“Pandy and her best friends are characters readers can relate to,” Carolyn says. “Iole is the brainy, frail one. Alcie is beautiful and outspoken. Pandy is the center, the heroine, who knows what to do...except when she doesn’t. Pandy accepts responsibility for her actions. Because of that, Pandy gets to build her character, have wild, death defying adventures and save the world.” Carolyn includes universal tween themes of parental difficulties, school bullies, awkward crushes and the drudge of homework.

“I was the least productive of the group,” Carolyn speaks of her participation in a writing group which is where Pandy was born. A visiting author heard Carolyn read her short story concerning a teen-aged Pandora and encouraged her to expound on it. “He pointed out A, B and C happens. Uber-broad strokes.” Just the beginning, middle and end. The author encouraged Carolyn to write “1000 words a day for six weeks.” The result was the first draft of Pandora Gets Jealous.

The road to publication was “a fluke. Really six-degrees of separation. A phone call was made to an important agent” which then led to the Nancy Gallt Literary Agency who “absolutely loved the book. I was told this was chick lit, real ‘girl power’ reading. This agent shopped the book for six months and then Bloomsbury bought it. Then the battle started with the editors, because I was so new to the world of writing that I made a classic rookie mistake of wanting to hang on to every word as if it was a gem. Got over that real quick and realized that my editor was actually crafting my work into a better book.” Carolyn’s original three book deal with Bloomsbury Children’s Books expanded when Bloomsbury bought the last four books of the series.

Carolyn, Hannah and Amanda love Pandy!
“Bloomsbury worked in concert with my publicist” to arrange book tours and appearances to fit in with her schedule. “I did an East Coast tour. I’d like to do a West Coast tour. I visit schools in my own backyard of Burbank.” During school visits, “The girls listen in rapt attention. The boys... I tell them I’m an actress and say that I was in Terminator 3. Then they’re alert.

“Who’re you in it?” they ask.

“I was the first person killed.”

That gets the boys.

“Whoa! Did you meet Arnold Schwarzenegger?”

“Yes.”

“They’re hooked. It gives me street cred.”

Carolyn embraces her flourishing social media presence. She plays mob attorney, Diane Miller, on General Hospital and appears as Barb on ABC’s Cougar Town. Carolyn maintains two websites and keeps in touch with her loyal fans via Twitter. She appears on many YouTube TV clips and interviews.

Carolyn was not a soap opera star at the time Bloomsbury bought her books. “The quality of the book, the manuscript stood alone. Only later…” when her career took off, did the popularity of Pandora rise. “Soap opera fans. They’re smart, together, savvy, opinionated, loyal, and the majority are women. The fans support Pandora as they support their favorite soap because they love a good story, good twist and turns and action”

Carolyn on Trapeze
Carolyn is a writer on a flying trapeze. Literally. “Writing a book, a short story, you name it...it’s very much like flying on a trapeze. There are so many steps to writing just as there are to performing a single beautiful trick. But even though you have to plot out the story...think about your moves in the air...and you have to jump off the board...in essence put your pen to paper, after all of that you simply have to trust that your moves and your words are good and the editor is going to catch you and straighten you out. You have to get out of your head and do the trick as a whole, not just a series of steps. And that’s how I’ve learned to look at each novel I start. Get off the board and get back onto the board. It’s all one motion. You have to think of the entire book, the entire trick as a whole.”

Weng Chen (Jade) illustrated the Pandora book covers. “I love the cover design. It’s Christmas candy.” When Carolyn first saw the cover of Pandora Gets Jealous, “I wept with joy at the cover. My girl realized. I went to my knees. These words sprung from my own head like Athena from Zeus. I saw them manifest. They will leave a mark. I created something tangible. It was humbling.” 

Carolyn Hennesy will be appearing at the Romantic Times Book Lovers Convention at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, April 6-10, 2011. "I'll be speaking on a panel with other soap opera actors turned authors!"

L. Fernandez would like to thank Carolyn for granting this interview. For further information on Ms. Hennesy, visit her website carolynhennesy.ning.com and to keep up on the adventures of Pandora Atheneus Andromaeche Helena visit pandyinc.com.
Photos provided by Carolyn Hennesy.

38 comments:

  1. Please tell me Pandora is blond. I always thought she was blond.

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    1. haha if u read it, u should've seen the cover and if u've seen the cover, her hair is brown! just saying... I like her with brown hair, otherwise it just doesn't feel right.

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  2. Michael,
    We recommend reading the book to answer your question.
    Sincerely,
    The Management

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  3. Such a great interview! I am a huge fan of Carolyn. LOVE her books & her work! Thank you for such an amazing interview

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  4. Erika,
    We appreciate your patronage.
    Sincerely,
    The Management

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  5. Thanks for such great interview. I love hearing about her process and I feel inspired to keep moving forward on my own WIP.

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  6. Laurie,
    We feel inspired to fly on the trapeze of life.
    Sincerely,
    The Management

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  7. Addendum:
    When our esteemed Mexican-In-Residence discovered that Carolyn’s aunt is actress Barbara Rush, he murmured in reverence, “When Worlds Collide.” This George Pal production was a science fiction film about the end of the world. When he learned Carolyn’s father was Dale Hennesy, Oscar winning Art Director for Fantastic Voyage – another science fiction film - and other films like Young Frankenstein, our learned colleague fell prostrate and uttered “I’m not worthy! I’m not worthy!”
    Sincerely,
    The Management

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  8. “I’m not worthy!” “I’m not worthy!”

    Truer words have never been uttered. I am really hoping MIR didn’t have cookie crumbs on his face while he was doing this interview.

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  9. Lee Rae,
    We have it on good authority that our Mexican-In-Residence brushed his teeth prior to the interview.
    Sincerely
    The Management

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  10. Well, his teeth are one thing and his face is another. I wish someone had taken actual photos of this historic interview. Just in case.

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  11. I love the image of the editor catching Carolyn as she propels her story through the air. Great interview -- and it's reassuring to know the Management is committed to a sound oral hygiene regimen.

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  12. Dear Megan,
    Dental hygiene is like writing. Using too many unnecessary, uninspired, uncouth adjectives is like allowing plaque to swing from molar to bicuspid without a net.
    Sincerely,
    The Management

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  13. The highly regarded Mr. Lupe is being unusually quite about all this, I hope he never ever takes me seriously. That would be a shame. I would .. feel bad.

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  14. Dear Lee Rae,
    We have it on good authority that our Mexican-In-Residence was on his best behavior during his interview with Carolyn Hennesy. As he worries about his street cred', he didn't want to be photographed wearing business causal clothes.
    Sincerely,
    The Management

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  15. Management, it is comforting to know that he, MIR, does worry about some important things like clothing and first impressions on celebs. Also the content of a wine bottle does seem to interest him a lot! (for proof see guest blog video at On Beyond Words and Pictures.) I would put the link in but I am too lazy tonight.

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  16. Dear Lee Rae,
    It was our understanding that Mr. F. had laid off the sauce. We will have to retest him. Thank you for bringing this lapse to our attention.
    Sincerely,
    The Management

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  17. Relax, have a drop of sauce, and come back over to On Beyond Words & Pictures.

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  18. Ms. Hennesy sends this message:

    "For all interested parties...Mr. F's teeth were pearly and his face devoid of crumbs. Yes, I did have to pick him up off the floor after he learned of my father's work but, actually, I thought it WAS just because he'd been hitting the sauce and forgave him immediately. Lupe...it was a blast...let's do it again after book six! C"

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  19. when is pandora gets greedy coming out?

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  20. Dear Anonymous,
    The next book in the Pandora series comes out in January, 2012.
    Sincerely,
    The Management

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  21. When is Pandora gets Greedy really coming out?

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  22. Dear Anonymous,
    Are you the same Anonymous who posted a comment about the next Pandora book on October 29th? If so, see previous response.
    Sincerely,
    The Management

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  23. I am not the same person. Why did Amazon say that Pandora gets Greedy will come out in June 2012?

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  24. Dear Anonymous,
    Who are we to argue with Amazon? The next Pandora book will be available in June 2012.
    Sincerely,
    The Management

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  25. im sexy and i know itDecember 14, 2011 at 11:18 AM

    bob u are a werido u know that right??? and what does wth means????

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  26. So when is the Pandora Gets Greedy exact release date?

    P.S. im sexy and i know it is, you are weirder than Bob.

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  27. Dear Bob, im sexy and i know i, and Devi,
    We are excited that you are excited about Ms. Hennesy's exciting new Pandora book due to be published in June 2012. Alas, we do not have an exact release date, but we're sure that as the exciting time approaches, Ms. Hennesy will notify her excited fans.
    Sincerely,
    The Management

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  28. Im sexy and i know it is my stupid dumb brother who hacked my laptop and looked though my browser history. He has no regard for proper English and my privacy.

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  29. Dear Bookworm,
    Thank you for the clarification. Any further comments from "Im sexy and know it" will be deleted from this thread.
    Sincerely,
    The Management

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  30. what other books of the pandora series are Ms.Hennesy going to write?

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  31. Lucy,
    As for as we know, Ms. Hennesy's sixth book in the Pandora series will be available this June. According to her website, a seventh book is planned.
    Sincerely,
    The Management

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  32. When is the seventh book expected to come out?

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  33. I love the Pandora series! I have every book, and I'm trying to get my sister to read them! :) Do you happen to know when the seventh book will be released? Thank you very much! :)

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  34. I love the Pandora books!I am so excited to read the seventh book!I hope it comes out soon!

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    1. When is it coming out anyway?

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  35. Management,
    Do you happen to know when the seventh book is expected to come out? I would be truly Grateful if you could say the expected date :) thank you!

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