Saturday, March 9, 2024

Q&A with Brittney Morris




Brittney Morris is the author of the new young adult novel The Jump. Her other books include the YA novel SLAY. She lives in Philadelphia.


Q: What inspired you to write The Jump, and how did you create your cast of characters?


A: I was inspired to write The Jump after seeing a mini docuseries about the Cicada 3301 cryptology puzzle, which was a real-life worldwide scavenger hunt posted by an elusive group under mysterious circumstances.


While the Cicada 3301 puzzle hosted individual adults, I realized how impactful it would be to see teams of diverse teens taking on such a puzzle. And so was born The Jump, featuring Jax, Yas, Han, and Spider, taking on an oil refinery threatening to take over their neighborhood.


Q: The Kirkus Review of the book called it a “thrill ride unabashedly critiquing abusive systems of power that mirror real-world behemoths.” What do you think of that description?


A: I think it’s accurate! The Jump is probably the most high-octane story I’ve written thus far. I wanted it to feel like an action movie in book form, with a middle finger to the establishment at its core and a full cast of unapologetically fed-up kids doing what they can to make their world better.


Q: Did you know how the novel would end before you started writing it, or did you make many changes along the way?


A: I did! I like to think of my twists upfront before starting the story, that way there are hints and glimpses of the big reveal throughout and it feels earned.


The crux of what happens in each chapter was planned out from the start, but all the small details peppered throughout the story were almost all thought of moment to moment.


Q: What do you hope readers take away from the story?


A: I always hope my readers walk away from my stories sitting with a new perspective, even if it’s not one they agree with. I hope they read my stories and ask questions they’ve never asked before, and hopefully that they see themselves in my books! I want them to feel things.


Q: What are you working on now?


A: Currently I’m writing my first adult novel! It’s a rom-com, and I’m quite excited about it.


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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