An interview with Jack Blaine

Hi Everyone.  My author hasn’t had her coffee yet, so she said to go ahead without her.  Today I’ll be interviewing Jack Blaine, author of the very popular YA dystopian novel Helper 12. If you haven’t already read it, you should read this next paragraph.  If you’ve already read it, you know it’s great and you can just skip ahead to the interview part.   

Helper12 works as a Baby Helper in Pre Ward, the place where babies spend their first six months of life before they’re tracked for vocations and sent to training. She does her job well, and she stays out of trouble. But one day, the Sloanes, Society members who enjoy all the privileges of their station—family unit clearance, a private dwelling, access to good food and good schools—come to “adopt” one of the Pre Ward babies. The Director makes a deal and the Sloanes walk out with a brand new child.

They also walk out owning Helper12—the Director sells her to them, and there’s nothing she can do but go. At the Sloanes, Helper12 enters a world where people should be able to enjoy life—with high position and riches come the opportunity for individual freedom, even the chance to love—but that’s not what she finds. The Sloanes are keeping secrets. So is their biological son, Thomas.

Helper12 has some secrets of her own; she’s drawing, which is a violation, since Baby Helpers aren’t tracked for Art. And she’s growing to love the child she was bought to care for—at the same time that Ms. Sloane is becoming disenchanted with her impulse baby buy.

When all your choices are made for you, how do you make some for yourself? Helper12 is about to find out.

Wow, Jack!  Your Muse did an incredible job with Helper 12.  What’s the next project they’re helping you out on?

Next up is a novel called Twitch, which will be out very soon.  It is told from the point of view of a minor character in Helper12, and it follows her story in the same world.  I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out.  And I LOVE the cover.

The cover is super cool!! And I love that it’s a companion to Helper 12.  With two books to choose from, which of your characters are you most like? 

Hmm.  I don’t really think I’m most like any of them.  They each have their own individual set of characteristics and while there may be nuggets of me in there somewhere, I’m always surprised at how they just seem to develop their own personalities.

My author would probably agree with you on this, because she has very little to say about what I do. 😉 So if you won’t pick a character, maybe you’ll tell us what’s your favorite book of all time?

Oh my, I can’t pick just one!  I am a big fan of so many different books.

That’s very diplomatic and a nice quality to have!  *behind a cupped hand whispering to everyone else* I hope Jack answers a question soon.  Let’s try this one.

In your opinion what makes a guy character swoony-worthy? 

Yikes.  That’s an interesting one.  I think it’s the inside more than the outside.  If a guy is brave, and a good person, with integrity and maybe a bit of charm, he’s swoon-worthy in my opinion.

*behind hand* Hurray! He answered.

I can go along with that, except my swoony guy has a little goin’ on outside too.  😉 Okay, this next one is a fun and easy to answer:  if you could go to a rock concert in Heaven, who would you go see? And you have to pick someone who has passed on, y’know?

Freddy Mercury.

Oh. My. Governor.  Do you know the author Emily Ward?  Because she’s a fan too, and I interviewed her last week, and so maybe I can introduce you.  But before I do that, we should focus on your interview and we are just now getting to the the good stuff .  Please confess you biggest writing sin!   


*Whispers behind cupped hand* Me too, Jack, me too.  So, are you more of a rule follower or a rebel? 

Rebel for sure!

YAY!! Yayyayyay!  Jack, you are the first to admit to rebellion. And the first to use so many exclamation points too! Me, personally? I love exclamation points and I’m always breaking rules, and sometimes it even gets me into trouble!  Like I get in trouble with my editor when I use too many exclamation points! So why are you a rebel?   

I don’t often do anything just because I’m “supposed” to and I often do things other people find odd or unusual.  I also tend to question authority, which I think is something we all need to do more often.

YAY!  And, I bet you don’t have to deal with the Archangel Michael like me.  Talk about authoritarian. Anyway, now I really want to know what inspires the rebel in you? 

Ideas.  I love to find ways to tell a fun, adventurous story while still incorporating important themes and ideas.  I get the best reader emails because of this!

Aww…I love that answer and reader email is equally nice. So what themes do you want your readers to take from your books?

I  like to explore dystopian worlds, and how easy it would be for us to get there.  I also like to think about what makes something “right” or “wrong” and what it takes to do the right thing in a bad situation.

Dystopian novels are so popular right now and it’s probably because sometimes things on Earth can get pretty screwy.  At least that’s this Angel’s opinion.  Hey, speaking of Angels, is there anything you’d like me to mention to your Guardian Angel? 

Yes!  If you could ask my Guardian Angel to find a way to stop all that procrastinating I do, it would be great!

*whispers again* You know what, Jack? I’m not sure I’m the right one to help you with this, but it’s definitely on my to do list. 

Hi, everyone, a completely caffeinated Shel here.  Helper 12 is an outstanding novel  and I’m very much looking forward to reading Twitch.  Here’s where you can pick up your copy.


Barnes and Noble:

Or keep up with Jack here:



Hope you stop back tomorrow when we have Grace’s interview with Adriana Ryan.


April 18, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . author interviews. Leave a comment.

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