For an explanation of the Breathless Reads tour and these guest posts, click here.
Also, previous winners of the Breathless Reads giveaways are announced on the original posts (they’ve been updated). So make sure to see if you’ve won!
***UPDATE: Becky Wallace, you are the winner of BORN WICKED and the tour poster! Please email me your mailing address, and congrats!***
Ally: Jessica, so far we’ve been to Pasadena, California, and to Cleveland County, North Carolina. Where are you taking us?
Jessica: My town – Washington, DC!
A: Why is this place important to you?
J: I grew up in a little one-stoplight town surrounded by apple orchards and farms. I never, ever thought I’d want to live in a city. But now I do – and I have for the last three years – and I love it. I love the diversity, the cultural opportunities, and all the restaurants! I feel like most people think of DC in terms of white marble monuments and power suits, but there’s actually a thriving arts community as well.
A: Wonderful! Where do we begin?
J: Eastern Market! Let’s pretend it’s the weekend. We’ll get a cup of tea from Peregrine and stroll down 7th Street SE, which is filled with vendors selling art, jewelry, handmade clothing, and all sorts of crafts. We can stop at the amber jeweler, where I’ve bought rings to celebrate various writing milestones, and sift through bins of cards, and try on fun hats. Then we’ll visit the indoor food market, where the cheese vendor will offer us delicious samples of New York cheddar and chive cheddar, and we can buy homemade ravioli for later (the butternut squash and goat cheese is my favorite, but my best friend swears by the mushroom).
After walking through the market, you’ll totally be hungry! We’ll head back to my neighborhood and go to Sticky Rice. They have the best brunch: fantastic sushi, mock chicken and waffles, tater tot hash, black bean avocado chili. Plus the décor is really hipster fun (red walls with tattoo art).
A: This all sounds delicious! Where do we waddle to next?
J: Woolly Mammoth for a matinee! My favorite major DC theatre specializes in premieres of new work. Right now they’re doing a new play by Jason Grote called Civilization (All You Can Eat), which is being billed as a “vaudevillian romp about consumption, corruption, and enterprise” featuring an all-star DC cast.
A: This sounds amazing. And, once we finish the matinee, it’s (somewhat ironically) time for more consumption. Where will you take us for dinner?
J: Oyamel! It’s DC chef José Andrés’s Mexican restaurant. I love the guacamole and the fish tacos with cilantro, but if you’re more adventurous you can try grasshopper tacos or cactus paddles.
A: In one of my books, the characters eat cactus, so I think I definitely need to give this a try myself. What’s the last stop on our mini-itinerary?
J: The National Portrait Gallery. You didn’t think I’d let you get away from DC without at least one museum, did you?
A: I was beginning to wonder…;) Actually, I’ve been to DC a few times, and never been to the National Portrait Gallery, so I’m very excited about this.
And here are a few more Q & A with Jessica…
A: Where is the best place to write/read here?
J: Sova. It’s a coffee shop that turns into a great wine bar at 5pm. My husband and I sometimes have Friday afternoon writing dates that turn into happy hours. I wrote parts of BORN WICKED there, and it’s where I’m having my launch party. It has really fun décor, too: red walls, chandeliers, gorgeous local art, and shabby-chic couches and tables.
A: The best place to buy a book?
J: The Fairy Godmother. It’s my tiny local indie children’s bookstore, right down the street from Eastern Market. Roberta, the proprietor, is always ready to offer a recommendation.
A: Is there anyone I just have to meet in this town before I leave?
J: My cat, Monkey! He’s adorable.
A: What song always makes you think about this place?
J: “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight” by the Postal Service.
A: Love this song, and the Postal Service. Many thanks for stopping by, Jessica!!
To win a hardcover copy of Jessica’s book, BORN WICKED, and a Breathless Reads Spring 2012 poster, leave a comment on this post by midnight (MST) February 22nd. The contest is open to US/Canada. You may only comment once. Good luck, and thanks again to Penguin Teen for providing the books and posters for the giveaways!