Q+A with ‘Off the Page’ co-author Jodi Picoult; writing YA, favourite scenes and ‘Gone with the Wind’?

‘Off the Page’ is the fabulous follow-up to Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer’s ‘Between the Lines’ and MP! got the chance to ask one of the authors all of our burning questions.


From drooling over Darcy to the co-writing process, Jodi Picoult gives us all the goss:

Tell us what ‘Off The Page’ is about in the length of a tweet. When the love of Delilah’s life – Oliver – escapes the pages of the book in which he’s written, everything should be Happily Ever After. But what if it’s not?

This book obviously ties in with ‘Between The Lines’, but should we read it first, before trying ‘Off The Page’? Are there any *dramatic pause* spoilers? Of course you should read Between the Lines first! It’s a great read! But seriously, it puts ‘Off The Page’ into context and explains how Oliver and Delilah ‘meet’ each other and how inventive they have been in their efforts to actually, physically, meet. There’s a lot of drama – and a cliff! And a great deal of will they/won’t they actually find a way to get together. You can enjoy ‘Off the Page’ on its own merits — we’ll catch you up on what you’ve missed — but it’s a much richer read if you’ve been on the journey with Oliver and Delilah from the start.

What’s the process of writing between you and your daughter, Samantha van Leer? Sammy and I literally sat together day after day and spoke the book out loud, line by line, until we were finished. She’d offer a sentence, and then I’d jump in, and so forth. Yes, it was hard sometimes, but yes it was also the most fantastic time – I mean, how many Moms can say they actually wrote a book with their daughter?! By the time we had to edit the novel, Sammy was back at college, and very busy. We edited via speakerphone from 11PM to midnight, the only time she was free.

What character do you wish you could pull out of a book? I’m pretty sure Mr. Darcy is still waiting for me.

And if you could jump inside a book – where would you go? I would get straight into ‘Gone with the Wind’.. simply so I could wear the gowns and dance at a ball. But I think I’d be an abolitionist.

You’ve written so many wonderful adult books! What do you think is different about writing YA? Writing YA is fun! My adult books all have humour in them, sure, but the subject matter comes from stuff that I’m worrying about, or wondering about, so there are different questions that need to be asked in them and they tend to be darker. The YA books were a breath of fresh air.

What was your favourite scene to write in ‘Off The Page’? By far, the scene where Seraphima goes to the mall. We laughed a LOT during that.

And finally, because we want to know where the magic happens, send us a snap of where you write!

jodi picoult writing space

Sweet! Muchos gracias to Jodi Picoult for answering all our questions.

Have you read ‘Off the Page’? Tweet us your thoughts @maximumpopbooks

You haven’t read it yet? No worries. You can get your copy here.

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Written by Sarah Clare

Sarah is the Lead Writer and Design Queen here at Maximum Pop! Sarah holds an MA in Professional Writing from Falmouth University, and a BA in Creative Writing with English Literature from Marjon (BIG UP THE MARJON MASSIVE!). Sarah joined MP! after seeing an advertisement for writers on Instagram – because where else would a design master find their dream job?

Sarah is currently working on an expose on Draco Malfoy in her spare time. But not if his father hears about it.

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