Your Questions Answered by Award-Winning YA Author Jasmine Warga Ahead of Virtual Visit to CHPL

Written by Joe Armstrong, Content Specialist, Marketing, Downtown Main Library

New York Times bestselling author and Cincinnati native Jasmine Warga is virtually visiting CHPL Monday, Oct. 25, to share her experiences as an author, speak about her past and upcoming books, and participate in a Q&A session. Ahead of the event, Warga answered questions from customers and Paula Brehm-Heeger, the Eva Jane Romaine Coombe Library Director.

Ayaan: “Where do you get your inspiration?”

JW: “I get my inspiration from everywhere. All my best ideas come from curiosity, engaging with the world and asking questions about what I observe. Speaking of observation, I sometimes get good ideas from listening to snippets of conversations I hear when I'm grocery shopping or at the park.”

AJ: “What’s your favorite translated book?”

JW: “Oh! What a great question. I've recently re-discovered the joys of reading translated literature, which makes it very hard to choose just one title. But last fall, I had the pleasure of reading Colorful by Eto Mori and its boldness and brilliance has stuck with me ever since so I'll choose that.”

Joe: “Do you have any local inspirations for your writing?”

JW: “The Morton Arboretum. It's close to where I live now, in the Chicago area. It's gorgeous, and I love how it changes from season to season. Being out in nature is very good for my brain and for my heart.”

Paula Brehm-Heeger, the Eva Jane Romaine Coombe Library Director: “Can you tell us about the role that Cincinnati played in Other Words for Home? And, how is Cincinnati portrayed in the book, especially the Clifton neighborhood of the city?”

JW: “Yes! So, Cincinnati is the city where I was born and raised, and it always made sense to me to have Cincinnati be the setting for Jude's new home as it is the city I think of when I think of home. I wanted to render and celebrate Cincinnati — particularly Clifton — for all of its diversity and community spirit. Clifton is such a special neighborhood. I love all the old houses, the shops and restaurants on Ludlow, and how the energy from the university feeds into the community at large. I also particularly love the Library. (Shout out to the children's librarian, Mr. Eric who runs a fantastic storytime!)

Of course, I didn't shy away from issues of prejudice that certainly exist and are a real problem, but I wanted to explore both the beautiful things and the more difficult things. I actually wrote most of the book while living in Clifton and so I was actively inspired by all the landmarks and touchpoints around me. For example, I was walking in the snow at Mt. Storm park with my dog and baby daughter when I got the idea for the sledding scene.”

Do you want to ask Jasmine Warga something? Submit questions before the event through this form.

Register for the virtual event and join us at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 25, via Zoom. Want to catch up on her work before the event? Check out eBooks, audiobooks, and copies of her books available at CHPL.