The time it was about Zenn Diagram

Posted April 4, 2017 by Stacee in Giveaways, Interviews | 11 Comments

I requested and devoured Zenn Diagram by Wendy Brant.  I love love loved it and as soon as I finished, I contacted Wendy to see if she would be able to do an interview.  And hooray! She said yes!

Before we get to her answers, let’s check out the book!

Title: Zenn Diagram
Author: Wendy Brant
Pub Date: April 4, 2017
Pages: 328
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Find it: Kids Can Press | Indiebound | B&N | Amazon | Goodreads

Eva Walker is a seventeen-year-old math genius. And if that doesn’t do wonders for her popularity, there’s another thing that makes it even worse: when she touches another person or anything that belongs to them — from clothes to textbooks to cell phones — she sees a vision of their emotions. She can read a person’s fears and anxieties, their secrets and loves … and what they have yet to learn about calculus. This is helpful for her work as a math tutor, but it means she can never get close to people. Eva avoids touching anyone and everyone. People think it’s because she’s a clean freak — with the emphasis on freak — but it’s all she can do to protect herself from other people’s issues.

Then one day a new student walks into Eva’s life. His jacket gives off so much emotional trauma that she falls to the floor. Eva is instantly drawn to Zenn, a handsome and soulful artist who also has a troubled home life, and her feelings only grow when she realizes that she can touch Zenn’s skin without having visions. But when she discovers the history that links them, the truth threatens to tear the two apart.

Sounds good, right?

1. Please give the elevator pitch for Zenn Diagram.

Math nerd Eva has an inexplicable psychic power that gives her far too much personal information when she touches people, so she’s learned to keep her hands to herself. Until she meets a boy who makes that nearly impossible. When she realizes she can touch him without getting anything, it feels like destiny, but when she finds out how their lives were tangled together, the past threatens to tear them apart.

2. Where did the idea come from? 

In the fall of 2013 I was feeling discouraged about my prospects of ever getting a book published. The dystopian I had spent several years on, the sixth manuscript I had written, the one I was convinced would be “the one,” hadn’t gone anywhere. The dystopian market was flooded and no one was buying. After feeling sorry for myself for a few months, one day I went to the park and brainstormed ideas for a new project. I literally wrote down anything I could think of. With every other thing I’ve ever written, I could tell you exactly where the idea came from. Zenn Diagram was just the result of desperate brainstorming. At the time, though, my daughter was a freshman in high school and I was reminded of how desperate teenagers are for connection and how hard it is for them to let themselves be vulnerable and let people see their darker issues. I think that had a lot to do with the premise.

3. Why do you love Eva and Zenn and why should we root for them?

I love Eva because she is smart and funny and in different circumstances she would probably have a lot of friends, but her condition keeps her isolated. She CRAVES connection – both physical and emotional – but she’s trapped by unwittingly learning about the battles people are fighting. I hope I was able to convey her loneliness and desire for intimacy. I remember craving that when I was a teenager.

Zenn … well … how could you not love and root for him? What a tough life and yet he doesn’t allow himself to wallow in pity. He puts his head down and works hard and doesn’t give up on his dreams. He’s quietly thoughtful and mature and, I think, sexy as hell.

4. What was the weirdest thing you googled while doing research?

Oh, gosh. I had to google just about anything math related. Names of famous mathematicians, fractals, calculator models, you name it. I’m not a math person by any stretch of the imagination. I also knew I wanted Zenn to be bi-racial and I like to write with a picture in my mind, so I googled “bi-racial male models” … things like that. I know … it sounds creepy.

5. Without spoilers, what was your favorite scene to write? 

I always like to write the romantic scenes – first kisses and falling in love. In Zenn Diagram, I think one of my favorites is when Eva gives Zenn a manicure.

Speed [ish] round:

1. You get the call/email/letter that says you’re being published for the first time. Describe the next 5 minutes. 

I actually got a text from my agent at 7:00 p.m. on a Monday night saying that she received an offer and asked if she could call me. I was LITERALLY about to go onto the court and play some volleyball with my women’s team and I couldn’t let them down, so I asked her if I could call her in an hour. Talk about commitment to the game! We finished our match (we lost, as usual) and I called her back from the lobby of the park district building. I played the second match with a HUGE smile on my face!

2. What three things would you take to a desert island?

Lip balm (practical, but I don’t think I can survive without it), glasses/contacts (I’m blind without them), and some kind of rechargeable iphone/ipad/laptop so I could have books and music and games.

3. You can only read one book for the rest of your life. What is it?

I have a terrible case of literary amnesia – I promptly forget the details of almost every book shortly after I finish it. But I have read The Life of Pi several times. Always something new to think about. And I just read Big Little Lies by Lianne Moriarty and I could see myself reading that multiple times. So entertaining!

4. What book character would you want to date and who would you want to be your BFF?

Again, I’ll claim literary amnesia. I guess I’d like to date Peeta from The Hunger Games – he’s kind and funny, self-depricating, and would love me loyally without being suffocating. As for BFF, I’d choose Tiny Cooper from Will Grayson, Will Grayson. I just remember him being so amazing and full of life!

5. What is the one thing about publishing you wish someone would have told you?

I’ve honestly done so much research over the past 20 years that not too much has surprised me but I guess I’m a little stunned at how SLOW the process feels. I thought that with technology, things would move faster. But it is like molasses. In winter. In slow motion.

6. You wake up and discover you are Bella in Twilight. You know how it plays out. What do you do differently? {Thanks to Bookish Broads for letting me use this question}

I would stop whining, ditch the vampire, and find a nice, normal guy who didn’t need me to die for us to be together. Sorry. Was never a big Edward fan. (Or a big Twilight fan.)


So my name alone should give you a clue that I graduated from high school when bangs were big and clothes were baggy. I went to Northwestern University and majored in journalism even though I had no desire to be a journalist. I’ve been married to a great guy for a whole drinking-aged person’s life. I’ve got two amazing and yet very different (and very tall) teenage kids. I like crappy food, pinning inspirational quotes on Pinterest, have a tendency to start paragraphs with “anyway”, and I wish I were funnier. I would love to be one of those really, REALLY funny bloggers (like Insane in the Mom-Brain) that makes you pee yourself a little bit. I am only moderately funny. I admit that. It’s one of my great sadnesses in life.

I started writing fiction when I was 10, but tried to be practical with the whole journalism thing. Didn’t take. Shortly after college, the fiction-writing desire reared its non-practical head and I’ve been writing ever since.

Website | Twitter  Facebook | Instagram Goodreads

Huge thanks to Wendy for letting me flail all over her taking the time!  Zenn Diagram releases today and I can’t recommend it enough!! I love it so much, I’ve got a giveaway for it! Book will be coming from TBD, giveaway is international, and additional rules are here.

**Good Luck!!**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tags: , , ,

11 responses to “The time it was about Zenn Diagram

  1. Tammy V.

    I am so NOT a math person. Big word person. I love word puzzles, reading, etc. I could do without numbers.

  2. danielle hammelef

    I’m an engineer by school so yes to math for me. But, now I’m a writer and reader and word play person. I’ve combined math with books for kids.

  3. Samantha D

    Neither- I am bad at understanding most math beyond the basics. Languages wise I can survive in Spanish and Chinese, only bc I used to live in both Mexico and China. I definitely not fluent though.

  4. Zoe

    Ooh, this is a difficult one… I think my strength, admittedly, lies with Maths – seeing as it’s something I’ve found logically simple yet interestingly complex since I was a child. However, as someone who also adores creativity, I love languages. I am rather awful in terms of memory, but the intricacies of each language have always fascinated me. Perhaps it’s linguistics that I’m referring to – I love the analysis of the English language itself, and its use in literature. Aside from that, French is a gorgeous language that I haven’t managed to forget as easily as I thought I would have after ceasing lessons! (Does sign language count?)

  5. Irma J

    Oh, I’m definetly a language person. I speak 3 deferent languages and I would love to add one more to my list.

  6. Zahra

    I love reading but I’m horrible at foreign languages, so ‘language person’ is out of the question! Definitely maths, can’t live without it (I believe math is American? Maths is British. Sounds weird in singular form. Then again, I’m not in the US)

  7. Zoeya

    I’m a cradle-born and grave-lasting reader, possibly writer-to-be too. In other words, languages person :)

  8. Tasha

    I am definitely not a math person. I get headaches by just looking at math equations. So I’m a language person for sure.

  9. _Sandra_

    I’m definitely a language person. But although math is not my forte, I manage pretty good at it. ;)
    Thanks for the giveaway!

Leave a Reply

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.