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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Interview with Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, Authors of Beautiful Creatures

Today I'd like to welcome authors Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl who stopped by to talk about their novel Beautiful Creatures, which is in stores this week!

How did Beautiful Creatures evolve from a tiny spark of the imagination to a full-length novel? Was there something in particular that inspired you?

Margie: Two words: Sixteen Moons. The boy from “boy meets girl,” really getting to tell his side of the story. The idea of a powerful girl rather than a doting girl wishing she could get closer to a powerful boy. The great sprawl and the wonderful characters of a Southern Gothic.

Kami: There an epic lunch involved and writing on lots of napkins.

Can you talk to us about the Caster Girls, who they are and why they were so important to your debut novel Beautiful Creatures?

Margie: All writers work differently, but Kami and I have always depended upon a particular group of girls whose voices and perspectives and opinions have been woven into Beautiful Creatures from day one. We wrote the book because of them; they dared us to do it, and then pored over every page. They’re our first fans, and we are theirs!

Kami: We always say that by asking what happened, they changed what happened.

What were you like as a teen and have you pulled your own experiences into Beautiful Creatures?

Margie: Yes and No. I was speaking with our German editor, who said no matter how many teens there are in her life, what she draws from when she reads YA is the memory of her own teen experience. I think that’s true for me as well. Teens are the more authentic versions of adults, I think, so anything a character deeply feels in Beautiful Creatures comes from deep feelings of our own, growing up.

Kami: I definitely do. What Margie said is so true. I remember that time in my life so vividly. It’s so easy to go back there.

What do you love most about your main characters Lena Duchannes and Ethan Wate?

Margie: I love Ethan’s loyalty to both the woman who raised him and the girl he loves, even when they conflict. I love Lena’s loyalty to the uncle who raised her and the boy she loves, even when they conflict as well. I love the way Ethan learns from Lena to be true to himself at any price, and the way Lena learns to trust him.

Kami: I love that two people who are so different, from such different worlds can understand and love each other so deeply.

Beautiful Creatures takes place in the small town of Gatlin, located in the South. When you were researching this novel, were there any places you visited or historical tidbits you uncovered that were particularly meaningful or interesting to you?

Margie: My maternal family is from a tiny town in the west, as is Kami’s in the South. So much of our Gatlin comes from our family stories, as well as trips to the Carolina coast: Savannah, Charleston and Summerville, the town closest to our fictional Gatlin.

Kami: I love researching the Civil War, and the history of the small towns that predate it. My my great-great grandfather, Alphonso Early, operated a freight station and post office, in North Carolina, which served as a mail stop. In 1904, as was a freight agent and the postmaster, he was asked to name the mail stop. He named it Cremo after the brand of cigar he favored.

Beautiful Creatures will be released on December 1st 2009. Will there be a sequel to Beautiful Creatures and if so, can you tell us anything about that or any other upcoming news/projects?

Margie: We’ve just finished the sequel, which I’m guessing you can expect to see on the shelves around this same time next year. Right now we are busy getting ready for all kinds of launch events, and our Beautiful Creatures Southern Tour in January! It’s all very exciting; every time someone reads the book and writes to say they like it, we still flip out. The whole YA community couldn’t have been nicer to us, and we’re so grateful!

Kami: It’s still very surreal at this point. I’m so overwhelmed by the kindness other authors have shown us. As for the sequel, we can’t say much at this point… but if you were surprised by the twists in BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, wait until you read the sequel!

You can keep up with Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl at www.BeautifulCreaturestheBook.com.

Visit Little, Brown’s Beautiful Creatures website at www.SomeLovesAreCursed.com.

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
(Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.
At least, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

You can Purchase Beautiful Creatures in stores now.


Book Crazy Jenn said...

I *heart* Beautiful Creatures - and LOVE learning more about the authors behind a great book - awesome intreview! :)

celi.a said...

I keep hearing wonderful things about this book, and Kami and Margie are so amazing - must read! Just have to clear the time now in my reading schedule...

Great interview (I like finding out that other people write on napkins, too!)!

brizmus said...

I guess she's lucky to so vividly remember her teen life. When I think back, it's mostly a blur of hatred and alcohol, and I've just forogtten so much of it.

That's so cute that they write on napkins!
thanks for a great interview!

Donna Gambale said...

I think Kami and Margie are officially two of my favorite interviewees... they give great answers!

Emma said...

This book looks amazing. Definitely number one on my Christmas list! Awesome interview!

Jessica Kennedy said...

This was a great read! :) I need to write up my review.

mstohl said...

This interview was so much fun! Thanks for having us! :)

Kari (Flamingo1325) said...

Hey I nominated you for an award over at my blog.


Lenore said...

I can't believe this is out already! I need to get to it SOON!

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