What inspired you to write a novel for young adults?
I’ve always enjoyed spending time with teenagers. I think that’s why I’m a high school teacher. And I’ve always loved to write. So what better way to bring together two of my greatest interests?
What's your favorite part about being a writer?
I love brainstorming for stories. The possibilities are endless, and it seems like you have so much control over people’s lives. Okay, so they’re characters instead of real people. But still, it’s neat to have that kind of power. The other thing I really like about writing is getting to be my characters. I have to draw something from deep inside myself to create them, and I love being so many different people—even if only temporarily.
Are you working on any other books?
I’m working on another young adult novel. I’m still brainstorming and outlining for it, though.
What's your favorite young adult book?
This is such a tough question to answer. There are so many truly awesome young adult books that I can’t identify a particular favorite. Some of the books I truly love, though, include The Golden Compass, What Happened to Cass McBride?, Sold, Thirteen Reasons Why, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Speak, Howl’s Moving Castle, and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. I could keep going, but…
The Everafter Questions:
What was your favorite part to write in The Everafter?
Definitely the romance scenes between Gabe and Maddy. I have to admit I love reading books that have romance as a part of the plot, and I have a lot of fun when I get to create my own romances, too. Having said that, my second favorite part to write was the slumber party scene, and the follow up to that where Maddy meets Tammy’s ghost at the slumber party. Although I don’t actually believe in ghosts, I did have a few strange experiences with ouija boards when I was younger, so it was tons of fun to play with that concept in these scenes.
Where did you get the idea for The Everfater?
I was in the teacher’s lounge at lunch one day and several teachers were talking about how annoying it is to lose small things like buttons and pens. One of them said, “Wouldn’t it be funny if all that stuff turned up after you were dead—just when it wouldn’t be of any use to you anymore.” Everyone laughed at the notion, but I remember thinking there was a story idea somewhere in there. So I played with possible ways to make the objects useful, and pretty soon I’d tumbled onto a sort of time-travel connection. I’ve always had a deep desire to do some time traveling. Since I can’t it was fun to give my character Maddy that opportunity through the objects she’d lost in life.
Did you do any research before writing it?
I did do some research for this book, especially in relation to the cause of Maddy’s death. I realize that sounds vague, but I’m afraid of giving too much away about how the book ends!
Where did you get the characters names from?
Most of the characters just got random names as I was drafting, and usually their names stayed the same from that point on. I suppose I shouldn’t use the word “random” because that sounds as if I just pulled the name out of nowhere, and that’s not quite true, either. I knew what I wanted the character to be doing, had some sense of his or her personality, and then as I was drafting the name just sort of came to me.
I put a lot of thought into Maddy and Gabe’s names, though. Madison seemed the right name for this character because so many of the girls in my daughter’s class are named Madison. I figured there’d be lots of Madisons out there reading this story at some point. Her last name was chosen because I liked the way it sounded with her first. Gabe’s name was chosen for its symbolism. He’s named after the archangel Gabriel.
How do you feel about the cover?
I love the cover. I’m especially fond of the color purple and I like the way the setting of IS is depicted. The orchids pictured there come from one of my favorite scenes in the book, and their luminescence is exactly what I was going for when I described the objects that appear in IS.
Thanks Kelsey for giving me this interview opportunity, and thanks also to everyone out there reading The Book Scout. It’s been great to share these ideas with all of you.
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