Friday, October 8, 2010

Find Out Friday: Erin McCahan

1. Did you put any part of yourself or people you know into Bronwen and Jared?

Does Bronwen have bits of me in her? Yes. But only small bits -- and then more experience than character. She and I have many more differences than similarities, most notably that she is far more outgoing than I ever was in high school. And Jared is just a creation that I thought suited Bronwen. The great thing about making up characters -- rather than basing them on someone -- is that eventually they start developing unique personalities that offer loads of plot opportunities I, as the writer, didn't initially imagine. I love the point in the writing process when that happens.

2. If you could match Bronwen with any other YA guy who would it be and why?

This is one of the best questions I've been asked yet! I would love to see Bronwen date Willoughby from Sense and Sensibility to teach him a lesson, to show him there is at least one woman who will not be seduced by his charms. Bronwen would not believe a single one of his lines, and she'd tell him so. He might not learn or change his ways, but he'd definitely remember her -- not as the one who got away but as the one who wouldn't give in. But as for matching, I'm rooting for Jared there.

3. What is your favorite (non spoilery!) scene in I Now Pronounce You Someone Else?

I like the Thanksgiving scene, the end and every scene where Bronwen is missing her father.

4. Your characters all have very unique names, how did you come up with them?

I keep a notebook of names -- first and last, male and female -- and pair them by sound, region and believability. The novel is set in East Grand Rapids, Michigan, which was settled by the Dutch, who have these gorgeous last names, so that was fun to play with.

5. What was your reaction to seeing your cover for the first time?

Shock. Good shock, but shock as in, "This just can't be real." In addition to waiting so long to see something I wrote in print, it was given this inexpressibly gorgeous cover. It took my breath away. It still does!

6. Is there a main message you hope readers take away from your novel?

It's been really interesting to discover, in reviews, what the individual reader/reviewer connects with and -- ugh -- what she doesn't. But reading is subjective, so I'd hate to tell someone she must interpret this book this way. I can tell you how I interpret it but not how you should.

7. Personally, what's your favorite YA book?

My favorite YA novel is the one that made me fall in love with YA -- my first love -- and like all first loves, it holds that special place in the heart that smiles and sighs come from. The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton, which I read when I was twelve, and I still long to meet boys named Soda and Ponyboy.


Thanks so much, Erin!

Click here to read my review of I Now Pronounce You Someone Else!

Click here to visit Erin's website!

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