1. In what ways do you relate to your main character, Prudence?
Prudence is actually really different from me. I was not so great in school, especially at math and science. She’s sort of who I wish I was, in a lot of ways. I do relate to her inner dilemmas – I’m always weighing the moral issues of things, and I have similar self-confidence troubles.
2. How much research did you conduct before you started writing?
Research is a mixed bag. Once I get an idea for a story, I start writing. As the writing progresses, and I see what I need to know, then I continue the research. I use a lot of pictures, videos, and books and just read about the period compulsively, until I feel like I understand it. The research never really ends until I’m done with the book.
3. If you could travel back to any period in history where would you go?
I like this question. It’s the game I play with myself when I’m starting a book. I think the enduring answer would be: The 1960s. It seems like a time when people were most wild and free – musically, politically, and, um, otherwise. Many of my musical heroes/heroines are from that time. I could do without the war, but much of that time period is pretty fascinating to me.
4. What's next for you writing wise?
I’m working on historical mystery set in the 1940s, during WWII. It’s about a female serial killer, is all I can say. I just finished a book about a graffiti artist and a poet girl who live in the parks of NYC.
5. Why do you think teenagers should read historical fiction?
“Should” is a word I hesitate to use with teenagers. It’s the fastest way to turn them off (if I remember correctly). I just think there are some really cool stories in history, and a good book is a good book, no matter the label. So, read historical fiction if you want to read a great story, read it if you want to learn something about the past that doesn’t come from a boring history textbook, read it for fun, to pass the time, to annoy your family and friends with weird facts. For God’s sake, don’t read it because you “should.”
Thanks so much Julie!
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