Why do you write for teens?
I love writing about teenagers, and have in all of my novels. At that time of life, the brain is expanding fourfold every day. Teenagers are especially prone to the first shivers of unrequited love, the despair that follows, and are smart enough to be cynical yet open about it. They hold all the stuff of great stories in their palms, and that does makes the writing process of young adult literature very, very enjoyable.
How much research goes into your writing?
Research is one of my worst vices. I probably spend as much time researching as I do writing. My rule is that I am not allowed to use the internet. Plane tickets are OK, the web is not. For the Magnolia League I went to
twice, spoke to a Hoodoo specialist, interviewed a bunch of people, and read about twenty books.
Which characters is easy/hard to write? Why?
The girls - Alex, Hayes, and Madison – were easy because they all had aspects of my own personality, both as a teen and now. The Grandmothers were also a ton of fun. I let myself get campy with them, but I know a LOT of Southern ladies who sound just like them. Doc Buzzard was tough because he’s an old magician and I don’t run across many of those in life.
Can you share a little of what you are working on now?
It’s a novel set in
about a group of young students abroad who fall into a dark path. I just got back from a second trip for research. Almost done….
What books do you look forward to reading this fall?
I’m always behind on the trends. When I finish this next novel I’ll take a month off to read. I plan on spending time with Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker, a few Lemony Snickets, Ms. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, which I hear is awesome, and some Flannery O’Connor. Then I’ll get back to work. My next book is a ghost story, so I’ll start “novel-building reading” with Turn of the Screw.
Thanks so much for the interview Katie!