1. Welcome to my blog Stefan. I'm honored to have you here with me and my readers today!
Would you like to start by telling us a little bit about yourself so we can get the chance to know you?
- Thanks so much! I'm happy to be here. :) Some random things about me: I'm American, I live Switzerland, I'm 19, I wrote a gothic-faery-fantasy called The Peculiar that was released a few months ago from Greenwillow/HarperCollins in the US and several other countries around the world, I like books and movies and traveling in trains, and I'm a classical music student, which basically means I spend a lot of time at pianos trying to learn crazy pieces.
2. Can you tell us something about your inspiration to write this book?
- I wanted to write a book with all the things I liked in it. At the time (I started writing The Peculiar in 2010) that was folklore, especially the creepy, Brothers Grimm sort, steampunk, and 19th century England. I also loved alternate histories and scary stories, and I wanted to try to combine all those things into a book in a way that felt natural.
3. Have you always wanted to be a writer or did you want to become something else when you were younger?
- I actually wanted to be an architect at one point. I know, what? Unfortunately, it takes a lot of math skills and other things I have in short supply, so I figured I'd better try something artistic. I settled on writing and music when I was around twelve and have been doing them ever since.
4. What part was the hardest one to write in the book?
- I got stuck in the middle. Without giving too much away, Mr. Jelliby, one of the two main characters, has been discovered in places he shouldn't be and is suddenly in grave danger. And I couldn't for the life of me figure out how the villain was going to try to do away with him. Nothing I came up with seemed scary/original enough. I can't say what it was I settled on, but it's on page 212. ;)
5. What do you hope the readers will take with them from this amazing book?
- Aw, I'm glad you think it's amazing. I hope the book will encourage a few people to be peculiar. I think the things that make people different are the things that make people awesome, and if you're going to save the world or do anything big/good/remarkable you may have to step out of line and have people look at you crookedly.
6. Which is your favourite book you have read so far?
- Too many to list. I read pretty much anything, so I'm not even sure. My favourite recent reads have been middle grade fantasies. Splendors and Glooms, The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, and Summer and Bird. All-time favorites would be The Lord of the Rings, the Narnia series, The Edge Chronicles, A Series of Unfortunate Events, and classic authors like Dickens and Tolstoy.
7. Do you prefer to read a book before watching the movie? Why/Why not?
- I do, but I guess it depends on the book/movie. In general, I think books will always have that special extra that movies never will, because in books there's space for your own imagination and movies are always only the director/make-up artist's/camera-man's imagination being dictated to you. Which can be fun, too (I love movies a lot) but never quite as fun as reading a book and building your own pictures.
8. Did you listen to music when you write this book and if so what music was it?
- I did, at first! Then I got out of it. Now I'm getting back in for Book 2. On Book 1 my soundtrack of choice was Atonement by Dario Marianelli. It's so well-done and very tragic.
9. What will you do next?
- Finish up edits on the next and final book, The Whatnot, which releases Fall 2013! Second books are hard, but I think I learned a lot from The Peculiar and I'm very excited about this one.