Today I'd like to welcome Annette Curtis Klause. Annette is the author of The Silver Kiss, (you can read my review of that here), Alien Secrets, Blood and Chocolate, and Freaks: Alive on the Inside (review here), and more.
Me: I read that you are originally from England. Does that effect where you set your books? Have you ever consider setting a book where you grew up?
Annette: Since I am marketing my books in America, I tend to set them here so kids can relate to them more, although Simon, in The Silver Kiss, was originally from England and when he tells his tale, his story starts there. I did set a story in Newcastle upon Tyne in the North of England where I lived for six or seven yaers before I came to America. The story is called "The Hoppins" and was published quite a while ago in a collection called Short Circuits, edited by Donald Gallo. It's a spooky story set at a vast carnival that happens there every year.
Me: Where do you get your ideas? What inspires you?
Annete: That is a really hard question to answer because ideas can come from anywhere at any time--from a cool line in a song, from a strange picture, from something someone says, or just from ideas bouncing off one another. I tend to tell myself stories to explain things I see or hear--sometimes these turn into stories. I'm inspired by the books I loved growing up, and occasionally little tributes to them creep into my books. The cats in Alien Secrets are named after characters in Robert Heinlein science fiction books, for example.
Me: Do you have a favourite of your characters?
Annette: I suppose Vivian in Blood and Chocolate is one of my favorites because there's so much of me in her--not the hairy part, though. LOL I am very fond of three fierce little girls in one of the books I'm working on right now. .
Me: What are some of your favourite books and authors? Are you reading anything good right now?
Annette: I'm listening to the sequel to Larklight by Phillip Reeve right now--Starcross. It's hilarious. It's a science fiction adventure set in a parallel universe where Great Britain discovered space flight in the 18th century. The story is set in a Victorian time period but with spaceships and the style of the author perfectly mimics that of boys' adventures from the early part of the 20th century, and I can detect tastes of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Jules Verne, and H.G. Wells, etc.Margaret Mahy and Diana Wynne Jones are two of my favorite fantasy writers, and I love the Southern Vampire series by Charlaine Harris. I'm sure there's lots more, but my mind seems to go blank when people ask me this question.
Me: Do you have anything new coming out soon or that you're working on?
Annette: I am working on two books but I'm not ready to talk about them yet. I have a story coming out in an anthology from Candlewick at the end of next summer. The story is a sort of sequel to my book, Freaks: Alive, on the Inside. The story is called "The Mummy's Daughter" and the book is called Sideshow: Ten Original Tales of Freaks, Illusionists and Other Matters Odd and Magical.
Me: When did you first start writing?
Annette: Ever since I could write.
Me: In The Silver Kiss, Zoe's mother is very sick. Was that at all autobiographical?
Annette: Not at all--my mother is alive and well. I needed a reason for Zoe to be so vulnerable that she would feel empathy for a vampire.
Me: Blood and Chocolate was made in into a movie. Personally, I really liked it, but I know it did vary quite a bit from the book. How do you feel about it?
Annette: Aghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's about it. I probably would have liked it more if it hadn't been supposed to be my book--but I was so let down by what they did. I wish they had followed the story more--I knew there wouold be differences,I just didn't expect it to be THAT different. Sigh!
Me: Do you have any advice for beginning writers?
Annette: Read a lot, and pay attention to what it is the writers you admire do to capture your attention. Understand that a story isn't perfect the first time you write it--revision is a good thing.
Me: Lastly, a random question. What's your favourite candy?
Annette: Godiva Chocolates, but no blood centers. *evil grin*
Thanks to Annette for taking the time to answer my questions!!! You can visit Annette at her blog, The Human Oddity.