Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Interview With Lauren Magaziner

Today on the blog I have an interview with Lauren Magaziner, the author of the delightful Middle Grade book, The Only Thing Worse Than Witches! :)

The questions are in bold, the normal font is her responses, and the italic bold writing is my comments about her answers

And now here's the interview! :)

1. The Only Thing Worse Than Witches was such a delightful book! (And I just love the title of it!) What was some of the inspiration for the book?
Thank you, Jessica! *hands you lollipops and bunnies*

The idea for this book first started when I was living abroad in Edinburgh! I was so inspired by the ghost tours I went on and the atmosphere of the old city; I began itching to write a witch book. But every time I started writing, the tone of the story was way too dark, and I knew that I wanted to write a lighthearted and funny friendship story!

Fast forward a few weeks, and I went on a spring break trip to Italy with a friend. When I was in Positano (a small seaside town on the Amalfi Coast), I kept thinking, "This place is so lovely! What if I put those creepy, scary witches in a bright, sunny seaside town?" And that's how the witch settlement town of Gliverstoll was born! After that, curious Rupert and silly Witchling Two popped into my head, and immediately after: the dreadful Mrs. Frabbleknacker and her torturous classes. It all sort of unraveled from there!

And I'm so glad you like the title! Fun side-story about that: the original title was actually Rupert and the Sand Witch, but as a visual pun, it was really difficult to explain when I was talking about the book in conversation. People kept thinking it was Rupert and the Sandwich, which is much less interesting. My then-editor suggested I change the title to something new. It took about a year and a half and (what felt like) thousands of rejected titles before my editor's assistant chimed in with one genius suggestion: The Only Thing Worse Than Witches! It was perfect!

2. Do you listen to music while you write?
No way! I wish, though. I need the silence because I'm the kind of person who will start singing along to songs... or humming along to movie scores. And before you know it, I'm having a one-woman jam session, using a brush as a microphone.

So I can't listen to music, but I do, however, talk to myself and read my scenes aloud while I write. Also, sometimes I make funny faces in the mirror so that I can adequately describe them. I'm making the act of writing sound really weird, aren't I? (Writing is totally weird.)

3. It says in your bio that you studied abroad in Scotland one year! (That sounds like an amazing experience!) Are there any other countries that you would love to visit?
Scotland WAS amazing! Best experience of my life! And of course I want to visit other countries! I want to see the whole world! I don't even know if I can narrow down my list, but here are just a few of the countries I'm itching to see: Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Austria, Hungary, Switzerland, Spain, Greece, Peru, Argentina, Japan, China, India, and Harry Potter World (not a country... yet! #HarryPotterWorldDomination).

4. If you're able to talk about it, what are you working on now?
You can keep a secret, right Internet?

My next book is about a boy named George who gets taken to school for thieves, muggers, robbers, burglars, crooks, and otherwise intolerable criminals. As they train him and attempt to cultivate him into the best criminal possible, George must realize that he has a choice in who he becomes. It's very whimsical, madcap, and fun--with some silly, dimwitted adults and some smart, sneaky kids! My second book has a very similar voice to The Only Thing Worse Than Witches, so if you liked that one, you'll like this next one! (You can check my website for more book 2 updates as they happen:http://laurenmagaziner.com/)

5. Middle Grade authors are awesome! Who are a few of your favorite authors/what are a few of your favorite MG books?
What a tough question!!! Seriously, you can't ask a book lover to pick favorites! TOO. DIFFICULT.

But... how about we make a game out of it? If I were stuck on an island and could only have 5 middle grade books, here's what I'd bring:
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Wayside School by Louis Sachar
The BFG by Roald Dahl
The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson
His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

PHEW! That was tough! What are your island books, Jessica? And you, dear blog readers?

Hmm, now I'm realizing how difficult that question is! I think my five (At least at the moment!) would be:

1. The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
2. Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George
3. A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd
4. A Nancy Drew book
5. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

That was hard!

Thank you to Lauren for agreeing to this interview! :)

Don't you all love the responses she gave? And if you haven't read her book, try it! It's a delightful, funny book! :)

Want to find out more about Lauren Magaziner? Here's her website, Facebook page, and Twitter Account! :)

And here's her bio! 

Lauren Magaziner recently graduated from Hamilton College. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. Her debut novel, The Only Thing Worse Than Witches, released from Dial/Penguin in August 2014.

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