Today I welcome Cynthia Leitich Smith to the blog, she is the author of the amazing young adult, dark fantasy Tantalize series. You can read my review of Blessed here.
1. When did you first start writing, and was there something in particular that inspired you?
I’ve always written. Okay, not at birth or as a toddler. But by second grade, I was steadily composing poems and short stories. I had a column in my sixth grade class newspaper, went on to become editor of my junior high and high school newspapers, and majored in journalism. I wrote during law school and taught legal writing and continued working as a reporter. I began writing fiction seriously in my twenties, and now it’s the cheerful focus of my professional life.
2. What first attracted you to the paranormal/urban fantasy realm when it comes to writing?
As a teen, I read a lot of horror/suspense novels. Stephen King was one of my favorite authors, and I was a fan of spooky, superhero, and sci fi comics. I also enjoyed scary fun movies like “Lost Boys” and “Fright Night.” Beyond that, I’m a big English Lit geek. I became fascinated by Abraham Stoker’s Dracula (1897) and decided it would be interesting to build a world in which the classic is loosely based on truth.
3. In regards to your own characters, who is your favorite and why?
Favorite is tough. I’m attached to all of them for different reasons. Clyde, the wereopposum, is a joy to write—he often makes pointed comments and can be really exasperating, but he’s also wry and loyal. More personally, I find myself identifying with Kieren a lot—we’re both bookish Austinites. It's been such a treat to see Ming Doyle's sketches for TANTALIZE: KIEREN'S STORY (Candlewick, August 2011). She's set a new standard for uber hunk.
4. What other genres (besides your own) do you enjoy reading?
I have varied tastes—I enjoy poetry, nonfiction, historicals…
The more I read, the more open I am to different kinds of books.
5. If you could not be a writer, what would you be?
Stand-up comedian or Lego artist.
6. As a reader I know how difficult it can be to name a ‘favorite’ book, would you mind listing your top three? (Past or present authors)
I adore The Mary Quinn Mysteries by Y.S. Lee (Candlewick), How Not To Be Popular by Jennifer Ziegler (Delacorte) and Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause (Delacorte).
7. What are some must haves when you sit down to write?
Ice tea, kitties, air conditioning.
8. If you became trapped as a character in a book or series, which would you choose and why? (Any book, any series, new or old)
Beauty Shop for Rent by Laura Bowers (Harcourt)—for the humor and friendship and camaraderie.
I have one copy of BLESSED to giveaway, kindly provided by Candlewick Press. The giveaway is open to Canadian and US addresses only. Simply leave a meaningful comment about the interview and then fill out the form below to enter. Entries in the comment section will not be counted.