I LOVED Birthmarked. Like, a fangirl-ish amount. So when I was asked to interview Mrs. O'Brien for her blog tour, I was doing something like this. (For more about the tour, go here.) Hopefully you enjoy reading the interview as much as I did!
1. So, I know this if probably your most-asked and therefore most-hated question, but I've got to know: Where'd you get the initial idea for Birthmarked?
Jessica, I first wish to say how happy I am to be here. You were one of my earliest reviewers back when Birthmarked was first released, and I was so happy to have a good review! I hope you’ll like the Prized, too.
I don’t mind at all the question about where Birthmarked came from. The very first ideas began to come when I was driving across the U.S. a few years ago, and went through a drought in the South. The waterless lakes made me feel like climate change was already here, and I started to consider the social and political effects we’ll face in the coming years. Then I wondered what it would take to survive, and Gaia’s story began to form. I started writing the first chapter a couple weeks later.
2. Did you plan for it to turn into a series?
No, I didn’t. I didn’t truly expect the first book to be picked up, so I wasn’t planning on more. Then Roaring Brook offered me a three-book contract, and I thought Oops! I guess it’s a trilogy! I sat down that weekend to see if I could write any more, and I was immediately in the wasteland, so I began to believe I could manage it. Expanding the story into a trilogy has been an interesting challenge. I’m grateful my editor had faith in my work.
3. How many books are going to be in the series?
Three. I’ve been working on Promised, the third book, for about a year. I’ve just sent in my eighth draft, and it’s going to copy edits later this week.
Halloween was a big deal in my family when I grew up with my six siblings. My parents did not believe in us wearing masks, so instead we would line up at my father’s knee, one by one, and he would paint our faces with water colors and a fine-tipped brush. My favorite costume was a blue princess outfit, including a satiny cloak with white furry trim. My dad painted big red circles on my cheeks, and then I covered up in my overcoat to go Trick-or-Treating in the Minnesota cold.
5. What's your favorite scary-supernatural being and why?
I tell you. The scariest supernatural being of all time is the Abominable Snowman in the claymation version of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (1964). That thing scares the bejesus out of me even now, but it makes me laugh, too. Crazy, right?
Prized Code #8: V
Thank you so much for having me by, Jessica! These were fun questions. I hope you have a happy Halloween, and if you knock at my door this year, I’ll be the blue fairy handing out the Nestlé Crunches. Tomorrow, I’ll be visiting There’s a Book for my next stop on the tour. Thanks again!
Oh man, I want Nestle Crunches! But I'll be handing out candy this year instead of trick-or-treating (they grow up so fast!). Thanks for stopping by, for the awesome answers and kind words, and for writing such an awesome book. (I warned you guys I was a fangirl.)