Kiersten White: Supernaturally Q&A

Posted July 14, 2011 by 3 Comments

We are so tickled pink at Novel Novice to be part of Kiersten White’s blog tour for Supernaturally, her sequel to Paranormalcy!

We had fun interviewing Kiersten about her series, her writing, and we even got a *tiny* exclusive about the third book. Our thanks to Kiersten for taking the time to answer our questions, and to Mundie Moms, who are sponsoring the blog tour. Be sure to check out all the tour dates and stops here.

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Q. Congratulations on getting your very own pink bedazzled Taser! Now, what would be the first kind of paranormal you’d taze and why?

A. Probably a vampire. Part out of spite because none of them ever swept me off my feet when I was a lonely teenager, and partly because
they’re big wimps and I’d be less scared to go up against one of them than against a hag or something really nasty.

Q. What is the one thing you’ve made your characters do that makes you cringe the most?

A. Some of the choices Evie makes in Supernaturally make me cringe. I understand why–and I think she had to make those choices–but I want
to shake some sense into her.

Also, and this is totally dorky, there’s a scene in Supernaturallywhere Evie has to take out the trash and some of it falls on her. I hate that scene. So gross.

Q. Paranormalcy is not your first novel. How did your previous projects help shape it and your writing in general?

A. I think I needed to write those to get the experience and confidence to write Paranormalcy. They were all third person POVs, so Paranormalcy was a shift, but it was the book I finally gave myself permission to really let loose, to be funny and playful and just have fun instead of telling a serious story. And that made all the difference!

Incidentally, I’ve recently written a book that pulled a few key elements from two of my first novels. So again another reason never to regret a project you’ve had to move on from. You never know where you’ll use something from the actual story or from the writing.

Q. While some of us love her for this very reason, Evie has been criticized for being too much of a girly-girl. Would you like to address that? (Team Pink!)

A. I think people who think she’s too girly or a ditz don’t understand her. I recently read a really interesting review that meant a lot to me. The reviewer said that she thought Evie was a silly ditz on the first read, but then went and re-read the book. She said the second time through she understood that Evie clings to these notions of typical girl preferences because she wants so desperately to be normal, and it’s the only way she knows how. It made me so, so happy that someone who hadn’t seen past the glittery pink initially was able to understand that those are really indicative of Evie’s struggles.

I also say, if you like pink, who the bleep cares? What is wrong with liking feminine things? You can enjoy being a girl and still kick some serious paranormal butt.

Q. In Supernaturally, Evie deals with some pretty heavy issues–and they seem very allegorical. Considering the recent #YAsaves trend, how do you think reading about Evie’s paranormal (and totally normal) problems helps your readers?

A. You know, I never try for allegory. I write the story that the character needs to be told. I think the issues of identity and choice that Evie deals with are typical of the teen experience and I really hope teens identify with Evie and her journey.

This is what I love about writing books with fantasy and paranormal elements. In the end, they are still books about a teenage girl trying to figure out who she is and how to live in this crazy world. Everything’s just compounded by throwing in fossegrims and unicorns and sylphs and, of course, really adorable shapeshifting boyfriends.

Q. We’re introduced to a whole herd of new paranormals in Supernaturally: Unicorns, trolls, leprechauns. Any other kinds you’re saving for the third book?

A. But of course! I couldn’t write the whole series without throwing in a dragon, now, could I?

Q. Lend wants to work in cryptozoology. If/when Evie goes to college, what will she major in?

A. She honestly has no idea, which is part of her problem in Supernaturally. Now that she’s actually got a future she can plan for, she doesn’t know what on earth she wants to fill it with.

And, since Evie has no idea what she wants to major in, I don’t know, either!

Q. In both Paranormalcy and Supernaturally, Evie explores the concept of “home.” What is its significance?

A. I tend to write a lot about isolation. I know at least in my teen years I felt very, very isolated from everyone around me. I had a ton of supportive, loving people who were there for me, but for some reason I couldn’t see it. I think that’s most of what Evie goes through. She doesn’t have a typical family or home, and she feels very alone in the world. Part of her character journey is learning where her home is and that it’s okay if it’s not mother + father + child + obnoxious dog.

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 FLASH QUESTIONS:

* If they made a Kiersten White candle, what would it smell like?

Sugar

* Favorite cartoon?

Avatar: The Last Airbender

* Chocolate or vanilla?

Chocolate

* Your personal theme song?

Be Okay, by Ingrid Michaelson

* You’re on a deserted island and have to read one book for the rest of your life. What is it?

It’s a book where everyone who ever asked me this evil question is tormented for all eternity for the crime of creating a world in which I only
have one book. It’s a short book, but very satisfying.

* Favorite book as a child?

Anne of Green Gables

* Secret talent?

Raising one eyebrow independent of the other. My proudest accomplishment.

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