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Author Interview: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Today I have an interview with the authors of Beautiful Creatures, Kami Garcia and Margie Stohl. You can see my review of Beautiful Creatures.

Who has inspired you as an author?

Kami: There are so many authors: Harper Lee, Flannery O’Connor, Ray Bradbury, Phillip Pullman, Clive Barker, Anne Rice. I could keep going forever.

Margie: I have always been a fantasy girl. My heroes at universe building are Susan Cooper, Ursula LeGuin, C.S. Lewis & Diana Wynne Jones. For me, everything a book should do is measured against everything they’ve done.

If you could collaborate with an author, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Kami: I would love to collaborate with Flannery O’Connor or Harper Lee because they were two of the most influential Southern writers in history. But if I had to pick someone to collaborate with based on my interests and genre it would have to be Tolkien. Modern fantasy was built upon his shoulders, and there has never been a greater world-builder.

Margie: I’d say Emily Dickinson, but she doesn’t strike me as much of a collaborator. Maybe Shakespeare. I’d like to get to the bottom of the whole “who’d you write those sonnets for” question, once and for all.

How do you pick the character’s names?

Kami: Naming characters is so much fun. I like the names to have hidden meaning, although not all of them do. We scoured our own family trees for some great names to use in BC.

Margie: Even the town of Gatlin takes the name of Anna Gatlin Harmon, one of Kami’s relatives.

How did the title Beautiful Creatures come to be?

Kami: There is a line in the novel that explains the title. There’s a dual meaning which appeals to us.

Margie: Titles are so hard! The book was originally called SIXTEEN MOONS, but we had to come up with something else. When we finally came up with BEAUTIFUL CREATURES we knew it was the one.

Do you have any “must haves” with you while you’re writing?

Kami: Diet Coke with ice, the comfy chair in the office or my bed at home, and silence.

Margie: Earphones. Music. Reading glasses. Caffeine. My laptop. A good idea.

Do you have a specific time or place that you write?

Kami: I can write anywhere, as long as it’s quiet. But I love to write at night.

Margie: As long as my earphones are on, I’m good. But I do love my bed…

What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest?

Kami: Challenging – revising. Easiest – drafting.

Margie: Challenging – revising Book 2. Easiest – drafting Book 1.

What’s the most rewarding aspect?

Kami: A boy in high school sent us an e-mail and said Beautiful Creatures was the first book he really loved reading. That’s pretty rewarding. It’s also amazing to have my former students reading our book.

Margie: My own teens being proud of the book, and involved with the process.

Is there a genre that you’d like to write? Is there a genre you’ll probably stay away from and why?

Kami: Urban fantasy is my favorite, so I don’t think I’ll stray far from that. I like realistic fiction if it’s really edgy. I could never see myself writing a traditional romance. I always like a twist.

Margie: Maybe realistic fiction? I’m not actively for or against any genre. I just write what I become interested in and see where it lands.

Describe your writing in three words.

Kami: Romantic. Real. Surprising.

Margie: Commas. Are. Good.

What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?

Kami: People are really affected by the setting, and even readers who have never
set foot in the South seem drawn to Gatlin. They find so many parallels between Ethan’s world and their own.

Margie: I love to read reviews; everyone sees something different in the book. I remember reading Adele’s review at Snarkywench—which mentioned the damage caused by secrets kept within a family—and thinking wow, I never even thought of it like that. Strictly as family drama, more than supernatural family drama. I learn something new about the universe with every review – good or bad!

What has your road to publication been like?

Kami: Unexpected and lucky. We never expected the book to get published, and I never imagined being lucky enough to work with people as gifted as the ones at Little, Brown.

Margie: Absolutely, our editors Jen Hunt and Julie Scheina are like our other writing partners; they’ve been so behind our book from the start.

What's next for you?

Kami: We just turned in the revisions for Book 2, and we go on tour in January.

Margie: Then we will do things like sleep.

If you had the option to know how and when you would die, would you want that information, and why or why not?

Kami: My great-grandmother used to tell me that she knew exactly when she was going to die. Of course, it was a secret. She died in the hospital, with pneumonia. But she looked so calm and peaceful. It seemed like she knew. I think I’d want to know when, but not how.

Margie: No way! I’m neurotic enough as it is! I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the idea that someday I might die.

If you could travel back in time for one year, what time and place would you choose? And if you could only take 3 things with you, what would they be?

Kami: New York, in the 50’s, I think. I’ve always felt drawn to the fifties – the music, the culture, the way things were about to change so drastically in our country. And New York was one of the epicenters of that change, as well as home to so many writers and artists. I would dial it back a decade if I could meet Jackson Pollock at the height of his career. I would take my camera, Snickers bars, and the charm necklace I wear every day.

Margie: I would like to be stuck in the rain at Lord Byron’s summer villa with Byron, Mary Shelley and Percy Bysse Shelley, while Mary wrote Frankenstein: A Modern Prometheus and Byron first wrote The Vampyre – all on a dare! I would take Beautiful Creatures, a camera, and my laptop. Hopefully I could snap a few pictures while they critiqued the book!

What if you could only eat one food for the rest of your life! What would it be?

Kami: Pizza.

Margie: St. Andre triple cream cheese.

What will you be doing to celebrate your pub day?

Kami: Our launch party is at Diesel Bookstore, at the Brentwood Country Mart,
in Santa Monica, CA. I’ll be there, freaking out.

Margie: Sarah Burnes, our agent from the Gernert Company, is coming out from New York, because she is just that cool. And we have blogger friends and writer friends and family coming…so it will be a great day, even with all the freaking out.

You can keep up with Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl at

Visit Little, Brown’s Beautiful Creatures website at

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Author Interview: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl + peace