Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl (V.O.)


janvier 2010




Lire l'interview en français

Hello Margaret Stohl. Our first question is a kind of ritual on Plume Libre : Who are you,
Margaret Stohl? Could you tell us a little more about you?

    Margaret Stohl : Kami and I have been friends for 8 years. We both love to read teen supernatural fantasy, and we love to compare books. We both love pizza and Coke Light and Buffy the Vampire Slayer and we fight about little things but never big ones. We are friends and writing partners, but we are more like sisters.

Hello Kami Garcia. Our first question is a kind of ritual on Plume Libre : Who are you, Kami Garcia ? Could you tell us a little more about you?

    Kami Garcia : I'm a mom - and a teacher - which are similar jobs if you think about it.  I'm a reader and a writer ; a person who is deeply affected by what I read. I could easily live on Diet Coke and pizza. I love disaster movies, and I'm very superstitious.

It seems that your collaboration started in a quite particular way, could you explain us the begininnig ?  

    M.S.: We always liked to read the same books as my teenage daughters, and we also read each others' writing.  One day we were at lunch together, and we started talking about writing a Southern Gothic story, set in the southern USA. And we kept coming back to two words - Sixteen Moons. By the time we left the restaurant - many Coke Lights later - we had created the Casters and our book was born ! Then the teens we knew dared us to write the book, and so we had to do it. They read our pages as we wrote them, and 12 weeks later we had a book !

    K.G.: Margie and I met when he oldest daughter was in my third grade class, and we became good friends. We've known each other for nine years, and we always talk books. One day we were talking about writing something together, and Margie's teen daughters and some of their friends (my former students) overheard us. They said we'd never do it. Where I come from that's a dare. So we wrote fifty pages, and they loved them ! They kept demanding more pages & we kept writing...

Your characters are very engaging and surprising.   How are they born ?

   M.S.: Lena is inspired by many of the teens we know - strong, individualistic, smart. Not afraid to be herself. Ethan is the fantasy boy we never got to date when we were teens ourselves J The other characters in our fictional town are inspired by family stories. Both of our families are from very small towns, and Kami's from the South.

    K.G.: Ethan sort of emerged very much as he is in the book. He knew who he wanted to be. Lena is a reflection of the strong and powerful girls we know. We wanted to write a female character worthy of them. The rest are bits of pièces, stitched together until they're really nothing less than themselves.

A boy who keeps a diary ; a girl adventurous...  The roles are reversed.   Why do you decide to create such a stronger character for Lena ?

    M.S.: We knew we would want to tell the story from the boy's perspective, to do something a little different than most of the other books we were reading. We wanted the girl to be the mysterious supernatural, and the boy to have to work to unravel her mystery. The seven teenagers we wrote the story for were girls very much like Lena, so we wanted to give them a girl character that was worthy of them.

K.G.: As I mentioned, the teen girls we know - Margie's daughters, my students, my sister - they are brave. They aren't afraid to be themselves, and they would never give up their individuality to be part of the group. They form their own groups & make their own rules. We were inspired by them.

Your novel is set in the Southern United States.  Why this choice ?  Is the Southern spirit (with its Civil War history), good for supernatural stories ?

    M.S.: We feel like the south is the most magical place in the United States. Also, there is a genre in the USA called the « Southern Gothic », which is a dark southern story full of mystery, adventure and romance. We were inspired as much by Anne Rice as the modern urban supernaturalists.

    K.G.: The American South has a rich history, full of old houses and graveyards that feel kind of hanuted and magical and beautiful at the same time. The South also is very distictive. It has a charm that's difficult to describe, and Southerners are the most gracious people !

Your novel needs a lot of imagination.   Where do you find your ideas ?  

    M.S.: Family stories, southern history, our own trips to the south. The fantasy books we have been Reading since we were little girls. American Literature, that I studied in collège. Stories handed down from Kami's family and my own. The teens we know. Everything inspires us !

    K.G.: We are both huge fantasy readers, as well as science fiction, comics, and graphic novels. These are genres where building universes is essential. And that's the most fun- craeting the universe and the supernaturals in the novel.

If we promise to keep the secret, could you give us some information about the second part ? (nothing ventured, nothing gained... :o)).

    M.S.: I can tell you that the sequel is finished, that it comes out in the USA in December 2010, and that it is even more intense than the first book. The stakes are higher, and the book is full of surprises. We hope fans of Sixteen Moons will like it as much as we do !

    K.G.: I bet Margie & I will say the same thing, but Book 2 is darker. The stakes are higher, and there are LOTS of surprises.

How works your duet ?

    M.S.: We outline together and then write separately - Kami in silence, and me blasting loud music through my earphones. Then we switch chapters and write over each other - over and over - until every single sentence has been polished by both of us. It's sort of a weird system, but it works for us !

    K.G.: Working with Margie is so much fun. We both write everything, and we have a shared vision for the story. We're like sisters. She is truly my best friend, and the best writer I know.

What are your plans ?

    M.S.: We are excited to see what happens with our series, and with the movie about our series. And we hope to be writing for a long time !

    K.G.: We're about the go on tour in the American South. I can't wait to see how the book is received in France & the UK. Then we'll start writing again. It always comes back to writing.

What would you like to tell to readers who still do not know your books ?

    M.S.: We hope readers who love teen supernatural romances as much as we do will give our books a try!

    K.G.: 16 Lunes is about love and loss, power and weakness, fear and courage. And  of course... There was a curse. There was  a girl. And in the end, there was a grave.

Thank you very much, Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia. You have the last word.

    M.S.: I loved coming to Hachette in Paris and meeting our French fans ! I hope to come back to France very soon and meet even more Caster girls and boys !

    K.G.: Thank you so much for your incredible support and excitment !

   Du même auteur Kami Garcia, sur Plume Libre : Biographie, chronique, interview 
   Du même auteur Margaret Stohl, sur Plume Libre : Biographie, chronique, interview 

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