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Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

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Monday, July 15, 2013 9:45 am
Hostile Questions: Kami Garcia
Posted by: Daniel Kraus

HOSTILE LOGOPerhaps you don’t live in one of the 50 countries where the books were published, or perhaps you don’t speak one of the 39 languages in which they were translated, so Imma gonna help you out: Kami Garcia is one half of the writing team that brought you the world-devouring Beautiful Creatures series. Apparently unfazed by the thousands of rabid fans currently try to scale the electric fence outside her writing compound, Garcia has decided to tempt fate and publish a new series, beginning with Unbreakable.

“Unbreakable”? We’ll see about that. I got a hammer named “Hostile” and a chisel named “Questions.” Let’s start breaking!

She's translating her book into another language RIGHT NOW.

She’s translating her book into another language RIGHT NOW.

Just who do you think you are?

I’m a girl who loves Black Sabbath, Dairy Queen chocolate dipped ice cream cones, Supernatural, and disaster movies. I have a terrible sense of direction, but I know how to get out from inside of the trunk of a car. I think happy endings are overrated, Joss Whedon is a genius (I named my dogs after characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and no one will ever convince me that the writers of Lost “had a plan all along.”

I’m a girl who is ornery, opinionated, fiercely loyal, and superstitious. If my hotel room has any variation of the number 13 in it (1321, 139, 5132 . . .), I have to change rooms. I secretly want to be Magneto, but as a kid, I dressed up as Wonder Woman for Halloween three years in a row. I believe that you can learn everything you need to know from reading books and watching Star Wars, and that if we pooled all the money Americans spend on lottery tickets in any given week, we could save our public library system.

Where do you get off?

Wherever I escape from the trunk of a car, of course. Or wherever I can snap a photo of a haunted location or piece of ghost hunting gear that I’m researching for my new paranormal thriller/romance series, the Legion. It’s easier for readers to suspend disbelief if all the facts in a novel are painstakingly accurate, except for the fantasy construct the writer has created. For Unbreakable (the first book in the series), that requires researching everything from ghost hunting equipment and techniques to the Illuminati and secret societies.

UnbreakableWhat’s the big idea?

For me, the big idea is always the same. Fight for the people you love–including yourself. Loyalty is a defining characteristic. You’re either loyal to the people you consider your friends and family–not necessarily the people to whom you are related–or you’re not. There is no gray. In Unbreakable, the characters are forced to face their weaknesses and insecurities to battle both literal demons, and their own personal demons. Ultimately, Kennedy, the protagonist, has to decide how much she is willing risk to save the people she cares about–and she has to find a way to believe in herself if she wants to stand a chance. Because believing in yourself is the hardest part, right? I know it was for me.

What is your problem, man?

How much time do you have? Teachers are underpaid and underappreciated, bullying is becoming a national epidemic, and our public libraries are under siege. Movies and video games are more popular than books, putting make-up on four year-olds and forcing them to get spray tanned qualifies as acceptable content for a TV show, and people still don’t know that the left lane of the highway is called the fast lane for a reason. It’s 2013, and there are people in our country who can’t marry the person they love because that person happens to be the same sex, but you can push your dog around the mall in a stroller if you want (which, BTW, looks ridiculous, people!).

Haven’t you done enough?

I’ve coauthored four novels and an e-short story (the Beautiful Creatures novels), published four short stories, and written 1.5 solo novels. If I compare that to the body of work of some of my favorite authors (Anne Rice, Stephen King, Clive Barker, Pat Conroy, Flannery O’Connor), I have a lot of catching up to do. Even if I didn’t, I have to write. It’s the only way to keep the voices in my head from driving me crazy. And I have lots of worlds left to build and people left to kill (on the page).



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