Today on the blog we have another author interview. Here is Diana Peterfreund, author of the new novel, For Darkness Shows the Stars! Diana also wrote the Killer Unicorns series, which I know lots of you adore, and the Secret Society Girl series.
1. Can you describe your book For Darkness Shows the Stars in three words?
Post Apocalyptic Persuasion.
2. What inspired you to write a dystopian novel as your newest book?
I was very much driven by the idea of recasting Jane Austen's Persuasion in another time and place. I don't really think of it as a dystopian, since there's no all-powerful government telling people this is the perfect way of life. Still, it fits in well with those kind of novels and readers who like them.
3. When did you realize that you wanted to be a writer?
Always. But I didn't realize I *could* be a writer until my twenties. I didn't know any writers growing up, and in the pre-internet days, it wasn't like you ever interacted with them.
4. Do you base your writing on your own past experiences?
In the case of FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS, I set it in New Zealand. I visited New Zealand in 2004, and I was utterly enchanted by those islands. They were so beautiful, so remote, so unusual, so magical. I always wanted to set a book there, and for my post war, isolated survivors of English extraction -- well, it was perfect.
5. Where do you usually like to write or read?
I read in bed or on the couch. I write in my office or on the couch. I'm a big fan of my couch.
6. What are some of your favourite books you’ve read recently?
Ha! I have been secretly spending a lot of time reading books that aren't out yet, like the proofs for two anthologies I'm lucky enough to be in this fall: FORETOLD, edited by Carrie Ryan (The Forest of Hands
and Teeth) and including other writers like Meg Cabot, Simone Elkeles, Richelle Mead, Laini Taylor, and Michael Grant; and UNDER MY HAT: TALES FROM THE CAULDRON, edited by Jonathan Strahan and including stories by Neil Gaiman, Peter S. Beagle, Holly Black, Garth Nix, Ellen Kushner, and Delia Sherman.
7. Do you have any favourite movies or shows? Do these relate to the novels you write in any way?
Oh, lots. I'm somewhat of a TV addict. I love teen culture, which is why I'm a fan of shows like Skins and Veronica Mars; I love well-wrought fantasy, which is why I adore stuff like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Game
of Thrones (Amber: YES! GoT takes over my life in April and May each year), Avatar: The Last Airbender, and (if we're being totally honest) The West Wing; and I'm also a big fan of lush historical stuff like Downtown Abbey and any Austen miniseries the BBC puts out.
8. What is one thing that you can’t do without when you’re writing?
I try not to get too tied to rituals like that, hence I jinx myself if I can't fit something in. In the winter, I do like a cup of tea to start the day, but it's so hot right now and my AC is broken, so I have to find an alternative (and iced tea doesn't quite do it for me).
9. How is the writing process for you? Do you sit and write until you are out of ideas or do you set a schedule for yourself?
It's a fight for me to find the time and focus I need to write. The former, because I have a toddler who can be quite persuasive about getting my attention. The latter because I find I'm very easily distracted, especially by the internet.
10. What are your plans for the next book? Different genre? A standalone, or a series?
Alas and alack, I cannot tell you that. My next book is shrouded in mystery. But I can promise you this: it's completely frockalicious. I've never stuffed so many gorgeous gowns in one story before.
Gowns, you say?! Anyone want to take a stab in the dark at what this could be about?
Thank you so much for being so wonderful and answering these questions, Diana! Your newest book is one of the most talked about of the summer, which is exciting. It was a pleasure reading your answers regarding it and your writing!
For Darkness Shows the Stars was published on June 12, 2012, and has one of the most beautiful covers I have ever seen! Has anyone read this already? What did you think of it?
Don't forget to check out Maji Bookshelf and Kindle and Me for their posts for the Summer Book Talk!