The Wolfy Chicks, Judith Graves and Kitty Keswick, have stopped by to discuss YA paranormal--including their own awesome Climbing Rose novels--and the big Twilight weekend.
Judith Graves writes about vamps, werewolves and other folklore beasties. Her YA novel, Under My Skin, the first in the SKINNED trilogy, will soon be available from Climbing Rose.
Kitty Keswick creates worlds…fun, fantasy worlds that dabble in the paranormal, where anything can happen...and does. Her debut novel, Freaksville, is also coming soon to Climbing Rose.
Welcome, ladies! So, let's get the big Twilight question out of the way: Team Edward or Team Jacob?
Kitty: Well it's Edward for me...until New Moon that is. In Twilight I think Jacob was still a little boyish. But, as you may or may not know I have a thing for werewolves... In my series Freaksville, it's all about the fur & fangs. No Vamps there.
Judith: As a “root for the under-dog” kind of girl – hey, I write werewolf tales – I love Jacob’s character (especially as it develops over the course of the books), but have to admit, he’s the nice guy who, unfortunately, doesn’t get the girl and just can’t compete with Edward’s restrained passion and beauty.
Jacob for me. Sigh. He’s totally hot, (mostly) human, and loves Bella so completely. What did you like about the movie? What didn't you like?
Kitty: I'm really excited about the movie. In fact, I was planning to drive 5 hours over a huge mountain range to see it. My BFF lives ten hours away we were going to do the meet halfway thing. Until I woke up this morning and there was nothing but white outside my window. Snow. So, I'm going tonight.
Judith: I enjoyed the baseball scene, possibly the only time in the movie I actually felt Bella was in any danger. The protectiveness of the entire Cullen family was fab to see. The dance at the end. Ouch – I’m sorry, no matter how horribly Bella dances - I think a musician/composer like Edward would have enough rhythm for both of them. The actors looked uncomfortable in each other’s arms.
I liked the actress who played Bella and the actors who played her friends at school were great. But, I gotta say, some of the special effects made me want to laugh. Did you think the movie captured the essence of the book?
Judith: Yes and no. The basics of the story were there. However – and this might freak out the die-hard fans – I think the script should have been altered so that it didn’t follow the book as closely. It needed its own stage to strut upon. What I’m getting at is – you can’t have a movie built on longing looks between characters and hope the audience is getting the subtext.
I totally agree. The movie never added anything of its own--it was just a lesser version of the book. I was disappointed in that, but it was still fun to see it brought to life. If your book were made into a movie, who would you want to play your hero?
Kitty: OMG! Have you seen my booktrailer? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeJWDyfvR2M It's totally like a movie. I want a British actor to play Josh, of course. He's my Lycan/werewolf /hero, jet-black hair, bright blue eyes, a major hottie. It would be a tall order to find an actor to play him...but if there was movie rights...oh a girl could dream.
British actors! Can I put in a vote for Dominic Cooper? Yum!
Judith: Sigh. A movie – wowza, wouldn’t that be cool? I wouldn’t care how much fans like me slagged it either. J I’m a fan of the obscure, so I’d want a total unknown to play my hero, Alec Delacroix. Like Jacob, Alec (a human werewolf huntyr) is aboriginal – Métis, of French and Plains Cree ancestry….but if I had to pick an actor, I’d go for a young Adam Beach.
Why do you write paranormal?
Kitty: I can't write anything else. Even when I try not to write paranormal it always turns into one. I love the supernatural. I sorta live in a haunted house...shhh don't tell. Our ghosts have been quiet for a few month...no things moving. So you see, I can't escape the paranormal. You know that saying if you can't beat them join them.... In Freaksville, my heroine, Kasey sees ghosts. She also has visions. Oh and there's a HUGE paranormal skeleton in her family closet. But I'm not telling....you'll have to read the book. Just like the Twilight series, my series Freaksville, dives deeper and deeper into the paranormal as it goes along.
Judith: I’ve always loved the danger/horror/romance triple threat of paranormal fiction. I also love folklore and mythologies from different countries – amazing that many of them have similar themes. To me, modern paranormal fiction – vamps and weres and otherworldly creatures are extensions of century old stories. They’re still popular for a reason. Great conflict. Great love.
Stephenie Meyer cites Linkin Park and Muse as inspiration when she's writing--who's on your soundtrack?
Kitty: When I'm writing I need silence. BUT, I do listen to music when I'm plotting. I like Coldplay, The Fray, and a lot of British bands- no shock there, huh? Like, Kasey, I'm a huge anglophile, a lover of all things British. I love Depeche Mode, Echo and the Bunnyman...etc. Check out my tunes that inspired me on my myspace page. www.myspace.com/kittykeswickyaauthor I just re-did the background, so stop by and tell me what you think.
Judith: As a musician/singer/songwriter, when I first started writing fiction I needed silence. If I tried to listen to a song with lyrics, I’d hum along in harmony or envy a wicked bass line. But back then I wasn’t as focused on my craft. Now that I’m writing everyday, I’m able to enjoy the benefits of writing to music. Nothin’ like a little Death Cab for Cutie to put me in an angst filled, love torn mood. “I Will Follow You into the Dark” was THE song for Alec’s character. I’m also loving Tegan and Sara right now as inspiration for a new project. I’ve been listening to “Dark Come Soon” and “Walking with a Ghost”.
What inspired your paranormal story?
Kitty: Freaksville is ultimately a love story. Just like Twilight. But mystery is a huge part of it...the haunted theater. I spent a lot of hours in theaters when I was around Kasey's age. Every theater I've been in was haunted. Ghosts and that creative energy seem to go hand in hand. I wanted to tell a ghost story with a twist. The characters came first for me. Josh then, Kasey and her best friend Gillie. Günter, Josh's best friend was an inspiration. I wanted another foreign exchange student. I picked Germany. I know where my head was at the time...in my heart. My husband was born in Germany....but that's all he and the G-man have in common.
Judith: Years ago I picked up a book on a Cree mythological creature called Windigo. The idea of a Northern, man-eating creature with a heart of ice stuck with me (Hello, living in a small Northern Alberta town here!). After reading many vamp and werewolf tales, I wondered what it would be like if our winter-loving Windigo and other mythological beasties of the North were to suddenly come face to face with European based vamp and werewolf myths. Who would win? Who would prove stronger? And what would happen to humans caught in the fray? What if they could be saved by a handful of mixed-blooded teens – part norm (human) and part paranorm? And so Under My Skin was born.
What do you think the buzz for Twilight will do for YA in general and YA paranormal particularly?
Kitty: I hadn't read the Twilight series until a few days ago. (Usually, I don't read the same genre I'm writing in, but since Freaksville is done...) Then in a span of two days I read Twilight and New Moon. I'm on Eclipse now. And these aren't small books like, Freaksville. They're huge! I'm hoping it will help the already expanding YA market. I'm being selfish. I want readers to fall in love with Freaksville, just as much as I love writing it. I'm hoping, like Twilight, Freaksville will cross the age and gender gap. That teens and adults of both ages will read it.
Judith: Having read a ton of adult paranormal fiction, I honestly feel YA is finally catching on to the trend. Twilight is the first to reach global teen proportions, but many will follow in its wake.
Twilight, published in 2005, is also, no matter how “new” it seems to teen readers, simply working within the paranormal genre. I can’t help but compare it to the Sookie Stackhouse series written by Charlaine Harris – the first of which was published in 2001 (now a show on HBO, Trueblood). Although the characters in the Stackhouse books are a bit older, and the content more mature (especially in Trueblood – whoa – very mature), if you compare plots, you’ll see Twilight is not unique – it is following the general themes of the genre – as I mentioned before, retelling an old story. But this time the characters are in high school. And I guess that has made all the difference.
Ladies, thanks so much for stopping by and talking weres and vamps with me. Can’t wait to read Freaksville and Under My Skin! And also your upcoming Rose Petals (available for free from The Wild Rose Press) Kitty's My Prom Date's a Vampire and Judith's Old Flames Die Hard.
Thank you for all the support you've given the Climbing Rose Young Adult line of The Wild Rose Press. Our stories are still available on The Wild Rose Press website, however, since we aren't publishing new stories, our blog is no longer active. We thank you again for the time you spent with us and invite you to visit our Climbing Rose bookstore.