37 days until TBF!! So close! I hope this interview with Margaret Peterson Haddix will help you wait for the big day.
Miranda Reads: You have written tons of books including two series and several stand-alone novels. What do you like writing more: a series or a stand-alone novel?
Margaret Peterson Haddix: I don’t think it’s actually a case of liking one more than the other—I think what I really like is being able to go back and forth between the two. What makes a series fun is that by at least the second or third book, I already know the characters and the set-up well, and so returning to the world of the series can be like going back and getting to catch up with friends I haven’t seen in a while. It’s a comfortable feeling, even though there’s also a challenge in coming up with something new within that world, so I’m not just repeating myself. The other thing I like about doing series is that, with multiple related books, I get to explore tangential characters and situation I would probably have to just ignore in most stand-alones.
With a stand-alone, everything is new and hopefully exciting from the very beginning, and it’s like exploring a fascinating place I’ve never gotten to see before. And there’s something very satisfactory about ending a book and having it be done, and not having to think about what might come next.
MR: Adding to the list of your amazing accomplishments, you have written science fiction, fantasy and adventure novels. Are there some genres that are easier to write than others?
MPH: I think adventure/suspense is easiest—and easiest to do quickly--because the pace of the revelations in the story drive the pace of the writing, too.
MR: It seems that there are more upcoming films that are based on a book or series. Do you think adaptions “ruin” the books? Why?
MPH: It is very, very rare for me to prefer the movie version of a story over the book version of a story—in fact, I can only think of one time when that happened, and it wasn’t a kids’ or teen book. But I don’t think that an adaptation is automatically the ruination of a good story. I know I’m reaching way, way back in time for this example, but Holes was a great movie, as well as a great book. I think the problem is that movies and books serve different purposes, and often even have different audiences, and the need to make everything visual means that movies tend to be much more surface-y, and not so deep.
MR:What is your ideal vacation destination?
MPH: Pretty much anywhere in Europe.
MR: One of your five fun facts says that you have bad character-naming skills. Then how do you pick out names for characters? By meanings of the name? By the popularity? Based off of a celebrity?
MPH:Maybe my problem is that I don’t actually have a process! I usually feel like what happens is that a character shows up in my head and announces, “Hi, I’m ___,” and I never challenge the character on that, any more than I would challenge someone I’ve just met, “Oh, no, no, no, that name doesn’t suit you at all. That’s an awful name! Surely you want to be called something different—don’t you?”
MR: What author are you most looking forward to meeting at the 8th annual Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival?
MPH: I’ve met several of the other authors before, and am looking forward to seeing all of them again. Of the authors I haven’t met, I think the one I am most looking forward to meeting is Sara Zarr, because I have read and admired many of her books.
Thank you Margaret! We're looking forward to meeting you!
Make sure to enter the TBF giveaway: 10 door prize tickets
How to enter: in the comment box, suggest an appropriate song for Stephanie to sing at the opening ceremony
Deadline date: April 22