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Strands of Thought

Musings and Random Words from Kai Strand-Mostly About Writing for Children


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Blogview with Maggie Stiefvater and Shiver
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I’ve been anticipating the release of Shiver for some time now.  I became a fan of Maggie’s when I read Lament, her first novel.  She weaved fantasy and music and vomiting together in such a fascinating way it kept me absorbed in the characters, the story and ignoring my family completely until I finished the book.  I loved Maggie’s writing style so much that I wanted more!  I found her blog and it made me laugh aloud plus she’s an interactive author to boot, replying individually to comments. My fandom was cemented.

 

I am thrilled that she agreed to a blogview.  What a pleasure to learn more about Maggie and her work.  Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce to you, Maggie Stiefvater!

 

 

-Maggie, we’d love to hear about some of the events that formed you. 

 

What was your favorite pastime during your elementary school years?

 

It should shock no one that I was a book geek. I spent a ton of time nestled in libraries reading everything I could get my hands on. I still have a pleasant reaction to libraries -- the other day, I was doing an interview at the ALA offices and it smelled like library. I was very snnnniiiiiiifffffffmmmmmmmm. I'm sure the interviewer thought I was insane.

I was also big on riding horses and training dogs. In my head, I believe I thought I was James Herriott.

 

In middle school were you more into sports and your pack of friends or was it all about boys and fashion?

 

In 6th grade, my parents started homeschooling us, but I didn't mind, because at that point, I had become a Reclusive Writer. I was definitely not into boys and fashion -- I would still put down a book if it got kissy. I was still really into riding, especially jumping, and also I was starting to become a history buff.

By high school did you have many good friends or fewer inseparable friends?

 

I. . . didn't actually do high school. Well, I did, sort of. I did part of a year of homeschooled high school, got bored, and got my GED so I could start college courses when I was 16. I had a core group of friends, all musicians, which got me through my high-school aged years, and stayed pretty exclusive with my circle of friends through college. I met my husband when I was 19 -- we were engaged before I was 20. I do find it hilarious that people now call me the "popular girl" because I was definitely not a social butterfly in college.

 

-What about the grown Maggie?

 

Maggie, you are very talented.  You are an artist and a musician, even writing the music to promote Shiver!  When did writing enter the picture? Did the writing make the artist or the artist blossom forth into written word?

 

I guess I never really thought of myself as a writer or an artist when I was younger. I was just me, and me had to try everything that she saw and liked. So I was always doodling and always writing, because I liked looking at art and I liked reading. It's also why I became a musician. I had to try it, not just listen to it. Same reason why I write music -- I had to see if I could do it or not. I have a feeling most people could do a lot of things if they were as deeply ADD as I am.

-Let’s talk about Shiver:

 

Sarah Mulhern at The Reading Zone says: Stiefvater’s writing is...Lyrical, yet stark at appropriate times, her subtle characterizations will leave you in tears.

 

Jen Robinson (Jen Robinson’s Book Page) says: Shiver is much more a novel of atmosphere, characterization, and romance than of action.

 

KidLit.com says: If you’re writing teen or paranormal romance, just know that the bar has been raised

 

Borders listed SHIVER as a Borders young adult summer pick.

 

And the praise keeps coming!

 

What inspired the alternating points of view that you use in Shiver?

 

Actually, I first saw it used to good effect in THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE and really liked how it elevated the romance to a love story. And then I read THE LAST DAYS by Scott Westerfeld and liked the way it could increase suspense. One of the big problems with using a first person narrator is that the reader assumes the narrator won't get killed off, because then the story would end. Believe me, you have no such limitation if you have more than one first person narrator. Muahaha.

Lament (which I highly recommend to those who haven’t read it) had an emerging, beautifully crafted relationship that had readers gnawing fingernails while waiting for it to come to fruition.  Now we have a girl and a part time wolf in a developing relationship.  Why do you like writing about discovering love?

 

I like looking at the beginning of things. And the ends of things. Mostly I like looking at points of change, because I think they're the places in our life that reveal the most about what we're made of. So while LAMENT and SHIVER are about the beginning of relationships, they also are filled with the beginnings and endings of other parts of the characters' lives. 

 

Can we guess it is also something you enjoy reading?

 

Yup. I love books with high emotional stakes. There's a tarot card called The Tower that is about everything you believe coming crumbling down and you having to reevaluate everything you thought was true. I think that if I were to name the genre of books that Maggie loves to read, it would be called The Tower.

Is there a yellow-eyed wolf in your life? 

 

My husband is my true love. The only person I ever really fell in love with, and am still in love with. It's one of the reasons why I believe that teen romances can last.

How many books are in the Shiver series?

 

Three!

-Speaking of tarot cards, can we look into the future?

 

What is next for you?

 

Bookwise, I am returning to the LAMENT world and finishing up the SHIVER series before embarking on a secret novel that I'm very excited about. Non-bookwise, I've lately been contemplating recording an album-length bit of music. I'm not sure. But I might. The itch is there, which is a bad sign.

Where can we learn more about your books and Loki, your Camaro?

 

My official website with the latest on the books is at www.maggiestiefvater.com, and my livejournal blog is a great place to find out strange and wonderful things about me as they happen: m-stiefvater.livejournal.com.

Thanks for interviewing me, Kai!!

 

My pleasure, Maggie! 

 

Be sure to visit Maggie’s website for more information about her beautiful new book Shiver and her other works.  Support your local independent bookstore and buy your copy of Shiver from them, I got mine yesterday from Camalli Book Company, Bend, OR!

 

Thanks for reading.

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