Thursday 28 March 2013

Author Interview: Maggie Stiefvater

(Photo Credit: Robert Severi)
You have been hugely successful as a writer. Has your success been a surprised to you?

Well, a surprise would indicate that I had expectations! I think expectations are always a dangerous sort of thing to have in a creative career, because so much of it is out of your control. After all, it's hard to predict if your creations will resonate in an audience's mind like you hope. And hard to predict economy shifts and industry shifts and a thousand other things that affect a book's success.

But I will admit that I'd always hoped to be a successful commercial author. Even when I was a tiny little black-hearted child, that was what I hoped. So I feel very fortunate.

Was writing always something you imagined yourself doing?

I really don't remember a time when I wasn't writing, although I clearly remember a time when my writing was absolutely dreadful. I wrote this senseless fantasy full of unicorns when I was 10 or so, and I rewrote it 11 times. I don't know why it just didn't occur to me that it was entirely dreadful beyond repair.

Was it a conscious decision for you to write YA?

Somewhere along the way, I got the advice to write the books I love to read, and YA was what I was loving. It's only now that I've written quite a bit for YA that it has occurred to me that I could maybe write for younger or older audiences.

What is your favourite aspect of being a writer? And the most challenging?

My favorite part is when I get to the part of the manuscript where it all clicks. It's very rare as a writer that you get to have the same experience a reader has, but there's a part in every novel where all of the character development comes together and as I write the scenes, it feels as if I'm reading them as a reader as well. The most challenging part . . . is getting to that place where it clicks. Especially when I'm on a tight deadline or when I'm tired or traveling. Or all three.

What is a typical writing day like for you? Do you have any ‘must-haves’ before you can sit down and write?

Really, the only thing typical about a writing day for me is that I must have my headphones on or my speakers blaring, playing the music I've chosen for each book. I can write happily in any environment (people can often find me tucked away in the corner of a conference or hotel, typing away) so long as I have music.

You create the most wonderful trailers for each of your books! Have music and art always been important to you?

Ah, thanks! Yes. As a teen, I used to have weekly crises as I imagined having to choose between my art, writing, and music. Which should I pursue? I thought I had to abandon two in order to be successful at any of them. My teen self would be delighted by how I get to do all of them now.

Do you have playlists for each of your books?

I do. They're on the website:, on each book's page.

Are there any YA books you can recommend? Maybe something you read recently that just blew you away?

Code Name Verity was my favorite YA of last year. All of my recent favorites can be found here:

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I think part of being Maggie is that I am strange enough that no one is surprised by anything I say. I don't think my editor was remotely shocked by the news that I was racing cars this year.

And finally, what’s next for you?

I'm working on the rest of the Raven Cycle (it's four books), and I'm working on a collaborative middle grade project with Scholastic, and I'm working on editing the third faerie book. Also I have a secret project that I'm kicking around to see if it kicks back. Oh, and I've just begun to work on the trailer for The Dream Thieves. I'm itching to get back into the studio again.
Thanks Maggie!

You can find out more about Maggie and her books at her website or by visiting the Scholastic Website.

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