Interview

Interview with Melissa Marr

 Melissa Marr , bestselling young adult   author of  the Wicked Lovely series of novels and new novel Graveminder  spoke exclusively to YAPS about her novels and inspirations

What’s your connection with Holly Black?

I love her new writing: I absolutely Love her new Curseworkers series and of course, I loved her Tithe, Valiant, & Ironside. On a personal level, I think Holly-like so many writers I’ve met- is an absolute joy to be around. Sometimes the job we do is so solitary, but on the road we intersect with others like us who are spending months locked in our rooms writing. Those conversations and meals are something I treasure.

‘Wicked Lovely’ has a lot of extracts from Robert Landkirk’s ‘Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Fairies’. What research did you do into fairies for these books?

I grew up believing the lore, and I read these books for my own enjoyment.  When I wrote Wicked Lovely, the quotes were my way of saying “look at these very cool folklore books out there!” I guess it’s a combination of the lore geek and the school teacher in me.

Who and What are your inspirations?

In a literary way? Faulkner, first and foremost. After that, I suspect it’s a mix. I did my undergraduate and graduate degrees in literature, so I am pretty certain that all of those classics had to have an impact even when I don’t know it. Likewise, I grew up on folklore, so that’s clearly in the mix.

 As to personal inspirations. . . My grandmother, of course, is the easiest answer. She was an amazing woman, fiercely loyal to her family, wise, and feminist in belief and act without ever wearing a label. People as a whole inspire me. I’m one of those women who never gave up on idealis. I still look at people and am often filled with awe. It was one of my joys when I was a bartender: I met so many strangers who told me their stories, and while, yes, there are a lot of people and acts in this world that disappoint me, there are also just as many that astound me. Those are the ones I look for.

What do you think Young Adults search for in a book?

The same thing adults do, I suspect. People are people. It’s a wonder to me when we think of “young people” as a separate category. They’re just as varied as adult and children. Some of them want action; others seek romance; and some,much to my confusion, don’t think they’d like to read.

Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?

I have not. I wrote one novel before Wicked Lovely, and after my YA novels came out, I had the opportunity to revise and publish it. I opted not to. I had 30-40 rejections on the query letter for it, and I was already so far into the WL series that I didnt want to take the time away to do that book.

What genre of books do you like to read?

I read everything but erotica and self-help. No, really. My genre reads are heavily weighted toward romance and fantasy, but I read some horror and SF. I like mainstream fiction and classics and poetry . . . and critical theory. I’m not much for television or film, so i am an omnivorous reader.

 What book are you reading right now?

I read almost every day, so I usually have a few in progress at any time scattered throughout the house-and many more stacked around waiting. Today I’m reading  Trickster Makes This World (L Hyde); in the past week or so, I’ve read The History of American Funeral Directing, one of Joseph Delaney’s Spook’s Apprentice books, What Happened to Goodbye (S. Dessen), and Charlaine Harris’ newest Sookie Stackhouse book.

Do you listen to music when you write and if so what type of music do you listen to?

I don’t function without music—to the extreme that I have playlists for every book I write, as well as for some characters.  Much like my reading, my musical taste ranges pretty widely. I’m liking William Eliot Whitmore (sort of American Gothic), Faun (German paganfolk), Fever Ray (electronica), Flykkiller (electronica), and Band of Skulls (rock).

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