mardi 6 octobre 2015

Interview: Marci Lyn Curtis

Hi everyone! Recently, I read The One Thing and I absolutely loved it, so I thought it would be awesome to do an interview with its author, Marci Lyn Curtis, and guess what? Here it is!  If you haven't read my review yet, you can find it here. Keep on reading to find out more about this amazing writer!

Hello Marci! First of all, let me thank you for answering my questions today. To begin this interview, can you introduce yourself and your novel?

Hi Laurence! Thanks so much for having me! Let’s see…I’ll give you the short version: my name is Marci Lyn Curtis, author of The One Thing, a young-adult contemporary story about a blind juvenile delinquent who hits her head and is suddenly able to see a boy. It’s a tough book to sum up, so let’s just say it’s a coming-of-age with a little bit of everything—laughter, tears, friendship, romance, family, music, sarcasm, tragedy, cupcakes.


Translation: it’s a twisty little story. And if you held the book on end and gave it a shake, you’d probably rattle out an Everest’s worth of emotion. So people who like stories with lots of feels would probably enjoy it.

What inspired you to write this story?

I wish I could say there was this huge ah-ha moment that inspired the story. But the fact was, one day it was just…there—characters and all—and it picked at me and picked at me until I finally started to take notes, just to get it out of my head. Those notes grew to about a foot-high stack of papers that eventually became The One Thing.

Can you relate a lot to your main character, Maggie?

Well, I’m not blind, nor do I know anyone who’s blind, so writing this story required a lot of research. By “a lot,” I mean months.
And months.
On end.
Also, Maggie was a soccer legend, and the last time I was half-decent in competitive sports was never. I mean, unless you count obscure sports, like, say, Orange is the New Black marathons. With those I’m sort of a badass.
Anyway, as far as similarities, Maggie and I both lean toward the sarcastic side. I grew up in a smart-alecky family (you do one idiotic thing and you’ll likely hear about it for the rest of your life), so sarcasm and jokes are sort of second nature for me.

Who is your favourite character in your novel and why?

Ben—because he’s just so…Ben. Life has basically handed him his butt, and yet he’s made the best of it, without using anything as a crutch. Also, he’s hysterical, loyal, kind, and he makes a mean English muffin pizza.

So far, what's the hardest thing you've been faced with while publishing your novel?

Can I say everything? No? Well, if I had to pick just one thing, I’d have to say the most difficult thing about writing this particular story was the responsibility I felt to be a good representative for the visually impaired. I was constantly terrified that, even though I was spending so much time researching blindness, I was getting all the details wrong—that I was missing something critical in the technology, the daily life, the thoughts and emotions, the training, the parenting. It was just so much. And it required an amazing amount of balance. I didn’t want to marginalize visual impairment, but I didn’t want it to be the focus of the novel, either. Sure, Maggie’s blindness had tremendously impacted her life. But did I want to portray Maggie as a blind character? No. I wanted to portray her as a character. I wanted her personhood to always be the focus. I wanted people to experience her. So I had to really pick through each scene, each line, and each bit of dialogue to make sure that this always came first.

If you could have lived in any fictional world, which one would it have been?
The Harry Potter world. Without a doubt.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Oh man. Jandy Nelson. She’s a genius. I mean, I’d probably dig through her trash just to read her grocery list.
Sort of.

What do you like the most about being an author?

Sharing my characters with everyone. It’s like standing on a stage and introducing my friends to the world. 

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

This: just write. Write about the things that are important to you. Write to share a version of yourself with yourself. Write without thinking about trends, or about how readers might perceive you. Just write.

What are your future plans? Anything we could be interested in?
Currently, I’m writing a story about an orphan pickpocket forced to live with the uncle who betrayed her family. Like The One Thing, it’s a twisty little story, and it covers a topic near to my heart, so it’s been difficult to write. After that, I’ll be writing a companion novel to The One Thing, featuring a certain unmentionable character.

Once more, thank you for answering! I hope to hear more from you soon.

Thank you so much, Laurence, for this amazing interview!


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