Friday, October 28, 2011

Author Interview: Victoria Schwab

Author Interview: Victoria Schwab

Victoria Schwab is the product of a British mother and a Beverly Hills father. She grew up on the west coast but went to high school in the South at a girls' prep school, complete with plaid skirts that she used to doodle on during math. Talk about contrasts!

Today, she loves fairy tales, folklore and books that make her wonder if the world is really as it seems. Which might be why her debut novel, The Near Witch, is so creepily beautiful. It's about Lexi, a girl who lives on an enchanted moor and gets stuck solving a big mystery when, the day after an intriguing boy appears in town, children start disappearing. Ooohhh!

Read our interview with Victoria below before meeting her at YALLFest!

We’re all excited that you’ll be at YALLFest! What made you decide to come?

How could I resist? I’m a transplant in the South (originally from California), but I’ve lived here long enough for it to feel like home. Also, being a new author, I’m still adjusting to the idea that I get to see some of my favorite writers, not only as a fan, but as a colleague! That blows my mind.

How exciting to publish your debut novel! Do you feel like your life is part fairy tale?

It’s been thrilling, and an adventure, but it’s also been very, very hard work. I didn’t just sit down with a wisp of an idea, write a book, hand it to the publishing gods and get handed back a check. This book, and the beginning of my career, have both been a long time in the making.

                                                           The Near Witch
What made you decide to write a book for teens?

I didn’t, honestly. I decided to write a book. What emerged happened to be for teens, or at least to have a teen protagonist, but I’ve yet to sit down to a project with either shelf or reader in mind. My hope is that my books are for anyone who wants a bit of escape, a touch of magic.

Do you like to read scary ghost stories? What made you decide to write one?

I actually scare SO easily, which is kind of funny because I continue to write scary/creepy books. Maybe I don’t mind it so much when I’m playing creator, because I know the moments when things go boo. But to answer this question, NO. My imagination is way, way too vivid for scary stories.

Did you get along with your parents? (And did they tell you too many scary bedtime stories? :) )

I actually have a wonderful relationship with my parents. As an only child raised on a healthy diet of cookies, Shel Silverstein and Grimm, it’s really no surprise I turned out this way (morbid and addicted to sugar).

Who did you look up to as a teen?

J.K. Rowling and Oscar Wilde (he had such marvelous quotes). My teen years were dominated by Harry Potter, and Rowling is one of the reasons I became a big reader as well as a writer. Her stories, both of her own life/journey and those on her pages, have always inspired me.

Are your characters modeled after your own experiences growing up?

I am very careful when making characters to not give anyone too close a resemblance to real people in my life, mostly because if I put to much truth in them, I begin to feel a need for integrity, that is, a need to stay close to the person inspiring my character. I’d rather have full artistic license ;)

Are you anything like Lexi in The Near Witch?

Stubborn, wielding an axe, an attitude and an inquisitive nature? I’ll say. Now, only if that handsome stranger would show up in the fields beyond my window...

What's next for you?

My next book is called The Archived. It’s the first in a new series, and I’m not supposed to say too much about it yet, but it’s kind of like Buffy meets The Shining meets If I Stay. With a library.

See you at YALLFest!


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