Maureen Doyle McQuerry, the author of The Peculiars, has been really kind and accepted my interview! Here are some lovely answers she gave. Also don’t forget to check out The Peculiars which I assure you is a really wonderful book. I’m slowly reading it since I’m a little kind of busy but, for some reason, it gave me a really amazing feeling! Almost sent me thinking of the time I was reading Harry Potter back in 2004!(and the plot is nothing related to HP!)
Thank you Maureen again for being so kind and accepting this interview! Will post my review of the book as soon as I finish it! I love the peculiarness of the book! And the characters are really awesome!
1. Where/When did the idea of this book come to you?
The book idea came to me as most of my book ideas do with a character. I saw Lena on a steam train with long “peculiar hands.” It also started with a question that had been rattling around in my brain, “Do we become who are parents are?” I knew that was Lena’s question too as she set off on a quest to find her father. I was also interested in exploring how we treat people who are different and exploring the steampunk genre.
2. How did you decide on the name of the book – The Peculiars?
I wanted a title with a Victorian feel to it and I knew I wanted it to represent the “otherness” of Lena and people like her.
3. What’s the story behind the cover?
The cover went through three revisions. The big question was whether or not to have the protagonist on the cover. The second version did feature Lena but the cover had more of a gothic feel to it. The steampunk elements, gears and dirigibles were added in the third version. I absolutely love the font they designed for the cover. With each cover, they showed me the design and asked for my opinion, which was really nice.
4. Do you think that today’s society resembles the society in your book? (regarding the “strange” people who aren’t accepted by our society).
I think there are many similarities between today’s societies and the fictional world of The Peculiars. We mistrust people who are different. We’re unsure about how to best deal with immigrants and about how to manage our borders. Think of genocides based on ethnic differences. There are also similarities to other time periods. Think of the Holocaust, or how Native Americans were treated in the U.S.
5. Where do you like reading/ writing?
When I was young i loved to read up in a tree. Now i like to read just about anywhere. I have a hammock in my front yard which is a favorite spot, but I also like reading in the big overstuffed chair in my office.My office is in an upstairs bedroom that looks out through tree into our yard. I’m surrounded by art and other items that inspire me.
6. What are you reading at the moment?
I’m reading Cashore’s Bitterblue and enjoying it very much. I’ve also finished Patrick Rothfuss’s Name of the Wind–beautiful writing!
7. What’s your favorite book/book series?
There are so many that I love and they all seem to meet a need at a particular time in my life. One of my favorite series is Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings. I also am very fond of mysteries:Dorothy Sayers and Deborah Crombie are two of my favorite mystery writers.I’m inspired y the voice and language in Daniel Woodrell’s Winter’s Bone and Leif Enger’s Peace Like a River and any of the YA novels by John Green.
8. Which author(s) inspire(d) you the most?
Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Susan Cooper, they all incorporate myth in their work, and many of the poets past and contemporary. I wrote poetry before fiction and still write poetry when I have the time. Poetry teaches a love for words, an economy of language and layers of meaning.
9. What do you think about Romania? Anything in particular you’d like to visit?
I would love to hike in the Carpathian Mountains.
10. What do you want to say to your romanian peculiar fans?
Thank you so much for reading The Peculiars. I hope that the book will appear in Romanian one day soon.
About the Author:
Maureen Doyle McQuerry writes books for teens and adults. The Peculiars debuts May 1st 2012 with Abrams/Amulet followed by Beyond the Door and Time Out of Time. She is also a teacher, an award winning poet and has written two non fiction books Nuclear Legacy , an IPPY award winner, and Student Inquiry.
She grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area before it became Silicon Valley and now lives in WA State near the banks of the Columbia River with her husband, Dennis. Eagles, wood ducks, a friendly owl and raccoons visit her yard. And once a rogue, wild turkey showed up too.
She loves to travel, hike, bike and eat almond croissants.
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