Aurora: What was your inspiration behind your most recent novel?
A.K.:I wanted to render homage to ballet using fiction. It was an exercise of sorts. It was also a Rodin sculpture called the Eternal Idol that made me think of dancers and their lines fusing, their intensity.
What character do you most relate to and why?
I think Marine because I’m, like she is, an observer. And I don’t at all have Kate’s light. I’m someone who works very hard and don’t equate my artistic successes with talent, but with persistence and sweat.
Why do you feel young adult books are so popular and have such a voice right now?
YA is immediate, intense, and raw. Teens cut through BS better than anyone. And, with all this social media and constant “I must brand myself” I think teens and adults are looking for real and meaty topics. We are looking for best friends who live through tough times and survive. YA provides that.
Please describe the content of your latest book and what can readers expect from the read.
My book is about two best friends who board at a famous Parisian ballet school and who are after one thing: The Prize, which will get them a spot in the company. They know that only one girl can win and they must dig deep to see what they are made of, and how far they are willing to go, and at what price.
What’s next for you in the book world?
I’m working on a new YA book about an orphan who takes shelter inside a Parisian boutique owned by a famous feather artist and there she learns to build her wings.
Who is your favorite writer right now and why?
I’d say Kathleen Glasgow. She is the author of Girl in Pieces and How to Make Friends with the Dark. I admire her ability to emotionally punch the reader but to also highlight the power of the human spirit. I’m also a huge Courtney Summer fan. Sadie is another one of my favorite novels. And then there is Nova Ren Suma who wrote The Walls Around Us and A Room Away from The Wolves. Also an exquisite writer.