[Note From Frolic: Our resident YA expert Aurora Dominguez got the opportunity to interview New York Times Bestselling author Kiersten White. Be sure to check out Kiersten’s new dark fantasy novel ‘The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein‘]
What is the most exciting part about being a part of Miami Book Fair and meeting fans?
Books are written in isolation—just you and the empty page and the story you spill onto it. Getting to meet readers who have willingly spent time with the characters you worked so hard to create is always such a delight! Plus book people are my people, and I love every opportunity I get to hang out with fellow readers.
I read your most recent book and loved it! Is there a favorite character that stood out for you that was intriguing and fun to write?
Usually my favorite character in any book I write is a side character who gets to show up, say a few hilarious things, and then disappear. There’s little pressure with them because they don’t carry the weight of the narrative. However, with The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, Elizabeth genuinely was my favorite character. I loved getting to explore what happens when we can never be honest with anyone around ourselves for fear of rejection. Plus, Elizabeth is 100% Slytherin, which is always fun to write!
As an author, how do you best prepare for your next writing assignment? Any advice on inspiration?
I love to squirrel away inspiration and store it for later. A piece here, a flash there. I let them simmer in the back of my mind for months—sometimes even years!—until finally I’m ready to write and all those images and snippets of dialogue and character ideas come together in a rush. Take notes on whatever you love; you’d be surprised what things you think you’ll never forget until you are sitting in front of a blank screen and your mind reflects that blankness…
Who is your favorite YA author currently and why and how do they inspire your writing style?
I have too many favorites, but one author I always find inspiring is Laini Taylor. She writes such massive, epic fantasy that always has the deepest, most human themes. Also, in MUSE OF NIGHTMARES she wrote a kissing scene—about a single kiss—that lasted for actual pages and was stunningly beautiful. If that’s not skill, I don’t know what is!
Any advice for fans looking to write as well and get their big writing break?
Read widely, especially outside your preferred genre. And write. Get critique partners who can give you feedback. Don’t be afraid to start. We all start somewhere, and no one is perfect when they start out. (Or after years and years, ha!) You can’t make something better if it doesn’t exist in the first place.