[Note From Frolic: Our resident YA expert Aurora Dominguez got the opportunity to interview author Kuai Hart Hemmings and ask her five(ish) questions. Kaui’s novel ‘Testimony from Your Perfect Girl‘ is out now!]
Aurora: What was your inspiration behind your most recent novel?
Kaui: I wanted to write about a girl who was very comfortable in her life and having to be kicked out of that luxury and ease, only to find that discomfort can be satisfying. I was inspired by the idea of being uprooted–having to adjust both physically and mentally to a different place and way of living, and how that shake up can give a character a deeper understanding of herself and the people around her.
What character do you most relate to and why?
I relate to the main character, Annie, and how she had to act as a pioneer, in a way. While her situation is extreme we all move through stages of our life–moving from middle to high school, going to college or finding a job, moving away from home–where we have to work to put a stake somewhere and settle.
I relate to her aunt, Nicole, and her desire to start her own family even though “adulting” is often hard.
Why do you feel young adult books are so popular and have such a voice right now?
Because young adult voices are loud and their stories and perspectives are compelling and vital.
Please describe the content of your latest book and what can readers expect from the read.
It’s about a privileged pair of siblings who are forced to leave their palatial home and move to their aunt and uncle’s while their father stands trial for real estate fraud. Expect a lot of firsts for Annie–experiences and life-changing discoveries.
What’s next for you in the book world?
I’m working on a novel about a father struggles with his eighteen-year-old son. It’s set in Hawaii.
What’s your favorite writer at the moment?
I just read Peter Heller’s The River and was pleasantly devastated. It was a hell of a beautiful book.