Laura Sibson: “Readers can expect their hearts to be broken and then mended back together”

5 Questions With...

Laura Sibson

[Note From Frolic: Our resident YA expert Aurora Dominguez got the opportunity to interview author Laura Sibson and ask her five(ish) questions. Laura’s novel The Art of Breaking Things is out now!]

Aurora: What was your inspiration behind your most recent novel?

Laura: I began writing this book so that I could process something that had happened in my past. Then, I wondered what might occur in a small family if the abuser returned into their lives. At the same time, I wanted to focus on the girl who is often the secondary character in YA novels: the party girl who hooks up with guys. I was curious about her story and wanted to hear what she might have to say and watch what she might do.

What character do you most relate to and why?

Although Skye, the main character, is not me, I do relate to aspects of her personality. I was also alternately annoyed by and fiercely protective of my little sister. I also held a secret that was poisoning me and my relationships.

Why do you feel young adult books are so popular and have such a voice right now?

I’m not sure that I can speak to their greater popularity, but I can tell you why I’ve been drawn to young adult novels. They often feature strong female characters and they almost always end with hope. No matter how grim the story – whether it be realistic contemporary or medieval fantasy – the stories end with a sense of possibility. Also, we adult readers were all teens at one point, so we can often relate to the emotions and situations that are conveyed in young adult novels.

Please describe the content of your latest book and what can readers expect from the read.

The Art of Breaking Things is about Skye, a senior in high school, who can’t wait to graduate and head off to art school. But when her mother’s ex-boyfriend re-enters their lives, he dredges up painful memories that she’s kept buried for years. Now she doesn’t know whether to run as far away as possible or give up her dreams to protect her little sister. 

Readers can expect their hearts to be broken and then mended back together. The Art of Breaking Things is about a girl trying to find her voice and making some questionable decisions on the way. It’s about using art to heal, leaning on friends, crushing on a good guy and trying to protect a sister who is growing up fast. But mostly, it’s about being heard and allowing yourself to take up space in the world.

What’s next for you in the book world?

I was fortunate to be offered a two-book deal from Viking and I’m thrilled that I’m able to work with my editor again. I’m writing that second book now, which is not related to The Art of Breaking Things. I can’t say much yet, but I can tell you that it’s about a girl living on a houseboat with her grandmother and the ghosts of their dead ancestors.

Who is your favorite writer right now and why?

Oh, that is an impossible question to answer! I never have just one favorite anything. And this year I’ve had the opportunity to read some wonderful books by authors in my debut group, so I have even more favorite authors than usual. The best I can do is share with you some books that I’ve inhaled recently. The Grief Keeper by Alex Villasante for its beautiful language and inventive, compassionate take on immigrant issues.  If You’re Out There by Katy Loutzenhiser for a story of lost friendship that is also a mystery. I’m always excited to see new books from Holly Black, Laini Taylor and Jandy Nelson. But my true favorite writers right now might be the group of middle school girls that I work with every week who have created a story of betrayal and friendship that celebrates LGBTQ+ rights.


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