Today's muse: Katie Davis
Author of: The Curse of Addy McMahon (review here)
Bookworm: Welcome, Katie! To start, please describe your road to publication.
Katie: The book actually wasn't born very easily. At first it had a different title, and there really were fairies in the story. Luckily I have good critical readers, and when it was suggested I take all the fantasy out, I realized it should be a story of Addy's relationships, and her struggle to learn when to take responsibility for the things she's done, and just as importantly, to not take responsibility when things aren't her fault.
Bookworm: Do you keep a diary, or an autobiograstrip, like Addy does?
Katie: I kept journals for years. Now I blog, though not about private stuff. I vowed to write a positive thought every day this year. Sometimes it's about writing, or the publishing business, sometimes just stuff that strikes me as funny or odd. I do have a box of all the journals I kept as a teen and into my twenties, though!
Bookworm: Was Addy's character based off of a real-life person or people you know?
Katie: I read an article in the New York Times in 1999, focusing on a situation in Latoon, Ireland, in which a storyteller was trying to warn local officials about potential danger. He told them if they bulldozed the white-blossomed hawthorn bush which stood in the way of a planned highway bypass, the fairies would curse the road and all who used it. The bush, it turned out, was rumored to be a fairy lair.
I loved that article and immediately imagined an Irish-American girl whose family lore
revolved around how great-great grandad chopped down a fairy lair back in Ireland, all those many generations ago. It was a family joke, but what if she still had some magical thinking going on? She might blame the curse for all the crummy stuff in her life and wouldn't take responsibility for the havoc she herself may have created.
Bookworm: Why did you make Addy an artist, like yourself?
Katie: Carolyn Crimi, a writer friend of mine suggested it! Addy always had the journal (though early on it took various other shapes, like a personal history paper for school, etc) and had collaged words and images in it. But Carolyn said, "Why don't you make her an artist, like you?" It felt exactly right.
Bookworm: If The Curse of Addy McMahon were made into a movie, what would your ideal cast be?
Katie: If she were still the right age, Abigail Breslin would've made a great Addy. Maybe Lauren Graham for the mom and Bradley Whitford as Jonathan.
Bookworm: What's your next project, book-wise?
Katie: I just turned in art for a picture book called Little Chicken's Big Dat, which my husband wrote, and will be published by S&S/McElderry in spring 2011. I also have a YA with a couple editors and another story I hope to sell this year. The WIP I'm focusing on now is an early reader graphic series.
Best of luck, Katie, and thanks for stopping by!
Are you interested in reading The Curse of Addy McMahon? I'm offering an ARC of the book, so enter below with your email address by March 1 and you could win a copy! (US residents only). Good luck!
Visit Katie here on the Web!