Thursday, 21 January 2010

Interview - Kami Garcia & Margie Stohl (Beautiful Creatures)

Beautiful Creatures has been available in stores in the US since December and in Australia from the 4th of this month. The co-authors, Kami and Margie, kindly allowed me to interview them on the writing of this novel and other random Australian queries :)

You can read my thoughts on the novel here.

You've kindly explained to me what Red Hots are as well as grits, what Southern dish do you wish you'd included in the story?
Margie: Oh, Adele. There are so many, but then again, there’s always the sequel…

Kami: I think we underrepresented Red Eye Gravy. Any sauce made with cream, ham, and coffee grinds deserves a little attention.

Margie: Also Scrapple, which I am sad to report I ate without knowing it was made from the reject cow & pig parts that just didn’t make it into the actual BBQ…

Kami: There is a vlog on our YouTube Channel.

Ethan might be the protagonist but he's surrounded and informed by a multitude of strong females. How much fun is it to write someone as dynamic as Amma, the deepening connection with Lena or the bond between a teenage son and his mother?
Margie: You’re absolutely right, Ethan sort of plays the straight guy to a whole host of strong women and extreme characters. Every word out of Amma’s mouth surprises us. The Sisters don’t do a thing we tell them to do.

Kami: We couldn’t wait to find out what was going on with Ethan’s mother, but she would only come out when we least expected it. Ethan and his mother have always been very private, though we have gotten to know them both better.

Margie: Strong women are the only women we know, whether teens or adults. Of course, any neighborhood we stumbled into would be full of them!

Your favourite item on Lena's necklace of goodies? Did you make up stories for all of the bits and pieces on it?
Margie: Lena’s necklace is as meaningful to us as it is to her, and there isn’t a random object on it. Though some of it might not look valuable to you or I, it’s all she has. My favorite thing would have to be the silver button from the night they met, which Ethan found in the cracked pleather seat of the Beater.

Kami: Margie made the necklaces ourselves, and everything on them. We will be giving one away in one of our contests, which is the only way you can get Lena’s real necklace. I love the wire star that Ethan’s mother made for her childhood Christmas village. They are handmade from wire and hand-painted gold.

How did you and Margie meet? How did it evolve to a writing partnership?
Margie: Kami taught all of my daughters in school. We read the same books, and over the years evolved from book friends to critique partners to writing partners.

Kami: I think it would be impossible to write a book with someone you hadn’t known for that long and that well. You have to have complete trust in and respect for each other. We’ve been on something of a wild ride, and it’s great to have not just a writing partner, but a friend to share it with.

Beautiful Creatures is on Australian shelves from January 4th - how's it feel to know you're debut work is being sold in various locations around the world?
Margie: It feels amazing! I think Beautiful Creatures will now be published in 24 countries and 18 languages. My family travels quite a lot, and I have visited our German French publishers—and a few French fans. They’re as excited about the book as we are.

Kami: I just can’t wait until we get to come visit you, Adele. That’s the wonderful thing about YA literature, it really is an international community. We’ve met so many wonderful bloggers, writers, and tweethearts from so many different parts of the world—we love it!

I love Macon...if there were to be a movie version, who'd be your ideal casting?

Margie: I love Macon too, he’s one of my very favorites. But I have no idea about things like casting. I’ve been told everything from Kevin Spacey to George Clooney and Jeffrey Dean Stanton. What do you think?

Kami: Jeffrey Dean Stanton was for Ethan’s dad, I think. Margie knows I never cast characters in my head. They’re all so real to me, so I can’t imagine Macon looking like anyone other than Macon. And since I already know what the Macon in my head looks like, I stick with that one…

Ethan's mother intrigued me to a degree that is surprising since she'd deceased throughout the book (and not a zombie, vampire, etc). Will we learn more about this woman?
Margie: Adele, this is a sprawling Southern Gothic yarn. There probably isn’t a single character you won’t learn more about, sooner or later.

Kami: You know what they say, there are no secrets in Gatlin, not really. Not if you write (and read) enough books about them, anyway…

A big thank you to Kami and Margie for taking the time to answer these questions when they were particularly busy!

You can visit their website - or join the US Fansite at They don't have UK or Australian fansites, yet. But for now visit Penguin’s Spinebreakers website at



prophecygirl said...

24 countries and 18 languages.. wow! That's great news. Thanks for the interview, ladies!

Pam said...

Thanks for this interview!

Daisy Whitney said...

I love how Margie says the sisters don't do a thing they tell them to! Characters who have minds of their own!

RKCharron said...

Hi :)
Thank you for the interview with Kami & Margaret. Thank you to Kami & Margaret for taking the time to share here. Congratulations on the success of BEAUTIFUL CREATURES! This was fun & informative.