Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Maggie Stiefvater Interview

Yay! Everyone give a great big Hi and SQUEEE to Maggie Stiefvater for stopping by today to answer some questions. In case you're behind, it's Maggie Stiefvater week at the FNC and we're featuring all of our archived Maggie interviews, book reviews and general love. But today is all brand new!

Check out our quad-review of Linger.

And now...onto the questions!

1. The FNC is pretty partial to the original bathtub scene in SHIVER (talk about emotionally amazing and powerful stuff!) and we know it was one of your favorites. Is there a scene in LINGER that stands out as your favorite?

Oh, I am very cheerful about every bathtub scene in this series. Do you know that the first bathtub scene was a total accident? Well, that whole plot line -- Sam and his parents -- was never supposed to exist. In the very first draft of Shiver, I was writing along and Grace was standing over Sam’s hospital bed, and she noticed scars on his wrists. And I was like -- “wait, what? There are scars?” Because sometimes, as a writer, there are these weird moments where the story just unfolds without you, and you can go with it or you can chop it out and get it back on course. So I decided to go with it. I decided that surely Sam was an emo-boy so he just couldn’t hack life as a werewolf and had tried to kill himself. But when I went to type Sam’s next line of dialog, instead of explaining his backstory, he said, “My mother did this one. My father did this one. They counted backwards so they’d do it at the same time. I still can’t stand to look at a bathtub.”

And Grace and I both went: O_O.

Anyway, I’m a big fan of angst, so as an author, I love the bathtub scenes in each of the books. And also there is a scene with Cole and a deer in Linger that I’m very, very fond of.

2. What was the hardest part of writing LINGER?

Starting it. I didn’t want it to just feel like I was rehashing the events of Shiver, and I knew that I could get away from that by shifting attention onto one of the new wolves Beck had made, but I didn’t really know who this person was. I kept scrabbling, trying to figure out how to get into this story, and suddenly there was Cole and life became so much easier.

3. As you were writing, did anything about the plot or your characters deviate from the direction you were planning and surprise you?

Oops. I, um, seem to have already answered this one. The thing is, I usually know my final scene, my beginning scene, and some key scenes along the way. And then I just take that and run with it, so I get surprised all the time. Most of this is pretty explicable but there are those moments, like when Sam refused to go with the backstory I’d devised for him, that completely change the book and delight me -- a rare moment when I get to experience then novel as a reader instead of a writer, because I had no idea what was going to happen.

4. Writers are dying to know--how many drafts does it take for a Maggie story to go from rough draft to the amazing lyrical brilliance of LAMENT, BALLAD, SHIVER, and LINGER?

Ha -- you know I just did giant blog series on revision, right? It really depends on the book. Some books take a lot - Shiver was 8 months of editing. Linger was 1. Forever will be somewhere in between. Sometimes you just see your vision more clearly at the beginning. Other times, you have to dig it out with a chisel and hammer. Doesn’t make you any better of a writer to only have to do one draft.

5. What aspect of LINGER, or scene, or feeling or idea are you most excited for your readers to take away from the story?

I am very excited and nervous to see what readers think of Cole’s character arc. He’s the scariest roller coaster in the park.

6. I know Cole's kind of a...well, not the nicest guy on the block, and I LOVE Sam, but...can I get Cole's phone number?

Oh, well, see, I’m not nervous any more. And no, you may not have Cole’s number. He wouldn’t be good for you. I hear Officer Koenig’s single, though. Beck, too, if you don’t mind the shedding.

Haha! Thanks, Maggie. So...I'll be waiting for Beck's number then. Thanks SO much for stopping by!

Stay tuned...tomorrow we'll be giving away an arc and a finished copy of Linger!


  1. Awesome interview!

    I loved hearing how Maggie writes, because it's EXACTLY the way I write! I know the beginning and the end, and a few key scenes along the way, but I never know when or where they'll happen. And surprises? I think my characters plot behind my back to see who can surprise me the best.

    Thanks for having Maggie week. It just so happens that I picked up Shiver last weekend (not knowing you would be featuring Maggie this week!). I'm loving the story, the werewolf elements, but I'm especially enjoying her wordcraft!

  2. great interview, i really enjoyed it

  3. That bathtub scene in Shiver and the deer scene in Linger are just amazing. They are permanently seared into my brain. In a good way, of course! Thanks for the interview!

  4. When Sam said that his parents gave him those scars, my face went O_O too.

    I can't wait to meet Cole-he sounds completely unlike Sam yet just as appealing o.O..

  5. Just wanted to add this:

    I just finished Linger and I LOVED it!

    And yes, Cole is the scariest roller-coaster in the park (I love that description, Maggie).

  6. I love the way she writes!! her writing is beautiful! once i read the last book i was like nooooo i dont want it to end! its too goodd!! what am i going to do now! haha its book...used to be hunger games but the shiver series kicked its butt!!! :DD luv ya maggie!


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