Thursday, April 21, 2011
Hey guys! About a week ago I posted a review of the book Bumped. Well today I have an interview from the wonderful author Megan McCafferty!
1. The world you created in Bumped was amazing. What was it like as an author to create something so real and vivid? Was it difficult or did it come easily to you?
Thank you! I did about a year's worth of research before I started writing BUMPED. I read a lot about the history of surrogate motherhood, teen pregnancy, adoption and sex education because I wanted to ground my frightening future in reality. (if you go to my Goodreads page, you can check out my "research for Bumped" shelf.) As for the slang, slogans and technology, my Sci-Fi loving husband cautioned me against trying to accurately predict what would be happening 25 years from now. He advised me to just have fun with it, and that's what I did.
2. What was it that made you decide to write a story about two sisters?
Genetics play a huge role in the world of BUMPED. Splitting the narrative between identical twin sisters opened up so many plot possibilities based around their shared DNA.
3. The two sisters Harmony and Melody come from two very different backgrounds: The Church and kind of a modern family. Why did you choose those particular backgrounds?
BUMPED is a satirical cautionary tale about what happens when extreme thinking crowds out more moderate approaches to social problems. It seemed natural to pit an oversexed culture against a dogmatic religious culture against a dogmatic religious culture because that's what you often see battling it out in the media. In doing so, I hope readers will realize just how much the two sides - as personified by Melody and Harmony - have in common.
4. Zen is one of the few biracial characters I've found in literature. Why did you decide to include a character like that in Bumped? (he was totally my favorite by the way!)
According to the Census, white Americans will be the minority by mid-century. The book is set in Princeton, NJ in the year 2036. Current day Princeton is already a very multicultural town and I imagine that it will be much more so 25 years from now.
5. Who is your favorite character from Bumped? Any character you particularly enjoyed writing?
It's hard for me to choose a favorite character because I have affection for them all...even the ones I kind of hate. In fact, the more loathsome or despicable characters like Ventura Vida or Lib - Melody's rival and Reproductive Representative, respectively - can be the most fun to write because they say and do such outrageous things.
6. What is the main message you hope a reader will get from Bumped?
When people first hear the plot of BUMPED, they think, "Oh, that's crazy." But is it really so far fetched? When "surrogacy tourism" is gaining in popularity, and the girls from 16 & Pregnant and Teen Mom get tabloid covers, and Abercrombie and Fitch sells padded bikini tops for eight year olds? I hope readers draw parallels between real life and futuristic fiction, especially in the way teens feel trapped by parental/peer/cultural expectations, or how the media sells messages about sex and virginity. If readers get to the end of BUMPED and can't stop thinking about it, then I've succeeded.
7. Bumped ended at a sort of a cliffhanger. Can you tell us anything about the sequel?
I'm in the middle of revisions right now, so I don't want to say too much. The sequel picks up eight and a half months after BUMPED ends. And there won't be a third book. I always saw it as two narrators, two books.
8. If Bumped were to become a movie who would be in your dream cast?
Oh, I have absolutely no idea! I'll leave that fun to the readers...or hopefully the casting director!
9. What was it that inspired you to become an author?
I've been making up stories since I learned how to talk, and started writing them down right after I learned my ABCs. I've never wanted to be anything else. My last non-writing related job was at Lucky Leo's Arcade on the Seaside Heights boardwalk (Yes, the same Seaside made famous by Jersey Shore.)
10. A crazy natural disaster occurs and you are only able to save 5 books. What 5 would you save?
The Catcher in the Rye, A Good Man is Hard to Find (Flannery O'Connor), Naked (David Sedaris), Feed (M.T. Anderson), and for my husband and son, The Lord of the Rings.
That's so nice of you to save books for your husband and son! I don't know if I would be able to do that. Hehe. I would definitely want to save The Lord of the Rings too.
Thank you so much Megan McCafferty for the lovely interview! I definitely can't wait for Bumped's sequel to come out. If you haven't read Bumped yet you should really pick it up! Its an awesome book.