Interview with Megan Kelley HallNovember 9, 2008
Hi guys! Remember my amazing review for Sisters of Misery by Megan Kelley Hall? Well here’s an interview with the amazing author! My questions are in bold and the answers are in normal text. I truly recommend Sisters of Misery… if you’d like to read the review click here.
Who is your favorite character from Sisters of Misery?
My favorite character is, of course, Cordelia. She is caring, brilliant, loyal, outspoken, eccentric, free-spirited, beautiful, independent and mysterious. She’s just the coolest.
How did you get the idea for Sisters of Misery?
I grew up right next to Salem and I wanted to write something like a modern day witch hunt involving teen girls. I also loved the idea of someone like Cordelia coming to a stuffy New England town and how she would (or wouldn’t) fit in. The story actually grew around the image of the “faces in the wall.” There’s a local legend in one of my neighboring towns that three kids were killed in a drunk driving accident and that their faces kept showing up on this old stone wall at the crash site. I’ve been haunted by that idea of the faces in the wall, which is why I built a story around it. (I just changed the faces and made them belong to women wrongly accused of witchcraft.)
I think Trevor is a spoiled, obnoxious, arrogant jerk. Sad to say, I’ve met a few Trevors in my lifetime. I’ve also met a few Kates. Though, I made the characters MUCH worse than anyone I’ve ever encountered (thankfully!). Trevor only cares about himself and think that the world revolves around him and his wants and needs. I think everyone has met a “Trevor” at one point in their life.
Do you think Kate is ALL evil?
Yes, Kate is pure evil. But, I don’t think that she really had a choice. Her mother and sister were terrible people and I think that if she had been born under different circumstances (not as rich, not as spoiled, not as pretty, not as privileged), she may have turned out differently. But as I said before, I’ve met many girls like Kate. I don’t know why, but girls can be much crueler (and scarier) than boys.
Who do you think Cordelia is most vengeful of out of all the characters in the book?
I think that Kate is Cordelia’s main target for revenge. But I also think she feels betrayed by Maddie, Rebecca and Abigail.
Was publishing Sisters of Misery a difficult task?
SISTERS started off as an adult fiction—about a woman going back to her hometown to find out the mystery behind her cousin’s disappearance, but my agent thought that it would be scarier to put Maddie in the situation as it happened. I think she was right! Definitely scarier! After several rejections as an adult novel, I ended up having a series of strokes, lost partial vision and had open heart surgery at 32 (all of this is a result of my childhood cancer and radiation treatment). During my recovery period, I realized that I needed to make my dream of becoming a published author a reality. I had already written for some magazines like Glamour, American Baby and Elle, but I didn’t have a book published. So, over the next year I rewrote my book, got an agent, reworked my book again (and again!) and finally got a two-book deal with a big publisher. All of this happened within one year.
Have you always wanted to be an author?
I’ve always written weird short stories (I’m a big fan of the spooky story with lots of twists and turns) for as long as I can remember. When I was in the fourth grade, I wrote about strange creatures, people being followed by ghosts, reincarnation, all sorts of strange, spooky stuff. In high school and college, I took every course on Shakespeare that I possibly could. I loved gothic short stories written by Edgar Allan Poe, Shirley Jackson, William Faulkner and Nathanial Hawthorne. And then at Skidmore College, I studied Creative Writing with Steven Millhauser, who then went on to win the Pulitzer Prize. So, yes, I’ve ALWAYS wanted to be a writer.
It’s so super glamorous. I have Johnny Depp on speed dial, I go shopping with the cast of Gossip Girls, I trade parenting stories with Brad and Angelina over coffee. Ha! I wish!! No, seriously, it’s not glamorous AT ALL! I love what I do and I love writing, but it’s very hard work and not as “cool” as I thought it would be. For some reason, I pictured myself as one of those über cool writers in coffee shops—you know the ones hunched over their laptops who trade fascinating stories with other writers—telling insider publishing jokes and basking in their fame.
My normal day is getting my daughter to kindergarten on time (not an easy task), running errands and doing household chores – ugh!, working for the literary publicity company I run with my mom and sister, trying to squeeze some writing in (I bring a notebook with me so that I can jot down ideas while I’m watching my daughter at the playground after school), answering emails (thank God for blackberries!), and hoping to have a spare twenty minutes to squeeze in a shower. So glamorous and cool, right?
Can you tell us what’s in store for The Lost Sister (11 months is too long of a wait!)?
Here’s the little teaser that is on the cover of book two.
THE LOST SISTER
Some Secrets Won’t Stay Buried
Sisters are born, not chosen…
Maddie Crane is grappling with the disappearance of Cordelia LeClaire, and trying to escape the grasp of The Sisters of Misery—an insidious clique of the school’s most powerful girls, whose pranks have set off a chain of horrific events, and who have Maddie in their sights…
Beware the sister betrayed…
Now in a prestigious boarding school far away from her mysterious hometown of Hawthorne, Massachusetts, Maddie feels free from danger. But when an unmarked envelope arrives at her dorm containing a single ominous tarot card, Maddie realizes with terror that some secrets won’t stay buried. Knowing she must return to Hawthorne—a town still scarred by the evil of the Salem witch trials–Maddie prepares to face the fears of her past…and the wrath of the sister she wronged.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would you live and why?
I would live in Hawaii in a heartbeat. It’s truly Heaven on earth. Amazing! Now if I could just convince my husband…
If you could only choose one: to read books or to write books, which would you choose?
That’s like asking someone to choose between eating and sleeping. Both are essential to my life. Reading is a lot easier than writing, that’s for sure. But, when I’m reading, I get that insatiable urge to write. They really go hand in hand.
Thanks for taking the time to interview me for your blog! I hope that your readers enjoy SISTERS OF MISERY! Let them know that they can feel free to drop me an email or a note any time– I LOVE hearing from readers!! Thanks so much, Vanessa!!
Have you read Sisters of Misery? What did you think? Are you excited for The Lost Sister? Is Megan the coolest or what? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!