Maureen McQuerry, autoarea romanului The Peculiars, a fost foarte draguta si mi-a acordat un interviu pentru sesiunea de interviuri. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
„Maureen Doyle McQuerry writes books for teens and adults. The Peculiars debuts May 1st 2012 with Abrams/Amulet followed by Beyond the Door and Time Out of Time. She is also a teacher, an award winning poet and has written two non fiction books Nuclear Legacy , an IPPY award winner, and Student Inquiry.
She grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area before it became Silicon Valley and now lives in WA State near the banks of the Columbia River with her husband, Dennis. Eagles, wood ducks, a friendly owl and raccoons visit her yard. And once a rogue, wild turkey showed up too.” ( source is here ).
NH: First of all, thank you very much for granting me this interview. I was wondering whether you would like to tell us something about yourself.
MM: You’re welcome. I’ve always wanted to be a writer and I’ve always been a reader. I was an only child so I lived I my head a lot. I think that helped build my imagination and imaginary worlds for me. One of my early memories is sitting in an old walnut tree beside our house and reading out loud to my dolls. In high school I fell in love with poetry, with the sound of words and the images they created. My first writing to be published was poetry and for many years while I taught English literature and writing classes, I published poetry in literary journals. But I always wanted to write novels. I live in Eastern WA state near the banks of the Columbia River with my husband. We have two grown children that we have as many adventures with.
NH: Can you tell us what inspired you to write “The Peculiars?”
MM: The character of Lena sitting on a steam train and embarking on a journey came to me right away. I knew her journey would be a life changing quest and knew she was worried about something, about being different than everyone else. I also had the question of do we become who our parents are rattling around in my brain, so I made it Lena’s question. I wanted to give a nod to George McDonald in my description of goblins, so Lena’s hands and feet came from his stories.
NH: What can you share about your novel?
MM: The Peculiars is first and foremost an adventure story and a coming of age tale. It’s set in 1888, so the setting is Victorian and because I love quirky inventions, I’ve added elements of Steampunk. At the heart of the story is Lena Mattacascar who wonders if her impossibly long fingers and strange feet mean that she is different on the inside as well. All her life she’s heard rumors about her father who deserted her when she was five. She wonders if she’s destined to become like him, an outcast, a trouble maker, a criminal. She’s also heard rumors of Peculiars, old legends of people who are different, who may not even have human souls. Is she one of them? The Peculiars is a quest peopled with strange and loveable characters that eventually lead Lena to a greater understanding of herself and where she came from.
NH: I believe all readers and perhaps the writers as well imagine what would happen if they were granted a few hours with a character of their choosing. If you were to spend some time with your characters where would you go and what would you do?
MM: I would love to fly in the aerocopter with Jimson, Merilee, Mr. Beasley, Lena and of course, Mumbles.
NH: Do you have a favorite author?
MM: There are so many authors I admire and each for different reasons. I love Tolkien for his world building, Susan Cooper for her use of myth, John Green for great character voice and Daniel Woodrell for atmospheric writing.
NH: You have a time capsule and the possibility to preserve three books for the people of the future. What books would you choose?
MM: Another difficult decision… I’d have to say the Bible, Tale of Two Cities by Dickens and Lord of the Rings series by Tolkien, but that’s cheating because it’s more than one book.
NH: You are able to go back in time and take part in one particular historical event. What would that be and how would you change it?
MM: I’ve always been fascinated by a group of writers who called themselves the Inklings. Two prominent members of the group were JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis. The group used to meet weekly at a pub in Oxford called The Eagle and Child. I would love to have the opportunity to sit in on one of their critique sessions. I don’t think I’d change a thing. I just want to be there.
NH: You have a mirror that shows you a person of your choosing from the past and/or present. That person can be anyone: a president, a king, a queen, a writer etc. You can ask him or her only one question. Who would it be and what would you ask that person?
MM: I’d share a glass of wine with Jesus and ask him about the question of evil or suffering.
NH: Scientists have managed to create a machine that allows you to jump to the future. What year would you like to discover?
MM:Three generations out. I’d like to know my children’s children’s children.
NH: Would you like to add anything else?
MM: Just that I’m thrilled to be sharing with fans in Romania and hope The Peculiars will appear in Romanian one day.