A couple of weeks ago I read DEAD BEAUTIFUL by Yvonne Woon. Check out my review here.
I loved DEAD BEAUTIFUL so much that I asked Yvonne for an interview. We discussed the book and writing. I also asked her some fun and spooky questions for Halloween.
I hope everyone has a terrific and safe Halloween!
Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
Pub. Date: September 2010
(Also Available in Electronic and Audio Formats)
Age Group: Young Adult +
I first got the idea to incorporate Latin in the book when I was researching something totally different. I was in grad school at the time, and was sitting in the Columbia library when I looked up from my book and saw this huge Latin engraving over the doorway. It seemed so cryptic, and got me thinking about Latin and how strange it was that a language so influential could die. But the cool thing about Latin is that it isn’t really dead. I think you said it perfectly—Latin is everywhere, if you look for it. That aspect of it just seemed to fit naturally into the lore of the story.
Definitely not. I tried to grow a basil plant once. It perished almost immediately.
A lot. The Board of Monitors, for example, was inspired by Worcester Academy, along with the dress code, the rules, and the general milieu. Like Renée, I had my skirt measured (which was mortifying), I was forced to change into proper dress code and to perform work details when I got in trouble, the list goes on…
Growing up, I spent a lot of time in Maine, and for me, it’s one of the few places in New England that still feels truly undiscovered. You can drive for hours and not see anyone, which is a great setting for a mystery. I also love snow, which factors heavily into the plot of Dead Beautiful, so Maine felt like the only place the story could be set.
Yes! I’m working on the sequel to Dead Beautiful right now.
I wish I could elaborate on the cats, but I never did find out what happened to them! They were all indoor/outdoor cats, and none of them lived with us for more than a year before disappearing into the woods behind our house. My mother suspected coyotes, and she was probably right, but as a child, the pattern of disappearances was really disturbing. I spent a lot of time imagining all of the possible causes,which eventually led to writing.
Sort of . . . After college, I interviewed at a small publishing house in Manhattan for a job. It went well, and they called me back for a second interview, but when I returned, I literally could not find the building. It wasn’t in the same place. I called them, assuming I was losing my mind. I got an automated message, which listed their address—the same address I had written down. I asked doormen for help, I asked people on the street, but everyone was just as baffled as I was. Needless to say, I never found the building (nor did I get the job). It still bothers me, but I’m too embarrassed to go back, lest I find it in some really obvious place…that would make me feel really stupid.
Oh, that’s a tough one…Probably either The Exorcist or The Nightmare Before Christmas. Or Edward Scissorhands.
Definitely option A! Though I have to admit, I’ve participated in a lot of séances, and have never had any luck. All the more reason to try again. I also have a soft spot for Ouiji boards…
This is so hard! Okay.. As much as I want to choose option C for the sake of Dead Beautiful, I couldn’t bear killing my boyfriend. Option B sounds kind of decent, unless the vampire I’m betrothed to is terrible…but then I would still have to kill people to eat…So I think I’ll take my chances with Option A, and turn into a werewolf. Thankfully, none of my friends know how to shoot a gun, so hopefully they’ll miss!