Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Interview with Aprilynne Pike

Aprilynne Pike is the author of WINGS, which will be in bookstores this May!

What was your inspiration to write Wings?
I still laugh at how I came up with Wings. I had an agent who was shopping another book for me, and it was becoming rather obvious that it wasn't going to sell. So I was preparing to finish another book I'd started and do some revisions of a romance I was working on. But before I got a chance to dive in, I was reading an agent's blog and she mentioned--in passing, really--that Barnes and Noble was expecting faeries to be one of the upcoming trends in YA. Now, I have always loved faeries and I have always loved YA. I'm not sure why I didn't manage to put the two of them together until I go whacked on the head with it. I just sat there, staring at the computer, thinking, I want to write a faerie YA!! And something in me knew that I had to do it right then! I spent a mostly sleepless night that night trying to come up with mythos and storyline and characters and had a wisp of what would turn out to be Wings the next morning.

How do you choose the names for your characters and places?
All of the places in my book are either real towns (taken off GoogleMaps!;)) or plucked out of Arthurian legends. Names are another matter. I got Laurel from a long list of plant names. I wanted her name to be nature based, but not something as obvious as, say, Rose. I found it on the list and it just fit! Tamani was originally just a side character and I plucked his name out of a distant memory of an old history lesson about Tamany Hall. I changed the spelling and voila! Then, when he turned into a main character, I liked the name and it stuck! My favorite name story, however, is David's. He was originally Glen because I like the name Glen. But as I was typing I found myself mis-typing Glen as David. (Yes, yes, I realize that that is a HUGE typo; that's why I thought it was so weird!) So I was like, dude, I am the author of this story and I say his name is Glen, so there! But eventually I found myself typing David more often than I was typing Glen. So I sighed, realized that David clearly wanted to be named David, and did a search and replace. After that, I never once mistyped David as Glen. Clearly meant to be.

Where is your favorite place to write?
I actually really like to go out to lunch and write with something yummy at my side. I can drag out a meal three or four hours while writing. Plus it's fun getting strange looks from the servers.:)

You chose to tie the modern day world with a fantasy world. What was the reason behind this choice?
I'm not actually sure. It just fit. My previous books were a traditional high fantasy and a historical romance, so it wasn't like there was precedent. But I started writing and everything fit very nicely in the modern-day world. I don't think I've ever actually questioned that before.

Tell us about your very favorite character that you have ever created.
*laugh* I have a character in a stand-alone novel that I am hoping to pitch to my editor this summer that has a klepto ghost in it. Her name is Kimberlee and I just adore her. I adore her for her blunt sense of humor and the bleak honesty with which she eventually looks at herself. She is always, always fun to write.

What do you think is the most important component of a story?

A compelling storyline. Even bad writing will be forgiven for good stroytelling. Ideally you have both, but if I have to chose between good writing and really compelling story, I'll take the story any day.

What is the most important message you want to portray to readers through your books?
I don't really like to have a message. But I think the theme that has risen to the surface--especially as I work on the sequel--is that you chose what has value in your life. You don't have to let other people tell you what should be important in your life, things are important when you say they are.

What are some of your favorite YA authors?

We'll get Stephenie Meyer and JK Rowling out of the way to start with.:) I also love Lois Lowry, Avi, V.C. Andrews, Carrie Ryan, Sarah Rees Brennan, Saundra Mitchell, Libba Bray, Shannon Hale, Scott Westerfield, Holly Black, and Lynne Reid Banks.

What are your hobbies?
I am a total gym rat, and musical theatre fanatic, and a childbirth activist. I also like to run, read, write, sing, and play with my kids.

How do your hobbies and the other things you love influence your writing?

In small ways. I see them sneak into my writing in ways such as Chelsea being a cross-country runner and Laurel loving to sing. However, I believe that all of our passions affect our writing, even if it's in ways that other people can't see.

Do you have to do any research for your books? How much? What kind?
Man, I did so much research for Wings. Any good book has hours and hours of research behind it. For the basics, I studied the geography of Northern California, tons of botany and homeopathy, Arthurian legends, faerie mythology, and specifically, the town of Crescent City (thank you Google Maps!).
What does writing mean to you?
Writing is a gateway. It is a gateway I go through to explore my creative side. To build a world that belongs only to me. But it is also a gateway I invite peple to come through with me. It is a way to share something I am so passionate about and to introduce readers to these characters who are my friends. It also, for me, is a way to reach out to people. I really tend to be a homebody, and writing is a way that I extend myself out into the world without leaving my chair.
To learn more about Aprilynne, you can visit her site by clicking on this link.


  1. Great review (and thanks for the shout out Aprilynne!) I love the theme of you choosing what has value in your life -- what a great theme!

  2. Sorry I'm so late. Catching up on all my reading after getting home from tour!! Thanks for doing the interview! It was a fun one!!



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