Way back in October–Septmeber? time files–we were lucky enough to have Kiersten White stop by the store for an event! It was a great night of scary stories, history lessons, and bashing on Percy Shelley. We snagged a moment of Kiersten’s time via email after the event to get some interview questions answered so even if you missed out on the event, you’ll still get some of the awesomeness of Kiersten!
1. Based on the one interaction I have had with you (which is by no means a complete picture of you as a person) you seem to be very fun and happy person. Your books…maybe the opposite. What is it about the creepy and the macabre that drew you to want to write books all about it?
It’s always been a fascination of mine. And I don’t think being drawn to macabre, dark stories is incompatible with being a happy, warm person. The nice thing about stories is they allow us to experience reality different than our own at a safe distance. I can write out anger and rage and reanimating dead bodies as a way of processing my own feelings without letting them disrupt my real, happy life.
2. It is no secret that you are a huge-mega-ultra fan of Mary Shelley (her husband, not so much). How did this literary romance start? What was your first introduction to Shelley?
I’d always loved the character of Frankenstein’s monster, having come across it in many childhood books. I actually can’t remember the first time I read the real FRANKENSTEIN, whether it was in high school or college. But it was certainly in a classroom setting, and, compared to the other classics we read, I both enjoyed it more and was more annoyed by it. I thought it asked the most interesting questions and had the most interesting characters—with the exception of the female characters, none of whom were more than a walking, dying trope.
3. Your AND I DARKEN series is a gender-swapped Vlad the Impaler story. Do you have any other gender-swapped stories based on historical figure in mind?
Not at the moment, no. Though I do enjoy telling existing stories, whether historical or fictional, by refocusing on women.
4. Your upcoming title, SLAYER, is a return to the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Is there another TV show/cinematic universe you would be excited to write a book about?
I’ve pitched myself on social media for a Jessica Jones tie-in novel, though no one has bitten yet, ha! I really enjoy the Marvel universe and there are some characters I would like to explore further. The same goes for Star Wars, though those are much more intense fandoms. Buffy fans are, as a whole, incredibly delightful.
5. What is the weirdest gift you ever received during a signing and/or what is the weirdest thing someone asked you to sign during a signing?
At my very first school visit, several middle school students requested I sign their arms in sharpies. I felt I should send a letter of apology to their parents’ home with them. I’ve also been asked to sign a banana, as well as a school library copy of Artemis Fowl, which I gently declined to do.
6. What was the first story you ever wrote (like, the very first)?
I wrote fanfiction of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when I was in kindergarten. They came to my house, we had pizza (pezu, in my phonetic stage), and then the Shredder came. I was really good at set-up, but not follow-through, because I’m not sure what happened after that.
7. What is the best book you’ve read so far this year?
INTERNMENT by Samira Ahmed, which comes out early 2019 and should be on everyone’s To Be Read pile.
Thanks so much, Kiersten! It was an absolute delight to have you come to the store, and we’ve got our fingers crossed you’ll come back soon!
You can find out more about Kiersten on her website, here!
The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein is part of the Holiday Gift Guide (you didn’t think I’d post something to this blog this season that wasn’t related to the HGG, did you? 😀 )! So if you stop by to pick it up, you’ll get 15% off! And we do still have a few signed copies left, so hurry in while those are still around! Or you can buy it online!