Interview: Holly Black
Current Mood: sleepy
Current Song: 32 Flavors by Alana Davis
Please do not confuse Holly Black with my black cat, Holly. One writes books. The other likes to sit on books. Okay, maybe the author does like sit on books and I just don't know it.
In any event, Holly Black has many, many events on her calendar. On behalf of readergirlz, postergirlz, and Bildungsroman, I thank her for squeezing this Q&A into her schedule.
Describe yourself as a teenager.
A picture is worth a thousand words:
I read a ton of high fantasy and vampire books, wore lots of dragon necklaces and lots of black eyeliner. I hoped desperately that I would find people that were like me and liked the things that I liked. I did a lot of stupid things in high school to try and find those people. One of the best things about being a professional writer is that I really do feel like I've made a lot of great friends.
If you weren't a writer, you would be . . .
A YA librarian. I finished all but my last class at Rutgers to get my MLIS, but then I went on tour for Spiderwick and could never seem to get it together to go back and take cataloging.
If you were a fairy, you would be able to . . .
Live forever and ever.
If you could be a fly on the wall as someone turns the final page of Ironside, you'd love to hear the reader say . . .
Ha! Nice things, I guess. I hope they're pleased about the choices the characters made, pleased about the things those characters discovered about themselves, each other and the world. And I'd like them to laugh at how Kaye solved the riddle.
Ack! I can't say too much more without giving spoilers, but I think the characters in Ironside grow in interesting ways and their relationships evolve. As someone said to me at Readercon, all the things that Kaye thought were interesting and mysterious in Tithe annoy the h&!! out of her in Ironside. Their relationship has to grow past being a kind of mutual obsession.
And Corny, well, I owed Corny a lot.
If you had the Sight, would you regard it as a superpower or a curse?
Both, I think.
I'd love to visit Fantastica in The NeverEnding Story - referred to as Fantasia in the film adaptation - or Strangewood from Christopher Golden's book of the same title. If you could enter a mythological world other than those you've created, where would you go?
I think I would be tempted to visit a lot of places that would be ill-advised. I would be tempted to go to Michael Moorcock's Melbione, for example, despite the fact that I would probably be gutted within minutes of arriving and my tendons used to make some new kind of musical instrument. Or Tanith Lee's Don't Bite the Sun (lush setting! body swapping!), but her characters are often cold-blooded sociopaths so I worry that I would become lonely and paranoid. Rowling's world seems like it would be fun (think of the shopping!) until I realize that I'm a Muggle.
I guess I would most like to go to Charles de Lint's Newford, because I would get to have lots of artistic friends, the strong possibility of numinous mystical experiences, plenty of coffee, and a high expectation of being pretty safe. Also, because it's in Canada, I would have health insurance.
How are things on the Spiderwick front? New series, new movie . . . anything you care to share? (And share the griffin, please. I'll take really good care of him.)
You are welcome to Byron if you can pry him away from Simon. I think Ms. Helen Grace would be relieved and her food bill would be significantly reduced.
I can tell you that the Spiderwick movie is coming out in February, the trailer is up already and I think it looks really great. Tony and I went to a screening of the rough cut and it was awesome! There's still some more editing to be done, but I think Spiderwick readers are really going to like it. People ask, so I should say that the movie is made up of scenes from all five of the books and while not everything made it in, a lot did. I think it will remind people most strongly of Book 2: The Seeing Stone. And Byron made it into the movie! He looks very cute.
The first book of the new Spiderwick cycle, The Nixie's Song, comes out in September of this year. I just got a finished copy of it and it looks lovely -- the watery marks on the back cover are perfect. I hope that people like it as much as they liked the first series.
What are your ten favorite books of all-time?
This was really, really hard and my choices are in no particular order:
1. The Perilous Gard by Elisabeth Marie Pope
2. Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner
3. The Collected Poems of William Butler Yeats
4. War for the Oaks by Emma Bull
5. Jack of Kinrowan by Charles de Lint
6. Lolita by Vladimir Nabakov
7. Tales from the Flat Earth by Tanith Lee
8. Faeries by Brian Froud and Alan Lee
9. Faust by Goethe
10. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
Thanks again to Holly Black for stopping by. Gee, I hope I didn't take her away from a dinner engagement with the fey. (Wait! Don't eat the fairy food! No! Don't eat the -- )
Holly's newest novel, Ironside, is the readergirlz pick of the month for August 2007.
Visit Holly's website and LiveJournal.