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Saturday, January 19, 2013

"Kiki Strike: The Darkness Dwellers" by Kirsten Miller~Interview!

When Kiki Strike flies off to Paris to try to stop her evil cousin, the princess Sidonia, from all sorts of terrible deeds, it's up to Ananka and the other irregulars to help Kiki find the cure for baldness, stop Oona's nasty twin from ripping off all the merchants in New York City, and keep Ananka herself from falling in love with exactly the wrong young man. Through the streets of New York, and all over the top and bottom of Paris, nothing stands in the way of these butt-kicking, fearless, and brilliant girls.
Published by:  Bloomsbury
Pages:  416
Author:  Kirsten Miller
Purchase the book:  Amazon
KIRSTEN MILLER lives with her family in New York City where she spends her time drinking coffee, exploring the city, and writing.
Hi, Kirsten!  Thank you for coming onboard today for this interview.  I'm excited to get to know you better.  Your "Kiki" series is very strange and awesome (in a fantastic way!) and I'm looking forward to your fans knowing more about you, too.  So here we go:

First of all, please tell us a special something about what makes you “tick.”  When you aren’t writing, what are you doing?
Making weird stuff. I’m kind of a Gothic, less talented Martha Stewart. There’s nothing I love more than assembling a “cabinet of curiosities” to display little things I’ve collected over the years. (Bugs in resin, attractive bones, strange shells, anatomical figurines, etc.) I’m also very proud of a shadowbox I recently built, which shows a giant stag beetle baking a cake in a miniature kitchen. You get the idea.
The bizzare and the beautiful.  That doesn't surprise me!  :]
We’re always curious about where a writer chooses to write.  Could you tell us about your favorite place to write?  Describe it in detail…what’s on your desk, what do you see from the window if any…do you have a favorite lucky charm?
I write at my desk. In my office. In my house. In Brooklyn.
My desk is rather messy at the moment. (Which is unusual. I’m a notorious neat freak.) There are several stacks of books that I need to read—as well as books I just like to have around. (Example: Gorey’s Gashlycrumb Tinies.) A guide to rooftop gardening. My computer. Lots of Post-Its with scribbled ideas for my latest project.
Right in front of me is a bulletin board covered with maps, pictures of my daughter (who’s the spitting image of Iris McLeod), and Kiki Strike-inspired art that’s been sent to me by Kiki fans. (There’s absolutely nothing more flattering than knowing you’ve inspired someone else’s art.)
Bronte or Austen?  Hemingway or Hawthorne?  Why?
I’m a big fan of all four authors. But if I had to choose . . . Bronte and Hawthorne. I love Gothic literature, with its damaged heroes, family curses and haunted houses. My daydreams are often set on “the moors.” And they often involve Mr. Rochester.
You and I are soul sisters, Kirsten!!!  Yay!!!
In your opinion, what makes a book a great one?
I would have offered a very different answer to this question a few years back. But today, I’d say a great book is one that has the ability to hold my interest for more than 25 pages. I simply don’t have the patience for books that aren’t entertaining. (Fortunately, there’s a very long list of subjects I find entertaining.)
Which author(s) most influenced your love of books? 
As a kid? Edgar Eager and Stephen King.
As an adult? Michael Chabon and Edgar Eager.
Read any good books in the past 6 months?
I’ve read quite a few. But I’m staring at a copy of Wicked Plants, which I picked up at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. It kept me quite entertained for a few days!
Choose 4 guests from any era for dinner.  Who would they be and what would you choose for a topic of conversation?
I have some rather interesting ancestors with whom I’d love to spend time . . .
A gentleman who was kicked out of Plymouth Plantation for having “novel ideas.”
One of the women who was executed for witchcraft at Salem.
A man who was adopted by the unbelievably cool Amelia Bloomer.
Either of my grandfathers (who died when I was little). 
Topic of Conversation: Scurrilous Family Gossip.
Well, the top two were probably my relatives...We could meet for dinner as a substitute!  :]
There’s a song that goes along with your book, what is it?
Well, I have TWO books coming out in January/February.
Kiki #3, The Darkness Dwellers: A update of Maurice Chevalier’s “Thank Heaven for Little Girls” in which a bunch of little girls let the singer know exactly what they think of creepy old me.  
How to Lead a Life of Crime: Mark Ronson’s “Bang, Bang, Bang” and Foster the “People’s Pumped Up Kicks”
If you could cast your book for a movie, who would you choose for your 2 main characters?
If there’s ever a Kiki Strike movie made, I think it would be wonderful if the people in charge chose unknowns for the job. (The way Harry Potter was cast.)
Worst habit you have while writing?
Pushing myself too hard. I often work until I’m totally burnt out.
How much research did you do before and during writing this book?
I almost never do any research immediately before writing my books—because I always write about subjects (reincarnation, secret societies, man-eating rats) that have interested me for years.
The Darkness Dwellers is partially set in Paris—and most of the action takes place in the catacombs beneath the city. I did almost all of my “research” in 2006 when I lived in Paris. I actually visited the bone-filled catacombs by myself one day. It was probably one of the creepiest experiences of my entire life.
Psychologists tell us the thing we think we’d most like to grow up to be when we’re ten years old is our avocation.  What did you want to be?
An archaeologist or paleontologist. (Or anything that involved “detective work.”)    
Hmmm  Very close, Kirsten.   
Well, thank you for your visit.  You're decidedly awesome as your books!
As for the rest of you, please go directly to a book store and get a copy of one of Kirsten's books.  Preferably this new one:  "Kiki Strike: The Darkness Dwellers."  You'll love all of them.



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