The Tainted Poet's YA Book Review:

A YA book review blog for anything out of the ordinary-- Paranormal, Supernatural, Fantasy and Sci-Fi. Complete with Reviews, Interviews and Contests-- So stay and have a look!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Interview: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl are the authors of the debut novel Beautiful Creatures. Beautiful Creatures is now available online and in bookstores.

Questions on Beautiful Creatures:

Tainted Poet: First off, could you give us a brief summary of Beautiful Creatures?

Margie: Beautiful Creatures is the story of a regular boy, Ethan Wate, who lives in a small town in the South that is turned upside down when the not-at-all regular Lena Duchannes moves in.

Kami: She’s actually the girl he’s been dreaming about, and she moves out from his dreams and into his life. It’s sort of like love before first sight. Only with a few other complications. Like a curse than spans generations.

TP: I love the title and cover for Beautiful Creatures. How much input did you have on them?

Margie: It was really our second title idea. The first was Sixteen Moons, which is the title of the book in France. But we love Beautiful Creatures, too!

Kami: We came up with the title, but Dave Caplan, our designer at Little, Brown, came up with the cover. He’s a genius, we’re so lucky to have him on the team.

TP: How different do you think the book would have turned out if Lena was the narrator? Did you consider this while writing BC?

Margie: Writing from the boy’s POV was one of the very first things we knew. In a way, I think it was easier, because he wasn’t either of us, exactly.

Kami: We wanted the girl to be the mysterious, powerful, supernatural in the novel, and we wanted to watch their relationship evolve from Ethan’s perspective. It isn’t often that you get to hear what a guy is thinking.

TP: Did you have any issues writing this Gothic Southern romance from a male perspective?

Margie: It’s tricky sometimes, from a narrative perspective. We were always mindful of times when the reader needs to be paying attention to Ethan the character, versus times when the character needs to fade into the background so the attention could move to the story. Some times Ethan just has to do his job as the narrator…

Kami: But Ethan as a character was easy to write. We have six brothers between us, so we’ve spent a lot of time with guys. We know they worry about what a girl they like thinks about them, if she feels the same way they do.

TP: If you could describe Ethan in three words, what would they be?

Margie: A good: friend, son, boyfriend. That’s really five, but you know. I’m not a big rules person.

Loyal. Brave. Open.

TP: What do you think separates Beautiful Creatures from other 2009 YA novels?

Margie: One interesting difference is that we really never wrote to publish this book. We wrote it for seven specific teenagers, on a dare, over 12 weeks. When we were finished, we didn’t exactly know what to do. We thought about putting it up online, and if our friend hadn’t sent it in to his agent, who knows what would have happened? Maybe there is a freedom to writing for yourself that is much harder to have when you are trying to guess what would be marketable or commercial.

Kami: Other than that, I don’t know that anything separates BC from other YA novels, considering how many fantastic ones there were in 2009. But I think what makes BC unique is the universe and the supernaturals within it. There are no traditional paranormal creatures in BC – although we love those too.

TP: You have a Civil War reenactment in BC. What is your background with the hobby or with the South in general?

Margie: My experience with the South is mostly from southern travel and Southern literature, but my experience with small towns like Gatlin is from my own family. Three generations of women in my family were from a tiny town in the west, where my grandfather was the postmaster who knew everyone’s business, and where the cream-of-grief casseroles were just as big a part of the culture as they are in Gatlin.

Kami: My mother’s family is from North Carolina. I grew up with both my grandmother and great-grandmother, who were both from the South. Southern culture was alive and well in my house, in every story, biscuit, and pie. I’ve also spent a lot of time visiting the South - Charleston, Savannah, the Outer Banks – I love them all.

TP: Both of you are currently living in LA, so what made you choose to base your novel in the southeast (South Carolina in particular)?

Margie: We knew we wanted to write a Southern Gothic. We knew we wanted to set the book in a tiny town, where the setting itself would be a character. Gatlin did that for us.

Kami: The South feels like a place where magic still exists – and where people believe in the unexplained. The South also has such a Charleston is one of our favorite cities, and Gatlin is just north of there.

TP: Were there any problems co-authoring a book? Any differing opinions on where the story would go?

Margie: Oh my goodness, we can fight like sisters, but never about the book! The story came to us so quickly, it was almost like a dream. And we were writing as fast as we could, it was all we could do to hold on to it while it was there…

Kami: Writing together was so much easier than if we had tried to write a series this big alone. And it was fun. Of course there are always differing opinions, but there wasn’t any drama. It helps that we were friends for so long before we became writing partners.

TP: What is one question no one ever asks, but you both think needs to be asked?

Margie: Did you have any idea how many times you actually write a book before it hits the shelves? Did you know you’d be revising for 8 months straight?

Kami: Did your family have any idea what they were getting into? Are your children able to fall asleep now without the sounds of a keyboard clicking?

You can keep up with Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl at

Join the fansite at & sign up to be a featured Caster Girl OR BOY!

Visit Little, Brown’s Beautiful Creatures website at


Thank you so much Kami and Margie for the interview!


  1. I love these two!!!!!!!!!! And I love BC!

    (Eli, am, you done with me buttons? I miss them xD)

  2. Excellent interview as always! Thanks so much for having them! =D

    Oh, and nominated you for a blog award! Head on over to accept it!

  3. Fantastic interview. I'm practically bouncing to get this novel!


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