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!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Interview: Kiera Cass

Kiera Cass is the author of the YA novel The Siren. The Siren is now available for purchase on: Amazon.

Questions about The Siren:

Tainted Poet: First off, could you give us a brief summery of The Siren?
Kiera Cass: The Siren is an update on the Greek mythology of sirens, who were beautiful bird-women that sang to sailors and made them crash their boats into rocks and sink. In my version, they're just regular girls who end up living as servants to the Ocean. The hero of our story, Kahlen, has a hard time adjusting to the lifestyle, particularly when she meets a human boy, Akinli, and falls in love with him. It's hard because she can't even tell him anything about herself; her voice would make him want to drown! So it's about her trying to make it work and what happens when she starts breaking the Ocean's very strict rules.

TP: Was there anything in particular that inspired you to write this book?
KC: I woke up from a nap. I must have been dreaming about water or mermaids or something, because the idea of sirens came into my head. I thought "That would be fun to write about if they had some sort of purpose." I just didn't think there was any point to their world; why would they exist? And then, like a bolt of lightening, I got it. The Ocean eats people! I jumped up and wrote down four tiny paragraphs that were the beginning of the story, though I didn't know where it would go at the time. And I think only one line from that seed ended up in the final version. Yay editing!

TP: The characters in The Siren had a lot of personality. Did you put anything of yourself in any of them?
KC: I think most writers put themselves somewhere in there, whether they mean to or not. Kahlen wears a lot of my worries about life and death and what's best for others, and, of course, my undying love for cake. And it's pretty common knowledge that Elizabeth is an extreme version of my best friend Liz. There are bits of my husband and other friends stuck in there as well, but it's not so obvious.

TP: A story about a Siren is such a breath of fresh air. What is your favorite mythical creature?
KC: The chupacabra! Mostly because it's fun to say. Chupacabra!

TP: Your names are very unique-- How did you come up with Kahlen and Akinli?
KC: Kahlen and Akinli were both names I wanted to use for my kids, but my hubby vetoed them! Kahlen I heard for the first time on America's Next Top Model years ago. And Akinli was a surname on a mailbox here in Blacksburg that I just adored. I have pictures of both the inspirations on my website,

TP: Will you ever write a companion novel to The Siren?
KC: I've certainly thought about it, and I know absolutely how and why Kahlen would go back to that world. If you're a really analytical reader, you may catch the open door I left for her. But I'm not sure it would be as satisfying for the fans. Most of the love story has developed, and it would be more of a life story than a love story, though I can say from experience that so much of what love is really happens after you're married.

Other Questions:

TP: Was there a point in your life when you decided you were going to be a writer?
KC: No. But I've always loved writing, and now it seems stupid that I haven't been doing it all along. I did major in History in college, and I would say that that is a much better major for writers than English. All you do is listen to stories. No wonder I was so happy.

TP: Are there any particular foods or drinks that you like to eat or drink while writing?
KC: Ohhh! That's a good question. Umm, in pretty much every circumstance, I like to have sugar around. The summer I wrote The Siren, I would sit at a cookie store called Crumb and Get It. It smelled good and the cookies were great and it wasn't very busy, so it was easy to write. But they ended up closing down, so I write at home or at Bollo's, a local coffee shop, usually. I prefer local businesses.

TP: Could you share one interesting fact about yourself?
KC: I wrecked a car when I was four. I pulled it out of park and backed my baby brother and myself into a tree. I remember trying to crawl out the open window because I was sure I was going to die, but it wasn't a big enough gap. At the time, all I had seen were cars hitting things and blowing up on TV, so it was pretty scary.

TP: What is your favorite book? And what is one book you think people should read before they die?
KC: I guess I'll always love The Little Prince by Antione de Saint-Exupery. It's a children's book, but it's full of good things no matter how old you are. And, currently, I think everyone needs to read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. DO IT!

TP: Do you have any projects you are working on right now?
KC: Absolutely! I have a rough draft of what I guess will be my next project done, as well as several half-finished drafts of other things. As soon as I get some time, there have been requests for me to rewrite the last three chapters of The Siren from a different perspective, and I'd like to be able to present something, since it was pretty much impossible to do in the actual story.

TP: What is one question you wish readers would ask, but they never do?
KC: I've had so much fun with people asking things like "What movie were Kahlen and Akinli watching?" and "What song was playing here?" Those little details are fun for me. The one that I'm surprised no one has asked (and have been dreading) is about how Ifama ended up as a siren. And, the thing is, I totally know and can't tell. In the original version, her whole story was in there, but as I reworked it over and over, I heard her saying "Please don't tell that to everyone." She's a very proud person, and her secret is one I'll keep. Which stinks, because I hate keeping secrets.

TP: Any last statements?
KC: I just hope people enjoy the book! And if you do, please spread the word. You can talk about The Siren, contact me, and keep up with upcoming projects at!


Thank you so much Kiera for the interview!! I greatly enjoyed your book The Siren and I hope to read more from you in the future!


  1. What a fun interview! Thanks for hosting it, Eli. I'm looking forward to reading THE SIREN and so it was very interesting to hear about your writing process. I totally agree about much of what love really is taking place after the marriage vows. In fact, I wrote my thesis on that subject as it related to 19th c. literature. Anyway, thanks again!

  2. Everyone keeps saying this book is so good. I've gotta read it! Thanks for the interview -- I love hearing about the person behind the scenes, writing the story.

  3. Fantastic interview ^^

    I think I will read The Siren

  4. I don't think I've ever heard of The Siren, maybe I'll check it out. Great interview! Happy reading :)

  5. I've read the book and it was wonderful. I certainly would recommend it. I also loved hearing about the person behind the scenes writing the story. Thanks Kiera for a great read and a great interview!


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