Monday, October 22, 2012

Mara Dyer Week Post # 1 - Interview With Michelle Hodkin

Today is the kick off of Mara Dyer Week here on the blog. I have a bunch of amazing things planned for this week to celebrate the second novel in a series that I adore.

To start things off I have a fantastic interview with Michelle, author extrodianaire. It also happens to be my stop on the Canadian blog tour for The Evolution of Mara Dyer. Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for including me.

1 Describe The Evolution of Mara Dyer in three words.
Darker. Sexier. Twisted.
2 How do you think Noah would describe Mara at the beginning of The Evolution?
3 Many would say Mara is an unreliable narrator. Who are some of your favourite unreliable narrators?
AWESOME question, because I adore unreliable narrators and, in fact, Mara is sort of an homage to my favorite: Humbert Humbert (of Lolita fame). Another favorite is Flannery Culp from The Basic Eight.
4 Is there a character that surprised you? Any characters that ended up having a much larger part than you expected once you started writing?
Noah surprised me the most.
5 Who is your favourite character to write dialogue for?
Jamie. When Mara and Jamie are on the page, the words just come. When I’m drafting, it tends to be 90% of dialogue, and about 80% of it consists of my characters just saying hysterical things to each other to no great narrative purpose. Oh well.
6 Now that your first book has been out for awhile, what would you say was the biggest surprise of release week for you?
God, release week was such a blur, and because I observe the Jewish holidays, a big chunk of it was taken up by Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year. I will say that I was surprised to cry at my launch. I’m not particularly emotional but being there and seeing my entire family mixed with people I don’t know, mixed with people I hadn’t seen since high school—it was a crazy moment.
7 Is there any part of the novels (either Unbecoming or Evolution) that got cut from the final draft that you really wished could have been kept in because you liked it so much?
There’s a scene that was cut from The Unbecoming that made it back into The Evolution—it’s an important scene in the context of the series, but it didn’t lead anywhere in The Unbecoming becaue there was already so much going on in the first book. So I cut it and put it back into The Evolution, where I had time deal with it. Let’s just say…it involves a doll.
8 What was the hardest scene to write in either The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer or The Evolution of Mara Dyer?
The Unbecoming just flowed for me, so none of the scenes were particularly difficult to write—what ended up being tough was figuring out what the first chapter would be. I wrote about 30 drafts at various points in the Mara timeline until I realized that the very, very beginning of Mara’s story was the Ouija board scene—and that that’s where it should begin.

I don’t want to spoil anyone so I’ll be vague; In The Evolution, the toughest scene was the one I’ll just call “the marina,” because that’s where it takes place.
9 You mentioned shooting a gun while researching The Unbecoming, so did you do any specific research for this second novel?
A ton of research; I have the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual practically memorized. I spent a lot of time interviewing psychologists and anesthesiologists. I'll…leave it at that :)
10 What are three things you need while revising?
Red bull. Red bull. Red bull.
A huge thank you to Michelle for taking the time to answer these questions. Her answer to number 9 intrigues me so. I can't wait for everyone to discover the "marina" scene, because I can only imagine it was as hard to write as Michelle says.

Tomorrow will feature a fun quiz featuring questions from The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. Test your knowledge before diving into book two (which goes on sale the same day!)

Be sure to follow Michelle on twitter, and visit her website.


  1. Loved the interview! I can't wait until everyone gets to read this book :D So much amazingness!

  2. Great interview! I still haven't read the first one yet, but can't wait to get to it! :D Sequel sounds awesome! :D

  3. I posted a link to your blog for this interview on my blog you can see it here

  4. Darker. Sexier. Twisted. Oh HELL YES.

    Oooh super intrigued by the doll scene that was cut from Unbecoming. And this marina scene she mentions. *shoots Kathy daggers of jealousy for having read it already*

    Agh, number 9! INTERESTING. Whether it's just reading the book, or a tweet or chat or interview... Michelle has this talent for making me want to claw my way inside her head and discover every secret inside. I WANT HER KNOWLEDGE.

    Love the interview, ladies!! So, so excited for Mara Dyer Week. It's already off to an amazing start :)

  5. " Darker. Sexier. Twisted. " - Oh my. Second book, come to meeeee!

  6. Fantastic interview! The first one was amazing and I have a feeling Evolution would be epic. "it involves a doll." - that sounds creepy! I keep thinking about Chucky doll after reading that. haha


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