Thursday, June 2, 2011

Author Interview: Steve Watkins

Today's guest author is Steve Watkins, the man behind What Comes After. You know, the one with the great tagline "A gripping portrait of a teen’s struggles through grief and abuse - and the miraculous power of animals to heal us." Doesn't that definitely make you want to go grab this book now? But don't go yet! Check out Steve's interview first!

If you found yourself in Iris' position, how do you think you would react? What about if you were in Book's place?

I know how I HOPE I’d react: by being intrepid like Iris, and by refusing Aunt Sue’s orders instead of being compliant like Book. But that’s easy to say from the outside, isn’t it? I did have great, supportive parents like Iris’s dad, and so much of Iris’s strength, her sense of herself, her ability to handle difficult, even abusive situations and incidents, came from dad—just as you could trace a lot of Book’s abusive personality to how he was brought up by Aunt Sue.

What was the most challenging aspect of writing What Comes After?

Not giving in to sentimentality or cliche. Letting all my characters have their virtues and their flaws. Making sure that every character mattered, that Iris wasn’t just some saintly victim and Aunt Sue wasn’t just some cartoon villain. Letting there be a hopeful ending, but not neat or phony or contrived.

If you could pair Iris with any character from any book, who would you pick for her?

It would be cool for her to hang out with Jo from Little Women. She and James Herriot, who wrote the autobiographical All Creatures Great and Small would have a lot to talk about. Maybe Giles, Goat Boy, from the John Barth novel of the same name. That would be pretty weird.

If you were a demigod, what god/goddess would be your parent?

Right now, at this stage in my life, I sure am tempted to go with Hestia….

What form of transportation would be your nemesis?

Any that Iris and her dad would define as a “P of the P”—“Part of the Problem.”

Thank you, Steve, for your answers, and congrats on the release!

What Comes After is out now, so be sure you guys pick it up!

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely wonderful!
    Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed the visit. :)