Today’s Friday Feature interviews MarcyKate Connolly, a debut middle-grade author who tackles some serious tales. Monstrous is her first novel, which was released this past February. Today also introducing our newest blog contributor, Hannah Hunt, herself a writer and blogger at HannahHuntWrites. Welcome to both! Hannah got the opportunity to read Monstrous after its release, and as she explains, “it’s one of the best, most vivid fantasies I’ve read in a while. Cute, because middle grade, but smashing. Not to mention Connolly is smart.”
MarcyKate Connolly is an author and nonprofit administrator living in New England with her husband and pugs. She’s a coffee addict and voracious reader. Monstrous is her first novel. You can visit her online at www.marcykate.com, or find her on twitter at @marcykate.
Interview with MarcyKate Connolly:
- In MONSTROUS you’ve constructed your own fairytale; was any of that hard to create or flesh out? Were you worried about it sounding close to other, classic fables (i.e Grimm’s Tales, Disney classics, etc.)?
That’s an interesting question. I’m honestly not sure if it was difficult because I had so much fun creating the world; if it was, I didn’t even notice. From the very beginning I thought of Monstrous as Frankenstein meets the Brothers Grimm (a description that’s stuck), so I wasn’t worried about it being too similar to other stories so much as I was intentionally paying homage to them and occasionally turning them on their heads.
- What was the hardest part of drafting MONSTROUS before signing with Suzie Townsend?
I originally wrote Monstrous while I was pitching another book to agents. I had no intention of querying it, so the initial drafting process was quite freeing and quick. However, once I had a complete draft I started to feel the pressure of “maybe-I-should-query-this-book” and that made the subsequent drafts slower and tricky. Monstrous was the 7th book I wrote, and the 4th I queried to agents, so I was a bit discouraged by all the rejection on previous books while I was revising. I kind of psyched myself out a few times until I finally got the nerve to start querying Monstrous in earnest. Obviously, I’m very glad I did! 🙂
- What’s your favorite part about writing for a Middle Grade audience?
For me that age range was a time when books were a particularly huge and influential part of my world, and getting to write for kids who were like me is really exciting. Just being able to walk in a different, fantastical world for a while was (and still is!) an amazing thing, and I hope some middle grade readers out there will love my books in the way I loved the fantasy stories of my youth.
- Do you have any quirky writer habits? (Writing with a bowl of M&Ms on the desk, only writing after drinking coffee, writing at night/in the morning, etc.)
Well, I don’t do ANYTHING before I’ve had coffee, so that’s more of a life-quirk, than a writing-quirk :). I don’t really have anything specific that must happen for me to write, but I do find I can write more when I’m walking on my treadmill desk.
- What’s your favorite part of being a published author?
Talking to people I don’t know personally who’ve read my book, followed closely by seeing Monstrous out there in the wild!
- If you could have lunch with three other writers living or dead, who would they be and why?
- Jane Austen because I love her books, and I’d like to ask her how Sanditon was really supposed to end.
- Edgar Allan Poe because again, love his work, and I’d like to get the bottom of that whole mysterious death thing 🙂
- Douglas Adams – I bet he would be an absolute riot to hang out with!
Thanks so much to MarcyKate for taking the time to speak with “Fiction Reboot.”
About the Blogger:
Hannah Hunt spends her free time writing about pickpockets, cyborgs, and global conspiracies. Just not at the same time. She’s served on the submissions review board for Flip the Page and the Wittenberg Review of Literature and Art, and has published several short stories. When she’s not working on one of her manuscripts, you might find her painting, burrowed beneath a pile of books, or plotting world domination. You can visit her writing blog at http://www.hannahhuntwrites.com/ or find her on Twitter at @hannahhuntwrite.