Jan 10, 2011

XVI - Interview with Julia Karr

XVI by Julia Karr
January 6th 2011 by Puffin/Speak

Julia's much anticipated dystopian YA was released last week. Thankfully, Julia was kind enough to answer some questions for I Read Banned Books.

You started writing XVI during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), how would you describe how that month went? 
It was definitely whirlwind. When I'm fast-drafting like that, I set myself a daily word goal and stick to it or pass it. As I recall, the words were fast and furious. Also, had a map of Chicago, so I could see where I was putting things / streets.

You have two daughters, like myself, were they inspirations for the two sisters in XVI? 
They were not. If anything, Nina is to Dee like my older sister, Sarah, was to me when we were kids.

The topic of sex may raise a red flag for some young readers, how do you plan on battling censorship if it were to occur? 
Hmmm... I haven't given that a lot of thought. But, seeing how the kidlit community rises to the defense and rallies around authors who are unfairly censored (I'm thinking the Ellen Hopkins' brouhaha in Humble, TX and #SpeakLoudly in support of Laurie Halse Anderson), I'll be in good/supportive company!

You are a part of The League of Extraordinary Writers along with Beth Revis, Elana Johnson, and others. How has The League helped your road to publication? 
Those of us in The League banded together after we had book deals, but the support and encouragement between contract and release date has been great for me. Having writer friends to talk with about bumps in the road and to have as cheerleaders - it's been awesome!

How do you feel about the current trend of Dystopia in YAs? 
My personal feeling is that it's a good thing. Teens are coming of age, and they are going to be our next surge of voters and policy makers. For them to see what-if scenarios, and to think of what could happen if certain courses of things are not altered can only be good. Then the paths they take and the decisions they make at the polling place and in their owns lives may drastically change the seeming inevitable of dystopian lit.

Any working titles for XVI that didn't make the cut? 
Nope. It was XVI from the very start and no one along the way ever thought of changing it.

What is your guilty pleasure song? That one song everyone hates, but you secretly love. 
Ask my one daughter & it's probably every song I love. And, it really depends on the listening audience, doesn't it? I'd have to say, Bad Romance by Lady Gaga. Well, I also love Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-A-Lot

Favorite flavor of cupcake?

Favorite type of cuisine?

You are forced to cook dinner (not order take-out) for J.K. Rowling - what do you serve? 
My world-famous lasagna!

How do you like your pizza?
Original Chicago-style cheese, please!

Your Twitter avatar is a picture of a cat. Is that yours and how many takes until you got that picture?
That is the infamous "A" the cat. Yes, he is mine and has been for many, many years (he's 17.) One shot. He's incredibly photogenic and he always has that kitty-frown on his face.

Favorite "banned book"? 
Harry Potter (all of them! Uh... I'd really LIKE J.K. Rowling to come to dinner!)

Any tour stops for Texas? 
None planned, but I do have friends in Austin. Hmmm... let me check my calendar!

Thank you, Julia! 

I encourage you to check out Julia and read XVI! If you have a link to your review of XVI, feel free to leave a link below for readers.