Unbosoming: Maggie Stiefvater

We love authors, it’s true. And sometimes we want to know more than just what their next book is about. So we asked, and they answered. Our latest victim — er, featured author — is YA favorite Maggie Stiefvater, who entertains us on Twitter and via her amazing books. Her latest in The Raven Cycle, Blue Lily, Lily Blue, is out now. 

What was the first book you read that meant something to you?
When I was growing up, I moved around a lot — I was a Navy brat, so a new port of call every year or so — and the first thing my mother did was march us down to the library to get a card. I grew up with a pile of books in the car, in my room, in the living room, in my backpack. I read so many that it’s hard to say which one first meant something to me ­— they all blend together into magic and neighborhoods and fighter jets. I do remember one book, however, that taught me a lesson: it was Jane Yolen’s Wizard Hall. I checked it out from the library, read it, and returned. Weeks later, I tried to check out books and the library told me I couldn’t check out any more books until I returned my overdue copy of Wizard’s Hall. What! What is this madness! I had returned it! I fought bitterly with the library as only a righteous 11 year old can, and I had my library privileges restored. For the remainder of the year, I checked out, read, and returned books in an orderly way, and when we moved out of that house, I discovered Wizard’s Hall pushed far under my bed. I returned it with humiliation and apologies and the new knowledge that you can believe something very, very strongly and still be completely wrong.

What book do you wish you could live in?
Perhaps Jonathan Strange Mr. Norrell. I love the UK, and I have a high tolerance for grim and rainy days, and Jonathan Strange Mr. Norrell’s England is grim, rainy and full of gentleman magicians and wild power. That sounds like something I could get behind.

What book are you an evangelist for?
I have pushed Shaun Tan’s The Arrival into so many hands: it’s an illustrated novel about moving to a new country. Without a word, his whimsical, beautiful drawings get across the alien wonder of foreign customs.

Which trope most mirrors your life?
Middle child scrabbles for the throne and drives lots of fast cars on the way. That is a trope, right?

What book has been in your TBR pile the longest?
I’m afraid I’ve had The Talk Funny Girl on my shelf to read ever since it won an Alex Award in 2012. Look, one day I will be in the mood for it, and what a glorious day that will be!

If we pulled up next to you at a stoplight, what song would you be shamelessly singing?
I can’t not sing along to “Wanting/ Getting” by OK Go. Also “Second to None” by Chris Crocker — but don’t look the lyrics up on that one.

If your ghost haunted a place, where would it be?
I’m not sure of a specific place, but I know how it would look. My husband’s always complaining that when I cook, I leave every cabinet and drawer open in a kitchen like a poltergeist. This first time he said this, I protested vehemently, but then I turned around and discovered that in fact everything but the fridge stood ajar. Even cabinets I didn’t remember opening. I was recently at a friend’s condo, cooking dinner for both of us, and as I carried the completed dish out of the kitchen, I looked back over my shoulder and beheld every single door and drawer hanging open. So, that. I do not know yet where I will haunt, but I do know that that is how you will be able to recognize me: the world hung open in slack-jawed surprise.

Who do you want to hug right now?
A brownie. They’re in the kitchen, an epic 100 away, and I can’t bring myself to get up from this interview to fetch one.

What do you do when you’re feeling discouraged?
Get a brownie.

If you could only vacation at one place for the rest of your life, where would it be?
The Yorkshire coast. Aside from the mountains of Virginia, it is the only other place in the world where a piece of my soul is lodged.

What’s your favorite thing to do with your spare time?
Drive. Or make art or write or music. Or listen to music. Or drive while listening to music and planning how to make art next.

There you have it! Thanks, Maggie! Be sure to pick up a copy of Blue Lily, Lily Blue, which is in stores and online now. And for more teen news you can use, visit our Everything YA page. 

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