blo Teens Read and Write: Author Interview: Karen McQuestion - FAVORITE

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Author Interview: Karen McQuestion - FAVORITE

Please welcome FAVORITE author Karen McQuestion. Cool name, right? Even cooler is the history behind it. She has graciously answered our questions - even a zombie one - so without delay... 
Heeeeeeeeeeeeeere's Karen! 
  • You’ve written adult, young adult, and middle grade, contemporary, romance, thriller, humor and magical fairies. Which is your favorite genre to write?

Whatever I’m currently working on is my favorite. I’m not sure if that makes me versatile, easily bored or what, but I really like to mix it up.
  • FAVORITE is an exciting mystery/thriller with a surprising ending. Did you always know how it would end? And if not, how did it change?
There have been different versions of FAVORITE. With each revision I felt like it got closer to where it should be. Originally, it had a less hopeful ending, but that just seemed wrong. I wanted closure and I also wanted the story to end in triumph.  And it was important for Angie to play an active role in finding out what happened to her mother.  So I guess it was the ending that changed the most.
  • Do you have a favorite/memorable scene and/or character from FAVORITE?
Angie, the main character, is my absolute favorite.  For me, the most memorable part is when she’s stuck spending the night at the old lady’s house and has to climb the dark staircase to find her cat.
 It reminds me of when I was a teenager doing laundry in the basement and my older sister would turn off the lights and run up the stairs, leaving me to fumble frantically in the dark through cobwebs and past the furnace (which made these horrible, disturbing noises).  She did this all the time because she thought it was funny.  It was not. To this day I blame her for a lot of my anxieties.
  • You've had a unique road to publication, and become one of the most successful authors on Amazon. For those who don’t know your story, would you give us the highlights of your journey?
For years, I was a failed novelist. I wrote books and submitted them and entered contests, but no one wanted to publish them. On two different occasions I had agents represent my work, but they didn’t have much luck either.
In July 2009, as a last resort, I uploaded my unpublished manuscripts to Amazon’s Kindle to sell as ebooks. To my surprise, sales were great and supportive readers left positive reviews and sent me really nice emails. About six months into my self-publishing ebook venture, an L.A. production company contacted me wanting to option one of the books for film, and right after that AmazonEncore, Amazon’s publishing company, made an offer to publish five of my books in print and ebook form.
Since then, hundreds of thousands of my books have sold, and foreign rights have been sold for Favorite.
I credit this turn of events to timing, luck, and perseverance.  Sometimes I still have trouble believing my good fortune. After years of rejection, it’s all been wonderful.
  • What are your upcoming projects? (We heard you’re writing another YA, THE INSOMNIACS CLUB. If that’s true, would you tell us about it and when will it be published?)
How did you know I have another YA in the works?!  Tentatively titled THE INSOMNIACS CLUB, it’s about a teenager named Russ who roams around at night because he can’t sleep, and then….something  major happens.  I’m not sure of the release date, because the book isn’t finished yet.
In the meantime, I do have a middle grade novel titled Secrets of the Magic Ring coming out in November of this year. It’s a sequel to my book Celia and the Fairies; this time around Celia’s friend Paul is the main character.
  • We read you love vacationing with your family. If you all could travel anywhere, real or some place from literature, and in any time, present, past, or in the timeframe of the alternate literary world - where would you go, what would you do and who would you spend time with? 
I’d go right through the wardrobe into Narnia. I’d want to meet everyone including Mr. Tumnus and Aslan and I wouldn’t fall for the White Witch's promise of Turkish Delight, because I’m too smart for that (plus I’m not even sure what Turkish Delight is).
  •  We thought your last name, McQuestion, was a super awesome pen name you came up with but it’s actually your married name. What country/background is it from?  
 “McQuestion” is Irish, but if you go to Ireland you may not find any McQuestions. And that’s because the name was actually devised as an alias for a guy who fled to the U.S. because he was wanted by the law.  That’s the way I heard it, anyway.
  • If your husband dances like the awesome Steve Martin, what’s your dance style?
 I think I’ve got kind of an Ellen Degeneres thing going on….
  • And now the zombie question…
Another Eye Candy Excuse!
You’re walking home from your favorite malt shop, and as you’re about to make the final turn to your house all you see before you black out is a flash of a red ascot and purple go-go boots. You wake up to the sound of maniacal laughter and a chain winch slowly lowering you into a pit with the zombified version of Scooby Doo. You find that the source of the laughter is the rest of the Mystery Gang – all zombified as well! In your pocket you have a silver pocket watch, a slice of Canadian bacon, and a lock of Hugh Jackman’s hair. How do you escape your shackles and defeat the deadly dead/undead Mystery Gang?

This has to be the BEST interview question ever! J I’m thinking if f I have a lock of Hugh Jackman’s hair and a slice of Canadian bacon, and I get to hang out with the zombified Mystery Gang, I wouldn’t even care what happened next.  I’d just give in and be one happy zombie._

Thanks for stopping by! 

Isn't she delightful! And what an inspiring story about how perseverance and determination pays off to great success! Can't wait to read THE INSOMNIAC'S CLUB.  Tomorrow we'll have a review of her mystery/thriller FAVORITE but you can read the blurb below. And be sure to check her Amazon page for more info on Karen and all of her great books! 

Sixteen-year-old Angie Favorite's life so far has been defined by the disappearance of her mother on her eleventh birthday. Since then, she and her older brother Jason have been raised by their grandmother, while their father tours with his rock band. When Angie is attacked by a complete stranger, the crime seems random, until she meets her attacker's wealthy mother, Lillian Bittner, and discovers nefarious connections between the Bittners and the mother no one has heard from in five years. 


Jenny said...

Such a fun interview! If I only had a lock of Hugh Jackman's hair and some Canadian bacon, I think I'd have a very short human lifespan and would end up a zombie as well. Unless I could toss the bacon to zombie Scooby and somehow MacGyver my way out with the hair. Questionable.

Loved the story about her road to publication, that's unbelievable and so exciting for her!

Blodeuedd said...

Lol, great interview and that last one was pure gold. Nice answer too, sometimes you just become a zombie

Jenny N. said...

Yeah I thought her last name was a pen name too. I love hearing about author success stories and will have to look up some of her other books.

Sherry Soule said...

Awesome interview!

Alyssa Kirk said...

Jenny: Fabulous idea about the bacon to Scooby. We must put together a zombie question for you to answer!

Linda: Hugh Jackman is good zombie incentive!

Jenny N: I know, great name! I'm sure you'll find her books interesting!

Sherry: Authors - like you too! - seem to do great interviews!

A Canadian Girl said...

Narnia is a good place to go to. I'd probably pick the world of Harry Potter but forget that since I'm just a Muggle, I can't see magic. Oh well, going to London wouldn't be a bad consolation prize.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

What a great interview... but really... only ONE piece of bacon? Cruel! ;D

Book Sake said...

Hah, I love that last question, crazy hard too! :)

Liz @ Cleverly Inked said...

I love Narnia too. Who wouldn't want to go.

Orchid said...

Ah, Narnia! Now that would make for an unforgettable vacation destination.

A book about an insomniac, I am intrigued. =)

Awesome interview!


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