Monday, July 16, 2012

Hard Hitting Questions with Stephanie Lawton (whom I suspect is a ninja)

Oh hey, check out my REVIEW before you read this. There's also a giveaway.

Stephanie Lawton, aka Queen Cool.

Website/ Goodreads/ Twitter

Nickname as a Kid: Stephie (only a select few people are allowed to call me that!)
Astrological Sign: Taurus
Favorite Video Game: I hate video games
Last time you got pulled over: In a speed trap when I was sixteen
Brand of Shampoo You Use: Burt's Bees


1.The first line of WANT is something ravenous readers like myself want to hear so desperately. Let me reiterate it here: "If you want vampires and werewolves, faeries, fallen angels or zombies, you won't find them here." I found myself cheering as I read these lines. Did you start out writing WANT because you wanted to write something that deviated from the popular, or was this idea always in your head?
Real Life Monsters can definitely be scary.
From The Daily Scoff
I had been reading tons of paranormal YA books at the time I began writing Want, and while they're great, I was getting a little tired of them. I wanted to make it clear that Want was contemporary, but that real-life monsters can be just as scary, or even more so. 

2. The main characters, Julianne and Issac, are very meticulously and wonderfully crafted. Even the secondary characters are electric and riveting portraits. Did anybody you know in real life influence their characteristics and behavior?

Julianne's mother, Margaret, was inspired by a stuck-up lady we bumped into at a Mardi Gras parade, but otherwise, the characters are all from my imagination. There are bits and pieces of people I know in some of the characters, but I think that happens with anything you write. It wasn't intentional, although I will admit that Dave Gaston is kind of the male version of me. :) [Isabelle's Note: I want to be your friend. LIKE RIGHT NOW. Please.]

3. How did you go about crafting sympathetic characters like Juli?

I had a hard time with Juli, but I wanted to show what years of a messed-up family life could do to a girl. I did a lot of psychological research and drew on some past experiences to create a character that was--sickly--attracted to the same thing she loathed in another situation. (I'm trying to avoid spoilers!) 

 I did a thorough character profile, and as I researched, I noted how someone in her situation would probably react to things, but honestly, she kind of just "told" me how she'd react.

4. There are a lot of things in this book that you either have experienced or haven't. For instance,
Juli likes to scrape herself, something that I wouldn't have known unless I looked it up. How much was experience, and how much was from your life travels?

 There's a lot of both, though I prefer not to go into details. I do need to make it clear, though, (Hi Mom!) that my parents were great and I never experienced anything like Juli does from her parents. In many ways, we write what we know, so yeah, many of the terrible things in the book either touched me directly or someone I knew, and I was shocked when some of my beta readers said Want affected them deeply because they'd been touched by these things, as well. That's pretty scary when you think about it.

From If It Ain't Baroque
5. Julianne and Issac breathe for music. Are you musically inclined yourself?

I wish! I took ten years of piano lessons and played French horn for a number of years--I even considered being a music major in college--but I didn't have that spark of genius that you need to make it in such a small, competitive field. Maybe I was fullfilling that dream through Juli? :)

6. Another reviewer commented that this story reminded them a bit of
 Wuthering Heights. Do you think so?

Oh, wow, I haven't seen that review! Hmm ... [major spoilers ahead] I can see the comparison in that Juli and Isaac are terrible for each other like Cathy and Heathcliff are. Neither relationship is healthy and will ultimately end in disaster. I like to think Want is a little more hopeful, though, and I don't think Isaac and Juli feel as deeply about each other as Cathy and Heathcliff.  

7. I live in the South, and so do the characters. What do you think about the South makes it such a popular setting for novels?

You know, as a relatively new citizen of the Deep South (we moved from Ohio to Mobile three years ago) I think it's that the South is such a study in contrasts. In many ways, it's extremely old-fashioned. Men still hold doors, we refer to others as "ma'am" and "sir," and etiquette it alive and well. Add in some Spanish moss dripping from live oaks and you've got a fantastic setting. Yet the South has large, modern cities that rival any you'll find north of the Mason-Dixon Line.

[Isabelle's Note: I didn't actually say goodbye here, but I'll add it for kicks. Goodbye, Stephanie! You are awesome. Write more books. Be my friend.]


Don't forget to check the other blog tour stops! Clicky!


  1. Good interview and great blog!
    new follower!

    1. Thanks! Also, thanks for being my 99th follower. That's very prestigious in the world of numbers.

  2. Really great interview!
    Sounds like a good book. :D