Hey, guys! Today I have Kimberly Pauley, author of Ask Me, on the blog to answer some questions. Take a seat and get a glass of wine or two, you’ll be bound to be here for a while!
If you could describe Ask Me in 5 words/adjectives or less, what would they be?
Unwilling oracle vs. cunning sociopath
Okay, the fun part! I really liked Aria Morse as a character and as a person. You could really feel the frustrations within her as she tried to find her place in the world, as well as her doubts when she didn’t automatically charge head-on into the problems coming her way, which was really a breath of fresh air from the many reckless and impulsive heroines I’ve read lately. What made you decide to write her the way she is?
I don’t know that it was a conscious decision, at least for that part of it. That’s just the way she was in my head. When writing, I usually start with a character and Aria and her problem was the first thing I knew about the book.
I also liked the presence of parental figures in this book. The fact that Aria’s grandparents were integral in her life was very uplifting, as I’ve noticed many YA books nowadays have little to no parental roles. What are your thoughts about this? Did you encounter any difficulty writing such a relationship?
Thanks for noticing! Actually, this is something I’ve kind of done in every book I’ve written so far. In so many young adult and middle grade books the parents (or parental figures) are completely absent. There’s a good reason for this, in a way…a lot of the fiction for younger readers has an undercurrent about finding your own way and it’s easier, in some ways, to up the stakes on that by making the parents disappear in one way or another. In my first two books, Mina’s parents were very present in her life and even in Cat Girl’s Day Off (my third book), Nat’s parents are also very much there (they even let Nat go off all crazy with her cat army, but keep tabs on her). While I think a lot of books *need* the parents to be gone, I don’t think it has to be that way in *every* book. Families come in all shapes and sizes and levels of involvement. I’ve tried to write some books where the involvement is more, rather than less. I also feel it’s kind of nice to see parental figures that are actively helpful. Being a teen is a very alienating time in many ways, but there are people out there to lean on. Well, not for every character, obviously…there’d be no Harry Potter if his parents were still alive!
I don’t know that I had a difficult time writing their relationship. It just felt right to me.
Okay, so Aria has the power of Prophecy. What made you decide to take this route regarding her power?
I wanted something that she had no control over and that she would feel was controlling her life. It’s also something that *sounds* like something anyone would love to have…but, if you really understood what you would have to give up for it, would you?
The book hints that there are more people like Aria in the world. Is there any chance you’re going to write books about the other Seers?
The original idea was for a series of books. I honestly don’t know if that will happen. It could! Though the original idea changed quite a bit in the editorial revisions, so it wouldn’t work exactly how I had first envisioned it. I don’t think it necessarily needs more books, but I did have some other Sybils I wanted to introduce to the world. The next one was going to be a girl who has been using her power for “bad” as a grifter.
Okay, silly question, but did you research a lot to come up with many of Aria’s poetic answers? To be honest, as cryptic as they were, it surprised me so much that the answers were *there* all along! (Which is to say, very clever)
Yes, quite a bit. Some took forever to come up with! Including some of the ones that people won’t even think twice about and will never even realize that they have a hidden meaning!
Ask Me is both Paranormal and Mystery/Thriller, which I think can be very tricky to put together. Did you find any difficulty finding a balance between the two?
Every one of my books has fantasy elements, but all of them are set pretty firmly in the real world. I like to imagine how people with extraordinary things about them would have to live in our world, trying to fit a round shape object into a square shape hole. I tried to balance out all of those things and the mystery element…some people will want more of one, some more of another. Hopefully I found a fairly good balance.
Why did you decide to write a book towards the Young Adult demographic? Do you have plans to branch out eventually?
ASK ME is my fourth book and all of them have been for YAs so far. I even specialized a bit in children’s lit when I was at college! But, I am working on an adult novel now and I’m having a lot of fun writing it. After that, I’m not sure if it will be another adult book or, probably, finishing a half-completed paranormal-ish YA love story.
Okay, another silly question. We all know the advantages and disadvantages of Aria’s power, but if you were to choose, would you want to have her power yourself? Why or why not?
No. At least, not how she was written! I would hate not having control over myself. Even though I’d love to know all the answers, I think you have to give up too much!
Casting time! If Ask Me were to be made into a film, which actor/actress would you cast for Aria, Alex, Delilah, and Will?
For Aria I have been thinking India Eisley or Hailee Steinfeld. For Will, I’m thinking Alex Black or Alex Pettyfer. But for Alex…well, I haven’t found a perfect one. The closest is someone suggested Logan Lerman or Tyler Posey. Either one of them could work! I haven’t found a good Delilah yet either. Any suggestions? I’m thinking maybe I need to watch more teen movies or shows!
Last question: what are your favorite YA reads? Any recommendations to our readers?
Oh, so many! Anything my Myra McEntire, CJ Redwine, MG Buehrlen, David Lubar, Alex Flinn, Tiffany Trent, Andrew Smith, Catherine Ryan Hyde, Bruce Hartinger, Alex Sanchez, Jo Knowles, Marlene Perez, Delilah Dawson…okay, I better stop or I could keep going for days and days.
Interested? Get ASK ME today!
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Check out the rest of the stops:
Cassandra of The Enigma of Herself (Review)
Faye of The Social Potato (Interview)
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