Thursday, January 21, 2010

Author Interview: Patrick Carman (author of 13 Days to Midnight)

Evenin', ya'all. A little back story: while paroosin' my old bookshelves, I came across some old favorite; Skeleton Creek, that much-buzzed about middle grade series that takes place partly on the frikken internet, and The Dark Hills Divide, book one in the Land of Elyon (I know, neither are that old, but I'm fifteen and four years ago I was eleven which is, like, a monumental gap). Overcome with a sense of posterity, I Googled the author, Patrick Corman. And, while Googling, I found an exciting tidbit of information--he was writing a YA novel! About superheroes! Gone sour! I squealed. I then emailed Mr. Carman for an interview because I had burning questions that needed to be answered. And, being the lovely author-man he is, he oblidged. So, without further ado, Patrick Carman:

Hey there Patrick (Pat? Patty? Lets go with Patrick). Thanks for taking the time to stop by my humble webpage to chat about your upcoming YA release, 13 Days to Midnight. Care to give us a quick summary?

I think I'll let my editor do the talking on this one...this is what she offered in the advanced reader copy:

From the moment bestselling author Patrick Carman unveiled his idea for a teen novel that explored the dark side of having a superpower, I was hooked. And as Pat dug deeper into the writing, he seized on a theme that’s especially compelling in this era of humanity obsessed with trumping forces of nature: If you save a life…does it upset the balance of the universe? For you can’t escape death. Death will get you – or someone else – in the end.

It’s a story that could be spooikily spun around a campfire as well as it could unfold on a big screen. Indeed, some early readers have compared it to movie cult classics like Carrie, Unbreakable, Flatliners, and Donnie Darko.

The is Patrick Carman as you’ve never read him before. His electrifying young adult debut will rivet you with its provocative premise, engage you with its starring cast of intensely bonded friends, surprise you with its intriguing link to history, and shock you with its heart-stopping ending.

Turn the page…and start counting down to midnight.

What gave you the idea to write about the "dark" side of superpowers?

I've always loved the idea of superpowers. I wanted to create a story that a) had an original take on the genre, and b) felt as if it could actually happen. And I love the teen world - that space between being a kid and an adult - that's where a lot of the magic resides.

How was it transitioning from children's lit and middle grade to YA? Was it more difficult?

I'm a bit of a prude, so this is certainly 'emergent YA' not 'John Green YA' - I'm less focused on the sex, drugs, and rock and roll (well, there is some rock and roll) and more focused on the story of what happens to these characters when things spin out of control. That and the dark romance - it's all about the love!

Since this is technically a book about "superheroes", I'm obligated to ask; if you could have one power in the world, what would they be?

Immortality. I kind of like it around here.

One book, one movie and one tv show--GO!

Then We Came to the End, The Royal Tenenbaums, Modern Family.

Anything in the works?


Thanks for stopping by :)

Anytime - it was my pleasure.

Patrick Carman is the award-winning author of many books for young adults and children. He grew up in Salem, Oregon, and graduated from Willamette University. His birthday is February 27th, 1966. He spent a decade living in Portland, where he worked in advertising, game design, and technology.

Patrick Carman has been a life long writer and storyteller. He writes books for young adults and children for Scholastic and Little Brown Books For Young Readers. His bestselling series work includes The Land of Elyon, Atherton, Elliot’s Park, 39 Clues, and Skeleton Creek. Mr. Carman’s books have been translated into approximately two dozen languages.

Mr. Carman spends his free time supporting literacy campaigns and community organizations, fly fishing, playing basketball and tennis, doing crosswords, watching movies, dabbling in video games, reading (lots), and (more than anything else) spending time with his wife and two daughters.


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