Remember my review of Stung by Bethany Wiggins awhile back? Well, Mrs. Wiggins agreed to join us for an interview today!
In Stung, you create a world that has become desolate due to what looks like a lack of bees. Where did you get inspiration for this interesting idea?
Stung was initially inspired by a nightmare, which became chapter one. Shortly after that, I received a science magazine in the mail that talked about the mysterious honeybee decline. Around that same time, Americans were storming health clinics for the swine flu vaccine. All three of those ingredients started mixing around in my head and slowly formed into Stung.
Wow! I find it really neat that what would normally seem like random things combined in your head to create an interesting story.
I find it exceptionally interesting that your protagonist, Fiona, practically missed so many years of her life. What was it like to write about a girl who basically woke up to find herself in a woman’s body?
It was so much fun! At the same time it was sad, thinking of losing those early teenage years. It also made me think about what makes a person seventeen. Is it seventeen years worth of experiences? Or is it the amount of time a person has been alive? Because in Fiona’s case, her body was seventeen years old but in many ways she was still only thirteen.
Oh, she was definitely thirteen! I felt bad for her throughout the book. I can only imagine how horrifying it was to wake up in a more grown up body.
I know this question is probably going to be difficult, but who was your favorite character in Stung?
Arrin! Arrin was so sneaky, so bold, so brave and so vile–everything I am not (at least I hope I’m not vile, ha ha!). I loved getting into Arrin’s head to see what made her do the things she did.
Arrin was definitely an interesting character! You’re just sitting around wondering what’s going on with her and what she’s after the whole time.
When did you first start writing?
About ten years ago my sister dared me—an avid reader but not a writer (I failed ninth grade English!)—to try writing a book. I decided I had nothing to lose and realized that writing my own stories was even better than reading someone else’s, and I kept writing until I got good enough to get published.
Well, much thanks to your sister! She knows how to pick a good dare.
I realize that some authors write while listening to music. Are you one of these authors? If so, what types of music do you normally listen to?
Yes, I am one of those writers. I cannot write without music! Here are some of the songs that inspired Stung:
Great choices! I especially love If I Die Young.
If you could be anything other than an author, what would you be?
There are two things. I would be a stay at home mom, which I already am (I love my kids. I love taking them swimming, doing play dough with them, reading to them at night, etc.). My other dream is to own a bakery. I love to bake. I love to eat what I bake. I would love to bake for other people to eat.
Ooh! I love bakeries. I’m not as great at baking, but I love the atmosphere and the smells. They’re fun to visit.
In conclusion, is there anything that you can tell us about Stung’s sequel, Cured, which is coming out this March?
I would love to! Here are a few things that may surprise you: Jonah, Fiona’s beast brother, is one of the main characters. Fiona and Bowen’s relationship has a major (happy) change (but I can’t tell you what). The schoolmate that Fiona runs into in chapter two of Stung is another main character. And here is the blurb from the book:
Now that Fiona Tarsis and her twin brother, Jonah, are no longer beasts, they set out to find their mother, with the help of Bowen and a former neighbor, Jacqui. Heading for a safe settlement rumored to be in Wyoming, they plan to spread the cure along the way–until they are attacked by raiders. Luckily, they find a new ally in Kevin, who saves them and leads them to safety in his underground shelter. But the more they get to know Kevin, the more they suspect he has ties to the raiders. He also seems to know too many details about Jacqui and her family—details that could endanger them all. For the raiders will do anything they can to destroy the cure that would bring an end to their way of life.
Thank you so much for this interview! I can’t wait to read Cured when it comes out.