Thursday, March 21, 2013

Skyping with Hannah Barnaby, Part 2!

It's here - part 2 of our skype session with Wonder Show author Hannah Barnaby!  (If you missed part 1, click here.)  Keep reading - in part 2, Hannah talks about what's currently on her "must-read" list, favorite movies, and authors who inspire her.  Also, she answers juicy (spoilery!) questions about Wonder Show that you don't want to miss!

Just like with part 1, be sure to leave a comment to take credit for a question you asked (include your name and your question's number in the comment), and when you see words in brackets like [these], it's extra info or something that I've added that wasn't in the original question/answer.  Also, all spoilery questions are at the end of the interview, so if you don't want the end of Wonder Show spoiled for you, stop reading when it says "SPOILERS!" below.

Now for the interview!...

Q&A with Hannah Barnaby, Part 2!

19.       SMITH PUBLIC LIBRARY: What book is currently on your must-read list?
Wolverine: the early years.

HANNAH BARNABY: I'm currently re-reading I Capture the Castle for about the 9th time.  I also want to read more current YA fiction, especially the other Morris Award finalists [the William C. Morris YA Debut Award, for which Wonder Show was nominated – click the link for more info and to see the other nominees].

20.       SPL: What was your biggest inspiration to become an author?

HANNAH: I was actually in denial about wanting to be a writer for a long time, because I didn't think it could really happen.  But I had some really great teachers in college and graduate school who encouraged me.  And then my boss at Houghton Mifflin when I was an editor sent me to the Vermont College writing program, and that's where I couldn't deny it anymore.  What I love about writing is that there's no right or wrong way to do it; it's all about finding your own path. 

21.       SPL: Is there a movie that you like that is about your favorite book? Also where are you from?

HANNAH: I love the movie Big Fish, which is also about story-telling and larger-than-life people.  As for where I'm from, I grew up all over New York State, mostly in the Albany area.

22.       SPL: What's your favorite book?

HANNAH: I don't know if I can pick just one!  I love APrayer for Owen Meany and Cider HouseRules by John Irving.  I also love John Green's books and Han Nolan's. Both excellent YA writers.

23.       SPL: Are there any authors who inspire you?

A "giant" holding a "human torso" in a
wonder show, back-in-the-day.
HANNAH: Some of my teachers at Vermont College were amazing writers and mentors. Books by M.T. Anderson, Carolyn Coman, MartineLeavitt, and Norma Fox Mazer are all MUST READS if you haven't read them yet.

24.       SPL: What would you like to tell people about following their dreams?

HANNAH: Just because you are meant to do something doesn't mean it will be easy.  Nothing worth having comes without a struggle.  It's the struggle that teaches you who YOU are.

25.       SPL: Which character are you most like?

HANNAH: Probably Portia.  But also a little bit like Gideon, and a little bit like Jimmy, and almost all of them. They came from me so we must share some things, right?  I just hope I'm not too much like Mister [also see question #6 in part 1 for more info on this answer].


The following questions contain Wonder Show SPOILERS!

This girl was advertised as being "four-legged"
... yeah, probably not really four-legged.
26.       SPL: Can you give us an idea about Portia’s life 10 years after Wonder Show ends (even if you have to make it up!)?

HANNAH: I think she and Gideon are running a bed and breakfast for freaks in Florida. [LOL.]

27.       SPL: What made you think of Portia’s aunt not watching over her [and leaving her at the orphanage]?

HANNAH: Part of it was needing certain things for the plot. I needed to get Portia to a place where she was on her own.  And I needed her to want to leave that place and get even further away.

28.   SPL: What is your favorite chapter and why?

HANNAH: The chapter in which Caroline dies was really hard to write, but also kind of fun because I'd never written a murder/death scene before. I had to research poisons and how they were used and what they did to people, which probably worried my family a little bit.

29.   SPL: What chapter is the murder/death scene?

HANNAH: When Caroline dies. It's not technically murder, but Portia feels responsible because she gave Caroline the poison.

30.   SPL: Why did you want Caroline to die?

HANNAH: I didn't want her to at all! But sometimes authors have to do terrible things to their characters in order to move the story along. I felt so guilty for the longest time.

31.   SPL: What’s the turning point in the story?

HANNAH: I think it's when Portia realizes that she is not going to find Max and she decides to go back to Mister's and take charge of finding her file there. It's the point at which she knows that she has to see things through in the "bad place."

32.   SPL:  Are Portia's parents REALLY dead?  And what about the rest of her family?  I'm nursing a pet theory that Jackal is secretly Portia's uncle and just won't tell her.

HANNAH: Oh, I love that idea!  I think her parents are really gone. She lived at a time when people vanished and were not heard from again. There was no internet, no way to track people down. But I tried to give her a new family that seemed unstable but actually turned out to be the best group of people for her to continue with.

33.   SPL: Can you please write more novellas, possibly about the Wonder Show entertainers?  I wanted more of their stories!

HANNAH: I would love to. You never know what the future will bring.

* * * * * * * * * *

Ooooo, I like the idea of Wonder Show novellas.  I'm looking forward to Hannah's next book, too - she told us about this, but since I don't have her answer in writing, here's a quote from another interview where she describes her next book:

"Another young adult novel, with a contemporary setting. It’s the story of a girl who’s been in a car accident which her brother didn’t survive, and her quest to track down the recipients of his organs…with a dark purpose."

Sounds subtly creepy... and if Wonder Show is any indication, "subtly creepy" is something Hannah does well.

Dont' forget to comment below to take credit for the questions you asked - and to thank Hannah!  She's been super nice and generous for taking time to skype with us and answer all our questions!  If you have another question for her, comment or email us (soon!).  And keep your eyes on the blog - on Saturday (that's March 23) I'll post an announcement about an extra-special something we'll be doing at our April meeting!!

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