It's so hard to believe that we are so close to half way through the year! I am very close to meeting half of my reading goal. Currently hitting that snag. I hope everyone else I close to their goals!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Interview: Holly Cupala

Welcome to Jagged Edge!
Thank you, Kati! I’m very happy to be here.

Would you like to tell us a little about yourself?
Well…I love salted caramel. I like to make art and candy. I live in Seattle. Music from the grunge era makes me a bit nostalgic and sad. I’m fascinated by the end of the world. I write YA and dream about having a little farm with goats and chickens!

What inspired you to write?
I’ve pretty much known since I was a very little person that I wanted to be a writer—it took time to figure out exactly what I wanted to write, or maybe what I was meant to write. Tell Me a Secret (2010) was inspired by a personal tragedy. Don’t Breathe a Word was inspired by the idea of a girl who had to become someone else. In general, I am inspired by hope.

What authors influenced you as a writer?
I studied literature, and that was the great fun of it—unraveling who influenced who, secret references, what plots and characters were part of the author’s real world. My favorites are Italo Calvino, Jorge Luis Borges, Marcel Proust. I love YA, especially intense, thoughtful YA—Laurie Halse Anderson, Ellen Hopkins, Sara Zarr, Deb Caletti, Beth Kephart.

What is your favorite quote?
My favorite quote comes via my librarian friend, Jackie Parker (
"You want weapons? We're in a library! Books! The best weapons in the world! This room's the greatest arsenal we could have…arm yourselves!"
~The Doctor (#10) in Dr. Who "Tooth and Claw"

If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world, which would it be?
Oh, definitely something by Shannon Hale. Her books are lush and magical. Book of a Thousand Days is in my top five books ever.

What is at least one thing that every writer needs to have or do?
I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what the “secret to writing” was—nobody could tell me! Very frustrating. In the end, I figured out processes are really individual. My must-haves are a notebook (for writing down random ideas), lots of books nearby, and time to think about the story.

Are your books different than your personal favorite books by other authors?
I think every book is an amalgam of ideas and experiences, and you can’t really duplicate that from one author to another. Only Lisa Schroeder can write Lisa Schroeder. I can only write what’s in my heart—at least I hope so! I try to write as truthfully as possible.

What is your favorite part of the writing process?
The ideas! I love to think about ideas.

Least favorite part of the writing process?
Getting the ideas down on paper…although that can be fun, too.

What are you currently working on?
Don’t Breathe a Word just came out! It’s about Joy, a suburban girl who must escape a secretly abusive relationship and finds herself on the streets of Seattle, where she meets up with homeless teens who have secrets of their own—including dreamy musician Creed. I hope you like it!
I’m also working on a third, top-secret novel…

Where readers can find you?
My website is, and the official Don’t Breathe a Word site is Plus we’re in the middle of a DBAW tour, with giveaways, contests and fun stuff:

Was there a question you wish I would have asked but didn't?
Nope—just thank you, Kati, for inviting me to your blog! It’s a pleasure to be here.

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