We've got an exclusive interview with Kami Garcia, the author of The Lovely Reckless!
OUaT: What was your inspiration for The Lovely Reckless?
Kami: The people I knew in high school, the guys I dated, and my experiences inspired the novel, and then I threw in other elements that interested me—like street racing. In the novel, Frankie's dad is an undercover cop who works stolen cars, which was my stepfather's position in the DC police department when I was growing up. So I stole a lot of the cop stuff and the funny conversations between Frankie and her dad from my life.
OUaT: How did you get into the mindset of Frankie?
Kami: When I create a character, they become real to me. It's almost as if I'm eavesdropping on them as I tell the story.
OUaT: What kind of research on illegal street racing did you have to do for The Lovely Reckless?
Kami: I went to some street races as a teen, and I knew guys who raced back then, so that was helpful. I also talked to a few guys who race now and it isn't that different.
OUaT: What were your biggest challenges in writing The Lovely Reckless?
Kami: Switching genres was tricky, because every genre has different conventions that influence reader expectations. For example, you definitely can't kill as many people in a contemporary romance as you can in a romantic urban fantasy novel.
OUaT: What was your favorite scene to write in The Lovely Reckless?
Kami: That's a hard question, because I love so many of the scenes—the street races, the funny moments between Frankie and her dad, Cruz (Marco's best friend) putting guys in the place. But the romantic moments between Frankie and Marco were my favorites.
OUaT: What do you aim to teach your readers through your books?
Kami: I just want to tell them stories and let them take away what they want from the book. But I do think there are re-occurring themes in my work. I write about heroines who have to find the strength to take chance—in love and life—and save themselves.
OUaT: What's one thing that you need to have when you write?
Kami: Aside from a notebook and a pen, I need my noise cancelling headphones.
OUaT: What's the hardest line to write—the first or the last?
Kami: The first line. I love writing the end.
OUaT: Do you talk to your characters while writing a story, to get in the mood?
Kami: I wear noise-canceling headphones while I write and my characters talk to me. It's like I'm watching a movie in my mind and I'm just recording what I'm seeing and hearing.
OUaT: What is the hardest part of being a writer?
Kami: Writing consistently. I'm not an "everyday writer." I burn out after I finish writing or revising a draft and k need a break. But sometimes a break isn't possible, and it's hard to get back on track.
We have an exclusive giveaway from the one and only Kami Garcia! Her new book The Lovely Reckless comes out on October 4. You can enter the giveaway below!