Kirsten Miller is today’s guest of honor on the Penguin Teen Author Spotlight! If you haven’t heard about her new book, How to Lead a Life of Crime, you’re in luck, because you’re about to hear about it now! VOYA called it a “gripping battle of wits and morals” in a starred review, and we couldn’t agree more! Before you head out to your bookstore to pick upHow to Lead a Life of Crime, let’s chat with Kirsten!
Name: Kirsten Miller
Novel: How to Lead a Life of Crime
Who’s your favorite author, living or dead? The temptation to say “me” is incredibly strong. But I’m afraid I’m the only one who would find that amusing. (And jokes that that have gotten me into a lot of trouble in the past.) This is an impossible question to answer! I have so many favorites—the Brontes, Michael Chabon, Luc Sante, Edward Gorey, Ali Condie, Lemony Snicket, Edgar Eager … the list goes on.
What’s your favorite thing about your book? Aside from the gore, psychopathic characters and crude language? The relationship between the two protagonists, Joi and Flick. It feels very real to me—and perfectly imperfect. And it makes me believe that there might actually be someone out there who’s been sent to save each of us.
If you could spend one year on a deserted island with one character from literature, who would you choose? Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. Yeah, I know. Totally predictable. I’d also settle for Heathcliff, Mr. Rochester, Atticus Finch or James Bond. All chosen for their scintillating conversational skills, of course. (What? You thought I had some other motive? For shame!)
Where do you write? I need complete isolation and silence in order to write. So I work at my desk, in my office, with the door closed and earplugs in. It’s like my own little sensory deprivation chamber. (And it makes for good books—and a horrible daytime social life.)
Who is your favorite hero or heroine of history? Queen Elizabeth I. She was one butt-kicking lady. In fact, I recently bought my four-year-old daughter an Elizabeth costume (complete with red curly wig). She’s entering the stage when many girls would like to be princesses. I’ve made it clear to my daughter that, while it’s perfectly fine that all of her friends are princesses, I would rather she endeavor to be the QUEEN.
Do you tweet? What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever tweeted? I do tweet, but I really despise it. I need at least one hundred and forty-TWO characters in order to be funny.
What is your favorite season? Fall. It always seems so full of possibilities. And Halloween masks. (Have you ever noticed that the two often go together? Masks make soooo many things possible.)
If you could teleport anywhere in the known universe right now, where would you go? I’d teleport to that deserted island with Mr. Darcy.
Do you have any writing rituals? Yes, I spend the first hour of each work day drinking coffee while I’m consumed by self-loathing. The next few hours are devoted to frenzied typing. Then I have lunch, followed by a little more self-loathing. After lunch, I print out what I’ve produced and declare myself a genius. A few minutes later, the self-loathing returns, followed by more frenzied typing.
It’s a lot of fun.
What is your idea of earthly happiness? Getting a massage. (As you might imagine from the answer above, I tend to be wound a bit tight.)
What are you currently working on? I’m currently collaborating on a super-secret project with one of the coolest people I’ve ever met. You may be hearing about it soon!
Thanks, Kirsten! Now we really want to know about this super-secret project!