April Genevieve Tucholke’s new book Wink Poppy Midnight is out today (it’s awesome, I promise) and she kindly answered a few of my question about it, and more!
What inspired you to write Wink Poppy Midnight?
Originally I was inspired by a 1955 French thriller called Les Diaboliques, but little trace of that inspiration is left in the final draft. Other things that sparked the creation of this book:
- Paper Towns
- A large family of redheads I knew growing up
- My love of unreliable narrators
- The winter I spent in Boulder, CO
- Katharine Briggs’s An Encyclopedia of Fairies
- Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth
I love the structure of the book. What made you decide to write it that way?
I knew right off the bat that I wanted to do more than one character perspective, but the book actually started out with POV’s from just Wink and Midnight. An early critique partner suggested doing a POV for Poppy as well, and I couldn’t believe it hadn’t occurred to me. Poppy turned out to be my favorite character to write.
Why do you think the characters will resonate with readers?
I have a pretty deep dislike for one dimensional heroes/villains—the gray characters are the ones that make my heart sing. Even the “hero” in Wink Poppy Midnight does an unheroic thing. Real people are infinitely complex and I like exploring this in my books.
What is your writing process like?
I find it hard to sit still, so writing and me are constantly at war. Some days I do it right, with coffee and noise-cancelling headphones and several focused hours. But other days I just squeeze in little bits here and there while running around doing more active things.
What do you find to be most rewarding about writing for a young audience?
Their enthusiasm. Their love of reading. Their belief in magic.
It’s been a while since we’ve caught up… Have you read any good books lately? Anything you’d recommend?
Yep. The upcoming Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, and Wise Child and Juniper by Monica Furlong.
Non-book rec’s: Vikings, Penny Dreadful, and the new Macbeth adaptation with Fassbender.
What are you currently reading?
Patricia’s Wrede’s Thirteenth Child, Marillier’s The Dark Mirror, and Naomi Novik’s Uprooted.
What’s next for you? Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I just turned in a short story for an upcoming YA anthology, I’m co-writing a Pan’s Labyrinth-ish middle grade book with a friend, and I’m in the middle of writing three young adult books—two grim, dark fantasies and another that’s contemporary magical realism.
About Wink Poppy Midnight:
The intrigue of The Raven Boys and the “supernatural or not” question of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer coalesce in this young adult mystery, where nothing is quite as it seems, no one is quite who you think, and everything can change on a dime.
Every story needs a hero.
Every story needs a villain.
Every story needs a secret.
Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen bee. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible or tricky or tremendous.
What really happened?
Someone is lying.
For fans of Holly Black, We Were Liars, and The Virgin Suicides, this mysterious tale full of intrigue, dread, beauty, and a whiff of something strange will leave you utterly entranced.