Hi, Riveted readers!
For this post, I interviewed my 13-year old niece, Clara, who is both a reader and writer herself, and she interviewed me. I Hope you enjoy it!
P.S. be sure to check out The Museum of Heartbreak, which is available as an extended excerpt until July 31st.
Meg Interviews Clara
Meg: Describe The Museum of Heartbreak in three words or less.
Clara: Realistic, charming, heartwarming.
M: Who is your favorite character?
C: What? That’s like picking my favorite child! I have to pick two. Penelope is the obvious choice but I love Eph because even though he can be awful at times, he knows Pen better than she knows herself. I also love Grace because even when Penelope is having a hard time, Grace supports her no matter what. She introduces her to a whole new friend group and is a kind human being. I don’t think Penelope would have ended up the way she did if it wasn’t for Grace and Miles. (Miles is a close third!)
M: What was your favorite chapter to read?
C: The one in the thrift store, when she gets her red cowboy boots and something happens with Eph. I feel like the red cowboy boots are the embodiment of the book.
M: What are your three favorite young adult books?
C: That’s like picking my favorite child! I love books! My all-time favorite book is The Museum of Heartbreak, probably because you wrote it and I read it 17 times. Eleanor and Park because that book legitimately changed my life and it makes me feel like an incredible human being when I read it. I will forever love Out of My Mind, and I used to get in trouble in school because it was the only thing I’d read.
M: What do you look for when you’re picking up a book?
C: I know they say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but I look at the cover. I like bright, colorful covers. Cause usually if it’s colorful, it’s a more energetic book.
M: What did you just read and what are you reading now?
C: I just finished Since You’ve Been Gone, and it was a very carefree, relaxed, happy book. Right now, I’m reading I’ll Give You the Sun, and I’ve just started and I’m excited to keep reading it!
M: Describe your ideal writing scenario.
C: Do I have to have written there before? Or can it be a dream place?
My dream place to write would be in a small one-room cottage in Hilton Head. There’d be a desk under a huge window that took up the whole wall, so if had writer’s block, I could look up, and there’d be a beautiful big ocean of opportunity in front of me. I want my cat Eli to be there, as a cat’s purr can be a good way of figuring out what I want to say next, although he’d probably just sleep the whole time. I’d also want you and Mom to be there, as you guys are good when I need to talk through a situation to figure out what I want to say next.
M: Describe your ideal place to read.
C: I don’t know what is with me and cottages, but I think I’d need to be in a semi-small room. I’d probably be sitting in a huge bean-bag chair that’s bright blue, and there are colorful throw blankets all around me. I’m laying down and there’s a pillow behind my head. And the end table has lemonade and Milky Ways. And Eli is there, but he’s not sitting on top of me, because when he does that, he blocks my book.
Clara interviews Meg
C: Describe The Museum of Heartbreak in three words or less.
M: Girl, boy, dinosaurs.
C: Who is your favorite character?
M: Well, it’s hard not to put yourself in a book, so I’d have to say Penelope. Even though she doesn’t always make the right choices, it can be hard to navigate the heartbreak of growing up, and I have a lot of sympathy for anyone in that situation because that was me! Plus, I like her red boots.
C: What was your favorite chapter to write?
M: I loved the last chapter. It’s in the format of a letter she’s writing to someone, and it was cool to break up the book that way. Plus, no spoilers, I love the way it ends.
C: What are your three favorite young adult books?
M: This is a hard question.
[Clara: I know, right?]
Like you, I love Eleanor and Park. That book made me cry and cry, and I still wonder about the characters: where they are now and if they’re happy. I also loved The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks, because I think everyone needs to be a little more like Frankie in their life. And even though it might be categorized more as a kids’ book, to this day, I still adore Anne of Green Gables. Growing up, I wanted to be Anne and I wanted to find a Gilbert of my own.
C: What do you look for when you’re picking up a book?
M: I have been relying a lot on recommendations these days, and I’ve been trying to make my way through books by my fellow Sweet 16s (a group of authors who all debuted in 2016). It’s like having the world at your fingertips—all these great new books and authors to read.
C; What did you just read and what are you reading now?
M: I just finished Mirror in the Sky by Adit Khorana, which I found through an Entertainment Weekly article. I want to read her next book now! And I am reading both a galley of E. Lockhart’s Genuine Fraud and the new book from fellow Sweet 16 Katie Kennedy: What Goes Up, two books I’ve been waiting for for ages.
C: Describe your ideal writing scenario.
M: I love to write in a coffee shop in Brooklyn, with a hot chocolate next to me and some strawberry jelly toast. I like to be able to listen to movie score when I write, as they help drown out the noise of the coffee shop and get me in a writing zone. The only thing that would make it better would be you writing next to me, so I could ask you for help when I get writer’s block. My cat, Rigs, is not invited because he is a terrible writing companion.
C: Describe your ideal place to read.
M: I’m on my couch. It’s cold and rainy or snowy outside. I have a warm blanket, and a cat curled up in my lap. I could sit there for days.
Clara: Blankets + cats + rainy days makes the best situation to read.