I'm so excited to have Nicole Maggi here for an author interview today! Her newest book, The Forgetting, just came out on Tuesday.
1. Without spoiling anything, could you tell us what was your favorite scene to write in The Forgetting?
2. If you had to pair up your main character Georgie with any other character from any other YA book (either romantically or as a friend), who would it be and why?I loved writing this whole book. It’s odd, because the book is dark and goes to some disturbing places, but I wrote the book in a state of complete joy. Before I started working on this book, I’d really fallen out of love with writing, and it was this book that made me fall back in love with it again.
That said, there’s a scene maybe two-thirds of the way through the book, where Georgie finally goes to the place where Jane Doe died, that was really kind of exhilarating to write. It’s the scene where Georgie and Jane Doe really converge, where they sort of become on the same page with each other. It’s a huge turning point in the book. Writing those Big Moments are big moments for the author, too.
I would totally pair Georgie up with Clay from 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher. I’m not sure they’d get romantically involved, but I think they would be good friends. I could definitely see them bonding while working at something like a Teen Crisis Hotline. They’d probably try to outdo each other at who could help more kids in one night. Actually, I bet if they teamed up they could probably save the world. Or at least start a really awesome non-profit together.
3. What comes easier for you, description or dialogue?
Dialogue comes very naturally to me. I think it’s because of my background as an actor. Working on plays made me attuned to how people really speak to each other. I can hear dialogue very clearly in my head and it’s easy for me to translate it onto the page. Sometimes I’ll even speak the lines out loud while I’m writing…but only if I’m writing in my house by myself. I’m sure I’d get kicked out of one of the coffee shops I usually write in if I did that.
I also love writing description, to the point of, ahem, over-describing. One of my former editors once had to point out that I had seven similes in one paragraph. Haha! I can see things in my head very clearly, like a movie, but sometimes I have to tone it down when I put it on the page and trust that the reader knows what I’m talking about.
4. How do you go about naming your characters?
Oh my gosh, it’s SUCH a process. I can spend days looking for the right name for a character. I’m very attached the meanings of names. When I was a kid I used to read the baby names book that my parents had on their bookshelf. It’s because of that book that I love my own name so much because the meaning of Nicole was listed as “Victorious army, victorious people. A girl who succeeds at all she does.” Pretty powerful, right?
When I was naming Georgie, I wasn’t so caught up in the meaning as the sound of it. I wanted it to be a long, British-sounding name that could be shortened into something boyish. I know that seems insanely specific, but somehow I knew that’s what it had to be. With Nate, I wanted something short but strong. Nate comes from Nathan which means “he gave.” That just seemed to fit him so well, because he is so generous and selfless.
In my Twin Willows Trilogy many of the names are Italian, and it’s really fun to just pore over different Italian names. The main character in that series is named Alessia. It means “defender.” It actually felt like such a stroke of fortune when I discovered that name because it is so perfect for her.
5. For any aspiring writers out there - what's the best writing advice you've ever received?
This advice actually came from an acting teacher, the very brilliant Alexandra Billings, who inspired the character of Tommy. She said, “If there is art in your life, there will be life in your art.” I don’t believe that you need to write every day to be a writer. But I do think you need to have art in your life every day to be an artist. That doesn’t mean going to a museum every day and studying the Monets. It means doing things like going for a walk and noticing all the different shades of green you see along the way. Or singing in the shower at the top of your lungs just for the joy of it. Or cooking something really elaborate and then eating it with total gusto. Doing these things keeps you filled with art and will infuse your writing when you do eventually sit down to write.
Thanks so much for stopping by Paperback Treasures on your blog tour!
Make sure to check out all the other stops of the blog tour, and keep your eye out for The Forgetting, which was released February 3rd. Here's what it's all about:
Georgie Kendrick wakes up after a heart transplant, but the organ beating in her chest doesn't seem to be in tune with the rest of her body. Why does she have a sudden urge for strawberries when she's been allergic for years? Why can't she remember last Christmas?
Driven to find her donor, Georgie discovers her heart belonged to a girl her own age who fell out of the foster care system and into a rough life on the streets. Everyone thinks she committed suicide, but Georgie is compelled to find the truth - before she loses herself completely.