Interview: Stacy Kramer & Valerie Thomas

Hey guys! Today I have two lovely guests: Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas, the authors of a recent released titled FROM WHAT I REMEMBER. The book's summary will be below the interview and let's do this!


1.    If you could live with three YA characters (not your own) in a house, who would they be?

Wow, what a crazy notion, all in one house. We kind of love the idea of this now that you mentioned it. After talking it over and mulling waaaaay too many options (it was a difficult choice, so many great characters to choose) we narrowed it down to Katniss from THE HUNGER GAMES, Augustus from THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, and Samantha from BEFORE I FALL. We think it would make for a fascinating household with some fabulous dinner conversation. They are all vastly different characters and either we’d have a blast together or we’d end up in a massive brawl. If we got really out of line, Katniss would impale us to a tree. Either way it would be interesting.

2.      Which character is most like you? Least?

VALERIE: Kylie is the most like me in FROM WHAT I REMEMBER, in that she’s a funny mix of brainy, insecure, and fierce. I wasn’t as outcasted as she is in high school, but I had a mix of nerdiness and strength that was both a blessing and a bane. I am least like Max in that he seems to glide through life without thinking about every little thing, all the time. I wish I could do this more, but alas, I ruminate and overthink far too much.

STACY: I’m a little bit Kylie and a little bit Lily, which is, I know, an odd combination. But it’s who I am, for better or for worse. I’m cerebral. I overthink everything, like Kylie. I was obsessed with movies from a young age and can have a bit of a temper. But, embarrassingly, like Lily, I was a bit of a mean girl in middle school and ruled with an iron fist so I both know where she’s coming from and sort of despise her at the same time. Like Val, I am the least like Max. He’s far sportier and more carefree than I could ever be. As you can see, our answers are pretty similar, which is why we make good writing partners. It’s like one voice, with two heads (but I digress…).

3.     What’s your favorite Disney Movie?

VALERIE: When I was little my favorite Disney movie was FANTASIA. Then I had a daughter and started watching all the other Disney movies with her and I fell in love with a lot of them – SLEEPING BEAUTY, SNOW WHITE. But I still love FANTASIA, there’s just nothing out there like it.

STACY:  Oddly, I was never the biggest fan of animated Disney movies. From a very young age, I preferred live action to cartoons. I would have to say my favorite Disney movie, and this is digging deep (I’m going into the waaaaay back machine and pulling this one out from somewhere in the recesses of my brain) is SUPERDAD. It’s an early Kurt Russell movie about a helicopter parent (before the term helicopter parenting was even termed). I watched it over and over again as a kid. I loved it. In fact, now that I think about it, I’m curious to watch it again, some thirty years later and see how it holds up. I’m going to see if I can get a copy to show my kids.

4.    How is it writing with another person? Do you alternate chapters or everything just ends up blending together?

We love working together. As already previously mentioned, because our sensibilities are so similar it’s like one person with two heads (well, not really, but you get the idea). It’s fun to collaborate. We’re not alone in the battle, and, as a result, the work benefits from two points of view. We’ve been working together for a long time, and we are good friends, so we’ve managed to forge a very successful partnership, but, don’t misunderstand, it definitely takes work and compromise, just like any relationship. We respect each other a lot, which allows us to be honest and candid, without being petty or ego-driven. We spend a lot of time brainstorming together about storylines and character, but when it comes time to actually write, we go off to our own corners and write alone. One of us will write a few chapters and then pass that chunk back to the other for rewriting. And then we switch, over and over and over and over again, until things are good enough to at least let our agent take a look. And then, we usually go back in and repeat the whole process before handing it in to our editor. What’s great about this method is that it allows us both to write, alone, but whenever there is a problem or an issue, we can pick up the phone and hash it out. It’s the perfect mix. We’re alone but never lonely.  


KYLIE: Tijuana WHAT? I should be putting the finishing touches on my valedictorian speech. Graduation is TODAY, and is this a wedding band on my finger. 
MAX: It all started with Kylie's laptop and a truck full of stolen electronics. Okay, it was kind of hot, the way she broke us out like some chick in an action movie. But now we're stranded in Tijuana. With less than twenty-four hours before graduation. Awesome.

WILL: Saving Kylie Flores from herself is kind of a full-time occupation. Luckily, I, Will Bixby, was born for the job. And when I found out she was stuck in Mexico with dreamy Max Langston, sure, I agreed to bring their passports across the border -- but there's no reason to rush back home right away. This party is just getting started.

LILY: I just walked in on my boyfriend, Max Langston, canoodling with Kylie Flores, freak of the century. Still, I can't completely hold it against him. He NEEDS me. It's even clearer now. And I'm not giving him up without a fight.

Happy reading, guys! And thank you for stopping by!


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