The Kidlit Interview Series
In Evil Fairies Love Hair, out on August 5th from Clarion Books, Ali and her middle-school classmates are raising flocks of fairies to make their wishes come true. But it's harder than it sounds: the fairies eat only human hair, and the rules for dealing with them are confusing, misleading, and subject to change. As Ali and her friends struggle to earn their wishes, mistakes are made, spells go awry, and soon they're up against hundreds of two-inch-tall imps with very big plans...
2) Look, I got a time machine on eBay! Where do you want to go? (Said time machine may possibly malfunction and leave you there. Possibly. It was *very* cheap.)
The future. I'm still hoping to upload my brain and it ain't happening now. Let's say 500 years just to be safe. If the world is still around and they don't put me in a zoo, I'll be a lot better off than you saps who picked the 1920s or ancient Rome.
3) What’s your favourite thing about writing for kids?
I like letting my imagination run wild. The older the age level, the more I have to rein it in. Kids are encouraged to make things up no matter how unlikely they are to really happen. That's the mindspace I'd like to keep!
4) A witch has cast a spell on you (sorry about that) and you’ve woken up as a character in a children’s book – what’s your special talent or power?
It has something to do with bubble gum.
5) What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?
When I was in eighth grade, a huge hulk of a girl was bullying me about my name. You know, Mary had a little lamb … she said to me "why don't you just come over here and slap me." So I did. Afterward, she followed me into the bathroom with one of her henchwomen, and I thought they were going to kill me, but they didn't. Phew! They say you're supposed to stand up to bullies, but I'm not so sure. If I had it to do over, I'd try talking my way out of it before slapping she-hulk across the face!
6) What’s something you wish you’d known about writing when you started out? What’s something you wish you’d known about publishing?
I started trying to write a novel when I was in law school. I wish I'd known that legal writing and fiction writing are not that different. You have to take complex concepts and turn them into something coherent. I had this idea that fiction could kind of come out of thin air, and so it all came out vague and nonsensical. But no matter what you're writing, it's all about what people are going to understand. If you focus on whether your words, sentences, paragraphs, and overall story make logical sense, you'll be okay. I don't think there's anything I'd want to know about publishing. I'm glad I didn't know about how the proverbial sausage is made when I was starting out. At that point, it has to be all about the writing.
7) What would your daemon be?
8) My books don’t have dragons, but they do have... fairies, aliens, giant evil flies, sewer-dwelling worm creatures, spaceships, and cakes.
Emma Carroll, author of The Girl Who Walked on Air!