Guess what? It’s my birthday today!
|Author Diana Peterfreund|
Why am I doing this? Because Diana is one of the coolest authors of YA and New Adult writing today. I really believe this. I started reading the Secret Society Girl series back in 2008 or so, and it’s still one of my favorite series ever. Her writing is beautiful, articulate, and full of awesome details that really require a second or third reading to be uncovered.
Mostly YA Lit: First things first: can you tell me your full name? Do you have a middle name?
Elliot North: My name is Elliot Victoria North. My middle name is for my mother.
MYAL: Speaking of names, you were named after your grandfather. Is Tatiana, your sister’s name, of any family significance?
EN: Tatiana was my grandmother’s name. As I was telling Mrs. Innovation the other day, my mother named both of her children. My father didn’t really care. I know some people think it’s odd that I have my grandfather’s name, since I’m a girl, but my mother almost died after I was born, and she knew she’d have no more children. Like me, my mother was very close to my grandfather Elliot, and wanted to honor him.
MYAL: You’ve lived on your family’s estate a long time – even though you had the chance to leave. Can you tell me a bit more about why you stayed? What’s worth keeping here?
EN: I’m not sure where you heard that! Have you been talking to my friends? The North Estate is one of the oldest on the islands. We are one of the grand baronic families who kept the humanity safe from the Wars of the Reduction. If it wasn’t for my ancestors and their genius in leading people down into the caves to wait out the wars, people — both Reduced and Luddite–would have died out. We have a huge population of Reduced living on our lands who depend on the production of our farm to survive from winter to winter. If I –I mean, if my family — wasn’t here to help them, they’d surely starve.
MYAL: So you’re not into fashion like your sister, but have you gone to Channel City before? What’s it like?
EN: Well, I like pretty dresses as much as anyone, but it’s a little silly for me to wear them out on the farm. I can’t really crawl under the tractor in a ballgown, can I? I have been to Channel City a few times, but it was mostly to visit friends of the family. I never got to go to the Post enclaves or anything like that. I hear they are fascinating, though, and the people there wear very bright colors and have all sorts of gadgets like sunlamps and speedboats.
MYAL: I’ve heard that you like to write letters, especially to a servant named Kai (don’t worry, I won’t tell your father or sister). I know you fold them up into gliders. Do you have a favorite shape of glider?
EN: There’s one I make that goes in a loop, but I’m a little out of practice. I haven’t made any gliders in several years, and judging by how Kai has treated me since he got back, I doubt I’m about to start again.
MYAL: So, about Kai…this may be too personal, but can you tell us about your first kiss with him? How old were you, and how did it happen?
EN: My goodness, the questions you ask! “Personal” is right. As long as you’re sure no one will ever read this… Kai and I have known each other all our lives. We were best friends. But things… changed after my mother died. I was fourteen. I… look, it’s very difficult for me to remember those times. Kai was different. I was different. I don’t think it will ever be like that again.
MYAL: Captain Wentforth comes back to the North estate with some pretty serious technology, including sun-carts and other potentially dangerous advancements. Can you tell me a bit more about this technology?
EN: I’m afraid I don’t know that much about it. Kai doesn’t seem to want me to visit the boathouse and see what they are building there. I do love the suncarts, though. They are so much fun to drive. I see why Kai has taken to restoring them. They are just the type of machine he always used to dream of building… you know, if people were allowed to do that. I wish we could afford a sun-cart, but there are a lot more important things to do with our income on the farm.
MYAL: I know you don’t talk about it much as a Luddite, but are there any doctors or healers around? What happens when Dee goes into labour?
EN: We do have Post midwives on the North Estate. And I feel fortunate that Felicia Innovation will be here because I know she’s highly trained as a healer.
MYAL: How much reading do you do? Are there any books that you’ve gotten to read from the 19th century or 20th century – maybe a few by a lady named Jane Austen, perhaps? Any books you’d recommend?
EN: I have heard of Jane Austen. Tatiana and my mother are huge fans of her novels. I preferred ancient myths and also those stories about humans who traveled all over the world and even to the moon and stars.
MYAL: Proustian questionnaire (you probably haven’t read him, but he’s this great author you should check out. He came up with this short answer personality test):
The quality that I desire in a man: Loyalty.
The quality that I desire in a woman: Same!
If not yourself, who would you be? Probably Kai.
Your favorite colour and flower: Lavender for both, I think.
Your favorite food and drink: Hot cider on a cold night and beef stew on same.
Your present state of mind: A little confused. Where did you say you were displaying these questions again? What’s a blog?