Op de YALFest persdag mocht ik Donna Freitas interviewen, wat natuurlijk geweldig was. Eerder heb ik deel 1 met jullie gedeeld, nu het tweede deel van het interview. Joost heeft samen met mij het interview gedaan, en ook van hem staan zijn vragen al online.

Ik denk dat er verder niet erg veel introductie meer nodig is, dus laten we verder gaan met het interview!

I hear you’re a fan of the Queen’s Thief series. It just so happens that I have read the first part, and I gotta admit, I found it pretty cool. I have many other books to read, though, so I have been putting off the sequel. Is there a big reason why I should ignore all other novels and dive into the second book immediately?

The Thief is the first one, so you are about to read the Queen of Attolia? It is my favourite! The Queen of Attolia and the King of Attolia are amazing! So the Thief is just like, it is really good, but not amazing. You gotta read the Queen of Attolia. You’re gonna die. Within like the first fourty pages, you’re gonna be like *GASP*, and then the whole series is amazing. Something shocking happens. You have a lot ahead of you.

Does Gen [Hoofdpersoon van The Thief] stay as awesome and as sassy throughout the entirety of the series?

Oh, he gets better! He is great. You have so much ahead of you! Ooh, I would definitely… I am thinking back to your question, Joost. If I could date a bookcharacter, I would date Eugenides from that bookseries. Or I would date Poe from Graceling. I think other than Antonia Lucia Labella [hoofdpersoon van The Possibilities of Sainthood] about all of my ladies could date Eugenides. Somebody would date Eugenides. I would also date Eugenides. But you’re going to love the Queen of Attolia! I feel like the Thief is the book you have to get through to get to the really good stuff.

When I was reading Unplugged, you had Rain and Trader, and both of their names were nouns, and so was Skye’s, so I thought, this is the love triangle. But then suddenly, Trader wasn’t an interest anymore. Was this something to put people off, or am I just reading too much into things?

Hmmm, no. So Trader was never a love interest. He was always going to be important. I wanted people to be invested in Rain, and then I wanted to trip them up in the second book. For a while, when I was writing, I didn’t know which one of the boys I liked the most [the love triangle in the second part], they were competing for my heart when I was writing. But Trader was always going to be a complicated but steady presence in Skylar’s life, not a love interest.

You just said that the whole love triangle was also a surprising thing for you, that you also didn’t know who she was going to end up with? Is that how you always write, or do you know set points in the story?

Yes. I always know the arc of the story, and that certain big things are going to happen. But for me, what makes me write, or what compels me to, is that I often don’t know what is going to happen to the story, there are parts that I don’t know, and I write to find out. The thing I get excited about when I’m writing is “What is going to happen next? What are my characters going to do?” I feel like I have to follow them, and I love that. I love realizing what is unfolding. I feel like it is unfolding before me and I’m writing it down. What I said earlier, I didn’t know which boy I liked better, they were kind of competing for my heart, but that kind of works, because I was like, “Who’s gonna be the lucky guy? Who’s gonna win me over?” It’s fun to write like that. It feels like it’s not just a story I’m sludging through, it feels like an adventure, something I want to find out too. For me, writing like that is really compelling, exciting.

The second book just came out. I’m assuming the third book is already done? Do you have any plans after this? What are you going to write next?

I am writing a book called The Healer. That is the working title currently in my laptop. It’s about a girl who has the power to heal. I feel like it’s probably going to be called The Healer as it makes sense for the book. She lives in a remote town in Maine at the sea, and she has been sheltered her whole life because she is sacred. Her mother has really kept her away from everything. In the beginning of the book, when we meet the main character, she is really angry and she’s tired of everyone needing from her, and so she wants to give up her life and start again. She wants to have a normal life. And there are consequences to this. So anyway, this is what I’m working on! I really love working on this, I’m having so much fun. But it’s gonna be sad. It’s going to be a bit of a tragedy. (Eline: I quite like things that give me emotions, so this could be right up my alley) This is sort of a ‘be careful what you wish for’ book.

Will the Healer make me cry?

I don’t know! I haven’t gotten there yet. But I have a feeling it is going to be a sad book. So it might! I hope it will make you feel many things.

Isn’t it really weird knowing people read your books in a language you don’t understand yourself?
It is a little bit. It’s so weird! I can’t read it at all! I have no idea what it says. It can say anything. It could be about pancakes!

Na Donna ervan overtuigd te hebben dat het boek echt niet over pannenkoeken gaat was het helaas al weer tijd om afscheid te nemen. Ik heb tijdens de boekhandelaarsborrel nog met haar gepraat, en ook op YALFest zelf, en ik ben echt fan van haar geworden. Wat is ze leuk! Maar dat denk ik over elke YALFest auteur. Kon ik maar terug in de tijd en het nog een keer beleven!

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