Today, to wrap up this fun week talking about The Eternal Ones, I have a guest interview with Kirsten Miller–and commenting on this post will give you a chance to win the other signed copy of The Eternal Ones.
Kirsten, welcome! Can you let us know the top five things you think we should know about you?
I come from a long line of eccentrics, and I, myself, am a little bit strange.
My heroes are David Attenborough and Julia Child. (Yet I steer clear of wildlife, and I can’t cook to save myself.)
My idea of a perfect day would be renting a boat and visiting all of the islands in New York Harbor. (Especially the ones you aren’t allowed to visit.)
For the past ten years, I’ve been trying to convince my Scottish husband to wear a kilt. (He has great knees.)
I honestly believe that Bigfoot exists, and as soon as I win the lottery, I intend to find him.
Let’s talk about your book. The Eternal Ones is about true love and reincarnation. Which is so fascinating. So I’d like to know: who were you and/or your significant other most likely to have been in a past life?
Ha! I suspect my husband and I fought side by side as members of the French Resistance. We’re a pretty good team, I think, and we’ve always enjoyed a marriage of equals. I hope that for our very first date he took me on a tour of the bone-filled catacombs beneath Paris. That’s the kind of thing I would find terribly romantic. (Especially if he brought cheese, and we got to beat up a Nazi or two.)
The book is dedicated to your parents and, in keeping with the reincarnation theme, says, “To my parents–if not my first, then certainly my best.” As a writer, who do you find has been instrumental in helping you have time/space/encouragement to write?
To borrow from a former first lady, it takes a village to make a writer. (In my case, it’s more like a borough or two.) I can’t even begin to list all of the people who have helped me along the way. My parents, my siblings, my teachers, and my husband (who is always my very first reader) all deserve a great deal of credit. But if I’m going to choose one person to thank, it would have to be my eighteen-month-old daughter, Georgia.
I wrote all of my Kiki Strike books with Georgia in mind—even though she hadn’t yet come into the world when the first two were published. Still, she was my inspiration. There’s even a character, Iris McLeod, who was meant to embody all the traits I hoped my daughter would have. (And she does!) And though Georgia probably won’t read The Eternal Ones until she’s in high school, her extremely good behavior as an infant made the book’s creation possible.
For me, one of the most evocative (and universal) parts of The Eternal Ones is the way Haven leaves her home and falls in love with New York City. That feeling of discovering a home away from home–or even a finding of a place where one feels one was meant to be–is one that many people experience or hope to experience. Is this something that happened in your own life? Is there a place in the world that is especially important and dear to you?
Haven’s journey from a small town in the rural South to New York City is much like the one I took at the age of seventeen. This city has been my home ever since, and I’m not sure I have the skills to convey exactly how much I love it. There’s never been any doubt in my mind that this is where I’m meant to be. The city is dirty and smelly and beautiful and strange. You could find the inspiration for one hundred books on a single block. I honestly can’t bear to be away from the city for more than a couple of weeks.
Can you share with us one of your favorite paragraphs from your book?
Do you long for a place you’ve never been?
Do you often experience the sensation of déjà vu?
Have you ever fallen in love at first sight?
Do you possess skills or talents that defy explanation?
Are you haunted by fears or anxieties that make little sense?
Do you feel unusually close to certain people in your life?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have experienced a previous life.
I’m quite fond of the paragraph above (which my heroine discovers on the website of a rather unusual secret society) because I’ve often wondered could be responsible for phenomena like déjà vu. I’m not saying I’m a believer in reincarnation, but it certainly is an interesting subject to ponder.
And finally, what are you reading right now?
I like to read three or four books at once. Right now, I’m reading . . .
Incarceron, by Catherine Fisher, which is pretty awesome.
The Anglo Files, by Sarah Lyall, in order to understand the Brits a bit better. (Since I’m married to one.)
Up in the Old Hotel, by Joseph Mitchell, because a couple of the essays feature my new neighborhood in Brooklyn.
Thanks for the great answers, Kirsten! It has been a pleasure to talk about this book this week and to get to know you a little better.
And now’s your chance, readers! If you want to enter the giveaway for the second signed copy of The Eternal Ones, please leave a comment with your e-mail address below. You can comment until midnight (MST) tomorrow (Saturday) night. I’ll choose two winners at random over the weekend and announce the winners Monday morning. (Sorry, this contest is open to USA and Canada only.)