If you're like us, you are MORE THAN PSYCHED for the movie version of Beautiful Creatures. Crazy magic in the south. Emmy Rossum casting spells. Jeremy Irons in a cool white suit. What's not to love? We recently sat down with Margaret Stohl, one of the writers of the book, and she let us in on 5 crazy insights that led her to make the book as amazingly awesome as it is:
Teens around the world can totally relate to each other.
"Kami and I have been all around the world. The book is in fourty eight countries, so I have met with teenagers from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia all the way to France and Western Europe, and I think that the teenagers seem more alike than you think and they feel powerless. It’s just a truth. It’s kind of an obvious metaphor, but it’s real. They feel like they don’t have control over their lives. They feel like decisions are being made for them."
Magic isn’t all that… well, magical, unless it has consequences.
"Books to Kami and I have to feel real. We take our fantasy very, very seriously. And all of our books feel true to us, whether that’s an emotional truth or a regional truth or whatever it is. So, magic has consequences in our universe. There is light magic and dark magic. We wanted to have a total free reign of our own rule set for magic. We really wanted the chance to call out the kinds of magic in our world and how that would work. We really didn’t want to inherit the rules of vampires."
Adults are basically just overgrown kids.
"Sixty percent of our readership is adults. And that’s partly because we all feel like insecure teenagers in a certain way. I think we spend our whole lives trying to figure out who we are, even when we’re old. Having the strength to be yourself… that’s a line from the book: 'Claim yourself.' It’s an anthem, really. That’s the message to our readers. Own it! You’re fabulous. You’re different. You’re not like everyone else. And you may find that it’s not as cut and dried as light and dark or good and evil."
Your own family is the best place to start when creating compelling characters.
"My family is from a small town in the rural west. Kami’s family is from a very small town that’s not even on the map in North Carolina, so she grew up with four generations of southern women in one house which she always defines as 'bacon in your vegetables whether you know it or not.' So, you’ll find that all the really crazy people in our fictitious town of Gatlin, the mortals, are way more insane than the immortals and they’re all related to us. My grandfather was the postman who knew everybody’s business. Kami’s great aunts were the sisters who were crazy. So there’s a lot of our family in there."
She reads. A lot. Like, A LOT a lot.
I love those hardcore, traditional British fantasists like Tolkien and C.S. Lewis and, yes, I am a complete Game of Thrones person. It’s like crack to me. I love a woman named Diana Wynne Jones who wrote what became Howl’s Moving Castle. Susan Cooper who has a great series called The Dark is Rising. I’ve been really impressed with a lot of the YA fantasy lately. I like Ally Condie’s Matched series. I like an adult fantasy writer named Lev Grossman who wrote The Magicians, which is a fabulous series. I’m excited to see Cassandra Clare’s new movie. I think that will really jump to life on the screen.
Are you looking forward to seeing Beautiful Creatures on the big screen?