Kay Honeyman's new book is Interference.
From her Q&A with Deborah Kalb:
Q: You've said that Interference is a cross between Jane Austen's Emma and Friday Night Lights. How did you come up with the idea of Emma at a modern-day West Texas high school?--Marshal Zeringue
A: I’m not sure I can take credit for starting with such a fully fleshed out idea, but it did evolve into that.
I started with the idea of a character like Emma. I know she’s not everyone’s favorite because she can come across as a little self-involved, maybe even spoiled. But what I have always liked about Emma was her earnestness and sincerity. She has the best intentions even when they go awry, and I can relate to that.
Another thing that has always struck me about Emma is how much of an outsider she is. Even though she’s spent her entire life in the same town, she can only interact with a tiny group of people according to her society’s norms. The story begins by isolating her even more when now married Mrs. Weston leaves. I think that isolation is where a lot of the conflict and story comes from.
And if you want to talk isolation, West Texas is a great setting. It is unique even with in Texas. If you have ever driven there, the land flattens and turns these beautiful earthy tones. It always felt a little like going to an island. It has its own flavor and norms. I love places with personality. It makes the setting interact with the characters. These are also great places for fish-out-of-water stories.
The beauty of [my character] Kate and Emma is that...[read on]