Sunday, June 19, 2016

Alison Umminger

Alison Umminger is the author of American Girls. From her Q & A with Melissa Albert at the BN Teen blog:

American Girls has some of the trappings of a sunny, more traditional story—the cute famous guy, the glamorous location—but it takes a darker, unexpected path. How much of the story’s shape did you know going in?

I guess that I’m what they call a “pants-er” in that I rarely know what I’m going to write when I start a book. I had Anna and her voice in my head for a very long time, but originally she had a dead mom and a Marilyn Monroe obsession, both of which seem kind of absurd when I think about where the actual novel went. For a long time, too, I wanted her to be in love with Dex, her sister’s boyfriend, but those interactions just kept skewing creepy. The book took on a life of its own when I was writing the scene on the roof where Anna first meets her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Roger, again, and he tells her that she’s “kind of like a Manson girl.” I honestly believe there’s something outside the writer about writing, because I really did feel like the book told me exactly what it wanted to do next from that point on. My biggest concern was that in spite of the dark material, the book did not glorify or glamorize those murders, even as I sought to find...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue