Cecil Castellucci, author of teen novels
Cecil Castellucci has been an indie rocker and a filmmaker, but now she's primarily a novelist. This week saw the debut of her second book for young adults, The Queen of Cool. It's about that girl in high school — you know, the effortless one? — who finds herself enveloped by too-cool ennui (then something happens, but we're not giving it away).
Boy Proof, Cecil's first novel, recieved a ton of accolades, including being named a Booksense 76 Children’s Pick.
Tomorrow night she'll be reading from Queen of Cool at Skylight Books at 5pm for her book launch. She's promised some special treats.
Age and occupation: Thirty-something Authoress
Home town: New York City / Montreal
Current LA neighborhood: Silverlake, for 10 years.
What inspired you to write for young adults?
I always wanted to write for young adults and children. Maybe it was Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time or Frances Hodgson Burnett's A Little Princess? Maybe it was John Christopher's Tripod Trilogy or Elizabeth George Speare's The Witch of Blackbird Pond? Maybe it's Judy Blume's Deenie or Carolyn Keene's Nancy Drew Mysteries? Maybe something about me is stuck in High School? (Damn those girls who messed me up then!) (You know who you are!)
But when it comes down to it, when I was a child, reading was magical and transformative. There is something about writing Young Adult literature that is like sailing this unchartered water. When you're at that age, or writing characters that are that age, you are raw. Every emotion runs high. Everything is pretty much the first time. And you are in transition. To me, emotionally, that is a very compelling lode to mine for storytelling.
I wrote Madeline L'Engle a letter ten years ago and told her how badly I wanted to be a children's book writer. She wrote me back and said that if I wanted to do it, I surely would. In a funny way, that was the first moment where I was like, yeah, I can! That's when I sharpened my number 2 pencil and got writing.
What do you consider your greatest success as a novelist?