Interviews about ETERNAL

Answering those Eternal questions, Cynthia comments on writing, gothic lit, favorite things and her latest novel.

Peek [on character names]: "I often look for variety in terms of syllables, vowel and consonant sounds, first letters, etc. or meanings. The name 'Miranda' from Eternal (Candlewick, 2009) means 'miracle.'"

—Cynthia Leitich Smith: an Interview
with the Author of Eternal (and many other books)
from Shutta Crum: author and teller of stories.

CLS: I’m a Capricorn of the mountain-goat variety, always try to push myself to greater heights and having to make a special effort to play once in a while.

Visit with Cynthia Leitich Smith from TRT Book Club.

HWM: What made you venture into Gothic fantasy?

CLS: I’m spooky by nature. Scary stories have appealed to me since junior high, and I was writing the kind of books I love to read.

Writing the True with Cynthia Leitich Smith: an interview from Vivian at HipWriterMama.

CLS: I had trouble imagining what the cover of ETERNAL (Candlewick, 2009) might look like. ...

They went with a symbolic cover..., juxtaposing Zachary's luminescent white wing against a dark background, showing heaven's light at the top and then becoming more shadowy as the eye descends to the Gothic, devilish red lettering that represents Miranda.

— Cover Stories: Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith from Melissa Walker.

CLS: Once you have a whole draft, all of the answers to the novel are already hinted at in your manuscript. Your subconscious is always a step ahead of your conscious mind, so it’s important to learn how to read your own writing carefully. Over the years, I've heard any number of folks say this in different ways, most recently author Tim Wynne-Jones.

Kyra Interviews Cynthia Leitich Smith
by Kyra from Throwing Up Words:
Sometimes It's Your Only Option.

JW: You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your teen readers. What would it be?

CLS: Don’t lose yourself in another person. Everyone loves love, but don’t forget to love and honor yourself, too. It’s okay to choose to stand strong on your own.

Interview with Cynthia Leitich Smith from Jen Wardrip
at Authors Unleashed (the blog of TeensReadToo)

What element(s) would you say make(s) your books unique?

...It's probably the girl-empowerment themes and the combination of multicultural, religious, and economic diversity in fantasy settings.

Interview with Cynthia Leitich Smith from The Compulsive Reader.

Peek: "I'm pretty happy as a human being. But if I had to pick, I'd rather be an angel. Among other things, I'd get better hair with the deal. Are shape shifters an option? It would be fun to be a werecat!"

Author Interview: Cynthia Leitich Smith
from {Insert Book Title Here}.

Peek: "In fantasy, you have to succeed at everything you would in realistic fiction, plus make the fantasy elements hold together logically and earn their place in terms of character, plot, and theme. Beyond that, you can in some ways go more dramatic with your theme because the metaphor dilutes the risk of it being too on the nose."

Interview with Cynthia Leitich Smith
by Liviania from In Bed With Books.

Peek: "'It was an ambitious book in terms of 'mythology' building,' Cynthia said. 'I believe in angels (and ghosts too), but somehow I suspect my creative liberties were not insubstantial. I have a well developed history for the vampires, the shifters (going back to the ice age), and the angels. On the craft front, I also had to develop two voices/protagonists, each with their own internal-external arc and have them mirror in a way that was thematically resonant.'"

A Lesson on Vampires: An Interview with Cynthia Leitich Smith
by Stephanie Greene at Through the Tollbooth.

BR: If your reader could only take away one emotion, theme, or idea from the book, what would you want that to be?

CLS: Redemption.

Author Interview with Cynthia Leitich Smith
from writing it out: Writing Blog of
MG Fantasy Writer Beth Revis.

BwB: Before TANTALIZE you were primarily known for your Indian/Native American fiction. What was the impetus to start writing urban fantasy?

CLS: The classic, possible mostly useful pieces of advice typically offered to beginning writers are: (a) write what you know, and (b) write what you love to read. I started with the first piece of advice, crafting realistic children’s stories of middle class, interracial families of the mid-to-southwest. As much as I love that kind of writing, I knew it was important for me to try new things if I wanted to build new skills and grow as a writer. So, I turned to spooky stories.

Interview: Cynthia Leitich Smith,

from Boy With Books.

CKR: What inspired the idea for Eternal?

CLS: Eternal is part of a larger three-set of companion books—including Tantalize and Blessed—that draw their primary inspiration from Bram Stoker's classic Dracula (1897). The nods to the Gothic master become increasingly more pronounced with each new novel.

However, Eternal was also inspired by Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities (1895), which students in my ninth grade English class read aloud in turn over the course of a semester. 

Author Interview: Cynthia Leitich Smith
by Kimberly J. Smith from Cool Kids Read.