Thanks to the fabulous Ksenia from Macmillan, I had the pleasure of being able to interview Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate regarding their newly released novel, EVE AND ADAM! Prepare yourself to laugh, because these two are hilarious...
Quick! Describe EVE AND ADAM in 7 words or less!
K: It's a Biblical Sci-Fi Rom-Com Thriller.
M: Do hyphenated words count as one word or two?
Hmm, I'll say they count as one (and you two get bonus points for trying to sneak in extra words while not going over seven).
What was the experience like writing EVE AND ADAM in comparison to your previous novels?
M: We have not written together, as a team, in something like a decade, since the ANIMORPHS-EVERWORLD era. And those were occasionally tempestuous times.
K: Yes. Tempestuous. Which is why we refused at first to do it again, write together. It's been so peaceful around here.
M: But then our editor Jean Feiwel forced us to do it. By, you know, offering us money.
K: And she offered to cover the cost of marriage counseling so. . . And then, oddly enough, we got along great.
M: We've matured.
Where did you both get the idea to write a twist on the biblical story of Adam and Eve?
K: Actually, Jean said, "I have an idea: EVE AND ADAM."
M: So, we said, cool, what's it about? And she was like, "Hey, why do you think I have you two bozos?" I may be paraphrasing there. Basically, we reworked Genesis slightly to make it about genetic engineering and hot guys. EVE AND ADAM is a romantic comedy about genetic engineering for the purpose of creating a very attractive guy. Some early reviewers are like, "Well, they didn't go very deep into bioethics." Which is definitely true. Because, you know: it's a rom-com.
K: If you want heavy bioethics buy Michael's BZRK.
M: Oooh, nice cross-promotion there, babe.
EVE AND ADAM has a very attention-grabbing first line - what are your thoughts on first lines, and how important are they to you when writing a story?
K: If not the first sentence then the first paragraph is very important. There are a lot of books in the store or library. Readers have choices, so it's helpful to grab the reader right off the bat.
M: We felt we needed a good first line for EVE AND ADAM since we were riffing on a little-known book with the opening line, "Let there be light!"
K: That's not actually the first line of the Bible. It's "In the beginning. . ."
M: The "Let there be light," line is better, actually. "In the beginning," is so obvious. Even better? "Let there be coffee! And, lo, there was coffee!"
What comes first for each of you when beginning a new project: characters, plot, snippets of dialogue, etc?
K: The feel of the language. Except that with THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN I had that story - a basically true story, from a newspaper clipping - going around in my head for years.
M: The truth is it's a little different with each project. I have a series I haven't started yet, and it began with me thinking how cool H.P. Lovecraft is.
K: With EVE AND ADAM we actually planned out the story, which is unusually organized for us. We didn't stick to the plan, but at least there was one.
Random Question: If you could spend 24 hours in as fictional character (from a book, movie, etc), who would you choose & why?
K: Hmmm. I don't know. Fern from Charlotte's Web?
M: Because you love spiders so much? I'd be Jack Aubrey, from the Patrick O'Brian Master and Commander series. Because I would have a sword and get to fire cannon.
K: And that would be the maturing we spoke of earlier.
M: I could use my sword to kill spiders. You know what? You could be Eve from EVE AND ADAM and you could create the perfect guy who would be. . .
K: Sean Connery at about age 40? Tom Selleck around the same vintage?
M: I was thinking me, actually.
K: That's funny.
What writing projects are you both working on right now?
M: Oh, God, so much. I'm just wrapping up the GONE series. So by the time this comes out I'll be working on the fourth and final MAGNIFICENT 12 book. Then BZRK 3.
K: When's this coming out on the web site? Never mind, whenever it is, I'll be finishing THE GOOD BOY, a book about a dog and a cat and some magic. If my editor is listening, it will be done! And then, we start on the sequel to EVE AND ADAM. EVEN MORE ADAM. Except that's not really what we're calling it. Probably.
Thank you so much for answering some questions, Michael and Katherine!