Thursday, February 5, 2009

Enchanting Interview: Kelly Parra

Enchanting Interview: Kelly Parra

1. Where did your inspiration for Invisible Touch come from?

I've always been fascinated by the paranormal and afterlife. I would watch talk shows about psychics and wondered if it was really possible to speak to those who have past, or if there were even really people with "gifts". And when I began watching Ghostwhisperer there was one episode where a "sign" or symbol appeared to her, I thought wouldn't that make a cool book about an average girl who sees signs in order to piece together puzzles to help people? And it all spiraled from there.

2. Why did you choose to write a paranormal mystery?

I hadn't written a mystery before, but always enjoyed reading them. It was a big challenge to write, but completely satisfying to have accomplished writing one!

3. What is the best part about being a YA author?

I've often shared how difficult it is for me to write a book. I struggle all the time while building characters and story lines from scratch. Writing a book is an intricate process from rough drafts to editing to final drafts to galleys and arcs and final publication, so that when you have the final product in your hand, all these words that sprouted somewhere from within myself, it is one of the most amazing feelings. Holding the final product has always been my favorite part after all the hard work.

4. Which character was the most difficult for you to write about? Why?

It had to be Kara because her loneliness and grief was so very sad. It's emotionally trying to portray someone like that.

5. I felt you really got to the heart of some difficult familial problems. What was it like to write about these issues?

Growing up, I had a lot of teen issues that were difficult to deal with. Sometimes I wondered if I would ever get through them. I recall these emotions as if they'd happened a year ago instead of like 15. (haha!) That's why
I do my best to make teen and family issues as realistic as I can in my books.

6. Invisible Touch is infused with much about Hispanic culture. How did you research this? Did you know from first-hand experience? Or both?

I live in an agricultural community and Valdez was based on my hometown. Also, being half Mexican, it's very easy to slip in cultural details when it surrounds me at every turn.

7. Why is Kara called the Sign Seer? Why not some other title?

It really was a simple solution to an anonymous blogging name. She sees signs and that was mostly what she would sharing on her Secret Fates blog. I thought it would fit perfectly.

8. What part of writing this novel was the most fun?

I love visualizing characters and details, so the creative part of writing is always the most fun. I often refer to writing as starting off with a blank canvas and adding all those descriptions and details is like painting a picture
for the reader. :)

9. If there was one thing you could change about Invisible Touch, what would it be?

I've been taking in reader feedback about the book, and some were a little bothered by the fact that the problems for Kara's best friend Danielle weren't addressed more. Maybe one day they will be!

10. What’s next for you? We’d love details, however minor, about what you’re writing next!

I'm currently writing out of my comfort zone--again! I'm challenging myself to write an urban sci-fi novel. Which is a whole new animal to tackle when it comes to world building and creativity. It's not under contract so
I'm hoping a publisher will find the idea promising!

Thank you very much for the interview!

Interview by Rachael
February 2009

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