Ask the Author Halloween Edition: Mackenzi Lee

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Ask the Author

This time on Ask the Author...
I'll be interviewing Mackenzi Lee author of This Monstrous Thing.

Who is Mackenzi Lee?

Mackenzi Lee final.jpg

Website / Facebook (Gasp! People still use Facebook?!?!) / Twitter / Pinterest

Mackenzi Lee is a reader, writer, bookseller, unapologetic fangirl, and fast talker. She holds an MFA from Simmons College in writing for children and young adults, and her short fiction for children and teens has appeared in Inaccurate Realities, The Friend, and The Newport Review. Her young adult historical fantasy novel, THIS MONSTROUS THING, which won the PEN-New England Susan P. Bloom Children’s Book Discovery Award, as well as an Emerging Artist Grant from the St. Botolph Club Foundation, is out now from Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins.

She loves Diet Coke, sweater weather, and Star Wars. On a perfect day, she can be found enjoying all three. She currently calls Boston home.

Note: I do not own any of these pictures. The credit goes to the owners. 

What is so appealing about the story of Frankenstein?
Frankenstein is a story that has never stopped being relevant, in spite of the fact it was first written two hundred years ago, and I think this due to the fact that, at its core, it’s about what makes us human. There is the science aspect, obviously, which continues to become more relevant as we get closer to being capable of the things Mary Shelley was imagining, but I think everyone wonders at some point about the quality of their own humanity and, inversely, their own capacity for monstrousness. It’s pretty compelling stuff.
How did you get your idea for your retelling?
From a lot of places! It partly came from hearing Frankenstein misidentified as a steampunk novel, partly from a trip I took to Germany at Christmastime, and partly from my first exposure to Frankenstein via a stage production at the National Theater. It’s also a lot inspired by a lifetime of being the older half of a sibling pair. 

What's your favorite Halloween costume that you've worn?
I was pretty darn proud of my Buster Bluth costume last year. I even had a seal with a yellow bow tie. 

(I, truthfully, don't know who this is.)

What's your favorite Halloween costume you've seen?
At a Halloween party in college, a girl came as Max from Where the Wild Things Are. Ever since, I’ve wanted a wolf suit. 

(Being Max is one of many goals in life.)

What's your favorite memory of Halloween? (Trick-or-treating? Handing out candy? Pranking old neighbors?)
Growing up, my sister and I were really good friends with another family in our neighborhood who had a son my age and a daughter my sister’s age. We all were obsessed with Star Wars, so one year, the four of us and their middle brother all went as various members of the Jedi order. My little sister was so committed to her Yoda costume that she had my mom buy her green gloves and, since Yoda only has three fingers, sew the pinkie and ring finger and middle and pointer finger together so she would similarly only have three digits. She then walked around all night flashing the perpetual Spock sign. 

(Enjoy this picture of an adorable Yoda baby.)

What's your favorite horror story?
Frankenstein. Is that cheating? (Nope. Not cheating.)

What would you do if you saw Dracula outside your window?
Invite him in. I’d have a lot of questions. 

(Technically, you'd be inviting in Vlad the Impaler, but that's all semantics.)

In a zombie apocalypse, who would you choose for your survival team? (Fictional or real!)
Teddy Roosevelt. Captain Malcom Reynolds. Imperator Furiosa. Jacky Faber. 

(Look at Teddy. All dashing and mustache-y. And NATHAN FILLION. WOOHOO. And badass females FTW. And I have NO CLUE who Jackey Faber is!)

What's your favorite Halloween-themed drink? (Alcoholic or not.)
I don’t know if I have a specifically Halloween-themed favorite drink, so I’m gonna say Diet Coke drunk from a Halloween-themed glass. 

Would you rather stay a night in a haunted mansion or walk through an empty graveyard?
Empty graveyard. I’m the sort of creep who thinks graveyards are actually super cool and beautiful.

Thank you, Mackenzi Lee!

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