TTBF Q&A 2019: Author Amy Rose Capetta

Amy Rose Capetta interview graphic

A #TTBF Q&A with Author Amy Rose Capetta

1. What book has haunted you ever since you read it?

I’m in love with all of Nova Ren Suma’s books, but the first one I ever read—Imaginary Girls—still haunts me in the best way. It was one of the first YA books I found, and definitely the first that showed me that an entire book could be built on a combination of setting-drenched mystery, magical atmosphere, and the messy powerful hearts of teenage girls.

2. Which character is or was your biggest literary crush?

I am completely failing at this. I love so many characters in books, but I’m not sure if I get

crushes on them!

3. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Lately I learned that people who describe themselves as happy are often people who spend regular time in what we call “flow states,” or ones where we suspend our minds in creative or immersive tasks. (Writing is definitely a flow state when it’s working, but so is playing an instrument, swimming, etc.) I’m trying to take this as a piece of advice, to always let myself always get back to that place, to remember that the happiness comes from being in that state rather than an end goal.

4. What was it like for you moving from New England to California during your late teens? 

When I look back on it, it seems like the bravest thing I’ve ever done. But when I moved 3,000 miles away from the town where I grew up, to a place I’d never even seen, I only felt this headstrong kind of need. Like Danny in The Lost Coast, I needed a place where I could breathe and change and find more pieces of myself and the life I wanted to live. I didn’t know a single other human where I was moving, which was freeing and terrifying at the same time. And I lived in a redwood forest, so the first thing that I saw in my chosen life were the trees. Looking at them was a completely new experience, and it felt like magic.

5. What draws you to writing fantasy and what do you think fantasy lit. can offer to teen readers?

To me, fantasy is a way of thinking that goes beyond the boundaries of what other people have defined as “real.” Fantasy novels are just one expression or extension of the way that I actually see the world. I’ve never been good at staying in other peoples’ boundaries, and I’ve never really wanted to. Fantasy redefines what is possible, and I think everyone needs that, but especially teenagers, because when we’re young we’re given such narrow ideas of what we can do and who we can be—and even what the world can look like.  

6. If you could choose three books to include on our official “Read Everything” book list for 2019, what would they be?

Black Wings Beating (and Red Skies Falling in September) by Alex London
The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman
Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno