THE NOVEMBER GIRL author Lydia Kang dishes on her new force of nature!
Lydia Kang is smashing old magic, strange characters, and tragic pasts together to form a delightful but dangerous whirlwind in The November Girl!
Anda doesn’t just control the deadly storms that could to Lake Superior every summer. She is the storms. Hector may be searching for a safe haven when he hides away on her island– which the locals abandon every November– but he’s in for more trouble than he ever expected. Anda may like being with Hector, but even she can’t save him.
We chatted with Lydia Kang about her musical inspiration for The November Girl, Anda and Hector’s relationship, powerful ladies, and more. Take a look!
Anda has a fierce magical gift unlike anything we’ve seen. How did you develop the idea for her heritage and her powers?
I originally had the idea from an old song I’d heard, called “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” by Gordon Lightfoot. It talks about this ship that sank on Lake Superior, and the vicious storm that took it down. The storms in November are a particularly deadly kind called “witches.” I knew I had to write a story about the witch!
Hector’s life is scarred by violence, Anda is violence personified. What was it like crafting the bond and balance between them?
In the beginning, it was easy because they didn’t understand each other at all. But as time went on, they slowly revealed themselves to each other. It’s a terrible realization on both sides, because they see themselves anew, and each other, with a perspective that’s very strange to the other person. I had to rewrite it a few times to get it all just so.
Who are some of your favorite literary ladies with awesome powers?
Hmm. Catherine Earnshaw, from Wuthering Heights. The way she continued to somehow haunt her lover really gave me goosebumps! And the witches from A Wrinkle in Time. They were so clever, so human, and yet so very inhuman.
Would you want to have powers if you knew there was a chance they could become wild and destructive?
Ooh, good question. If I could use them for good and try to keep them in check, I think it would be awesome!
What was your favorite part of creating this world? What was the most challenging?
The hardest was that I had never been to Isle Royale, or Lake Superior. It was all in my head, and in Google images. I didn’t actually visit until the book was in its final stages, but I was thrilled to find that I didn’t have to go back and change much–my research had paid off. So that was really challenging. The best part was that I was obsessed with Lake Superior for a lot of my life. I had a Lake Superior agate for years, and yearned to go visit and write a story about the lake. So this was all a dream come true!
You write both adult and YA fiction. At what point in the process do you know your novel’s genre for sure? Do you approach the writing process differently with one genre versus the other?
I have a bad (good?) habit of just falling for concepts and then writing them. Later on, I realize they don’t neatly fit into one category, nor are they easy to summarize because they’re kind of complicated plots. A Beautiful Poison was originally written as YA. Only after the fact did I realize it had an adult voice, with adult characters and situations. I’d fooled myself! As for the actual crafting process, they are very similar. But with historical, it adds another huge layer of work–the research.
What’s your writing process like?
I get an idea, fall in love with it, and then try to figure out if it will work as a plot. After working on the plot, I pitch it to writer friends who give me a thumbs up or down. If it’s thumbs up, I go with it. Usually I write the whole thing before going on submission, but lately I’ve been able to pitch proposals. On a month to month basis, I write out a calendar of my writing goals for every day and every week. And on a day to day basis, I have a good writing friend, Sarah Fine, with whom I do writing sprints, which helps enormously!
The November Girl is out now. You can order it via…
Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Entangled Publishing
ABOUT THE NOVEMBER GIRL
I am Anda, and the lake is my mother. I am the November storms that terrify sailors and sink ships. With their deaths, I keep my little island on Lake Superior alive.
Hector has come here to hide from his family until he turns eighteen. Isle Royale is shut down for the winter, and there’s no one here but me. And now him.
Hector is running from the violence in his life, but violence runs through my veins. I should send him away, to keep him safe. But I’m half human, too, and Hector makes me want to listen to my foolish, half-human heart. And if I do, I can’t protect him from the storms coming for us.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lydia Kang is a physician, geek-girl, and salt-addicted foodie who spends too much time instagramming her moody dog. She writes young adult fiction, adult fiction, and adult nonfiction, and lives in the Midwest with her husband and three kids.