Megan McCafferty is the author of Bumped, a satirical dystopian YA novel to be published by the Balzer + Bray imprint of HarperCollins on April 26th, 2011. She also wrote the bestselling Jessica Darling series. Megan edited a short story anthology called Sixteen: Stories About That Sweet and Bitter Birthday. She has contributed to several fiction and nonfiction anthologies including My Little Red Book, Does This Book Make Me Look Fat? and Everything I Need To Know About Being a Girl Came From Judy Blume. Her work has been translated into eleven languages, including German, Chinese and Hungarian. She is writing the sequel to Bumped. (Bio from Goodreads)
• What was your process like to get into a teenage mindset for this novel? How did you build believable teens in this foreign, futuristic world, and how do you think teenagers today will relate to the characters of twins Melody and Harmony?
I didn’t focus on what would change. I focused on what would stay exactly the same. The characters in the novel are bored by school, play soccer, party too hard, gossip, flirt, fight with their parents, get hooked on technology and obsess over pop culture. It’s easier for them to focus more on their own futures than the fate of the Western Civilization. I think today’s teenagers will see a lot of themselves in these characters, despite the apocalyptic scenario.
• Can you talk about the research or preparation that went into writing Bumped?
I loved inventing a fictional world that reflects what’s happening in the real world right now.
· How are you feeling about the anticipation for the release of Bumped?
I’m eager to see what conversations it inspires.
· What message do you hope readers bring away with them from Bumped?
I’ll tell you what message I don’t want readers to take away: That BUMPED somehow promotes teen pregnancy as the cool thing to do. That couldn’t be further from the truth! If anything, I hope to raise serious questions about the “pornification” of our culture and the repercussions of loveless, senseless sexual activity. I find it hard to believe that readers could think otherwise…unless they don’t appreciate satire. This is a book about the dangers of extreme thinking, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by extreme reactions.
· Where is your favourite place to write?
I have a home office and it’s the only place I can work on my books. To stay focused I need solitude, green tea, dark chocolate, and music. For BUMPED I listened to a lot of LCD Soundsystem, though the soundtrack varies from day to day, scene to scene.
· What writing project are you working on now?