On Valentine’s Day, the two authors of Beautiful Creatures and its sequel Beautiful Darkness, Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia, came to visit Marlborough, visiting seventh and eighth graders during class meeting in the Academic Resource Center.
The two books they wrote center around a boy named Ethan who meets Lena, a girl with a mysterious power and curse, causing everybody in Ethan’s hometown to shun her. Stohl and Garcia mentioned that when they were writing this, they specifically wanted the female character to have the supernatural power instead of the boy.
Their inspiration for writing the books was quite surprising. Stohl said her children are “annoying teenagers who pester their mom to write something,” badgering Stohl by saying, “Write something, Mom, ‘cause you never do anything.”
“Wanna bet?” she responded. She and Garcia discussed ideas and finally decided on the story of a girl with psychic abilities. Even as the bet went on, Stohl’s teenagers doubted their mom’s willingness and became extremely irritating.
“Show me what you wrote today!” they demanded daily. Eventually, after over ten weeks of writing, Stohl and Garcia won the bet.
After we heard this wacky story, lunch started and some people stayed behind to personally talk with the authors. It was really exciting to get to know the authors because the horror of the Southern Gothic genre fascinates me. I felt nervous and excited to talk with them, but I had a chat with Garcia that took up the entire period.
“When we created this story, we wanted a horror theme with no monsters, vampires, werewolves, or no were-things,” Garcia said. “The best part of Southern Gothic is that there is a lot of freedom.”
After a lot of book signing, and souvenir handouts, Garcia and Stohl said they were thrilled to have us. Talking to the Southern Gothic authors made me feel psyched and professional. Psyched because I met two new people with the same interests as me, professional because I got to interview these two authors. Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Darkness, and these beautiful authors will help their Southern Gothic legacy live on.