Fast forward past the Beautiful Creatures series, and the Dangerous Creatures spin off novels and I was thrilled to learn that Garcia would be releasing a new series, this time a contemporary romance. Contemporary + Kami Garcia?! Sign. Me. Up! I devoured this the moment I received a copy and you will NOT be disappointed.
Lucky for us, New York Times bestselling author of the Dorothy Must Die Series and Stealing Snow series Danielle Paige got some one-on-one time with the super-talented Garcia and had a few questions to ask about The Lovely Reckless, book boyfriends and her 2017 release, The X-Files Origins: Agents of Chaos.
Danielle Paige: I can’t wait for everyone to read The Lovely Reckless. It’s a departure for you. You are such a master of paranormal. Where did this book originate? I think of it as The Fast and the Furious meets Romeo and Juliet.
Kami Garcia: The story was floating around in my head for a long time, and it has a lot of my life in it. In The Lovely Reckless, Frankie’s boyfriend dies and she makes some bad decisions that result in her getting kicked out of her elite private school. Frankie’s mom sends her to live with her father–an undercover cop who works stolen cars. This was one of the places where my personal experiences provided inspiration. So Frankie moves in with her dad and she has to attend public school for the first time in her life. That’s where she meets Marco Leone — a bad boy and an illegal street racer. Frankie thinks they have nothing in common, but she’s wrong. I drew a lot of inspiration from my friends in high school and the guys I dated.
DP: I know you have a personal connection to The Lovely Reckless. Can you tell us a little about that?
KG: My stepfather was an undercover cop, who worked with stolen cars, like Frankie’s father in the novel. Like Frankie, I grew up right outside of Washington, DC, where the novel takes place, and I’m very familiar with how lines were often drawn between the haves and the have-nots.
DP: I remember distinctly slipping into my Mom’s room and lifting her copy of Anne Rice’s Lestat. What was the first romance novel that you remember loving?
KG: That’s so funny. I had the same experience with Anne Rice’s The Witching Hour, except I checked it out from the library. But I think my first real introduction to romance was either Judy Blume’s Forever or V.C. Andrews’ Flowers in the Attic. My friends and I would debrief every day after school to discuss the scenes we considered scandalous.
DP: You could give a master class in romance. Ethan and Link in Beautiful Creatures are both swoony. But Marco is all kinds of steamy. How do you build a book boyfriend?
KG: You think about all the guys you dated in high school and compare them to the kind of guy you dreamed about dating.
DP: The love scenes are things of beauty. Hot and real at the same time. How do you know how far is too far? Do you take the YA audience into account? Tell me your secrets, Kami.
KG: I wrote the kind of love scene I would’ve wanted to read when I was seventeen (which is not that different from what I like reading now). For me, the most powerful love scenes focus on the connection and intimacy between the characters rather than the the way the physical elements play out. If you set up the right level of chemistry and sexual tension, what readers imagine is often sexier than what’s actually on the page.
DP: How close to the world of street racing did you get? How far did you go to research this book?
KG: I didn’t need to do that much research. But I don’t want my stepfather to know exactly how much I know about street racing. So let’s just say that as a teen I had a few friends with the inside scoop.
DP: I can’t wait for everyone to read and fall in love with The Lovely Reckless the way I did. But this winter you are going to give us a dose of one of my all-time favorite boys. You’re also writing an X-Files novel about Fox Mulder as a teen. Can you share any secrets?
KG: The X-Files Origins: Agent of Chaos is an origin story. It explains how Fox Mulder became a believer. Jonathan Maberry is writing the story of how Dana Scully became a sceptic in his novel, Devil’s Advocate. Both novels release on the same day — January 3, 2017. In terms of secrets, the Cigarette Smoking Man is a character in Agent of Chaos, as well as another member of the Syndicate.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Kami Garcia is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, and the coauthor of the Beautiful Creatures and Dangerous Creatures novels. Kami’s solo novels include Unbreakable and Unmarked, in The Legion series, and her forthcoming YA contemporary romance, The Lovely Reckless, which releases on October 4, 2016 (Imprint/Macmillan).
Kami was a teacher for 17 years and coauthored her first novel on a dare from seven of her students. If she isn’t busy watching Supernatural, she can teach you how to escape from a pair of handcuffs or bake a Coca-Cola cake. She lives in Maryland with her family and their dogs, Spike and Oz. Visit Kami at kamigarcia.com and on Instagram & Twitter.
Danielle Paige is the New York Times bestselling author of the Dorothy Must Die series, and the upcoming Stealing Snow series (Bloomsbury, 2016). In addition to writing young adult books, she works in the television industry, where she’s received a Writers Guild of America Award and was nominate d for several Daytime Emmys. She is a graduate of Columbia University and currently lives in New York City. You can find her on twitter and instagram.