All YA Love: Interview with Debut Author, Mara Purnhagen

Filed in All YA Love , Interview , Mara Purnhagen , The Monster Lover Posted on February 24, 2010 @ 11:20 am 1 comments
Today, I’m excited to share with you an interview with Mara Purnhagen, author of Tagged. Her debut novel is set for release next week on March 1st through Harlequin, be sure to check it out!

BLI: Graffiti is not a common topic seen in books, where did the idea for this book come from?

Mara: When I wrote Tagged in 2007, I had just discovered the work of Banksy, a British graffiti artist. I highly recommend checking out his web site as well as his book, Wall and Piece.

BLI: I love the colorful cover! It shows graffiti with 2 ‘normal’ kids just hanging out yet when I think of graffiti, rough looking kids come to mind. What does this tell us about the book?

Mara: Thanks! I love the colors, too, and I hope the cover conveys that the main characters are very average kids.

BLI: Gorilla’s are found spray painted around town, of all things, why did you chose the gorilla?

Mara: I needed something large and completely out of place in a small town, something you would never expect to see and that would make a person look twice. Gorillas do the job.

BLI: According to your 10’er bio at you love writing to music. Did you have a playlist when writing Tagged?

Mara: These songs don’t necessarily reflect the story, but they definitely reflect my mood while writing it!

1.    Secret Meeting by The National
2.    23 by Blonde Readhead
3.    Mistaken for Strangers by The National
4.    The Heinrich Maneuver by Interpol
5.    Guest Room by The National
6.    Golden Skans by the Klaxons
7.    Time to Pretend by MGMT
8.    Fire It Up by Modest Mouse
9.    Good to Sea by Pinback
10.  Reckoner by Radiohead
11.   2080 by Yeasayer

BLI: What are you reading now?

Mara: I have a pile of books on my nightstand this week, and all of them are YA. Right now, I’m reading The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard and The Mark by Jen Nadol.

BLI: Three other books are listed on your website & are due out later this year and into 2011. Can you tell us a bit about this series?

Mara: The Past Midnight series revolves around Charlotte, whose parents work as paranormal researchers. Her family does not believe in ghosts; instead, they believe that all hauntings (no matter how intense) are the result of residual energy that can be triggered by the living. They are very scientific—until something attaches itself to Charlotte and they need to reevaluate their ideas. Book One will be released in September 2010. Books Two and Three come out in 2011.

Thanks so much Mara!

About the book:

Kate Morgan is just as confused as the rest of her classmates when she arrives at Cleary High to find six life-size gorillas spray painted on the side of a building. Could the culprit be one of her friends or classmates? And is the kind-of-amazing creation really vandalism, or a work of art? She’s tempted to stay out of it, mostly because, as the police chief’s daughter, she’s always accused of being a snitch. But when gorillas start appearing throughout the state, her investigative instincts kick in.

Now Eli, Kate’s favorite co-worker at the local coffee shop, is MIA. With her best friend, Lan, preoccupied with her own boy troubles, Kate needs to figure out some things on her own. Like why she can’t stop thinking about Eli. And what she will do when all clues about the graffiti point to someone she knows…

About Mara:

Mara Purnhagen cannot live without a tall caramel latte, her iPod, or a stack of books on her night stand. She has lived in Aurora, Illinois; Kalamazoo, Michigan; Dayton, Ohio and Duncan, South Carolina. She presently lives outside Cleveland, Ohio with her family and two cats. 

To read more, check out her website:

**Note: Image at top is the artwork of Bansky, the British graffiti artist who inspired Mara’s debut novel, Tagged. You can see more of his work at his website, by clicking here

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  • bianca_riot February 27, 2010 at 12:29 am

    sounds good!!!

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