Graci Kim is the author of The Last Fallen Star, an instant New York Times bestseller and the first book in the Gifted Clans trilogy. The sequel, The Last Fallen Moon, will come out this June. We loved her first novel for its awesome protagonist, constantly surprising plot, and vivid world--we can't wait for book two! We were thrilled to get the chance to interview Graci Kim for this month's feature.
Rapunzel Reads: Who is your favorite character in The Last Fallen Star, and why?
Graci Kim: My favorite character has got to be Emmett Harrison. I love him because he claims to be allergic to emotions and pretends to be all snarky, but really deep down, he's this baking-obsessed, uber loyal dude who loves dressing dogs up in funny costumes. I wish I could meet him in real life!
RR: Hattie and Riley's relationship feels extraordinarily real, and is one of the strongest I've come across in fantasy novels. What inspired it?
GK: I have two younger sisters and they were my inspirations for the sisterhood between Hattie and Riley. They are four years and five years younger than me, and I love them with
Author photo credit: Joyce Kim
RR: What books did you love when you were growing up?
GK: I was obsessed with the Baby Sitter's Club and I really enjoyed Goosebumps as well - although the latter scared me quite a bit. In fantasy, I really enjoyed His Dark Materials (which my dad found for me in a local garage sale for 50 cents!), as well as the Dreamhunter Duet by Elizabeth Knox, and anything written by Sherryl Jordan. Honestly, though, I just loved reading anything and everything.
RR: The Last Fallen Star is full of plot twists where I least expected them--what was your process for writing it?
GK: Oh, I'm so glad to hear you were surprised by the twists! I love plans and outlines, and I had the overall "beats" for the book planned out before I started writing. But in terms of the twists themselves, I have a question I ask myself when I'm at various points of the book: "What is the wildest thing that could happen to the main character right now?" I throw a lot of ideas into the wind (usually starting with "What if..."), and try them on for size. Sometimes, there's one that just "fits", and then I work back to add clues of it retroactively into the story to foreshadow the twist, so that the reveal is earned and satisfying.
RR: What is your favorite thing about being an author?
GK: Without a doubt, my favorite thing is receiving letters from readers telling me what resonated with them, and why they enjoyed my story. It is the absolute highlight of my career, hands down!
RR: Do you have any tips for an aspiring writer?
GK: I would say, read widely, watch diversely, write lots, and find yourself a community of trusted fellow writers with whom you can share your work and help improve your craft. Reading and watching content is like gathering the clay. Writing lots is like using the clay to make a big heap. Working with critique partners and beta readers to improve your writing is like the process of sculpting the mound of clay into a beautiful mug. Most of all, enjoy the journey :)