Kimberly McCreight’s novel, Reconstructing Amelia, had me hooked from page 1. Dark, twisty, and full of surprises- it was a book that I enjoyed.
With this being Book Lovers Unite Online Book Club’s inaugural pick, I was beyond excited at the response we received from people in the group. But, even more, when the author agreed to an interview.
Kimberly McCreight Interview
Kimberly, Reconstructing Amelia has parts that remind me of Gossip Girl and a movie called The Skulls. Did either the TV show or the movie I mentioned have any influence in your writing process of Reconstructing Amelia?
No, neither did. I’ve never seen The Skulls and, though I did watch the first episode of Gossip Girl, I didn’t watch long enough to even realize that the voice over was a gossip blog. I found that out long after, when I was finished Reconstructing Amelia and an early reader mentioned it. But I would like to go back and watch Gossip Girl now. The fact that I didn’t keep watching wasn’t a reflection on the quality of the show, only that I had a colicky infant at the time.
How long did Reconstructing Amelia take to write?
It was about two years from the time I started it until the book was sold.
Are any of the characters in Reconstructing Amelia based on people you know in real life? Or are they created from your imagination?
None of the characters are based on people I know, though Adele, physically, is based on a very beautiful friend of mine. I pictured her when I was writing. But again, just the physical aspect. Unlike Adele, my friend is a very lovely person!
Social media plays a large role in Reconstructing Amelia. What do you think of social media? Do you have advice for parents who have teenagers about social media?
Social media is a wonderful way to connect if used properly and with good intent. But it’s a pretty frightening tool in the wrong hands. Particularly for teenagers who are still developing their decision making capabilities.
I consider myself a very liberal person and a forward thinking parent. I believe in allowing my children to be themselves. I believe in early sex talks and truthful answers to genuine questions. And I definitely believe that each family has to make their own decisions about what their values are with respect to social media. These are not one-size-fits-all solutions.
Personally, though, I will monitor my kids’ online activity heavily, but not secretly. In other words, I think it’s wrong to snoop, to give the illusion of privacy and violate it. But I don’t think teenagers have an inalienable right to online privacy. I have no doubt that there are experts that may disagree with me, and I certainly am not an expert. But I object to the message in our culture these days that there’s something wrong with us as parents—or wrong with our relationship with our kids—if we don’t trust them enough to set them loose online. I disagree. I do trust my kids. Totally. They are good kids with big hearts and great values. I just don’t trust the world.
And, I know, it’s easy for me to say I’ll watch them like a hawk. My kids are still little. They’re not yelling that they hate me because I don’t give them privacy. That’s why I’m writing it down here. To remind myself when the going gets tough.
What are you working on next, Kimberly? Can you give us any hints?
It’s another dark mystery from multiple points of view with a deep emotional center. And one of the characters from Reconstructing Amelia makes an appearance!
When people finish Reconstructing Amelia, what do you hope they take away from the reading experience?
First and foremost, I hope they find it an entertaining mystery. I also hope they ask themselves about the secrets that might be impacting their own lives, whether it’s the ones they are keeping or what their children are keeping from them. I also hope that its gets us all talking about the role of electronic media.
*Special Thanks to Kimberly McCreight for agreeing to the interview.
Kimberly McCreight, author of Reconstructing Amelia, is working on her next book. To find out more about Kim, visit her website and follow Kim on Twitter. If you loved reading Reconstructing Amelia, you’ll be happy to know that HBO has optioned the film rights- and Nicole Kidman is to play the role of Kate!