I shall try not to fangirl, but, I got to interview Kirsten Miller!!!! So excited to have her on the blog because her Kiki Strike series is one of my absolute favorites!
About the author:
About the author:
If you are looking for Kirsten Miller, the American author of bizarre young adult fiction, you’ve come to the right place. If you’re searching for some other Kirsten Miller, I wish you the very best of luck. As you may have noticed, there are quite a few of us out there. (And one of us is thoroughly evil.)
I, one of the relatively benign Kirsten Millers, am responsible for the Kiki Strike series (all ages), as well as The Eternal Ones and its forthcoming sequel, All You Desire (ages 13+). I will not be held responsible for any other novels. I have enough to answer for already.
Those of you in the mood for adventure should consider exploring the links on the previous page. They will deliver you to a few of the dark worlds I’ve created—worlds teeming with delinquent girl geniuses, sinister secret societies, man-eating rodents, snake handling clairvoyants, and various agents of entropy.
I realize such things are not everyone’s cup of tea. If you have no interest in reincarnation or giant squirrels, I recommend reading the works of another Kirsten Miller. I hear they’re delightful.
You can haunt Kirsten Miller at-
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1. Kirsten, the Kiki Strike books have been a long time favorite of mine. How did you first come up with the idea?
Thank you!! Well, there wasn’t a single moment of inspiration. Around 2004, million little pieces just started coming together in my head. I already had the main character—I’d created Kiki years before I ever started writing about her. And I’ve been interested in underground cities for as long as I can remember.
The that really brought everything together and got me writing was quite similar to the one described in the first chapter of Inside the Shadow City. An enormous sinkhole opened up on a busy corner here in New York City. At the bottom of the hole was a perfectly preserved room from the 19th century. But the room didn’t appear to have a door. (Isn’t that awesome?!?) I heard what had happened—and I literally couldn’t stop thinking about it. I became obsessed with all the forgotten things beneath New York’s streets—and that obsession became my first book.
2. What made you want to make the Irregulars delinquent Girl Scouts? Any chance you yourself were a delinquent Girl Scout?
I was a Girl Scout. And I was a delinquent. Though I was never both at the same time. Ha. Yeah, I did a year or so in the scouts. I’m sure things have changed since then, but back in my day, all the fun seemed to focus on stuff like baking and macramé. Meanwhile, I wanted to learn how to track dangerous animals and survive in the wilderness.
My delinquent days started in high school. I’d tell you more, but I’m not sure the parental statute of limitations has run out on some of my “crimes.”
3. The Irregulars has to be one of the coolest secret group names out there. If the Irregulars were real do you think you'd have what it takes to be to run with Kiki and company?
Thanks again! I borrowed it from Sherlock Holmes. He relied on a band of small boys to run errands that no adults could do. Sherlock called his urchins the Baker St. Irregulars. As a kid, I was always EXTREMELY annoyed that there weren’t any girls in the Baker St. Irregulars. So I named my group of unruly girl geniuses the Bank St. Irregulars.
Yes. I do have what it takes. Unfortunately, I don’t have as much spare time as they do. (That’s what you’ll miss most when you grow up, kids! Spare time! So use yours wisely!)
4. I absolutely love the characters in your Kiki Strike series and how they all bring their own special talent to the table. If you could be one of the five for one day who would you choose to be? Why?
For just one day? Probably Oona Wong. I happen to be a big fan of scurrilous gossip, and I’m sure I’d “overhear” lots of juicy stuff at her nail salon.
5. Five things every Irregular should have at all times? Why?
Gum: This stuff is amazing. You can use it to tack things together—or up on a wall. You can use it to jam a car’s ignition—or retrieve lost items from a sewer drain (with the help of a stick). And I honestly believe that fresh breath should always be a tip priority.
A Smartphone: This one is obvious. Can you imagine what James Bond could have done with an iPhone?
A Swiss Army Knife: I used to carry one of these with me everywhere—until the TSA started confiscating them.
A Scarf: This is fashion’s Swiss Army Knife. A scarf can quickly become a disguise. A bandage. A restraint. A weapon. A knapsack. And much, much more.
A Bad Attitude: There are many important situations in which a girl shouldn’t mind her manners.
6. Three (non Kiki Strike) books that you think every would be Irregular should read? Why?
The Works by Kate Ascher
Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart
How to Fix (Just About) Everything (or one of the two million books like it)
7. The world has fallen to a robot invasion and only one heroine/hero can possibly save the day, who do you choose? Why do you think they can save the day?
I think this is definitely a situation that calls for Luz Lopez. In fact, you just gave me an idea. I’ve been thinking about possibly writing a fourth Kiki Strike. (For fun.) I know it would focus on Luz. I know where the story would take place. And I’m kinda fascinated by robots at the moment. Hmmmm . . . this is how it usually starts.
8. Care to tell us about your writing cave (include picture if you want)?
I’m afraid a picture might expose my secrets to my enemies. (I’m not really kidding.) I write at my desk, in my office. It’s actually pretty nice. Lots of light. A window that looks over a bunch of Brooklyn backyards. (That happen to be home to at least one black squirrel. I always feel lucky whenever I spot him.)
My desk is pretty cluttered at the moment. Tons of Post-Its with ideas scribbled on them. Piles of books I need to read. A big pot of coffee. (Cause I’m answering these questions before the sun has risen.)
9. Any upcoming projects that you can sure with us?
I have another book coming out soon! It’s called How to Lead a Life of Crime (Razorbill, 2/13). It will definitely appeal to older Kiki readers, but it’s not suitable for younger kids (or those with a weak stomach). It’s very dark and very disturbing. And it’s one of the two best things I’ve ever written. (The Darkness Dwellers being the other.)
While I was doing some research for Kiki, I discovered that New York was once home to a school for young criminals. The Grand Street School was founded in the 1870s by a woman named Marm Mandelbaum—and it was a roaring success until Marm fled to Canada to escape from the NYC police. The premise of How to Lead a Life of Crime is that the Grand Street School never shut down for good. It simply changed its name and became respectable.
Thank so much for stopping by Kirsten! Luz would definitely be the perfect answer to a robot invasion.
The Darkness Dwellers (Kiki Strike, 3) by Kirsten Miller, January 22, 2013. Published by Bloomsbury USA Children's.
First they ventured deep under New York to save the city itself. Then things got personal as the Irregulars ventured into a haunted mansion in Chinatown to uncover an evil twin. Now, in the third installment of bestselling author Kirsten Miller's Kiki Strike series, this delightful group of delinquent geniuses jump feet first into a fast-paced international pursuit, going underground in Paris to pursue a pair of treacherous royals who have killed Kiki's parents. With a dash of romance, a fresh take on good manners, and loads of butt-kicking bravery, Kiki, Betty, Ananka and the other Irregulars sharpen their amazing skills in this highly anticipated new adventure.