Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Apocalypse Now: An Interview with Megan Miranda, Author of FRACTURE

When I read that Megan Miranda's book Fracture was being pitched to fans of Before I Fall and If I Stay, I couldn't help but get excited by this book. My expectations were high and this book did not fail. It hooks you from the start and doesn't let go until the end.

From Goodreads:

Eleven minutes passed before Delaney Maxwell was pulled from the icy waters of a Maine lake by her best friend Decker Phillips. By then her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead. And yet she somehow defied medical precedent to come back seemingly fine-despite the scans that showed significant brain damage.

Everyone wants Delaney to be all right, but she knows she's far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can't control or explain, Delaney finds herself drawn to the dying. Is her altered brain now predicting death, or causing it?

Then Delaney meets Troy Varga, who recently emerged from a coma with similar abilities. At first she's reassured to find someone who understands the strangeness of her new existence, but Delaney soon discovers that Troy's motives aren't quite what she thought. Is their gift a miracle, a freak of nature-or something much more frightening?

First, a pretty standard question....what gave you the idea to write this book?

I have a background in science, but the more I studied, the more I was drawn to the anomalies—the things that didn’t seem to follow the rules, or to the things science couldn’t explain yet. We know so much about how things happen, but there is still so much unknown about the brain and how it works: why some people recover, why others don’t; why people with the same injuries can have vastly different outcomes. I’ve also wondered for a while how much of us, and therefore our brain, is determined by DNA, and how much is something more. I don’t have any answers, but the questions inspired me to write.

What is your writing process like? Do you outline? Do you just sit down and let the story tell itself?

I don’t outline, though I probably should. I can’t think that broadly at first, though. I sit down and start to write, and then eventually I start over again once I realize where the story is going, or where it should go. By the time I sit down to write the final draft, I usually have a pretty structured outline in place, but the outline is usually a reflection of things I discovered in earlier drafts.

I love the winter setting in Maine. Was it inspired from a place you know? Did you have a lake like Delaney's lake? Did you grow up with cold snowy winters?

Thanks! It was inspired somewhat by a place I know. My dad grew up in Maine, and it was always our favorite place to vacation in the summer. We used to stay on a bay, which was absolutely freezing even in the summer (though it didn’t stop us from daring each other to swim in it). The setting for Fracture has that same feel (though a lake instead of a bay), only it’s after the tourists like me leave—when it’s just this small town in the cold winter. I grew up in New Jersey, and we definitely had our fair share of snow (and I also had my fair share of playing-in-snow-related injuries), but not nearly as much as the setting for Fracture.

What are your "must haves" while writing? Are there a certain foods? Drinks? Music?

The only must-have for me is silence. Which is pretty hard to come by with a 3 and 5 year old at home J Which is why I typically do most of my writing at night. Other than that…nope! If I’m revising, I also require sticky-notes. I’m partial to the hot-pink variety.

What was your favorite part of writing Fracture?

Developing the characters and the relationships during the first draft. It was kind of a mess, but I love that beginning feeling, when you’re getting to know your characters, and anything can happen still.

Delaney survives being underwater for eleven minutes. Your cover states that a lot can happen in eleven minutes. Give me three things that you can do in eleven minutes!

*Well, I definitely can't run 2 miles. I'm going to be optimistic and say that I could run 1...but that might be a lie. I used to be a runner, but now I think I'd be lucky if I could just complete a mile.
*Like Delaney, I once wrote an English essay in ten.
*Now that I have 2 kids, I can actually get ready for the day (including shower) in 11 minutes out of necessity. It’s not pretty, but I’m pretty proud of that skill!

Delaney asks those close to her what they would do if they had one day left to live. Well...what would you do?

I did think about this while writing Fracture since Delaney has to think about it. And I don’t think it would be any big thing. I’d spend it doing what I do most days: with my kids, doing something they absolutely loved.

Delaney develops an ability after her accident to sense death. If you could have a special power, what would it be?

To fly. Just because.

How do you plan to celebrate your release day?

I’m going to be in NYC, which I’m so excited about because a lot of my family lives nearby. And I’ll be doing an event at Books of Wonder that night with some of my favorite authors!

And since you're being interviewed by The Lucky 13s, I have to ask...what's your favorite superstition?

It’s not exactly my favorite superstition, but it’s the one I can’t seem to shake: I still hold my breath when I drive by a graveyard. I grew up around the corner from a pretty large one, so it was pretty much a daily occurrence. I honestly have no idea what the superstition behind this is, but now it’s habit.

Fracture is avaliable today!

Get it in your local bookstore or on the following sites:
*This interview was conducted by Lucky 13 member Rachele Alpine, as part of an ongoing series of interviews with the Apocalypsies—YA, MG, and children’s book authors with 2012 debuts.


  1. Great interview. I'm really excited to read FRACTURE -- and Books of Wonder is an amazing store. Congrats!

  2. Sounds like an amazing book! Add it to the pile next to the bed.