Great question. Beautifully twisted mind. Defensive, sure, but she earned it -- hard life, hard childhood; you can't blame her. Drawn to make art out of wreckage. At her core, despite all she's lived through, she's filled with hope.
2.) I read in your acknowledgments that the damaged caused by radiation was largely influenced by the atomic bombings of Japan. How did you become involved/interested in the event? Is there a fact you learned about the event that has stuck with you the most?
I took a course on Japan in college, and came back to this image of a woman who'd survived; she'd been wearing a black and white checkered dress and because white reflects and black absorbs, she was burned in the pattern of her dress. It never left me. Fused to her dress or so it seemed to me.
3.) Do you have a favorite line or scene from Pure that you can share?
There's a character who wad doubling his brother on his bike when the detonations hit, and now his brother is fused to his back. For the rest of his life he must carry him wherever he goes. There's a moment in the book where this love-hate relationship turns. One of my favorite moments in the book -- deep in. You'll know it when you read it.
4.) When the radiation struck, survivors were fused to the items/animals around them. How did this image come about? Were there any fusings you had written that didn't make the final cut of the novel?
Yes. Lots didn't make it. In fact, some characters didn't make it. I think some of it comes from having so many kids -- four in total -- and that children as infants seem fused to you. I've written with my children asleep on my chest for hours and hours of my life. Fused there, it seemed.
5.) Was Pure the original title to your novel? Or were there other working titles that you can share?
PURE was it from the beginning. FUSE was always book II. BURN was originally THE NEW AFTER, but will they get there? That's debatable.
6.) If readers of Pure walked away with one message in their minds, what would you want that to be?
I want them to think of all that can be lost -- this brutal and beautiful existence. To cherish the world around them more.
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(1) Pure by Julianna Baggott
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Thanks to Grand Central Publishing for donating a copy!