Marilyn Kaye is the author of Rachel Takes the Lead, a middle grade novel for kids. It's the second in her Spyglass Sisterhood series. Her many other books include the Gifted series. She lives in Paris, France.
Q: What inspired you to create the Spyglass Sisterhood, and why did you decide to focus on Rachel in this second installment of the series?
A: I wanted to write about a group of girls who have nothing in common on the surface, but who are able to form close friendships with each other. I needed something that would bring them together in the first place, and came up with a magical telescope.
Since the first book in the series featured the most extroverted girl, Ellie, in the second book I wanted to focus on the girl who isn’t as likely to reveal much about herself: Rachel.
Q: As you were writing the book, what did you see as the right blend of magic and realism?
A: I wanted a little touch of magic in stories about people and situations which were realistic. What they would see through the spyglass might inspire them and inform them – but they’d have to resolve their situations in a realistic way.
Q: Did you know how the story would end before you started writing it, or did you make many changes along the way?
A: I’ve always outlined my stories before I start writing them so I always know how they will end. I might make small changes along the way, but nothing too dramatic.
Q: What do you hope kids take away from the book?
A: I don’t try to teach in my stories, but I do hope reading about these girls might provoke the notion that you don’t need to have a lot in common with your friends – that you can become close to someone who seems completely different.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I’m writing the third book, which features Kiara.
--Interview with Deborah Kalb