Q: What inspired you to write Edie in Between, and how did you create your character Edie?
A: For as long as I can remember, I’ve gravitated toward stories with magical elements.
It was interesting to me to imagine a story in which a girl is hesitant to accept her family inheritance. The grief narrative came from me wondering how it must have been for my mother to lose her father when she was just 18 years old.
I wanted to explore how young people navigate grief in unexpected ways. I hope that readers, especially teen readers, will see that there is no one way to grieve and no schedule for grief.
Q: Your publisher describes the novel as “a modern-day Practical Magic.” What do you think of that comparison?
A: Practical Magic has long been a favorite novel of mine so, I’m honored by the comparison. I can only dream of aspiring to what Alice Hoffman achieves in her fiction.
A common element, I think, is the idea of magic running through a bloodline and the ways that members of the family might embrace or attempt to avoid the magic. Also, in both stories we see traditions and knowledge passed down from elders.
Q: What do you think the novel says about witches and witchcraft, and also about family ties?
A: On a basic level, my aim is that readers see the magic and spells as a fun escapist experience from the heaviness of our world.
On another level, I hope that Edie’s relationship to her magic through the course of the novel shows the reader an evolution toward self-acceptance.
In terms of family ties, I wrote above about knowledge passed down from elders. In Edie In Between, GG passes her knowledge to Edie in the same way that my grandmother passed on family recipes to me. I still make the cookies that my grandmother taught me to make when I was a kid. That seems like a bit of ordinary magic to me.
Q: Why did you decide to include Edie's mother's perspective in the novel?
A: From the beginning, I wanted Edie In Between to be an intertwined narrative of Edie and her mother because I wanted to show different ways that teens might navigate grief.
The journal format allows both the reader and Edie to get to know Edie’s mom as a young woman – and it allowed me to plant clues for the mystery aspect of the story.
I also wanted Edie to learn that her mother never regretted her choice to have Edie even though the pregnancy wasn’t planned.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I’m working on another young adult novel with a supernatural element. In this story, a group of high school students at an elite private school in Philadelphia summon an urban legend connected to their school in the hopes that the legend will grant them wishes.
But when a ghost hunter shows up, it seems that his interest in the legend is at odds with theirs. And when the legend turns out to be homicidal, they all must work together to send the legend back where she came from – before someone dies.
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: Thank you for inviting me onto your blog! I hope you and your readers have a restful and rejuvenating holiday season.
Speaking of holidays, Edie In Between would be a wonderful gift to a teen! You can buy the book here.
You can find me on Instagram @lauraosibson, Twitter @laurasibson and Facebook @AuthorLauraSibson. Come visit me at laurasibson.com!
--Interview with Deborah Kalb