The Compulsive Reader: Interview with Tonya Hurley, Author of Ghostgirl

Friday, June 5, 2009

Interview with Tonya Hurley, Author of Ghostgirl

Check out this interview with Tonya Hurley, the author of the popular novel Ghostgirl.

Where did you get the inspiration for ghostgirl?

Mainly from my own experiences in high school and my work afterwards. I was popular in school, but I still felt no-one really knew me. No matter where you are in the social pecking order, it is easy to feel alienated. I guess I wrote the book that I would have wanted to read when I was in school - something funny, but also something that I could relate to. I also worked with some very well known teen celebrities for a while and I saw how desperate people can get for a little fame and attention, not just stars but fans too. I thought taking that down to a real life, high school level might make for a really good story. The whole idea of invisibility is something that starts when you're young, but it carries on through life - it's the most pronounced in high school, I believe.

How have your teen years influenced your writing?

Since my books are set in that world, my teen years have had a lot of influence. I draw on people and places I've known all the time in writing ghostgirl. It's all a fantasy, but I try to ground the books in reality as much as possible. High school was the best of times and the worst of times for me, so it's the perfect physical and emotional setting to tell a story, in my opinion. They say that nothing bad ever happens to a writer, it's all material - so I guess this is my therapy.

How many ghostgirl books do you plan on writing? Do you plan on branching out into something new?

I've just finished the third, but I would love to write ghostgirl books forever! I'll quit when they make me, and even then I'll probably just write them for myself. Besides ghostgirl, I'm always working for ideas for books and screenplays. I couldn't stop if I wanted to.

What are a few good books you've read lately that you'd like to recommend to your readers?

I am re-reading lots of books now, mostly fairy tales and classics. I love short story collections and essays as well. I have a copy of Miranda July's book on my night stand, so I'm enjoying that. Oh, and I devour autobiographies.

Music is a big part of ghostgirl; what are some bands or songs that you would encourage readers to check out?

Yes, music is a big part of ghostgirl. I think it's a big part of every teen's life - I know it was for me. I started playing instruments at a very young age and then I was in a punk band in high school with my twin sister, Tracy. I studied music, along with writing, in college and when I moved to New York City I worked with pop/alternative acts like Prince, Depeche Mode, The Cure, Bush, No Doubt, John Cale, John Lydon, Morrissey to name a few, and because of that I got to meet everyone =0 D from Madonna to David Bowie to Courtney Love. What would I recommend now? Bat For Lashes!

Thanks, Tonya!

Check out my reviews for Ghostgirl and Ghostgirl: Homecoming, and keep your eyes peeled for Ghostgirl: Homecoming starting July 1st!


ilonga said...

OMG she´s so cool! she worked with teens stars, rock stars, she was in a rock band and she´s so pretty too! she´s like the classic awesome rocker chick from the teen movies XD

Unknown said...

great questions!! I hope mine come out as good as yours!!

Kate said...

She really is cool. Great author interview :)

Wrighty said...

She is cool! I'm glad to hear she is continuing the series too. I need to catch up!