TCR: How did you come up with the idea of a terrorist organization using TV shows to communicate?
AM: I get really distracted by those little station identification logos and other advertisements in the corner of my TV. I’ve always thought it would be a great way for someone to give me a subliminal message while I’m minding my own business, trying to concentrate on The Bachelorette. People largely ignore them, so I thought it might be a good way to communicate a secret message, just to people who were looking for it.
TCR: What sort of research did you have to do to write A Girl Named Digit?
AM: Lots of math. And I mean lots. That was probably the most fun part of writing the book (besides secretly falling in love with John). It’s amazing how many math codes are out there - from wartime spy codes to the barcode on the back of a can of soup.
TCR: We know that you can write really well, but do you share your main character's love of math as well?
AM: I absolutely love math, but I’m not particularly gifted at it. I had to concentrate until smoke came out of my ears to come up with the codes in the book! And when it was all done, the copyeditor found that I’d made an arithmetic mistake. I wasn’t surprised at all.
TCR: What was the hardest part about writing A Girl Named Digit? The easiest?
AM: The hardest part was keeping the whole story straight in my head. There’s a lot of stuff rolling around in there and, well, things can get messy. The easiest part was the budding romance between Digit and John. That seemed really natural to me and sort of took on a life of its own. Sometimes I was like, “Wait for me guys! I’m typing as fast as I can!”
TCR: Will we be seeing more of Digit in the future?
AM: YES! I am seconds away from finishing Double Digit, which comes out in fall 2013. Digit starts school at MIT and John goes to work in New York. She wrestles with the challenges of managing a long distance relationship, being kidnapped by Jonas Furnis and arrested for felony espionage by the CIA. Just regular college stuff. :)
TCR: What YA books have you read and loved recently?
AM: I just finished The Book Thief, which is the best book I’ve read since The Hunger Games. I also loved Wonder. And if Lois Lowry gave me her grocery list to read, I would read it and beg for more.
Thanks so much, Annabel!
If you're interested in reading A Girl Named Digit, definitely check it out (it's out now!) and enter to win a signed copy below, courtesy of Annabel!