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Two and one-half questions for Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant

Katherine Applegate and Michael GrantKatherine Applegate and Michael Grant coauthored (pseudonymously) the Animorphs series back in the 1990s; both husband and wife went onto successful solo careers, with Grant authoring the popular Gone series and the recent BZRK, and Applegate most recently winning the Newbery Medal for The One and Only Ivan. Eve & Adam brings them back together again for a page-turner, impressively juggling romance, suspense, and sci-fi elements in a story about a girl who gets the chance to design the perfect boy in what she thinks is just a computer simulation.

1. How did you divide the work on Eve & Adam?

Michael: We keep promising ourselves to pay attention to process when we work together so that we can answer these questions intelligently. But it never works out in an organized way. If you imagine the full list of all possible methods, we could probably tick off everything on the list.

Katherine: It’s actually simple. I did the good parts.

Michael: That’s what I meant to say. She did the good parts.

2. If you could genetically modify one little thing about yourself what would it be? Dare I ask what you might modify in each other?

Katherine: Hmmm. Normally I might say I’d get rid of my OCD gene, but everyone needs a little weirdness, so I might just keep it. Maybe I’d change my nearsightedness because I hate wearing glasses. As for changing Michael, I would genetically manipulate him to have a greater tolerance for small dogs and the cheerful noises they make.

Michael: What would I change about Katherine? Seriously, you expect me to suggest my wife might have a physical flaw? I know you’re newly married, Roger, but take some advice: don’t ever admit to a flaw in the spouse. You’ll never hear the end of it. No, no, no, I’m an experienced husband; I’m not falling for that. As for a change in myself, I might have once said I wish I hadn’t gone bald, but now I kind of like the shaved head look. So I would change my attraction to sweets. Is that genetic?

Eve & Adam2.5 Eve finds love in Frankenstein’s lab. What’s YOUR story?

Katherine: The lab was in Austin, Texas, not Transylvania or Tiburon, which we used for Eve & Adam. Other than that, it was pretty much the Frankenstein story.

Michael: Katherine was just finishing college with some made-up major. I was just coming off a hobo phase where I’d been living under a freeway overpass off I35. I got a job waiting tables and rented the apartment next-door to hers on Pearl Street, just a few blocks off campus. One day I saw this girl through the window and decided I had to go meet her. So I knocked on her door and pretended I needed a can opener. We went to the late, lamented Les Amis for a beer and twenty-four hours later we were living together. And we’ve been together for thirty-three years.

Katherine: Love at first sight. It’s a bit cliché. We apologize for that.

From the February 2013 issue of Notes from the Horn Book.

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.

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