Fall 2018 Publishers' Preview: Five Questions for Corey Ann Haydu

Publishers' Previews: Special advertising supplement in The Horn Book Magazine
This interview originally appeared in the September/October 2018 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Fall 2018 Publishers’ Previews, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions.

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At first, Eventown seems to Elodee’s grieving family like the perfect new home. Yeah, not so fast.

Photo: Jessie Weinberg.

1. Have you made that jasmine–olive oil cake with white chocolate–pear frosting? How is it?

I am a new-ish baker, and ever since I imagined the ingredients for Elodee’s cake, I’ve wanted to make it myself. Fellow children’s author Beth Hautala offered to come up with a recipe so that my editor, Alex Arnold, and I can bake the cake together. Yes, it will be filmed, and yes, it will be messy, but I’m hoping the results will be as delicious as they are in my writer-brain.

2. Have you seen Black Mirror? I could see your book as an episode.

I have watched a handful of Black Mirror episodes. I love what I’ve seen — and am so shaken by the show that I almost never put it on to watch. But whenever I do, I’m asked to confront something big and complicated in our world. As a writer I’m similarly interested in exploring why we do what we do and how it can so easily turn from good to bad. I like asking big questions about human emotions, and twisting reality a little to explore them more effectively.

3. What if Eventown repositioned itself as a sort of Club Med? Would you visit?

I think Eventown is exactly the kind of place that you want to visit but not live. The ultimate break from the tough parts of life — plus I’ll go anywhere for an especially good scoop of ice cream. So, sure!

4. Would you characterize Eventown as dystopian fiction?

I’ve never even considered that it might be! For the last few years I’ve been classifying my books as “maybe-magic” or contemporary realism with a magical twist. I think Eventown falls into those categories, even though it hits some dystopian beats as well.

5. “Some place where there isn’t any trouble. Do you suppose there is such a place, Toto?”

Ha, I guess I am joining a long tradition of people asking this very question. My answer is that hope only springs from pain. Wonder, too. So maybe we should all stop looking for that trouble-less place, over the rainbow or anywhere else.

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