Sunday, May 8, 2011

Marvelous May Masterminds: Adele Griffin

Interview with Adele Griffin, author of Tighter

Describe your book in two sentences.

Tighter is a modern retelling of the Henry James classic, The Turn of the Screw. While working as an au pair on Block Island, 17 year old Jamie feels haunted by the malevolent ghosts of a couple who were killed there the year before.

How did you come up with the story of Tighter?

I've always loved Henry James, and this story-- maybe because of its young characters or its gothic angle, always felt different from his big classics. It was lean, and strange, and very YA.

Why do you choose to write young adult fiction?

I love the energy of young people-- reading and writing about them. I also moved around a lot as a kid-- always the new girl. Being new makes you feel like the outsider, but it also helps you to envision lots of different classroom situations and multiple interpretations of yourself.

If your book was made into a movie, what actors/actresses would you want to play as your characters?

Just saw Saoirse Ronan in Hanna and I was so amazed. She'd be great as Jamie, she feels edgy but vulnerable.

At some point all writers will have their doubt days. How do you overcome these and what motivates you to keep on writing even through the hard times?

I get off the computer. I used to power-through, but now I prefer to set my refresh button. So I walk my dog around my neighborhood (Brooklyn) or watch really creepy, obscure old movies.

What are some of your guilty pleasures?

Changing my hair color. I can't believe it hasn't fallen out.

If you had a time machine, what time period/place would you want to visit?

I'd love to watch my family. Old Aunts and Uncles from the photographs or albums. The time would be secondary to the spying on my relatives, to hear their voices and see how alike or different they are.

Have an interesting fact about yourself that not too many people know?

I'm the great-great-great granddaughter of a stage actor named Thomas Cooper, who was known as the "first great American tragedian." He performed MacBeth and Hamlet all over the country, but he was really eccentric, and he lost his house in a card game.

Now for a little bit of "This or That":

Comedy or horror? HORROR
Morning or night? NIGHT
Snow or rain? RAIN (only if it's a big storm)
Batman or Spiderman? SPIDERMAN
Poems or short stories? SHORT STORIES

Thank you so much for the interview, Adele!

FIND ADELE ONLINE: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook


  1. I'm reading TIGHTER right now and really enjoying it!

  2. That's so cool, Adele! My great-aunt traveled around with a theater troop when she was younger and even worked with an actor named Archie Leach, who went on to become Cary Grant. In fact, that's how she met her husband - he was one of the players in the group, too!

  3. The cover to Tighter is amazing. It definitely grabbed my attention. I love her answer to if she had a time machine. That is the first time I have ever heard/read anyone say they would want to visit old family if given the chance. I find that very interesting.

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  5. Great interview! I would love changing my hair color too if I could (argh, my parents). Adele's current hair color is GORGEOUS though; it looks so shiny and summer-y. How many hair colors has she gone through? :)

  6. Great interview. Really looking forward to reading her book.

  7. Alex! Thank you for your enthusiasm-- I am humbled ... *blush*

    Margay-- Archie Leach! She must have the absolute best stories. I am such a Cary Grant fan. Now that I have my secret Kindle, I might have to download one of those fanatic star bios on him to learn more (stealthily!)

    Hey Tiffany-- Small Review has a post on Tighter's twisted jacket journey, if you're into it!

    jindi ... um .... amour ebusiness to you, too

    Jenn -- Ah, but I have destroyed all the photos from my "Strawberry Shortcake and Pals" hair-raising hair color phase. but my current hair just got a little bit bigger from that compliment.

    donnas-- many thanks! I hope you read it ... crossing fingers.

  8. Ahh seriously this book sounds so awesome, can't wait to read it! Ooh also love Saoirse Ronan!

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