Interview: Mitali Perkins
Posted April 4, 2008on:
Mitali Perkins wrote First Daughter: White House Rules, among many other young adult books. We are very lucky to have her take some time from her busy schedule to stop by and do an interview with us.
Your newest book, White House Rules is the second book in the First Daughter series. What gave you the idea to write this series? How many books can we expect to be in the series?
Dutton Books asked my agent to find a writer who could put a new twist on a political teen novel, and my agent, Laura Rennert, called me. I wrote the plot treatment and submitted it, signed the contract they offered me, and then wrote the novels.
I found the characters in the book to be so believable, especially Sameera. Is she, or any of the other characters, based of yourself or someone you know?
Thanks! My goal is to create characters with whom you feel like chatting while sipping a hot cup of tea. All my main characters have a part of me in them, the best bits.
The First Daughter series includes a lot of information on the . How did you find so much out about it? Have you ever been inside it?
I’ve tried to arrange tours each time I visited DC but it never worked out, so I wandered around the outside of the White House, and read, and read, and read. I used online sites, like this one: <http://www.whitehousehistory.org/>, but basically I had to engage the imagination muscle in a big way.
What would you say to someone who hasn’t read the First Daughter series yet but is thinking of picking it up?
I think you’ll enjoy meeting Sameera, spending time with her on the campaign trail and in the White House, and getting the inside scoop on life as a celeb through her eyes.
What are you working on now? What can we expect from you in the future?
I just finished a novel called Secret Keeper, a book about a sixteen-year-old girl named Asha who is a natural confidante for people she encounters. It’s set in in 1974 and will be published by Random House in January 2009.
Can you share a little something about your road to publication? How long did it take for your first book to be published?
Mine has been a long and winding road, littered with rejection letters galore. My first book, The Sunita Experiment, was snapped up by Little Brown. My second one was rejected so many times I lost track. I revised, and revised, and somehow never gave up. ELEVEN years after book one, Monsoon Summer was published by Random House.
What advice would you give to your teen readers?
Keep exercising your imagination and healing your heart through the power of story. This is my dream come true, writing books, but it came true with much sweat, some tears, and a lot of ups and downs. That’s true of most dreams. Don’t give up, find out how you’re designed to serve and bless the planet, and go after it with all your heart.
Anything else you’d like to add?
If your readers have any more questions, you may visit my website, www.mitaliperkins.com, my blog, www.mitaliblog.com, or send me an email at . Thanks for a great interview, Harmony.
Thanks so much!