Brigid Kemmerer was born in Omaha, Nebraska, though her parents quickly moved her all over the United States, from the desert in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to the lakeside in Cleveland, Ohio, and several stops in between, eventually settling near Annapolis, Maryland. Brigid started writing in high school, and her first real “novel” was about four vampire brothers causing a ruckus in the suburbs. Those four brothers are the same boys living in the pages of The Elemental Series, so Brigid likes to say she’s had four teenage boys taking up space in her head for the last seventeen years. (Though sometimes that just makes her sound nuts.)
Brigid writes anywhere she can find a place to sit down (and she’s embarrassed to say a great many pages of The Elemental Series were written while sitting on the floor in the basement of a hotel while she was attending a writers’ conference). Most writers enjoy peace and quiet while writing, but Brigid prefers pandemonium. A good thing, considering she has three boys in the house, ranging in age from an infant to a teenager.
While writing STORM, it’s ironic to note that Brigid’s personal life was plagued by water problems: her basement flooded three times, her roof leaked, her kitchen faucet broke, causing the cabinet underneath to be destroyed by water, the wall in her son’s room had to be torn down because water had crept into the wall, and her bedroom wall recently developed a minor leak. Considering SPARK, book 2 in the series, is about the brother who controls fire, Brigid is currently making sure all the smoke detectors in her house have batteries.
Brigid loves hearing from people, and she probably won’t refer to herself in the third person like this if you actually correspond with her. She has a smartphone
surgically attached to her personnearby at all times, and email is the best way to reach her. Her email address is email@example.com.
Now that you’ve recently finished the final book in the Elementals series (sad face), what kinds of emotions are you feeling? Especially since this, in a sense, is a book (or at least characters) that have been in your head since high school?
It’s funny, but I had such a hard time writing the book because I wasn’t ready to let the Merricks go. I kept struggling to tell Michael’s story. I actually left the series open ended because there’s a chance I’ll come back to their world in the future.
Do you remember the first positive thing a reader said about your book (whether it was Elemental (the novella) or Storm?
I don’t know if it’s the first positive thing anyone said, but I distinctly remember going to the book launch for Storm, and I asked everyone in the audience whether they’d had a chance to read Elemental, the first novella in the series. A teen book blogger raised her hand, and with a shaky voice, said, “Yes. And it was amazing.” I’ll never forget how that moment felt.
Do you think if you would’ve done the order of the books differently, would there have been a different outcome?
That’s a good question. Probably, because I only had Storm written when I sold the series to Kensington. If I’d done Nick’s book second, I never would have had the courage to write about a gay character.
Which of the brothers was the most difficult for you to write? And which one came the easiest for you?
Michael was extremely difficult to write—probably because I knew people had such high expectations of him. Also, he’s an adult, not a teenager, so I wanted to keep the YA feel of the series while still seeing the world through his eyes. It was a challenge, for sure. I expected Nick’s book to be the most difficult, but he turned out to be the easiest. I could relate to his feelings of wanting to address everyone’s needs and take care of his family before taking care of himself.
In the books that are out were there any scenes that made you cry while writing it and even to this day, thinking about it makes you tear up?
I cry ALL THE TIME while writing, but I don’t really tear up after the scene is on paper. I cried when Hunter and Gabriel were talking at the trailhead in Spark. Gabriel was remembering his mother and how it felt to lose her, and I was thinking of my boys, and how they would cope if something happened to me. I also cried in Secret when Nick thinks about how his mother would have understood him. There’s a pivotal scene in Sacrifice where I cried so hard I could barely see the screen and I just typed by feel.
If you could go on a tour to five cities with four other authors, where would you go and who would you take with you?
I’d go anywhere my publisher wanted to send me! That sounds like fun! And I’m friends with so many other authors it would be hard to pick. Alison Kemper, for sure. Sarah Fine. Kim Harrington. I think we could have a rocking awesome book tour.
If you could co-write a book with any current YA author, who would it be and what do you think it would be about?
Hmm, I don’t know if I could co-write a book. I’m too much of a control freak. :-P
What is harder for you to write; a kissing scene, action scene or dialogue? (Or if none of that, what’s the hardest?)
A kissing scene, for sure. Sometimes I have to go kiss my husband to get the choreography right. I love writing action and dialogue.
Which brothers girlfriend do you wish you could have as your BFF? Because let’s be honest, you’ve made them all pretty fantastic!
Aww, thank you! I know people have a love-hate relationship with Quinn, but I think she and I would get along. But can I pick Adam? When I put him on the page, he came alive. I’d be his friend in a heartbeat.
What are some of your favorite YA books that you wish everyone would read?
Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine (coming out this fall), Donna of the Dead by Alison Kemper, and Hushed by Kelley York
Baltimore Orioles or Baltimore Ravens? Whichever one my husband is watching.
eBook or Physical book? eBook all the way, baby!
Writing at Starbucks or People watching at Starbucks? Writing!
Summer or Winter? Winter!
Morning or Evening writing? Evening. Late, late evening.
Hardcover or Paperback? Hmm. eBook? :-P
Dystopian or Sci-Fi? Neither.
Group or Individual book events? Both are so much fun!
Fire or Water? Water!
Air or Earth? Air!
Thank you SO MUCH to Brigid for agreeing to let us interview her (I know how busy she's been) and feature her here on our blog! It was a privilege, so thank you!
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