Thursday, February 14, 2013
Beautiful Creatures, the supernatural saga of teen romance that takes place down South, hits theaters today, and credit a pair of L.A. moms for dreaming up this tempestuous world.
And who do they give a lot of the credit to? Why, their kids, of course.
Kami Garcia, a former teacher who's mom to 5- and 8-year-old kids, and Margaret Stohl, a former videogame industry wizard with 11-, 17- and 19-year-old girls, are the masterminds behind this tale of forbidden friendship and sorcery—that is, the 600-page novel and subsequent franchise that was turned into a film.
The story centers on Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich), a popular South Carolina teen who can't seem to shake dreams of a mysterious girl on a Civil War battlefield. Arriving as a newbie to school one day is Lena (Alice Englert), who turns Ethan's world upside down. Turns out this mysterious young lady is a Caster (similar to a witch) who will be chosen for either good or evil on her 16th birthday. Yikes!
Add to this ultra-dramatic story sassy Southern characters portrayed in the Richard LaGravenese-directed film by Emma Thompson, Jeremy Irons and Viola Davis.
Both Garcia and Stohl are huge fans of young adult fiction as well as science fiction, which informed their writing. What also heavily influenced the story was input from their kids, mainly Stohl's teens.
Take a look at my conference-call interview with Garcia and Stohl on mom.me to see how they balanced motherhood with novel-writing -- and equally sassy teens.