Book Nerd Interview
Marieke Nijkamp was born and raised in the Netherlands. A lifelong student of stories, language, and ideas, she is more or less proficient in about a dozen languages and holds degrees in philosophy, history, and medieval studies. She is a storyteller, dreamer, globe-trotter, geek. Her #1 New York Times bestselling debut novel, This Is Where It Ends, follows four teens during the fifty-four minutes of a school shooting. It’s published by Sourcebooks Fire.
Marieke is the founder of DiversifYA and a founding member and advisor of We Need Diverse Books. Find her on Twitter.
Was there a defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer?
Reading my favorite book and realizing I wanted to play in story worlds too. It was as simple as that. I started out with scenes, bits of fanfic, hints of my own storyworlds. And it grew from there. I haven’t look back since.
Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
Because stories give us meaning. I believe stories are one of the best ways to understand what it means to be human.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
Butt in chair and keep on writing.
In your book; This Is Where It Ends, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it?
THIS IS WHERE IS ENDS takes place during the fifty-four minutes of a high school shooting, and follows four teens who all have their own reasons to fear the boy with the gun.
For those who are unfamiliar with Claire, how would you introduce her?
Claire is an track athlete, a JROTC cadet, a sister, a senior at Opportunity High School, and above all, a girl trying to find her place in the world when everyone around her has expectations and she doesn’t know yet where she fits in.
What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
I’m currently editing a short story for Jessica Spotswood’s anthology THE RADICAL ELEMENT and I’m also writing a short story for Shaun David Hutchinson’s anthology FERAL YOUTH. I love short fiction and while these two stories couldn’t be more different, it’s great fun to get to play with them.
If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I would introduce Matt, Claire’s younger brother, to Luke Skywalker. Although not technically a book character, I feel like there have been enough novelizations that this counts. Plus, Matt would be *so* excited.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Autumn?
I learned a lot about ballet. I’ve been to ballet, I have seen famous solos and pas de deux. But I started out not realizing the Dying Swan solo isn’t actually part of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. My perspective is that of an observer; Autumn’s that of a dancer. So I learned a lot about ballet. J
When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?
Isn’t answering this kind of giving the game away? ;)
What's the most memorable summer job you've ever had?
I helped out in a bakery for a few months during college. Those were some very early days, but on the upside I was constantly surrounded by the fresh bread and cakes. It smelled delicious and it was a great experience!
When was the last time you cried?
Watching a sad movie. I’m a bit of a sap J
What is your greatest adventure?
Travel. I love, love, love to travel. I love meeting people. I love exploring new places. I love discovering new cities. I love hearing different languages spoken around me. And while I get quite anxious too, the experiences are so worth it.
Where can readers stalk you?
Well, stalking not so much, but readers can find me on Twitter @mariekeyn!
10:02 a.m. The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.
10:03 a.m. The auditorium doors won't open.
10:05 a.m. Someone starts shooting.
Told from four different perspectives over the span of fifty-four harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.