13 Questions with Young Adult Author Kayla Cagan
Welcome to Lucky Thirteen, an ongoing series of 13 quick questions (some bookish, some not) for our magnificent authors and illustrators.
Hey world, meet Kayla Cagan—a writer and playwright based in Los Angeles. Her debut book was Piper Perish, a young adult novel about a girl named Piper with big dreams of getting out of her hometown of Houston and to New York City for art school. Her follow-up novel Art Boss picks up where Piper Perish leaves off, following her new life in the big city, and all the glamour (and chaos) that ensues.
If you follow Kayla on social media, then you’ve seen her bright and funny personality in real time, but we wanted to get to know more about her. Thus, she is the focus of our latest Lucky Thirteen installment. Read on!
1. What are you currently reading?
Ada Limón’s The Carrying, Brené Brown’s Rising Strong, Maurene Goo’s The Way You Make Me Feel, and Naomi Alderman’s The Power.
2. Introvert or extrovert?
3. You have a newspaper. What section do you turn to first?
Comics, then Art/Style/Entertainment, then Books.
4. What’s your bookmark of choice?
Photographs, postcards, and bookstore bookmarks.
5. Favorite day of the week and why?
Monday. It’s the underdog. Also, I’m an optimist who believes in constant do-overs and fresh starts.
6. Tell us about a piece of art or writing that has inspired you.
Right now, Ada Limón’s The Carrying is so moving that it’s making me jealous and want to write write write.
This passage from Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast has inspired me to write, ever since I first read it in college. I memorized it. I love it.
“But Paris was a very old city and we were young and nothing was simple there, not even poverty, nor sudden money, nor the moonlight, nor right and wrong nor the breathing of someone who lay beside you in the moonlight.”
I always wanted to write something that perfect. Maybe one day.
7. What were you almost named?
Courtney, Cinnamon, and Sunshine. Kayla is the Hebrew name for Courtney, so it won with my mom!
8. Your pen (or pencil) of choice is:
Pilot G2-07 Medium Blue Ink. Always and forever.
9. Indoors or outdoors?
10. A friend is coming over for dinner at your place. What would you cook?
Probably low fat turkey lasagna. It’s a Cagan family favorite.
11. What is one of the first books you remember?
Oh god. The first ones I got my hands on when I was a kid: “Truly Tasteless Jokes 1, 2, and 3” (don’t ask), Caddie Woodlawn, The Good Earth, and Superfudge.
12. Your favorite spot in your home is:
Our porch, at night.
13. What advice would your 80-year-old self give you?
It’s all going to be okay.
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