'Beautiful Darkness' authors Garcia, Stohl in tune with complexities of teenage life
Consequences found within the pages of Stohl and Garcia's books are mirrored in the real world, and that's why they appeal to young readers, they said. The ideas of family and the complexities of those relationships, and the complexities in the world outside those relationships are universal.
"Our books really deal with the idea of being yourself and being brave enough to be yourself in a community or world where you might be different," Garcia said. "Everybody can remember that, as an adult. With kids, teens are going through that all the time right now. … They're trying to be themselves and be their own person but at the same time, everybody wants to be part of a community and fit in also. It's a really difficult thing to do."
Stohl and Garcia also admit that their books' paranormal setting is a big draw, allowing readers to escape reality for a bit. But Stohl is quick to point out that being a "clean read" — "of course we are, since we were handing the pages directly to my daughters!" — broadens the appeal. The books have been embraced by schools and libraries and taught in classrooms in high schools and colleges.
When the authors finish their book tour in Utah this week, it will be like coming home. Stohl grew up in Richfield and her parents now live in Park City, where she writes during the summer. "When I close my eyes in the chaos of a book tour," Stohl said, "I can hear the quaking aspens and feel the mountain breeze. Most of my relatives live in Salt Lake, so for me it's a wonderful way to end the tour, with my own family."
"I sometimes think our books are about finding your own way and becoming your own person, while holding on to your family and your community," Stohl added. "When I think of my family and my community, it's all right here, even though Los Angeles is my town."
If you go:
Who: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
When: Wednesday, Oct. 20, 7 p.m.
Where: West Jordan Barnes and Noble, 7157 Plaza Center Drive
When: Thursday, Oct. 21, 7 p.m.
Where: The King's English Bookshop, 1511 S. 1500 East
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