Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Author Interview: Megan McCafferty discusses Bumped

I am so excited to welcome Megan McCafferty to Dystopian February today.  I'll be reviewing BUMPED later today (spoiler: I LOVED it!), so for now, I give you the official summary:

WHEN A VIRUS makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents must pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society.


Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and had never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Until now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they search for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend, Zen, who is way too short for the job.

Harmony has spent her whole life in religious Goodside, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to convince Melody that pregging for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.

When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.

From New York Times bestselling author Megan McCafferty comes a strikingly original look at friendship, love, and sisterhood—in a future that is eerily believable.


I loved the opening chapter of BUMPED so much – it at once transports you to this world where teens would try on baby bumps at their local mall for fun. I especially liked the advertising jingles and slogans – what was your process to come up with these?

The image of girls trying on “FunBumps” in the dressing room was the first that popped into my head when I came up with the concept for the novel. The slogans were just a natural extension of that scene, just thinking about how corporations would try to sell pregnancy to teenagers with sexy marketing.

Considering one of the twin main characters comes from a church background, there is a lot of religious content in the book. Was this difficult to write? How did you approach this aspect of Harmony’s character?
BUMPED explores the dangers of extreme thinking, and I wanted to make sure that I was equally critical of the behaviors and attitudes on both sides of the ideological divide. The Church in BUMPED is a fictional amalgamation of faiths, but is primarily inspired by the Amish. I researched BUMPED for a year before I began writing it, and a lot of that time was spent reading books about various religious communities. I also watched hours of Christian teens’ testimonies on YouTube, read religious blogs, had theological discussions with friends. It was so gratifying when an early reader who grew up in an evangelical household asked, “Did you read my diary?”

I grew up in an evangelical household too, and I agree about it feeling very authentic! You’ve compared BUMPED to A Handmaid’s Tale, so I am going to assume it was an influence. Would you say any other dystopian classics have left a lasting impression on you?
I love FEED by M.T. Anderson, especially the way he used satirical humor to make his point about media overload and conspicuous consumption.

Ok...Mash-up time! What character from another book would you like to see navigate the world of BUMPED and why? And what book would you love to drop one of your BUMPED characters into to see how he or she would handle it?
I’d like to see Melody and Harmony do a switcheroo with Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield from SWEET VALLEY HIGH. But it has to be the original 80s version of SVH, so there’s all sorts of anachronistic hijnks and shenanigans.

And I could just see Jessica and Lila competing to sell conception contracts to the highest bidder.  Awesome! Thank you so much for joining us today Megan!

Visit Megan's website.

18 comments:

Frankie Diane Mallis said...

Wheeee! LOVE Megan McCafferty, thanks for the cool interview. I can't wait for Bumped!

Chrisbookarama said...

I don't usually read author interviews but this was really enjoyable. Great job!

karen! said...

I can't wait to read your full review. This book sounds promising and I really enjoyed reading the interview

Zibilee said...

What an interesting concept for a book, and I found the fact that the author really did her homework on the religious divide interesting and compelling. Great interview, Megan and Lenore. Thanks!

April (BooksandWine) said...

Megan McCafferty FTW!

I grew up in an evangelical household too, and actually got shipped off to Jesus camp a few times as well, so OMFG I can't wait to read BUMPED.

Stasia said...

Really looking forward to reading this one. Thanks for the interview!

Sarah said...

Excellent interview! Makes me even more excited for Bumped.

Carla said...

AHHHHH MEGAN!!!!

Amazing interview. As a reader I never EVER think about the amount of research that actually goes into writing a book but wow thats hardcore!

Love this woman's writing and stories like WOAH.

lanna-lovely said...

Awesome interview, I can't wait to read Bumped. :D

bermudaonion said...

I agree with the author that extreme thinking on both sides of the issue is dangerous. Sounds like a fascinating book.

Gina Blechman said...

I am now RIDICULOUSLY excited for this book to come out. It sounds excellent!

thatcovergirl said...

I'm definitely interested in seeing how both sides of the ideological divide are represented in Bumped. And I have to admit it cracks me up thinking about FunBumps. Makes me think of Bumpits! "Go from flat to fabulous!"

Jessica (Firefly Book Loft) said...

LOVE this! I am so stoked for this book!

A Backwards Story said...

What a fun interview! This makes me want to read Bumped even more than I already do. I really love how Megan McCafferty's voice comes out...AND the fact that she loved Sweet Valley. I could totally see Jess + Lila, too, lol! Liz would so be trying to talk her twin out of it...

Shelley said...

I guess anything that gets them thinking about pregnancy instead of sex/love is providing a public service....

Tammy said...

Great interview! I loved seeing a glimpse into an author's mind as they develop plot and characters. I can't wait to read Bumped.

Michelle said...

Ever since you told me about this one I've been looking forward to getting my hands on it. I'm hopeful my request on NetGalley comes through!

Jennifer said...

Loved the full review and I love this author interview. Megan McCafferty is definitely the kind of author I aspire to be one day. I love her humor and wit. The Jessica Darling series is definitely one of my all time favorites. I'm really looking forward to April when I'll be able to get my hands on Bumped.