Piper Perish
by Kayla Cagan (Author)

Booktalk: Piper Perish inhales air and exhales art. The sooner she and her best friends can get out of Houston and get to New York City, the better. Art school has been Piper’s dream her whole life, and now that senior year is halfway over, she’s never felt more ready. But in the final months before graduation, things are weird with her friends and stressful with three different guys, and Piper’s sister’s tyrannical mental state seems to thwart every attempt at happiness for the close-knit Perish family. Piper’s art just might be enough to get her out. But is she brave enough to seize that power when it means giving up so much?

Snippet: I didn’t think our love was supposed to be this confusing, this kind of confusing. My heart felt like when Enzo accidentally pricked me last year, that time he was draping canary-yellow polyester for my prom dress. Except this wasn’t an accident. And it keeps stinging.

Kit reminded me of our plan: We’ll graduate, this will all be over soon. We’ll still go to NYSCFA in the fall. We’ll both meet awesome new guys and change the art world.

I don’t want to say this out loud but I do, I can’t stop myself.

“I don’t want to meet new guys. I want Enzo there with us. He’s the reason I even decided to apply there and not the New School. And we don’t even know if we’re in yet. We could be all stuck here forever.

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An Interview with Author Kayla Cagan:


Q. When did you start writing?

A. I began writing stories in the 8th grade. I started keeping a diary in 4th grade and still journal to this day.

Q. Describe your writing process.

A. My writing process is writing a minimum of 30 minutes a day each weekday, but usually more than that. I wrote PIPER PERISH by using the following Robert Hass quote as my guiding mantra:

“Take the time to write. You can do your life’s work in half an hour a day.”

I either begin to really write 6am to 8:30am or 9:30 to noon, depending on my schedule and day. I like to charge up my creativity before tuning into the rest of the world and my responsibilities. I’m usually writing at my desk in the guest room, our local library, or a coffee shop near our home.

Depending on where I’m at in the process, I’m either brainstorming, outlining, writing, or revising. Revising and rewriting take up a lot of time, but that’s also where the fun is for me and where I can really get rich and go deep with the characters and plot.

I know there are certain word and page counts that writers use to manage their goals, but I don’t work that way unless absolutely necessary for a deadline.

Q. Tell us about your latest book.

A. My latest book is also my debut book!

PIPER PERISH is the portrait of an artist as a young girl. PIPER PERISH is a novel written as Piper’s journal, so we see her life as she lives it: scattered, unpredictable, sometimes aggravating, sometimes scary, but always creatively inspired. The sooner Piper and her best friends, Kit and Enzo can leave home and go to art school in New York City, the better. Art school has been Piper’s dream her whole life, and now that senior year is halfway over, she’s ready. But in the final months before graduation, life becomes very complicated with her friendships, her family, and even her art, possibly preventing her from achieving her dream.

CONGRATULATIONS on your debut, Kayla!.

Copyright © 2017 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.