Genre Chick Interview: Diana Peterfreund

May’s Month of Writers Blog Festival brings you an interview with another of my fellow WRW writers, fellow unicorn hunter Diana Peterfreund.


Mac or PC?
I’ve been using a Mac since my college newspaper days. But I have a Droid phone. Her name is HALey and she’s thanks to our family plan. My husband is a PC. We haven’t yet decided how to raise the kid.

Coffee or Tea?
TEA! I actually hate coffee, and coffee-flavored things. Even coffee ice cream. I have a coffee pot I imprison in the basement and only let out when my mother visits. And I adore tea. I collect antique teacups, I have a slew of lovely teapots, and I have a collection of tea that takes up an entire shelf of my pantry. My favorite teas are flavored black teas, which I hear is a bit declasse in true tea aficionado circles, but oh well.

Travel the World or Travel Outer Space?
Oh, the world, definitely. So many fascinating things to see and do, and so many great people to meet. Plus, you can travel in a lot more comfort, and a lot less time.

Fantasy or Science Fiction?
Do not make me choose. (Though I’d definitely pick both over realism!)

Music or Silence (while you write)?
It really depends. If I make myself a playlist for a given book and listen to it over and over until it’s just background noise, it can help trick my mind into that mood. But some writing requires silence. I had a great playlist for the killer unicorn books, but my most recent book was music free, and I could only write it in silence.

What weird food do you like?
I don’t know if anything I like is weird. People tend to think it’s weird, however, that I DON’T like cake. I made my best friend taste-test my wedding cake for me. My husband and I wanted wedding oysters. Are oysters weird enough?

What is one of your most irrational fears?
I’m afraid of sleeping in the dark. Seriously. I can’t sleep with the lights off unless there’s someone with me — whether that’s my husband, or my dog. However — I love spelunking. Go figure.

Did you watch the Royal Wedding? Why or why not?
No way. I have an infant — every minute I can get of sleep is vital.

How many novels/short stories/screenplays/poems/etc have you published?
Seven novels, two short stories, a handful of lit crit and a bunch of food reviews.

How much do you write every day?
Not enough. Unless I’m on deadline, and then it’s too much.

How much do you WISH you could write every day?
If I could do a steady 2k a day, I’d be a happy camper.

What are you working on now?
A new short story. It’s about a girl and a cult.

If you could write like one author, who would it be?
Currently, I covet the muse of Laini Taylor. She puts the most beautiful images in her work.

If you could be one superhero, or have one superpower, who/what would it be?
Oh, that’s such an impossible question. Telepathy would be fun, but I’d have to be able to control it. Can’t have my dog sitting at my feet all day going, “Can we go to the park now? How about now? Now? NOW?!?! Park park Park!”

What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done?
Right now, I’m daily in awe of the fact that I made a whole entire baby, from scratch. But since several billion other people did that, too, I don’t know how “cool” it sounds to the outside observer. A few years after college, my now-husband and I saved up all our money, quit our jobs, strapped on back packs and went hitch/hiking around Australia and New Zealand for the better part of a year. We worked the occasional odd job on scuba boats or in hostels, slept in a tent, and lived primarily on lentils. We dove the Great Barrier Reef, learned how to surf, went black water rafting in New Zealand, walked the majority of the Great Walks (and even ran a few), climbed Mt Doom (Ngauruhoe), walked on glaciers, and other adventures.

What’s the coolest thing you’re about to do?
Soon I’ll be publishing a book (FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS, Balzer & Bray, Summer 2012) that is representative of a few things I’ve always wanted to do: write something post-apocalyptic, write a retelling, and write something Jane Austenian. And it’s set in New Zealand.

Name three things on your List of Things to Do Before You Die.
Go back to New Zealand.
Go on a sailing trip with my husband and baby (and maybe dog?) We went for our honeymoon and it was awesome.
Write a bestseller.


Diana Peterfreund is the author of four books in the Secret Society Girl Series, as well as Rampant and Ascendant, two young adult fantasies about killer unicorns and the virgin descendents of Alexander the Great who hunt them. Her first published short story, “The Care & Feeding of Your Baby Killer Unicorn,” was recently included in The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume 5; and, along with another killer unicorn story, “Errant,” appeared on the Locus 2011 Recommended Reads List. Her next book is a post-apocalyptic retelling of the Jane Austen classic, Persuasion. Diana lives in Washington, DC, with her husband, her daughter, and her dog Rio. Her website is