Many people recognize the name Megan McCafferty from the headlines that swept the literary world in April 2006 with allegations that McCafferty’s work had been plagiarized by a young Harvard under-grad, Kaavya Viswanathan. McCafferty, however would prefer that people focus on her books. Her newest novel, the fourth in The Jessica Darling Series, should accomplish that.
I recently had the chance to speak with Megan McCafferty about her book, her life and being a mom.
JH: Hi Megan, I’m so excited to have the chance to interview you. If you don’t mind tell me a little about how Fourth Comings came about. It’s a little more adult than your first three in the series.
Megan McCafferty: When people ask me what I do, I say I write books for teenage girls and now I’m like…that’s not really accurate anymore. It’s a series that is kind of an unintentional series, it’s a bit of an untraditional series, it’s not what people think of when they think of a series.
Usually in a series you know what to expect in each book, the characters are sort of formulaic and that’s part of the comfort to a series – you know what to expect. And that’s not what I’m doing really. The way I see it I’m chronologically a woman’s coming of age. I do intend to write a fifth book and jokingly I’m calling it fifth and final with a period. The idea being with this book I haven’t even begun writing yet will take place around her 26th birthday so then the whole series will have spanned a decade of her life.
I like the idea that I followed this character for a decade. I feel like each book, the way in tone and in content, and in format, reflects that time.
JH: The 20s are very tumultuous. I hit 30 last summer and a lot changed for me just having that big 3 on the beginning of my age and I decided who cares what anyone else thinks. I’m 30 now I can do whatever I want.
Megan McCafferty: It’s true. I’m 10 years older than Jessica, I’m 34. I have that decade of life experience where as me, I’m looking at the things that she does in this book (and all the other books) and I cringe and I almost want to stop her, but I can’t because those are the mistakes that you make at all those different stages. Yes, I’ve learned from my mistakes fortunately, but unfortunately for Jessica we have to watch her suffer from them and hopefully come out better for them.