'Beautiful Creatures' Authors Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl Reveal The Secrets of Gatlin County (Part 1) -- Exclusive!
The two novelists, wearing custom t/k and Valentino gowns (respectively), revealed the inner most secrets of Gatlin County exclusively to JJJ — from Ravenwood Manor to their own family trees. Be sure to read about them inside the cut!
Beautiful Creatures opens Thursday, February 14th!
JJJ: What inspired the look for Ravenwood? Was it a random house you would pass by on the back roads or is it based on a real place that’s close to you?
Kami: There’s a Gothic Revival plantation in Mississippi called Natchez Plantation, which was the original inspiration for the exterior of Ravenwood – minus the fresh coat of paint. We knew we wanted Ravenwood to seem dilapidated on the outside and look completely different inside. Like the Casters, it’s something else in Gatlin that is not what it seems.
JJJ: The love story between Ethan and Genevieve is really intense. What inspired the forbidden story?
Kami: The Civil War was such a tragic period in American history, and it tore apart more than just battlefields. We wanted “Beautiful Creatures” to be a classic Southern Gothic, with an epic scope and a story that spanned generations. In the series, the Light and Dark Casters are fighting their own brand of civil war, and Lena is caught in the middle. Ethan and Lena’s forbidden love mirrors Genevieve and Ethan Carter Wate’s in the same way that the Civil War mirrors the war between the Casters.
JJJ: In the book, you described Gatlin as “not like the small towns you saw in movies, unless it was a movie from fifty years ago.” Is there a particular town from a movie you had in mind? Do you have a map of Gatlin in your head?
Kami: My mom’s family is from a small town in North Carolina, and Margie’s family is from a small town in the West, so we share what we call the Casserole Belt. Both of those towns were a huge influence. Moncks’ Corner, a small town in South Carolina, is probably the closest real town to Gatlin, though the Gatlin in the Beautiful Creatures movie feels like it was pulled right from our heads.
JJJ: The family trees really stuck out in the book for us. With all this sudden interest in genealogy (all over the place), have you researched your own family tree to uncover any secrets?
Kami: We both have family genealogists, and we pored over our family trees. We borrowed a few names from them, too. In the South, your roots are important, and it’s not unusual to see family trees framed and displayed. We wanted to capture that piece of Southern culture.