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L.A. Times book prize winner A.S. King on her inspiration [video]

April 24, 2013|By Carolyn Kellogg

A.S. King won the L.A. Times book prize for young adult literature with "Ask the Passengers" on Friday night. Wearing the same high green boots Saturday morning, she stopped by our video booth at the L.A. Times Festival of Books to talk with features editor Alice Short about the inspiration for her young adult novel.

"'Ask the Passengers' was born out of 25 years of thinking about being a questioning teenager. It also was born of a habit I've had since I was a very young girl. I used to lay in my backyard -- my yard was in the middle of a cornfield -- so I would lie there in the afternoon and watch the airplanes fly overhead," King says. "I used to start sending love to the passengers in the airplanes. I don't know where this came from."


"As the Passengers" was the first book King had sold to a publisher before completing the manuscript, which added pressure to the creative process. "I guess it took me longer than I wanted, because I was on deadline," she admits. Interestingly, she has found that of her many books, this potentially controversial one has not provoked any ire.

For more from King about her work and opening minds, click on the video above.


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