We caught up with brilliant Young Adult author Leigh Bardugo and she dished on her newest book, Six of Crows! The story tells of six outcast teenagers who are in very desperate circumstances and take it upon themselves to try to pull off an impossible heist for outrageous reward money. Intrigued yet? Find out more in our exclusive video, and even more from the questions below!
What or who was the inspiration behind this book?
Most of the time it’s hard for me to pinpoint the inspiration for a book, but Six of Crows is an exception. I was driving down the street in Los Angeles, and I saw a billboard for a movie called Monuments Men with George Clooney and Matt Damon. I thought, “I don’t really want to see that movie, but I’d really like to rewatch Ocean’s Eleven.” At that point, I screeched over to the other side of the road. I almost went up on the curb because my brain had basically short-circuited, and I couldn’t stop saying, “Heist, heist, heist! I want to write a heist book!” I called up my agent and said, “Ocean’s Eleven meets Games of Thrones! What do you think?” She was like, “Alright! Go, try, do!” I started cooking up this story, and I realized that I really wanted to tell a story of kids who weren’t chosen ones, weren’t queens and kings, and who didn’t have grand destinies. They were just looking to survive. I love ragtag, band-of-misfit stories like Guardians of the Galaxy, Inglorious Bastards and The Dirty Dozen, so this was that book for me.
What would be the theme song for your book?
I’m going to pick a couple of theme songs. One is “The Crooked Kind” by Radical Face. One is “Sinister Kid” by The Black Keys. That is basically Kaz Brekker’s theme song. He’s the hero, but I would use the term “hero” loosely in my book! Then, “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” by AC/DC.
Which one of the characters do you most closely relate to?
In Six of Crows, there is a little of me in all of the characters, but I think the Heartrender, Nina Zenik, is the one I relate to the most. She’s a Grisha living in exile, and Nina’s criticism her whole life is that people tell her she’s too much. She’s too big, she’s too loud, she eats too much and she laughs too much. At one point, when a character is complaining about her, one of her friends turns to him and says, “Well, maybe she’s not too much. Maybe you are just not enough.” I think that I wrote that in there because I love Nina, and I love ladies who are too loud.