The Revelry published on the 6th of January with much fanfare and anticipation. We are so excited to share a Q&A with Katherine Webber. It begs the question, How do you “friend”? Thank you to Katherine and Walker Books for this interview!
The Revelry has an incredibly powerful message about friendship. Were you inspired by any of your own experiences?
Female friendship has always been very important to me, and I wanted to write a story with friendship at the heart of it. The friendship between the two main characters, Bitsy and Amy, isn’t based on one specific friendship I had growing up, but it is definitely inspired by different friendships I had. I’ve always been fascinated in the give and take in friendship, and how sometimes it can feel unbalanced, especially when you are a teenager and your friends mean everything, and it was something I wanted to explore.
What helped you create the concept of the “Revelry” itself?
I love the idea of a magical party in the woods! While I never went to that kind of party as a teenager (I grew up in a very suburban town in California that was distinctly un-magical) I’ve always been drawn to woodlands, and think there is something really compelling and haunting about a mysterious party that everyone knows about but nobody talks about. The Revelry itself actually went through multiple iterations during edits—in my first draft it was a party on the beach in a university town, and then it evolved to what it is in the finished book.
What impact do you hope your book will have on teenagers?
When I write, my main goal is to entertain. So first I hope they are entertained and engaged, and also a little inspired to think about the value of their own friendships. For me, one of the biggest takeaways from the book, and something I try to apply to my own life even as an adult is that people “friend” differently. For example, one friend might think that good friendship means texting every day, where another one might think friendship means spending time in person together, etc. One isn’t better than the other, people just “friend” in different ways, and once you realise that about your own friendships, the easier it is to appreciate them.
How would you like teachers and librarians to engage with The Revelry?
First of all, teachers and librarians are amazing! My biggest wish is that they recommend it to their students. I also hope that the book sparks a lot of discussion, so would be thrilled to hear about discussion groups around the book in a kind of book club setting.
The Revelry by Katherine Webber is published by Walker Books and is available from booksellers now.