Why did you start writing books for young adults? And why this genre?
When I was in middle school, my mom and my teacher both ganged up on me and informed me that I needed to stop reading teen books (because they weren’t challenging enough) and start reading grown-up books. Even at twelve, this seemed like a huge injustice to me; after all, I was twelve! Why shouldn’t I be reading about people my own age? I didn’t want to read about old people and their boring old-person lives!Ten years later, I was in college, studying to be an English teacher, and I discovered books like Rob Thomas’s Rats Saw God, Chris Crutcher’s Whale Talk and Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak, and John Green’s Looking for Alaska, and realized that books about and for teens could be complex, challenging, and literary – and I decided I wanted to write them myself!Are you currently working on anything new? If so can we get a clue on what it is ;D?
I am! It’s another young adult novel, also set in the Midwest, but the protagonist is a boy, and it’s told in 3rd person, both of which are totally challenging me right now!Who was your favorite character in the whole story? And why?
I think Nikki might be my favorite, because she always makes me laugh, and because of all the characters, I think Nikki is actually the kindest and the least selfish. All the characters have faults, and Nikki’s certainly no exception, but while most of the other characters are focused on their own wants and needs, Nikki’s thinking about keeping the peace, maintaining friendships, and trying to make positive change.What is the best part about having your book released in May?
It means my book is a Taurus, which says that it’s creative, kind, steady, loyal, and enduring – in other words, it will stick around for a while! Also, because half my friends have birthdays in May, I can pretend it’s a birthday present for all of them.
Speed RoundFavorite food ?
Ice cream from the Dari Barn in Grinnell, Iowa.If you were stranded on an island what 5 things would you take?
My laptop (the island has wifi, right?)
one of those giant literature anthologies with tissue-thin pages
a cell phone
Favorite City in the world?
I don’t know! There are so many great places I’ve lived and visited -- and even more I haven’t! If I have to choose just one, I’ll say Chicago – despite the non-stop construction & recent abundance of rainy days, Chicago is beautiful this time of year!
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