Book Briefs: an interview series where authors talk about…what else? Books!
What book are you reading right now? Right now I’m reading Blue Moon by Alyson Noel, and I’m really enjoying all the twists and turns.
Your favorite children’s book: Oh, dear. This is a hard question! I love Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. There are some really great new ones too. A few faves in our house right now are Pinkalicious by Victoria Kann and Elizabeth Kann, and the Fancy Nancy series by Jane O’Connor, illustrated (beautifully!) by Robin Preiss Glasser.
Your favorite non-fiction book: This one is easy! Hooked by Les Edgerton. It’s an insightful book on writing that focuses on how to hook your reader by figuring out the right place to start your novel. It changed my life. Seriously. If your first pages are packed with some nagging conflict, you’ll keep people reading. and if those people are agents or editors, it may make all the difference!
Your favorite classic (read: book they made you read in school) book: Ha! This made me laugh. As a former teacher, I used to be the “they” you’re referring to. Hands down, my answer for this is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I taught this book for eight years and still can’t get enough of Atticus, Scout, and Jem Finch.
The last book that made you laugh: The Gates by John Connolly. He created some hysterical scenes in the story of young Samuel Johnson.
The last book that made you cry: If I Stay by Gail Forman. I was in the backyard catching some sun while my children napped when I finished this book. I don’t cry often, but this book made me weep.
The last book you recommended to a friend: I told one of my teacher friends about Pam Bachorz’s Candor. I think it would be a great book to teach to high school students. It’s packed with deep discussion topics that would really get teens talking: conformity, parenting, friendship, losing oneself to the standards of others, and much more.
A novel you’ve re-read (and re-read): 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher and Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson would both fall into this category. All I can say is wow. These books made me want to teach again. Like, run to the nearest classroom kind of want-to-teach-again.
One sentence that gives the gist of your book best: Sixteen-year-old Tessa McMullen struggles to regain her best friendship with Noelle, a broken and self-destructive girl who has just returned from a two-year abduction.
Avoiding spoilers, a 1-2 sentence passage from your book that you really like:
The following comes from the scene where my main character sees her best friend for the first time since she went missing two years earlier. The reunion goes nothing like Tessa had expected, as her old friend Noelle seems to be a completely different person.
Noelle sighed. “This just isn’t my life anymore, Tess. I’m not that girl you knew all those years ago.”
“Noelle, I’ll always be – “
“That’s exactly what I’m talking about.” Her hand shot out at the darkness, aiming to hit something that wasn’t there. “I’m not Noelle anymore.” She breathed heavily through her nose and clenched her jaw.
“Of course you’re Noelle. Who else would you be?”
The girl who was not Noelle looked directly into my eyes. Her stare was hard and cold. “Noelle is gone. And she’s not coming back.” She blinked. “My name is Elle.”