Every week, we give you an interview with one of your future readers! This week, I had the pleasure of interviewing one of my students, Hayley. She's 14 years old and attends a middle school in small town Virginia (she has mixed feelings about starting high school later this year). Without further ado...
Can you tell us about your school? What are the demographics? Are there any noticeable cliques?
I was expecting cliques but there’s not really a lot here. Most of us have been going to school together since kindergarten so we all know each other. There are a few popular kids but they don’t pick on everyone else. Next year, there might be some teasing since it’s high school and my friend’s older brother has been warning us about it.
What is it about a book that makes you pick it up when you're browsing the shelves of the library or book store?
Sometimes it’s the title and other times it’s the cover, which is really bad but true (laughs). Eventually, I’ll look at the summary to see what it’s about. I like realistic stories, fallen angels, and darker stuff. Not really The Clique books that are exploding.
What's the best book you've read in the last 6 months?
I think Impulse by Ellen Hopkins. It’s really good. It deals with the darker stuff that other people are too scared to touch. She put it out there. And there was romance in it but it wasn’t full-blown—just off to the side.
If you could ban one thing from all books, what would it be?
(Laughs) I never thought about that before. Oh, stereotypes bug me! But that bugs me anywhere. And the whole "I love you but I can’t have you." Just obsession over each other. Get a life! It’s like the song “No Air.” It’s an okay song, but stop obsessing. Get a life and do something fun!
What would you like to see more of in YA novels?
Realistic stuff—like how it really is in the world. We have some really big problems that no one pays attention to. Cutting is a whole issue. I’ve noticed that sometimes if the main character has problems like cutting, they’ll get a boy and everything is fine--but not everyone has that. Some people have to deal and fight it by themselves.
What's your favorite part of a story?
I always like to get to know the characters—their backgrounds and stuff. The more you care about a character, the harder it is to put the book down. And if there’s a sequel, you want to buy it.
Do you feel like the characters in YA books are representative of you?
Yeah. I’m the weird one, the outcast, freak, Goth. I hate using stereotypes, but that’s how I describe myself. In books, sometimes there’s a quiet one who’s into music and that’s me. I’m in love with music.
Time for some fun, random stuff. What's a popular saying that you can't stand? That you love?
I used to hate "That's what she said," but guys don't say that much anymore. I never really understood “awkward turtle.” It’s not a big saying but I still hear it. As far as one that I love, I say “um” a lot (laughs).
What are you going to eat for lunch today?
Whatever my parents packed. A sandwich and yogurt, and I give my dessert to a friend because I never eat it.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Oh God, it used to be mind-reading but now I don’t think so. Some of my friends' minds I don’t want to read! Either super strength or flying. Flying would be cool! I’d like to have the wings like in Maximum Ride. Or, wait, telekinesis! That would be cool to move things with your mind.
Vampires or werewolves?
Oh, werewolves. Easy. I love wolves.
You’re a writer, too. Tell us about your own writing.
I write realistic fiction. I’ve tried supernatural and I can’t do that. I love the TV show, Supernatural, so I tried something like that show, but that didn’t go well. Oh, and no matter how hard I try, I always put romance in there!
Thanks, Hayley! She's so awesome! Oh, and don't forget about Flash Fiction Friday! This week, in 300 words or less, write a story that begins with "It's not you, it's me." :)