Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Teen Interview #3: The Self-Proclaimed Goth Girl

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." :)


Marquita Hockaday said...

Supernatural, FTW! Hayley sounds like a really cool chick :D And I love that she wants to see more realistic fiction for teens. We have some that are celebrated, but not enough. And I like how she pointed out that cutting is a real issue that is not easily solved by getting a boyfriend. This is an EXCELLENT interview and it really helps me to know the market I'm writing toward. I <3 this series, Pam!!!!

LM Preston said...

Hi Hayley! Awesome interview! You are the same aga as my daughter who doesn't mind giving her opinion on my writing, or others. She's my teen book reviewer and since you write that would be an awesome fun way to keep your new fans in the know. I hope to see you in the blogsphere in the future.

jenniferpickrell said...

Awesome interview - I keep learning these random phrases.
"Awkward turtle!"

I'm glad to see some teens are looking for more realistic YA.

Erinn said...

"awkward turtle" My students say that all the time, or at least my socially awkward ones who are aware they are being awkward. Nice interview.

blueeyedadri said...

Thanks Pam. Thanks Hayley! You both gave us some great insight here. Perfect!

The Blue Lipstick Samurai said...

It's so good to know that the demographic for YA is becoming aware that plot pitfalls are not solved with boyfriends and sparkle. Le cough.

Great interview, Pam and Haley! Lovelovelove this series. :)

Amparo Ortiz said...

LOVED this interview. And yes, I may be biased because I also love Supernatural, BUT Hayley's perspective was amazing.

Wolves FTW! :)

Lindsay N. Currie said...

WHat a great interview!!! Given that I've just co-authored a pretty dark, edgy MS I'm loving hearing this feedback!!! Great job ladies!!!

Tere Kirkland said...

Thanks for the interview, Haley! I'm the opposite: I like to read realistic fiction, but I can only write paranormal. And I wish I could strike all the "I love you, but I can't have you" plots from books I read, too. Get a life, indeed. ;)

Michael L. Martin Jr. said...

Thanks Hayley and Pam for such a great interview!

I've never come across cliques in school either. Honestly, I've always thought it was just a thing made up for movies.

I've never heard "awkward turtle" before either. Anyone care to clue me in as to what is means? Something tells me it involves a turtle who is awkward.

Another Supernatural fan here! Unfortunately, my other favorite show, Fringe, now comes on at the same time.

Holly Dodson said...

Great interview, Pam! "Awkward turtle" is an interesting phrase...not something I've heard before. (But I may just use it! lol)

Pam Harris said...

Thanks, everyone! I now, too, will probably start using awkward turtle--even though I'm still a little clueless as to what it means! And I'm in the same predicament, Michael--I also have to TiVo Fringe so that I can watch Supernatural, or vice versa. :)

XxXx said...

Hey! I had the urge to leave a comment on my own interview...hope that didn't sound conceded. haha XD

Marquita- Thanks! Cutting is a big thing for me cause it kinda hit me close to the heart. I'll do basically anything to stop someone from making that mistake. It really dosen't help anything. It's a deep hole to pull yourself out of and (Although love dose help whether in the form of a boyfriend or girlfriend or just a friend) not everyone HAS that help. Some people have to fight and struggle until the make it out, and that shows strength. There was a quote I read(Sorry babbling) that said "Depression isn't because your weak. Depression is because you've been strong for too long."

LM-That sounds like a LOT of fun(I really hope you where offering... hehe...)And I have a blog that I made when I was bored so I hope to stay here. XD

Blue Lipstick-haha yeah, my friends and I are big on that. You know Twilight? Well my friend read it and EXPLODED when Bella was all like "Oh Edward! I love you!" in New Moon. As mean as it sounds, it was really funny!

Amparo-How can someone NOT love Supernatural! I mean, come on! Have you SEEN Dean! And thanks. =)

Tere-lucky! I want to write supernatural stuff. Not just that but Angels and Demons and stuff...maybe one day.
As for the "I love you, but can't have you" thing, I love the idea but the problem is the writes who over do it. I mean I know what its like to have a crush on a guy but have that annoying "He won't like me. Besides he's too old for me." thing. But when I do have that, I'm really effected by it for maybe a day(And by really effected I mean he pops into my head more but usually when I'm not doing anything.) And after that it lessens because I force myself to keep busy so I don't think about it because really, it hurts. And why would you put yourself through that? When your heart hurts, its one of the worst pains you can deal with(I think so at lest). Mental pain is a lot worse than physical, so why increase it over a guy? I mean you don't see guys doing that about chicks. *Sigh* okay, I'm good.

Michale-Well luckly, I haven't had any cliques yet. I hope it'll stay that way but I can seen people staring to drift apart and sticking to their own little group. Me and my friend who I shall call L is one of the best examples there is. Yes we have other friends, one of which who we're both close to but shes starting to half drift away, but really, we're closer than anything. And so it's like that only on a bigger than just two people scale. So I'm hoping for no cliques cause really, being picked on sucks, but if it comes, I'm ready.
Fringe...sounds fimular(sp?)...I'll look it up later. haha XD

Mrs.Harris(Because it'd feel kinda weird calling you by your first name)-Thanks a lot for letting me do this. It was a LOT of fun. Plus it got me out of SOL prep. XD I wasn't expecting the title tho. haha =)

Everyone-Sorry if I didn't comment to you but I wanna say THANKS!!XD This really made my day. Maybe even my week.
Oh! And the awkward turtle thing. It's like you put one hand on top of the other and move your thumbs in a circle. Its hard to explain but if you google it and look at images, it should show up. I still don't get it...and it's kinda mean. I mean turtles aren't awkward. There awesome. XD And...I think thats it. Yuck...math homework time. Anyway, thanks again! Hope to be back.