For instance, Alan in the Demon’s Lexicon is a redheaded dude, which I generally consider a bit of a minus (not that I am prejudiced against all redheads… I took a redheaded dude to my debs! Note to Americans: debs is short for debutantes, more or less means prom).
SARAH: An interesting challenge, to make this dude appeal-
QUITE A FEW READERS: A REDHEADED GENTLEMAN? SHOW THAT FOX-HAIRED FOX TO MY BOUDOIR UPON THE INSTANT.
(Since we were discussing my critique group’s fictional dudely preferences the other day, Holly Black for one owns an Alan Ryves Appreciation T-shirt, a gift from Maureen Johnson’s lovely assistant Felicity Disco, and she has been wearing it on the regular at this retreat. Redheads, man. Who knew?)
Hey, that’s me! But really, you should read all this.
Today we welcome the inimitable Maureen Johnson to the Penguin Teen Author Spotlight! If you haven’t yet discovered her Shades of London series (beginning with The Name of the Star - read the first section of it here!), then you are seriously missing out on ghoulish, swoony fun set in the foggy streets of London. If you have discovered it, you’re in luck, because the second installment, The Madness Underneath, is out TODAY! To read more about The Madness Underneath (or possibly just random answers to our questions from Maureen - but what did you expect?) then read on!
Name: Maureen Johnson
Novel: The Madness Underneath
Who’s your favorite author, living or dead? I’m going to do my best with this questionnaire! I hope you like my answers.
Wait, did I just answer a question?
What’s your favorite thing about your book? I guess I did just answer a question, so let me go back and address that last question, which was about favorite authors.
I don’t have one.
Oh. That answer wasn’t really worth backtracking for, was it? I am already letting you down. Let me get this questionnaire back on track …
If you could spend one year on a deserted island with one fictional character, who would you choose? Captain Nemo, the man who built a luxurious submarine on a deserted island. Failing that, I’ll take the author of How to Build A Boat and Escape From a Deserted Island for Dummies. (I don’t think that’s a real book, so I think that counts as a fictional character. So in my plan, that book is real, because that person is fictional. Do you see what I am getting at here? Am I overthinking this?)
Where do you write? Only in places that I am currently in. If I’m not there, I don’t write there.
Who is your favorite hero or heroine of history? I THINK MY FAVORITE AUTHOR MIGHT BE FITZGERALD! Well, just for The Great Gatsby. Some of his other books aren’t so great …
No. I stick to my previous answer, which is that I don’t have a favorite author. (I realize I just went back to the first question, but I am one of those people who need to tick all the boxes or they can’t sleep at night.)
Do you tweet? On occasion.
What is your favorite season?
I may have misread that.
If you could teleport anywhere in the known universe right now, where would you go? I’m not sure I’m into this “teleporting” thing, because I feel like if you hit one wrong button, you might end up in space. AND I DON’T WANT TO GO TO SPACE. I don’t understand people who are like, “I would love to go into space!” You know what’s in space? NOTHING. You just go up, you barf, and if you are lucky, you come back down again. YOU DON’T EVEN GET TO UNPACK. Space is the worst.
Do you have any writing rituals?I write stuff. And then I stop. This repeats a lot.
What is your idea of earthly happiness? What concerns me here is the adjective “earthly,” which implies that you have plans on sending me elsewhere, possibly to space. So I am not answering this question. I’m no dummy.
What are you currently working on? This questionnaire. Is that what you meant? Was I supposed to use this to talk about my book?
the story of Kami, Jared, Ash, Angela, Holly and Rusty, their life and loves and battles and in some cases deaths, I’m planning to finish at three books.
How to Prepare for the Worst
1. Look at the list of characters.
2. Pick our your favourites
3. Remember that Sarah is an evil genius.
4. And that beloved characters are often “marked for death”
*smiles* you guys are the best.
I may or may not know some of the answers sought herein. I’M JUST SAYING. *looks mysterious*
Sundays are boring, right? NOT ANYMORE, CHUMPS. THIS SUNDAY IS A PARTY. It’s THE NAME OF THE STAR READ ALONG PARTY THING DAY!
The Madness Underneath comes out on TUESDAY, the 26th. So this SUNDAY, the 24th, I’m having an ALL DAY EVENT where you can READ the first book (for…
I WILL BE DOING THIS. You should too.
People have been asking about my favorite books of the year, so I figured this would make it easy. It’s a few days late, but there was one I started reading in 2012 and wanted to finish so I could put it on the list! Caveats: I know several of these authors but I wouldn’t tell you I liked something if I didn’t. And if your favorite isn’t on the list, I probably just haven’t had a chance to read it yet. (I’m always looking for recommendations!) Oh, and these are books PUBLISHED in 2012, no older books I read in 2012, however great they were.
Someone on Twitter asked me my opinion on New Adult, and I figured it would be easier to talk about with more characters to use, so here I am!
So. Okay. First, I am NOT AN EXPERT or anything. And I am only speaking for MYSELF. Here are my random thoughts:
1) I absolutely 100% support people writing whatever they want to write, and readers being able to access what they want to read.
2) I do not think any person or genre has a RIGHT to space, a separate section, special labeling, etc. in bookstores or libraries. Publishing is a business.
3) I think the phrase “New Adult” sounds kind of funny, honestly, and I’m not sure I would know what it meant if I saw it in a vacuum. (Or, more to the point, if I walked into a bookstore and saw it without having heard of it first.)
4) But back to PUBLISHING IS A BUSINESS. There needs to be customer demand. I am not OPPOSED to New Adult sections in bookstores or libraries, but I think people saying “You should give us this because we deserve it” or “because it’s the right thing to do” is silly. It will happen if/when bookstores think it will make them money. That’s it. End of story. The world is not fair. Publishing is not a charity devoted to Promoting Literature or anything. That’s just not how it works.
5) I DO agree that it is good to find ways to help people find the books they are looking for, but again, special labeling etc. just doesn’t come into it unless/until the demand is there. Given that reality, it’s probably better to focus on other ways of growing the readership/demand, like review blogs, recommended reading lists, etc.
6) PERSONALLY, I did do a lot of reading for fun as a college student/early 20s person, and the idea of wanting to specifically read books about people my age never once occurred to me. I had to deal with people my age all the time! So I find this idea of needing to read about “people like me” in general to be very foreign. I often want to read about people who are very DIFFERENT from me, because that is one of the things I like most about reading. BUT AGAIN, I am IN FAVOR of people reading whatever they want!
I hope that made some sense!
Dear internet: I know that I’ve been teasing some news Maureen Johnson, Cassandra Clare and I have (and excellent news it is!) and then we were told we couldn’t release said news until next week and had to cruelly deny you all. I am so sorry about the cruel denial!
But I do still have news. It…
I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS I CANNOT EVEN TELL YOU.