Thursday, December 5, 2013

Interview With YA Author A.S. King

I'm so excited about this! :D (Especially since I've read her book and met her several times. She's awesome!) Please welcome A.S. King, author of Reality Boy (as well as several other novels, one of them a Printz Honor book)! You can find Amy at her blog, "Here's Me Using the Word Blog In a Sentence."

1. What inspired you to write Reality Boy?

So many things, but I will limit myself to three main ideas that sparked the book, in order. 1. If one in three or four teenagers are dealing with trauma or abuse in real life, then does this same statistic carry over into our television shows--more specifically, reality TV shows where children are not trained actors, but participants due to their parents' decisions? And if we are entertained by children who are dealing with trauma, what does it say about us? 2. Why do we ignore and blow off the emotions of teenagers? Especially anger or sadness? 3. When people watch reality TV, are they aware that it is not real? And on a wider level, what can we believe anymore on TV?

2. What are your top three favorite novels?

This is a cruel question! But I will say Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut (or all Kurt Vonnegut for that matter), Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, and The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie.

3. What is your favorite thing about writing?

I love everything about the actual writing. I write by the seat of my pants, so every day is exciting. Okay, sometimes in the middle of a novel it isn't so exciting, but most of the time, it's just so much fun writing a book. Even the revision is fun. Sometimes revision is the most fun because that's where certain themes really polish up and become solid parts of a book (like the ants in Everybody Sees the Ants.)

4. What is the hardest thing you've had to do in your writing?

I think the hardest thing I had to do was getting here. It took me 15 years to get published. By that time I'd written 8 novels. It was frustrating and soul-sucking sometimes. In my actual writing, I guess one of the hardest things I've done is rewrite the last third of Ask the Passengers twice.

5. What is the best piece of advice you could give to teen writers who want to get published?

Being a writer means you write as much as you can. It also means you read as much as you can. Avoid making any professional decisions out of desperation. It's hard to get into the business, but your real business as a writer is to write the best books you can, so what really matters is that you are always writing and reading. When you move into the business side of it, remember: If you're not getting rejected, then you're not working.

Buy Reality Boy on Amazon.
Buy Reality Boy on IndieBound.

Edit: Amy will be answering questions and comments! Leave one below, if you wish!


Boquinha said...

I have read SEVERAL of A.S. King's books and have enjoyed them all.

As you well know, we try to get to many of her events, because she is so dynamic and down to earth. I always feel inspired listening to her.

She is something special and I think YA literature NEEDS her.

I feel so lucky that we live near her and get to see her speak so often. She is truly an inspiration!

Boquinha said...

P.S. Also? I could totally hang out with her and talk for hours. Whenever I hear her talk, whenever I talk with her, she echoes SO MANY of my own thoughts and I get so excited! She is a treasure trove of wit, knowledge, talent, compassion, and candor. Today's Judy Blume, I tell you. Today's Judy Blume.

Boquinha said...

Ooh. Ooh. I have a question. She travels, she speaks at events, she teaches, she has a speaking circuit, she has a family . . . When does she write?? I'd love to hear her writing routine -where, when, how, stuff like that. Thanks!

Dr. Mark said...

Great interview. It's been fun to hear A.S. King speak and also to meet and talk with her. Reality Boy in particular was a really enjoyable read that keep me interested the entire way through.

I have a question. What would you say is your most consistent source of story ideas?