My apologies to all for not getting Tuesdays post in. I was celebrating my big 5-0. I’m starting the New Year off with a bang with Jay Asher. I’m a lucky girl. The person to hook me on Jay was my teenage daughter. She feel in love with his book Thirteen Reasons Why and said, “Mom, you got to read this one.” Now I’m hooked. I met Jay at the LA SCBWI conference last August. His presentation was amazing.
Jay Asher, has published two books to date, Thirteen Reasons Why, where Hannah Baker, a girl who committed suicide reveals her thirteen reasons for her decision in a series of seven audio tapes mailed to a classmate with instructions to pass them from one student to another, in the style of a chain letter. This novel was a 2007 New York Times best-selling young-adult fiction novel.
So today I share my “tiny” interview with one of my favorite authors.
ME: tell us something that has been in the vault. Something hardly anyone knows about you.
JAY: I’m shy and very much an introvert. I speak a lot as an author, and I do enjoy myself once I begin speaking, so people assume I’m very outgoing and an extrovert. That’s me acting as a professional author. Whenever my friends see me speak, they know that’s not the real me up there and are shocked. What people don’t see are the thoughts in my head leading up to a speaking engagement, looking for anything to stop it from happening. “A flat tire! They couldn’t blame me if I got a flat tire!”
Me: Boy, I would’ve never pegged you as an introvert.
ME: How do you want to be remembered?
JAY: If my son, who turns four in December, remembers me as a great father, I’ll feel like my life has been very successful.
ME: I love that.
ME: If you can spend a day with one of your book characters who would it be, and why?
JAY: It would be this boy from a middle-grade book I wrote but never sold (but one day, maybe…). His name is Adam Kinski and he’s in fourth grade. After school, he has to put on a cow costume and pass out candy to people walking by a candy shop in the mall. He and I share a lot of the same insecurities, so it’d be like hanging out with my younger self, which could be interesting. As far as published books, I think Tyson from THE FUTURE OF US would be hilarious to hang out with.
ME: What genre have you not written in, but would love to try?
JAY: I have an idea for a scary YA novel that I eventually want to tackle, and I will. I’m just waiting on a twist that’ll make it even scarier.
ME: I’d buy it. I love horror/suspense.
ME: Who influenced your writing career/passion?
JAY: Any of the authors who wrote the books I loved in elementary school were the people who lit my reading passion: Betty Miles, Patrick Skene Katling, Katherine Paterson, Bertrand R. Brinley. My parents let me drag them to the library to fill up on books, and then let me sit for hours reading in the living room without interruption. My school librarian at Highland Oaks Elementary, I considered her a friend. I still remember standing beside her desk talking about books during lunch.
ME: Sound like fond memories. It definitely paid off.
Thanks so much, Jay for letting me do my tiny interview with you. It was an honor. My teenage daughter thinks I’m cool now to have connections with her favorite author. I wish you many more successes that are sure to come. Now get on that scary story. I want to read it!