Interview with Susane Colasanti!December 27, 2008
Susane Colasanti is the awesome author of When It Happens and Take Me There. I have read When It Happens and have Take Me There on my shelf. I really loved how true Susane’s characters were in When It Happens, especially the main girl character, Sara. She was nice enough to answer these interview questions for me. I hope you enjoy and remember to leave a comment at the end to let Susane and me know what you thought!
I just finished polishing my third book, Waiting for You, which will be released on July 9. It’s about a girl who’s dealing with depression and a boy who wants to help her. Now I’m writing my fourth book, Something Like Fate.
2. Were you like Sara from When It Happens while growing up?
Yes, Sara and I have a lot in common. She is the character closest to my heart for this reason. I’ve always been a dreamer, hoping that one day I would be living a better life than the one I had as a teen. That hope helped me get through some hard times. I never stopped believing that things would improve, and they did. Sara has the same passionate hope for her future. Also, we both have koala bears named Chez and we’re both organization freaks.
3. Would you ever think of writing a sequel to When It Happens?
This is probably the most frequent question readers ask me (tied with whether When It Happens will be made into a movie). I’d love to write a sequel and find out what happens to Sara and Tobey in college. But it wouldn’t be for a while, since my next few books have already been planned out. I’m also a bit hesitant because I wouldn’t want to disappoint my readers with a sequel that didn’t meet their expectations. That’s a challenge I’m not yet ready to take on.
It’s righteous that there are so many incredible young-adult authors out there today! When I was a teen, this was not the case. The selection of teen books was quite lacking back in the day. I’m so relieved that teens now have many quality choices to keep them reading.
My favorite YA authors are Laurie Halse Anderson and Blake Nelson. I really admire their unique styles and ability to capture intense emotions without overcrowding the page. They also tend to focus on dialogue, which I find to be the most interesting part of a story. Some of my fave books by other authors are The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (dude, I reread that book and watched the movie so many times), The Late Great Me by Sandra Scoppettone, Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume, and Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli.
5. What do you like best about being an author?
Connecting with teens. As a high school science teacher, I got to work with teens every day. But as an author, I can reach out to more teens and hopefully improve their lives in some way. Even if someone likes reading one of my books to escape for a while, I’ve maybe made their day a little brighter and that makes me happy. Ideally, I want readers to feel better about their problems by relating to my characters and how they deal with common problems. In this way, I hope my readers feel less alone.
6. What inspired you to write When It Happens?
My senior year of high school sparked the idea for the story’s main plot. Tobey was inspired by someone real. Some of the events in the book are based on things that actually happened to me in high school. In this way, When It Happens reflects a time in my life that none of my other books have.
I’ve always been obsessed with the concept of soul mates. I know that soul mates are real because I’ve had more than one in my life. I wanted When It Happens to capture the energy of that connection in a way that hopefully inspires readers to never give up searching for that kind of passion in their own lives. Also, I wanted to write a sweet love story that’s fun to read.
7. What kind of music do you listen to?
My main musical taste would be classified as old-school. Musicians like the Cure, R.E.M., Paul Simon, and James Taylor have always rocked my world. Some stuff from this century is good, too. I adore John Mayer (he’s always incorporated in my books) and am a proud guitar-pick-carrying member of the John Mayer Fan Club. I also love Coldplay, Death Cab and Maroon 5. Although I tend to play my favorite CDs over and over, I’m always open to hearing new music. When lyrics speak to me and sound like my life, I’m there.
As a teen reader, every young-adult book I remember reading (except for one) was only told from the girl’s perspective. I was always dying to know what the boy character was thinking, what he talked about with his friends, and how he really felt about the main girl character. So I promised myself that if I ever wrote a book, I would show the boy’s perspective as well so my readers could understand a more complete truth about him. In Take Me There, I thought adding a second girl’s perspective would enrich the story.
However, my third and fourth books are only told in one perspective. For those stories, revealing the main boy character’s point of view would have been giving away too much.
9. What’s a typical day for you like?
Writing in the afternoon usually works best for me unless I’m on deadline, in which case I work all day. When I’m working on a new book, I write five pages a day, five days a week. If I’m revising, I tend to work in the afternoon until my brain is fried.
In the morning, I like to take care of online stuff, like email, my blog, and checking in at Facebook and MySpace. Some mornings I go to the gym and get busy on the elliptical. My gym has personal monitors on the machines, so I like to go at 11:00 to watch The View. The best part of my mornings is not having to get up at a ridiculously early hour anymore. Yay for daylight!
10. List your current Top Five Obsessions.
The Office (mostly John Krasinski), full-spectrum light bulbs, Death Cab’s Transatlanticism, Gelly Roll pens, Bliss body butter
Yes, I know, she’s super cool. Now, what did you think? Are you excited for Susane’s new book Waiting for You?