Today I’m excited to host Michael Grant on the 4th stop of his Show No Fear and Go BZRK Blog Tour. I’m a huge fan of Michael’s Gone series and his new series, BZRK. He’s one of the most unique and original writers for young adults and never fails to please his army of fans. I asked Michael if he could write about a couple of topics I was interested in; writing for the teenage guy inside him and authors and their use of social networking. Thanks for joining me Michael.
- Writing for the teenage guy inside you
Sometimes I’m not sure I ever was a teenager. I never fit in. I didn’t participate in events and activities at school, aside from debate club for one year. I was a determined loner, actively avoiding other kids, inventing endless excuses to put off people who invited me to parties or dances. I would sit at pep rallies and hear the “The we’re number one!” cheers and think, “Nah, we’re really not.” I was cynical, arrogant, uninterested. I’m sorry to say that if I was like any of my GONE characters in those days it might have been Caine. (I’ve matured — a bit.)
I dropped out of school at age 16 and went to work full time. I took immediately to work. Work made far more sense to me than did my home life or school. I liked the simplicity: show up, work hard, get paid, go home. All my life since then I’ve been a work-a-holic.
So when I think about the teenage Michael I just see a person who was waiting impatiently for the whole thing to be over so I could get on with the rest of my life. In particular I wanted to be living my life, as defined by me, without adults . . . Oh. Well then. Hmmm. I guess we’ve discovered the link between teenaged Michael and GONE, the book series where every single person over the age of 14 simply disappears, leaving things to be managed by teenagers.
I think adults try to keep teenagers trapped in childhood sometimes. I think kids are often capable of more. I was.
- Going beyond the book: authors and social networking
I am somewhat conflicted on social media. I’m on Twitter and on Facebook, and moderately active on both. Am I convinced that it’s useful in terms of selling books? No. I think it’s useful primarily in maintaining contact with existing fans. But I’m also conflicted about the usefulness of that. I enjoy hearing from fans, as any author does. But I think it can also demystify an author, showing them for what they of course are: just regular people living not terribly grand or interesting lives. I like hard data and I don’t think any exists on the practical effects of social media. The jury is still out. Of course in the meantime I’ll still be on Twitter and Facebook.
The fifth book in Michael Grant’s Gone series, Fear is out now, as well as the first book in his new BZRK series. I’ve got a copy of each to give away here on My Best Friends Are Books. Just enter your details to get in the draw.
A special thank you to the wonderful Jennifer Kean at Hardie Grant Egmont for organising the blog tour and for energy and enthusiasm!