Saturday, January 8, 2011

An Interview with Shaun David Hutchinson

1. What would you do if you got a Deathday Letter?
I'm pretty happy with the life that I've led up to now, so if I got my own Deathday Letter I'd want to spend the 24 hours with my family and friends just goofing off and having a good time. When my Nana died, I didn't go to the funeral because I had to work. It was a new job and I thought it was important that I stay. Never once have I found myself grateful that I stayed and worked that day. I do, however, regret not going to my grandmother's funeral. The people in our lives are so important and writing The Deathday Letter is my own personal reminder to stop and smell all the roses.

2. What sort of responses have you gotten towards The Deathday Letter?
I'd say that most of the responses I've gotten toward The Deathday Letter have been great. People seem to be responding positively toward Ollie and his last day. It's been an uplifting and great experience. I was worried when the book came out that all the raunchy boy humor would alienate the huge female readership that YA enjoys. But that hasn't really been the case. I mean there are definitely exceptions. One person on Goodreads said that they were subjected to boy humor all day in school and didn't want to read about it--which struck me as particularly funny--but for the most part, people get that Oliver Travers isn't some idealized guy. He's your brother and your boyfriend and your father and that weird kid you sit next to in History. Boys--especially teenage boys--are gross, hormone driven creatures that seem like they come from another world. But I think watching Ollie grow beyond his hormones is one of the things that makes him so compelling, and I think that readers are responding to that.

3. Quick! Describe The Deathday Letter in five words or less.
Funny, sweet, raunchy, sad, pudding.

4. What are some of your favorite Young Adult books?
It honestly changes from day-to-day, but right now I'm really in love with Patrick Ness' Chaos Walking series. I think it's criminal how little attention it's getting. I think that it was swallowed up by the popularity of The Hunger Games (which was also a great series) and I've been doing whatever I could to tell people about it. I also recently fell in love with The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith. It don't think it's a book for everyone but I think it's an important book. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta was brilliant as was Liar by Justine Larbalestier. Margie Gelbwasser's book Inconvenient was one of my favorite reads of last year. Her characters are so honest and raw that it can be painful to read them sometimes, but totally worth it. There are just so many, to be honest. Right now I'm actually in the middle of Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride. I bought it on the strength of the title alone, but the voice in it is outstanding and hilarious.

5. Is there anything you would like to add?
Don't wait to live your life. Carpe Mortediem. Seize the Deathday and seize a copy of The Deathday Letter while you're at it.

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