Mundie Moms

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Everybody Sees The Ants Blog Tour: Author Interview

I'm thrilled to be the next stop in Little Brown's blog tour for A.S. King's Everybody Sees The Ants blog tour. Today A.S. King has stopped by to answer a few questions about her book and her writing process.

By: A.S. King
Released on October 3rd, 2011

Lucky Linderman didn't ask for his life. He didn't ask his grandfather not to come home from the Vietnam War. He didn't ask for a father who never got over it. He didn't ask for a mother who keeps pretending their family is fine. And he certainly didn't ask to be the recipient of Nadar McMillan's relentless bullying, which has finally gone too far.

Lucky has a secret—one that helps him wade through the daily dysfunction of his life. Grandad Harry, trapped in the jungles of Laos, has been visiting Lucky in his dreams—and the dreams just might be real: an alternate reality where he can be whoever he wants to be and his life might still be worth living. But how long can Lucky remain in hiding there before reality forces its way inside? -quoted from Goodreads

What three words come to mind when you think of Everybody Sees the Ants?
Torture. Laughter. Squid.

What is something you'd tell Lucky if you were his mother?
I’d tell him that I was sorry for holding back for so long rather than sticking up for him. And then I’d tell him to go ask Lara out on a date.

I like that more and more books are being written from a male's point of view. Did you find hard to get into the mindset of a 15 yr old?
Not at all—in fact, until last week, I never thought that I’d be asked questions regarding the gender of my protagonist because I guess I never realized it was in any way different for me to write from a boy’s POV vs. a girl’s POV. I’ve always been a non-genderizer so I don’t think universal experiences (lloss or injustice) are all that different based on gender. Also, I can use a chainsaw and wire stuff, and most of my life I’ve hung out with guys, so maybe I’m not all that typical for my own gender, either. My favorite toys as a preschooler were trucks. I wear Target men’s corduroys. I have very large feet.

We recently celebrated Banned Books Week and we'd like to know, is there a banned book that made a lasting impression on you as either a teen reader or now as an adult reader?
MANY! Funnily enough, Lucky Linderman is reading one of my favorite banned books in EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS, which is Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. But my list of influential banned books is long. The Great Gatsby, Catcher in the Rye, Slaughterhouse-Five, my favorite book of all time, God Bless You Mr. Rosewater, Animal Farm, Fahrenheit 451, and more recently some contemporary YA books: Perks of Being a Wallflower and Crank.

Being that your main character is 15 yrs old, which we know is kind of a rough age to be at. Is there anything you'd like to go back and tell your former 15 yr old self?
I would like to find my 15-year-old self and hug her. Wow. 15 was hard. My best friend had just moved away because her dad got a job somewhere else, and then the huge cornfield that surrounded my house was sold and developers built an enormous housing development in it. And my first love broke up with me and kinda flaunted that his new girlfriend was better. So if I could find her, I’d give the 15-year-old me a huge hug. And then I’d tell her that in 2 short years, she’s about to find her soul mate.

What inspired you to create the story about Lucky's grandfather?
I’ve always been fascinated by the Vietnam War because I grew up during it. So, this led to me reading a lot about it and eventually, to reading about the POW/MIA movement. I’d always had a real connection to these families and I’m not sure why, but once I started to read about their struggle, I realized that I had to write about it somehow. Also, my father was drafted in the very early 60s (pre-Vietnam) and I always wondered what the draft was about, and when I learned about it and realized how many people’s lives were touched by the draft before and during the Vietnam War, I realized just how lucky all generations since have been. We have no idea. No. Idea.

Where's your favorite place to write?
At the moment, I’m stuck in the corner of my tiny basement. I can’t stand up there, but I write sitting down, so we’re good. As much as I like windows and fresh air and fewer snakes, and I’d one day love another office above ground, the basement kinda suits me for now. Though I am running out of space. Bonus picture of my office here:

What inspires you to write?
Everything inspires me to write. From random conversations overheard in shops to the way the sky looks at sunset to how much it hurts when someone I love is hurting. Also, awesome fan mail. People who take time to write and say nice things to other people really rock. I think everyone should get fan mail.

If you were able to take a writing retreat anywhere around the world, where would you want to go and why? This is a completely awesome question. I have no idea. In a way, location doesn’t matter because if I’m writing, I do it all day and “go into the cave.” BUT that being said, I’d like to swim in a warm outdoor pool or sea every day about three times a day. So. How about somewhere VERY isolated in Aruba or Bonaire or Curacao? With a pool, too. Of course.

Thank you A.S. King for joining us today! Be sure to follow her on her site, twitter and facebook.

Purchase her book at Amazon| Barnes & Noble

Don't miss tomorrow's stop at the Compulsive Reader