Thursday, February 3, 2011

Author Interview - Michael Northrop

I have a double header on the blog today and you are in for a treat my dear readers! I was lucky enough to snag Michael Northrop, author of Trapped, for an author interview. Aren't you the lucky ones?

He's touring his book through the site I help run, The Teen {Book} Scene and I must say that it's gotten some great buzz! I'm proud that I can give him even more!

1) Welcome to my blog! I always like to start my interviews with a challenge. How would Scotty describe himself in a tweet (140 characters)?

I’m Scotty Weems, a soph 2 guard at Tattawa. I like hoops, my friends & this 1 girl. Can’t say her name (yet). In 1 word: survivor.

2) This is the first book I've seen that describes the plight of students trapped in a blizzard. What inspired to write about such unique subject matter?

I’m a big fan of documentaries, which isn’t the nerdiest thing I could admit, but it’s probably in the Top 10. Anyway, I was watching a documentary about people stranded at sea, and I started thinking about variations on that, like where people could be stranded and by what. I wasn’t necessarily thinking about it as a potential book, it’s just the sort of weird thing that I think about sometimes, but when I thought about an empty school as a possible setting it seemed like a perfect fit for YA. Most kids feel trapped at school at some point, anyway—in a sense they are; it’s not like they really have a choice—so why not just take it a step further and make that literal? And snow was an obvious choice for how to do that, because I grew up in a very snowy area of New England.

3) Is there a character in the book that you identify with over the others?

Yeah, I probably identify with Scotty the most, not because he’s the main character (I think I was more of a secondary character in high school), but because he’s a jock but tries not to let that totally define him. I was an all-conference kicker for my high school football team, but also a poetry-writing English nerd.

4) Time for some fun questions. What is your favorite memory from high school?

I have a lot of good memories from high school, but the one that pops to mind is kicking the game-winning extra point at the end of the big Thanksgiving day football game my senior year. My cousin Steve scored a late touchdown to tie the score. The field was very muddy and I slipped and fell when I went to kick the extra point, but it still went through the uprights. That was the result of either luck, the thousands of practice kicks I’d taken over the years, or (most likely) a little bit of both.

5) What book have you recently read that you fanatically recommend?

I was totally blown away by Just Kids, a memoir by rocker/poet Patti Smith. I am fascinated by the lives of famous artists before they’re famous, which is mostly what Just Kids is about. When I watch a biography on TV, my favorite part is almost always the beginning. In any case, it won the National Book Award for nonfiction this year and definitely deserved it. And I just reread Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers, which is an amazing book and hits hard enough to put my high school football days to shame.

6) If you could only eat one color food for the rest of your life, what color would you choose?

Is delicious a color? Because I would totally choose that. If not, I’d say brown, because that includes a lot of meats, some potato dishes, and anything covered in gravy. I, uh, probably wouldn’t last too long.

7) Thanks for indulging me! Lastly, what message do you have for those aspiring authors out there?

Keep at it! Writing is a craft and persistence pays off. Just read, write, and repeat!


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