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Blog Tour: Reality Boy

Get the scoop on A.S. King's latest book Reality Boy from the badass author herself!

Blog Tour: Reality Boy

It's no secret that we love A.S. King something fierce around these parts. She delivers us pizza and plays MASH with us! She joins us for cocktail panels! She lets us stalk her! She gives awesome interviews! And she's back give us the dish on her latest novel Reality Boy (available today!).

In Reality Boy, sixteen year old Gerald Faust can't escape the notoriety he gained as a child on a reality show. (And you thought your baby photos were embarrassing!) Which certainly doesn't help with Gerald's anger issues -- nor does the tumultuous home life that put him on the show in the first place. 

We're just around a decade removed from the start of the reality TV boom, and even less time has passed since documentary-style shows that feature (and, quite frankly, exploit) children became commonplace. It's still a little early for the swarm of Supernanny and TLC tell-alls from those kids, and the full impact of participating in those kinds of shows may not be clear until they're older. So how did you get into that kind of mentality for Gerald? And do you watch reality TV yourself?

I do not watch reality TV. In fact, I don’t watch TV at all. Not for about 15 years. I did see a few episodes of Survivor early on, when I still lived in Ireland. I thought it was cool until I realized that I didn’t really care considering it’s all filmed and therefore, most likely pretty scripted. My husband worked on a few different types of home restoration shows and I can tell you: what you see on the TV isn’t what it’s really like in real life.

I got into Gerald’s head the same way as I get into any character’s head. I think of the closest emotional experience I’ve had and then I start writing about it. Who hasn’t felt intense unfairness? Who hasn’t been blamed for something they didn’t do?

I was equal parts fascinated and horrified with Tasha and Jill[, Gerald's sister and mother], who have unhealthy relationships with Gerald and with each other -- to say the very, VERY least. I'm almost afraid to ask, but were there real-life Tashas and Jills that inspired these characters?

Yes and no. I never write about anyone I know or knew. Never. However, these characters are somewhat inspired by an amalgam of people I know or have met. Some are little children, some are adults. It’s a mix of spoiled children and willingly-distracted parents.

The main way that Gerald deals with his anger is by escaping to Gersday in his head, a day "so good that all the bad goes away". What would your own day -- Amesday? -- be like?

In Amesday I could just write books. I wouldn’t need two other jobs. I would see my kids a lot more. I would have a car that has headlights that don’t suck. In Amesday, I would have more time to read and more energy to swing on the really boss swings at the park.

Gerald assigns postal abbreviations and zip codes for his moods. How would he describe you, both as a YA and in present day?

GERALD: Amy Sarig (in 1982) is weird. If she had her own state, we’d call it Weirdo. Its postal abbreviation would be WO. Zip code WTFF?

GERALD: Amy King (in 2013) is kinda cool, but she’s quiet and she never comes out of her house. She says she’s working all the time. I think she should have more fun. If she had her own state, we’d call it Stressed Out. Postal abbreviation: SO. Zip code: !!!!!

Thanks for stopping by, Amy! And check back later today for my review of Reality Boy! (The book has a postal abbreviation of FA, i.e. FLIPPIN' AWESOME.)

Mandy Wan's photo About the Author: Residing in Edmonton, AB, Mandy unabashedly loves YA lit, frozen desserts, and terrible puns.