In case you missed the announcement, over the next few months, we’ll be running a Between Two Lockers special series featuring your fave FYA writers and contributors.
Brian has already done a B2L—in fact, his interview started the whole series! But since that post was more about him as an author, we wanted to give him another go as a member of the FYA crew.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
What’s your name?
Where are you from/located?
What do you do when you’re not writing for FYA?
I write the occasional young adult book myself. My first book, Playing with Matches, won the 2011 North Carolina Young Adult Book Award. My second book, Almost Perfect, won the ALA's Stonewall Book Award for Young Adult Literature in 2011. My fourth book, The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak, has been released in five languages. My third book, Everyone Dies in the End, still lives at home and plays video games all day.
When I'm not writing, I work as an elementary school librarian. I sometimes spend time with my wife, Sandy, and my daughter, Sophie, who is a budding evil genius.
What do you look like?
Where can you be found on the web?
THE ACTUAL YA-RELATED QUESTIONS
How long have you been writing for FYA, and how did you start writing for the site?
Since around 2012. They were one of the first to review Almost Perfect. Later, my family and I were lucky enough to meet Sarah and Jenny (who's no longer with FYA) when we visited Austin.
How did you come to read YA as an adult?
Pure necessity. When I was growing up, teenagers were not considered young adults but older children. The YA books of the time were either very fluffy or very preachy. Now I'm trying to make up for the great books I missed out on as a teen.
Why do you think YA is an important genre, for both actual Ys and those of us who are more A?
As a former junior high librarian, I know that teens are some of the pickiest readers in the world, and that's a good thing. No one should waste time on a book they don't enjoy. As for us older folk, it's nice to remember what it was like to be young, headstrong, and utterly clueless.
What are five of your favorite YA books?
Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John
Geography Club by Brent Hartinger
A Blue So Dark by Holly Schindler
Love Drugged by James Klise
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Do you have a favorite YA character or couple? If so, who are they, and why are they The Best?
Katniss and Peeta forever! Sometimes the girl does go for the shy, awkward guy.
THE YA QUESTIONS
If your real life adolescence was a YA book ... What would you, the main character, be like?
Exactly like Leon in Playing with Matches. I was funny, awkward, and terrified of girls.
Who is your secret crush?
Janine Melnitz, the Ghostbusters' secretary, especially the cartoon version.
What is your number #1 source of angst?
That Hollywood has never optioned any of my books, but paid good money to produce Dumb and Dumber To.
At what point would the reader pump his/her fist in victory?
When I was fifteen and got up the nerve to kiss that girl at the Key Club dance.
And who would play you in the film adaptation?
According to every single high school class that I've talked to ever, Zach Galifianakis.
THE SLUMBER PARTY QUESTIONS
What is your #1 favorite food?
Real Mexican tacos. The kind you can only get in Mexico, complete with the huge hunk of fly-covered beef hanging over an open flame.
Tell me about your area of expertise.
I can fix the computers at work, so I cannot be fired.
If you could assemble your own Ocean's 11 of fictional characters, who would you pick?
1. Lt. Milo Minderbinder (Catch-22) as the Money: The guy ran a trans-European business out of the mess office. He could could set us up with the cash/equipment.
2. Ex-PFC Wintergreen (Catch-22) as the Computer Guy: wrong era, but the guy secretly ran an airbase by diverting the mail. I think he could handle modern technology.
3. Chief Brombden (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) as the Inside Guy: Last guy you'd suspect. And nothing goes unnoticed like a seven-foot-tall Native American schizophrenic.
4. Katniss (The Hunger Games) as the Kid: When things fall apart, she'd be the one to keep her head.
5. The Terrible Old Man (The Terrible Old Man, H.P. Lovecraft) as the Decoy: Sure, he's 105 years old, but the last guys who crossed him ended up stomped to death by ghosts.
6. Dave Lister (Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers) as the Wheel Man: The guy drove a stolen taxi for months, I think he could drive the getaway car.
7. Colonel Aureliano Buendia (One Hundred Years of Solitude) as the Muscle: No one crosses the colonel.
8. Long Tom Roberts (Doc Savage adventures) as the Safecracker: Sure, this tech experience is 70 years out of date, but the man was the greatest electronics expert of the 1930s, he'll figure it out.
9. Shadow (American Gods) 10. and Julia (1984) as the Leaders: two of the most street savvy characters I've ever read.
11. Johnny (Johnny Got His Gun) as the acrobat. Sure, he's deaf, blind, mute and has not arms or legs, but I think he can handle it.
What is your best karaoke song?
“Indiana Wants Me”
Tell me something scandalous!
When I lived in Mexico, I lived platonically with two beautiful women, a la Three's Company. It's a lot more frustrating than you'd think.
What is your favorite adult beverage?
Coffee with whiskey in it.
What is the most crucial snack food and/or movie/or anything you'd bring to an FYA slumber party?
A book to read. I was always that guy.
What book have you read the most number of times?
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller.
YA authors are so cool. Who would you give a BFF charm to?
Gentlemen do not give BFF charms. A macho bump of the fist to my friend Antony John.
Out of all of the characters you’ve read, which one do you most wish you could be?
One of the Weasley twins.
AND NOW, MASH
Brian made three picks for each category, and I added a fourth. The magic number (chosen by a random number generator) was 3.
M A S H
# OF KIDS
YA book blogger
Paid in wishes
One dollar a book (wait a minute ...)
$40,000/yr, plus summers off
$19.95, and if you act now ...
St. Peters, MO
Colby, North Carolina
A worthless, fat cat named Abby
A beagle named Snoopy, a mutt named Cocoa, and a three-legged Irish setter named Red (miss you friends)
A magical talking cat
A dead parrot
An '85 Buick (my first car)
A 2002 Saturn (my current car)
A '69 VW Microbus
The Pig from The Raven Cycle
Do you have additional questions for Brian? Or maybe just want to comment on something particularly awesome that he said? Head to the comments!