Between Two Lockers: We get the dish from YA authors on their books, lives and secret crushes. See More...
My So-Called Life: A glimpse into our real lives, which are never as interesting as YA books. See More...

Between Two Lockers With Alexis

FYA’s PLL co-recapper and Showdown co-gamemaker discusses her love of Howl’s Moving Castle and Ben and Jerry’s, and takes a cue from Marissa Meyer when creating her own heist team.

Between Two Lockers With Alexis

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.


What’s your name?


Where are you from/located?

From Wyoming, now located outside DC

What do you do when you’re not writing for FYA?

I'm a private tutor for all ages and subject areas (a fancy way to say I mostly hang out with fourth graders talking fractions and French).

What do you look like?

Where can you be found on social media?



How long have you been writing for FYA, and how did you start writing for the site?

About two years, since Megan no h tapped me and Catie in to take over the PLL recaps at the start of season 4B.

How did you come to read YA as an adult?

I don't know! In grad school I started wandering the YA section at the public library, I think. I may have listened to the Scott Westerfeld Uglies series on audio the summer before that? It was a nice break from my wall of Russian lit all those years, in any case.

Why do you think YA is an important genre, for both actual Ys and those of us who are more A?

If reading fiction is effective in building empathy for people with all kinds of experiences different from yours, then reading about the experiences of young people who are still in the midst of their most explosive development is doubly so, as everyone was a teen once—empathetic, with a wider open door for all readers.

What are five of your favorite YA books?

The FitzOsbornes series by Michelle Cooper
The hard-to-find but so worth it Morgan Rawlinson series by Maryrose Wood (and, relatedly, her ongoing MG series, The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place)
White Cat by Holly Black
Pretty Monsters (short stories) by Kelly Link
Howl's Moving Castle by Dianna Wynne Jones

Do you have a favorite YA character or couple? If so, who are they, and why are they The Best?

Sophie, from Howl's. I just so admire her complete dismissal of nonsense, especially of the vain male variety (and besides, I always felt like a grumbly old lady as a teen).


If your real life adolescence was a YA book ... What would you, the main character, be like?

Confident (I've been told) and funny (I'd hope!), and definitely too far-sighted for my own "youthful fun" good.

Who is your secret crush?

Surprise! My best friend! HOW GREAT.

What is your number #1 source of angst?

Well, see above. But also "what if I attach myself too strongly to anyone or anything here, I can't let my future opportunities be cut short!!"

At what point would the reader pump his/her fist in victory?

Taking it into Fangirl NA territory, the moment in my freshman year of college when I make the phone call to cut off a friendship that had long before turned into a lodestone for both of us.

And who would play you in the film adaptation?

An unknown looking for a break. Or, if my love-blinded family members are to be believed, a young, un-glam ScarJo.


What is your #1 favorite food?

Ben and Jerry's mint cookie.

Tell me about your area of expertise.

For the good of a slumber party? Baking, I suppose!

If you could assemble your own Ocean's 11 of fictional characters, who would you pick?

This is a cop out, but I'm in the middle of Winter, and really feel like Marissa Meyer did the legwork for me already. With Iko, those four books/couples make up 9 of the 11. Add Maddie and Verity from Code Name Verity and we're good.

What is your best karaoke song?

As a 14-year-old studying abroad in Japan, my friend and I were obsessed with teaming up on Aqua's "Barbie Girl."

Tell me something scandalous!

Did you not just read that karaoke answer.

What is your favorite adult beverage?

Honestly, black coffee. I feel so grownup—and, with my aero press, insufferably hipster—every dang morning.

What is the most crucial snack food and/or movie/or anything you'd bring to an FYA slumber party?

Muddy buddies, I guess!

What book have you read the most number of times?

The Princess Bride, maybe, or Howl's.

YA authors are so cool. Who would you give a BFF charm to?

Kiersten White, for many things, but especially for this.

Out of all of the characters you’ve read, which one do you most wish you could be?

Ali from Trickster's Choice/Queen, probably! I can't believe I forgot all about that book until just now. Too many great books and characters in the world (thank god).


Alexis made three picks for each category, and I added a fourth. The magic number (chosen by a random number generator) was 6.



Neville Longbottom
Isaac Lahey
Sam Lloyd
Nawat Crow


Castle Glower
District 13



3, adopted


Materials Engineer
Studio Musician
YA book blogger


Paid in wishes
Paid in concrete reductions in systemic sexism
Cost of Living + occasional travel
Paid in coffee cards and dog snuggles


Paris, France
Colby, North Carolina
Casper, Wyoming


Muppet dog
TWO muppet dogs
A magical talking cat

All the muppet dogs


Decade-old Prius
Moving Castle
Astral Projection
The Pig from The Raven Cycle

Do you have additional questions for Alexis? Or maybe just want to comment on something particularly awesome that she said? Head to the comments!

Mandy Curtis's photo About the Author: Mandy is a small town girl living in a nerdy world, or—if you want to get literal—an editor/writer living in Austin, TX. In addition to yearning for YA books—the more dystopian or fantastical, the better—she can also be found swooning over superheroes, dreaming of The Doctor and grinning at GIFs.