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 Rosemary

FYA’s Pretty Little Liars co-recapper and X-Files recapper chats about tiny party foods, cuddling puppies, and the eye candy that is Marcus Flutie.

Between Two Lockers With Rosemary

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.

FIRST THINGS FIRST

What’s your name?

Rosemary Hallmark

Where are you from/located?

Little Rock, Arkansas

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

I own a small business called Rosemary Hallmark Creative (my true creativity really shines in my business-naming abilities), doing freelance graphic design, art direction, content marketing and writing for clients. When I'm not working, I'm reading YA books, leading the Little Rock FYA book club, trying to cuddle my dog while she struggles to get away, and eating bad Mexican food with my husband.

What do you look like?

Where can you be found on social media?

Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat: rohallma

THE ACTUAL YA-RELATED QUESTIONS

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

I started writing for FYA about a year and a half ago, though I've been reading FYA regularly for five years or so. I love Pretty Little Liars and Alexis and Catie's recaps were like crack to me, so I would leave in-depth/probably annoying comments every week. Turns out, my evil plan worked, because when Catie was going to miss a few recaps for med-school, they reached out to me asking if I could fill in with her. Now, the three of us tag-team PLL recaps whenever we can!

How did you come to read YA as an adult?

I've been reading YA since I was a teenager, really. I randomly picked up a copy of Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty on the New Releases shelf in Barnes and Noble one day when I was 16, and I've never looked back.

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

Teenagers exist in this weird no-man's-land of neither child nor adult, in a world that's mostly framed for children or adults. YA books let them be the star of their own story. They're the ones saving the world, for once. They get to be the hero. Their problems are the real problems, unlike in the real world where teenage problems are considered trivial compared to everything else. I especially think this is true for teen girls, who so often are told they aren't good enough, or that the things they like are stupid or meaningless.

As an adult, I enjoy reading YA because teenagers by their nature make great protagonists. They're experiencing everything for the first time, so there's this sort of naivete and open-mindedness in their narratives. Adult characters are so often jaded, so it's a refreshing change.

What are five of your favorite YA books?

1. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
2. The Jessica Darling books by Megan McCafferty
3. Harry Potter duhhhh
4. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E.Lockhart
5. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

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

Hermione Granger because she really was the cleverest witch in her class, and she took a lot of shit for that over the years. Which is stupid, because Harry and Ron would've been dead in minutes had it not been for her.

THE YA QUESTIONS

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

There was a reason why the Jessica Darling books changed my life—Jessica was me in book form. I was smart, but had a lot of teenage angst. I sort of hung out with the popular crowd but also felt different and separate from them at the same time.

Who is your secret crush?

My secret crush was always the tall, skinny, smart guy. If he was funny and had glasses, I was a goner. (Luckily, I married a guy that checks most of the boxes.)

What is your number #1 source of angst?

I grew up in small town Arkansas, so … that, basically. I was ready to get the hell outta there and find my people.

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

When I make a sassy, so-take-that graduation speech.

And who would play you in the film adaptation?

I'm gonna flatter myself and say young Emma Stone, even though she looks nothing like me.

THE SLUMBER PARTY QUESTIONS

What is your #1 favorite food?

PIZZA-4-LYFE.

Tell me about your area of expertise.

I can tell you anything you need to know about the X-Files, I'm a pro at making tiny party foods, and I can parallel park like a mean SOB.

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

Ocean's 11 was all men, right? Because that's lame. Mine would be:

1. Our Lord and Savior Dana Scully because she is a medical doctor, for her knowledge of the paranormal, and because one of us should probably be able to wield a firearm.
2. Spencer Hastings for deduction.
3. Frankie Landau-Banks for subterfuge.
4. Hermione Granger because duh.
5. Taylor Markham for battle strategy.
6. Veronica Mars for sleuthing.
7. Katniss Everdeen for survival skills.
8. Mia Thermopolis in case we need political asylum in Europe.
9. Olivia Pope in case we need political asylum in the United States.
10. Jessica Darling for her genius-level IQ and comedic relief.
11. And Marcus Flutie for eye candy.

What is your best karaoke song?

“Teenage Dirtbag” by Wheatus

Tell me something scandalous!

My most embarrassing moment involved two cops and a Taco Cabana and that's all I'm going to say about that.

What is your favorite adult beverage?

Any combination of bourbon, lemon and simple syrup.

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

Pizza, oreos and the Holy Trinity: Heathers, Clueless, Mean Girls.

What book have you read the most number of times?

Pride and Prejudice by a laaaaandslide.

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

Alysia Gray Painter already has a BFF charm IRL, so I'll go with Emery Lord. She probably already thinks I'm a Twitter stalker. Might as well make it official.

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

Karou from Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. As if being an art student in Prague isn't cool enough, she gets to fly around the world and eat pastries with her hottie angel boyfriend.

Honorable mention to any of Stephanie Perkins' characters that get to make out with cute boys at Paris boarding school though.

AND NOW, MASH

Rosemary made three picks for each category, and I added a fourth. The magic number (chosen by a random number generator) was 9.

M A S H

SPOUSE

Neville Longbottom
My actual husband Aaron
Marcus Flutie

Cricket Bell

HONEYMOON

Paris
District 13
Prague

Hogwarts

# OF KIDS

1
0
2

Dog

JOB

YA novelist
Wizard
Professional puppy cuddler
YA book blogger

INCOME

Paid in wishes
Paid in Thin Mints

Paid in Frequent Flier miles
Paid in Amazon gift cards

HOMETOWN

London (for the sweet accent)
Colby, North Carolina
New Orleans, LA
Savannah, GA

PET

My actual dog, Lula
A giraffe

A magical talking cat
A wily raccoon

VEHICLE

A Firebolt
An ancient but reliable maroon Jeep Grand Wagoneer
1960 Vespa 400
The Pig from The Raven Cycle

Do you have additional questions for Rosemary? 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.
K