Last year, we ran a Between Two Lockers special series featuring the FYA writers and contributors. When new contributors join the team, we’ll bring the series back to help you get to know them, too!
FIRST THINGS FIRST
What’s your name?
Where are you from/located?
San Francisco, CA
What do you do when you’re not writing for FYA?
I teach third grade, and in my free time (hahaha, what free time?) I enjoy reading YA (obvs), catching Pokémon, and being mediocre at several instruments because I lack the patience to stick with one long enough to master it.
What do you look like?
Where can you be found on social media?
THE ACTUAL YA-RELATED QUESTIONS
How long have you been writing for FYA, and how did you start writing for the site?
I've been writing for FYA since the beginning of the summer, when I was invited to apply by HRH Jennie, Queen of FYA's San Francisco chapter. I read almost exclusively YA, and I was a journalism major in college, so writing about YA books is a pretty sweet combo!
How did you come to read YA as an adult?
For me, reading is an escape. It makes me wonder why I did begin to gravitate toward YA as an adult, because high school was something I wanted to escape from, not to! I think the escape factor is in reading about lives that are different from mine, whether it's being one of the popular girls or overthrowing a dystopian government.
Why do you think YA is an important genre, for both actual Ys and those of us who are more A?
Young Adult is about realizing who you are. YA today is incredibly diverse and only growing more so. It's so important for everyone, especially Ys who are still discovering themselves, to be able to see themselves reflected in literature. Young Adult is also about firsts: first loves, first heartbreak, first grand adventures. For As, it can be a way to relive all those firsts or indulge in the ones we may have missed out on. *cues up Adele's "When We Were Young"*
What are five of your favorite YA books?
1. Harry Potter (I'm counting series as one, because that's like asking me to choose my favorite child)
3. The Hunger Games trilogy
4. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series (minus the "10 years later" book no one asked for or needed)
5. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Do you have a favorite YA character or couple? If so, who are they, and why are they The Best?
I ship Simon and Blue from Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. Most of their relationship progresses through the emails they send back and forth to each other, and their flirty banter is so witty and adorable (+ bonus points for grammatical correctness).
THE YA QUESTIONS
If your real life adolescence was a YA book ... What would you, the main character, be like?
I'm basically Cath from Fangirl. I'm obsessed with Harry Potter, write a lot of fanfic, enjoy hanging out in libraries, and am pretty much terrified of all the things. (This could also describe my adulthood, TBH.)
Who is your secret crush?
Someone I meet via LiveJournal. It doesn't matter that we've never met in person—we both love Dashboard Confessional and send each other winky faces on AIM, so what we have is real.
What is your number #1 source of angst?
Running into teachers outside of school. (As a teacher, it's now running into students outside of school.)
At what point would the reader pump his/her fist in victory?
When I, the girl who never leaves her comfort zone, up and moved to Japan—alone, having never been, and with only a tenuous grasp of the language—for a scary, adventurous, and amazing two years.
And who would play you in the film adaptation?
A less badass and way nerdier Amandla Stenberg.
THE SLUMBER PARTY QUESTIONS
What is your #1 favorite food?
I'm all about mac and cheese.
Tell me about your area of expertise.
You want me on your Friends trivia team. Trust and believe.
If you could assemble your own Ocean's 11 of fictional characters, who would you pick?
1. Cress (Lunar Chronicles), tech genius and hacker extraordinaire.
2. Cath (Fangirl) so I'd have someone to be a nervous wreck with.
3. Maddy (Everything, Everything) because girl needs some adventure after being cooped up in her bedroom for 18 years. Plus, I'd have someone to play phonetic Scrabble with.
4. Izabel (Saga) because she can haunt people, create illusions, float through walls, and other ghostly things. She looks like a teenager because that's what she was when she died way back in the day, but she's had a lot of life (death?) experiences over the years and is chock full of snark and wisdom as a result.
5. Katniss (The Hunger Games) because of her wilderness survival skills, and also in case we need to shoot something with a bow and arrow.
6. Mercy (Outrun the Moon) because she's resourceful, clever, and determined, even in the face of danger. Plus, she can whip up a Chopped-worthy meal with whatever Katniss shoots.
7. Queenie (Code Name Verity) because she won't crack under pressure, and she's a friend til the end.
8. Maddie (Code Name Verity) in case we need to escape in a plane and because she's not afraid to do what needs to be done (brb, I need to go sob into a pillow right quick).
9. A (Every Day) because they can be anyone, so they're a natural expert at camouflage.
10. Kestrel (The Winner's Curse) for her knowledge of military strategy.
11. Hermione (Harry Potter) because duh.
Was I supposed to include boys? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
What is your best karaoke song?
The 80s classic "What's Love Got to Do with It?" by Tina Turner.
Tell me something scandalous!
I heard that Amber D'Alessio once made out with a hot dog.
What is your favorite adult beverage?
I like piña coladas, but I don't particularly enjoy getting caught in the rain.
What is the most crucial snack food and/or movie/or anything you'd bring to an FYA slumber party?
Hocus Pocus, whether or not it's Halloween, and bootleg s'mores (aka made with marshmallows that are roasted over the stove).
What book have you read the most number of times?
Harry Potter (SHOCKING, I know). I've read the series countless times, but the one I've read the most is Sorcerer's Stone, because every time a new book came out, I reread all the previous books in order.
YA authors are so cool. Who would you give a BFF charm to?
Leigh Bardugo would most definitely get my BFF charm. I went to a book signing of hers once, and she read aloud something she wrote in middle school. Most authors would cringe at the thought of their unpolished, adolescent writing ever seeing the light of day, but I love that Leigh isn't ashamed of hers. She said she does this at every reading in order to show aspiring writers that you don't start off being an amazing author, but that it's a growth process. It's scary to be vulnerable in front of a group of strangers, so I really admire her courage and honesty.
Out of all of the characters you’ve read, which one do you most wish you could be?
I want to be Mia Thermopolis's cat, Fat Louie (The Princess Diaries). I'd have all the perks of being royalty but none of the responsibility of running a country. Plus, naps.
AND NOW, MASH
Britt made three picks for each category, and I added a fourth. The magic number (chosen by a random number generator) was 7.
Belle from Beauty and the Beast
Aech from Ready Player One
Michael Cordero from Jane the Virgin
# OF KIDS
101 (but only if they're Dalmatians)
4 (two sets of mystery-solving twins)
7 (which just so happens to be the number of players on a Quidditch team)
Test human for therapy dogs
YA book blogger
Paid in wishes
Paid in gold Galleons
Paid in root beer floats
Paid in PokéCoins
Colby, North Carolina
15 Yemen Road, Yemen
Omicron Persei 8
A dapper giraffe
A magical talking cat
A tortoise named
The power of apparition
A Razor scooter
The Pig from The Raven Cycle
Do you have additional questions for Britt? Or maybe just want to comment on something particularly awesome that she said? Head to the comments!