Today I'm hosting Susane Colasanti on a blog tour for her 5/14 release Waiting for You. Susane is also the author of When it Happens and Take Me There.
The tour consists of 10 myths about high school, and then short interviews with Susane. The tour runs until the 14th, and the other participants are Taylor, Lenore, Kristi, Carol, Kelsey, Lauren, Alea, Laura, and Tirzah.
Myth #3. We will take care of you.
In way too many high schools, students’ basic needs are not met. Which is unacceptable. Cramming 34 kids into a classroom that might comfortably fit 20 is inhumane. Or having to share books because there aren’t enough to go around. Even things like when there’s no more short paper so all of the handouts have to get copied on long paper and you have to fold up the bottom of every paper to get them to fit in your binder. And don’t get me started on how there’s never any soap in the bathroom.
Dude. It’s just soap. How hard is that?
When writing from two or three different points of view, the easiest thing for me is understanding that we all have the same basic needs and desires. We all want to be loved. We all want to connect with others. And I’m pretty sure we’d all love to find a soul mate we can call our best friend. Given that boys and girls have these things in common, I can understand all of my characters’ motivations, even if they have very different personalities.
The hardest part is keeping all of the details accurate. While I was writing Take Me There, I had this whole Post-it note system on my wall. Each character had a different color and I would write details from scenes that were told from more than one perspective on them. I’m an extremely detail-oriented person, so I was surprised that it was challenging for me to keep all of these elements straight. But it was such a fun challenge!
2. Why do you include both a failed relationship and a new one in each of your books?
It’s so cool that you noticed! This is something that I never consciously planned to do. The plots of my first three books organically led to showing what it’s like to be in a relationship that’s totally wrong for you, then comparing it to the relationship you’ve always wanted. I want my readers to see what it looks like to be in the wrong relationship so they can hopefully prevent going through a similar painful experience. Most importantly, I want readers to know that they can find their soul mate. Soul mates are definitely out there. I have personally found two, one of whom inspired the development of Tobey from When It Happens.
Since I had pretty low self-esteem in my teens and early twenties, I settled for a few relationships with the wrong people. I didn’t think that I deserved to be loved in the way I always wished I would be. I felt like there had to be a limitation to my happiness, almost like I couldn’t possibly be as happy as I wanted to be because it wasn’t a realistic expectation. Now I know that there are infinite possibilities for all of us. We can all live our ideal lives. We can all find the happiness we desire.
3. What has been your favorite part about being a published author?
Meeting readers and hearing their responses to my books, whether it’s in person or by email (vintage letters are made of awesome, but those are rare nowadays, sadly). The whole reason I write books for teens is that I’m trying to improve their lives in some way. So when readers tell me that they’ve connected with my characters or that my books have helped them, it means I am achieving my goals. If I can make someone’s day better for even a few minutes while they’re reading my book to escape from the world, then I’ve done my job. It’s all about knowing that what I’m trying to do is actually working. Because that means my readers feel less alone.
I also love meeting teachers, librarians, and other teen mentors. It’s important to hear about their experiences so I can stay updated on what’s happening in the teen world across the country. And it’s cool just to know that my books are out there for anyone to read. The fact that at any given moment someone could be reading a book that I wrote is mind-blowing. Like, they went into a bookstore and took it off the shelf and brought it home because they wanted to read it. That’s seriously amazing.
Many thanks to Susane for doing this tour and answering my questions, and many thanks to awesome person at Penguin who set this tour up. (:
And also, there's a GIVEAWAY! (There's going to be a giveaway on every tour participant's blog this week, so you can click the links way above and wait for the giveaways to be posted.)
The giveaway is for a signed, hardcover copy of Waiting for You. Only open to US residents. (I know I said an upcoming giveaway would be international, but this isn't the one I was talking about. The NEXT on is. Promise.)
So if you want to be entered, leave a comment on this post telling me how your high school (or middle school, if you're still there) didn't take care of you. For example, at my middle school, the doors in one of the girls' bathroom wouldn't close. Yeah.