Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Top Ten High School Myths Tour: Stop #3

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?


1. What are the easiest and most difficult thing about writing in multiple POV?

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.

Ends 5/20.


  1. Well our high school library was poorly stocked.The only books available were teachers' guides and activity books for kids!!

  2. Ironically, my high school did take care of us. It was just too much, which is why I'm finding it really hard now that I'm in college.


  3. No need to enter me of course. I just wanted to say awesome interview and guest post!!

    My school wasn't too bad, but we had a pretty bad library in high school as well. I always called it "the closet" because it was so small.


  4. Um, I felt like I was taken care of, but that was because I was an honors student. But I grow angry just to think of how they DIDN'T take care of non-honors kids, as I found out when I got stuck in non-honors classes due to scheduling conflicts and was horrified at how class was run badly. Sigh.

    stephxsu at gmail dot com

  5. The most significant way my high school doesn't take care of me is how they let us do what we want. It's like they don't care if we learn or not.

  6. My high school nevr has clean bathrooms. I mean seriously clean the frickin toilets people

  7. My high school English teacher never took into account that people have other subjects and told people that they shouldn't be in her class if they were going to miss any classes for IB exams in other subjects.

    And my principal sounded doubtful when I went to discuss my transcripts with him to send to McGill and he kept on emphasizing my l78 in math...and made it seem as if I wouldn't get in. What a retard. I had already gotten in based on self-reported marks. I was just sending in an official transcript to verify it.

    And my principal called in people to tell them to get married to their schoolwork because they had a 70 average and it was humiliating for the school to have people with such low grades. Great support there...and he's leaving next year...when I won't be there anymore

    And he also wants to kick some kids out for doing bad in math...wowowowow. No one in my grade but still. Wtf.

    Um. Yes. I don't like my school.

    And one of that probably made sense.
    OH WELL.

  8. Oh. And great post, it's a pretty interesting topic to discuss :)

  9. My school didn't take care of us by sticking us with incompetent guidance counselors. So many people had scheduling conflicts each semester that that classes barely ran the for the first week. Everyone in line down at the guidance office trying to get them to straighten out what they screwed up in the first place. And when it came to applying to college they were no help either. One counselor actually told students not to bother applying to schools she didn't think they could get into. The same counselor also forgot to submit one girl's stuff to a school and she missed the deadline. I think guidance counselors have an important job to do in a high school, and teens deserve to have ones that actually enjoy their jobs and are good at them.

  10. I've heard great stories about high school cafeteria food...ours was gross hot food..no salad bar, no extras, nothing!

  11. Hmmm... My middle school had this really mean art teacher who would insult students and say their art was crap, even making them cry. Then she'd draw all over their work (probably going muahahaha in her thoughts as she "fixed" it.) She would also swear at kids and NEVER got in trouble for all this.

    paradoxrevealed (at) aim (dot) com

  12. Hm, my high school...we were in PE one day and one of the light covers fell off! Good thing it didn't fall on anyone. And also, when it rains here (I live in Washington and it's ALWAYS raining-like right now-) the school gets FLOODED. Literally. Because the school is built on a swamp. So we're sinking, getting flooded, and having stuff fall from the ceiling. Great...


  13. When I was in high school, we had four school counselors. Mine was the only decent one - she cared about her students (knew our class schedules, what our interests were, etc.), but the other three couldn't be bothered to even learn their students' names.

    Because they were so busy changing schedules and learning names each time, they weren't there as "counselors" when someone needed to talk. I was always worried that if someone was suicidal, had an unplanned pregnancy, or trouble with being bullied, they would not find the help they needed. And that is a crying shame.

    joannarenee (at) mail (dot) com

  14. Don't enter me, I'm Canadian, but I totally agree with a couple of those things, the overcrowding and book shortage ones. And my town has 1200 people.

    As for counselors... well, if I'm not mistaken, ours was shared with three or four other schools.

  15. LOVED this interview. You asked some really unique, insightful questions!

  16. I have the same issue with the bathroom door *sigh* just stick the trash can behind the door to hold it. anyway #1 in school. LUNCH. We need something that...you know...will stay down, and like to stay down! second thing, textbooks, we need new ones. Some of them are literally being held by duct tape and lots of it...i love duct tape but really though.

  17. I was really lucky because I went to a HS that really did take care of me. It was so small and rural that it wasn't hard to do and while I hated it at the time I am really appreciative of my small HS now.

  18. My high school didn't take care of us because they never taught us anything! They gave us a worksheet or just put on a movie and let us hang out. Because of that, my SAT scores weren't as high as I wish they were.

  19. Oops, my email is


  20. My school didn't take care of me by barely cleaning the bathrooms for a month because the cleaning staff went on strike. It was so nasty.

  21. Oooh please enter me! booksobsession(at)gmail(dot)com


    My high school doesn't take care of me because of the CAFETERIA. I've never seen a room sooo dirty, it's disgusting! I guess my school is so cheap that they now can't afford janitors because under each table there is at least one gross thing. Yuck!

  22. My high school didn't take care of me because my senior year after, three years of eating their delicious ham and cheese breakfast sandwiches every Wednesday, they stopped serving them. I, along with many of my fellow seniors, were devastated. Those things were one of the few edible foods the cafeteria offered.

    Fortunately after several months of whining they brought them back for like the last two months of my senior year.

    They never did tell us why they stopped serving them though. I mean, I know they weren't very healthy, but they were SO TASTY!

    Please enter me. If I had a delicious ham and cheese bagel breakfast sandwich to offer you, I would.


  23. Hmm. Well, my high school seemed to have a problem with the fire alarm. Now, I appreciated that it worked that time someone set the soap dispenser on fire, but it worked more than any of us appreciated. A little extra smoke in the kitchen meant us standing outside in the rain for an hour: not so much fun.

    Kristin at dazdnconfusd@comcast.net

  24. I have a lot of ways I could talk about but the biggest one is my school is 100% everyone's a winner.

    They took away our weighted GPA system, so now people who take fluff classes can be valevictorian because they get straight A+s, while those of us who take AP classes get a-, a, and a+.
    Why? Because some kids whined it wasn't fair that some people were getting that extra weight. I honestly don't understand it. They could've taken those classes but chose not too.
    Also now they're thinking of taking away class ranks for good, they don't give them out anymore but you can contact your counselor for the it. Again, it's hurting people's chances to get into college. People should work harder to get the class rank they want, if they don't work harder it's not those who do work hards fault.

    Wow that was really long :P

    :) Erica

  25. Awesome questions you had for Susanne!