Today I'm talking to Megan Bostic. Megan is not only the author of Never Eighteen, the first book that made me cry this year, but I have known Megan for over a year now so I have secret details!
Top Secret Megan Details:
Loves Sock Monkeys
Was supposed to debut in 2011
Is pals with Gae Polisner
Is a really sweet person
Please help me welcome Megan Bostic! [insert applause]
Megan: I feel like we have known you for a year now because you were originally Class of 2k11. You've also shared poetry here which I’m a huge fan of. Now the day is here and Never Eighteen is finally hitting shelves.
What is your reaction to that?At this very moment, I’m freaking out. I’m actually relieved to have been bumped from 2011 to 2012 because it gave me more time to prepare. I don’t think anyone has a clue what it takes to market a book unless they’ve done it themselves.
Of course, along with the anxiety I also feel excitement. I’m looking forward to my release, to seeing my book on the YA shelves, and meeting readers at author events.
How did you feel when you got the call/email that Never Eighteen was going to be sold?Every time my agent wrote and said someone was interested I was like, “Really? Weird.” I think I just didn’t believe it was happening. It was very surreal. Mostly I think because it had taken so long to get an agent, and then BAM, book sold crazy fast. Plus, I was in Disneyland. That place really is magical. :)
Never Eighteen is not a fun light book. What made you explore darker YA?Life. Plain and simple. Life is not easy—especially in the teen years. The subject matter in that book, I’ve seen it all—death, addiction, abuse—and I witnessed it all in my teens as well as later in life. I think we sometimes need these hard stories to read because they are so real to us. We need characters we can relate to, but that also offer us hope in the end.
Which YA authors that write in a similar area of the genre do you read and look up to?I am very bad. I mean, I love to read, but the last few years, with the writing, I’ve not read as much as I would have liked. However, two books came to mind instantly when I read this question. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher, I will sing its praises to the ends of the earth. I’m very close to becoming a Jay Asher stalker (don’t tell him I said that). This book really spoke to me; it’s tragic and beautiful at the same time. Jay’s writing is so good, I really felt like I was hearing Hannah’s voice on those tapes.
The other novel is Deadline, by Chris Crutcher. I sheepishly admit to this being the first book of his I’ve read and it was worth every second. Again, the voice was very well written, the story tragic, but hopeful.
Saying goodbye to people is never easy. How did you come up with the points in the story where Austin makes amends with people?The points in the story are very real. They could happen to anyone’s friend, mother, sister or brother. I think if we take a step back and look at our own lives, we’ll find people we should have apologized to, helped, or treated better. If we could see through Austin’s eyes—dying eyes, maybe we would try to make amends ourselves.
Your story is told from a male’s point of view and YA is primarily female. Do you think girls will understand or relate to Austin?I think Austin is a very real and relatable character. Teens connect their own stories and struggles, I don’t think it matters if they’re male or female.
I hear from Amy Dominy that your book should come with tissues. What can you tell fans to expect?Ha! I’ve actually looked into buying tissue packets to give away with the book. Lol. I think I’m too close to the story to say, so I will go by what I’ve heard from my readers. Expect to fall in love with Kaylee and Austin. Expect that they will feel like friends to you. Expect moments of laughter and moments of reflection. And definitely have a box of tissues handy.
What do you hope readers learn from Austin, Never Eighteen and about you?You know when you say, “I should have done this” or “should have said that”, those moments when you say to yourself, “I wish I would have done something”? Well, Austin is doing those things. He wants to leave life with no regrets or should-have-beens. He may not be able to save the world, or even the people he seeks out, but at least he knows he’s tried.
He’s also teaching us to live life like you mean it. Don’t just get by, don’t let it destroy you. You only have one shot at it, don’t take it for granted.
I suppose that I’m speaking through Austin as well, though I know it’s easier to sit back than to stand up and be heard. We all have a time limit on earth, some are just shorter than others. Like Austin, I don’t want to go out with regrets. I want to make my mark, no matter how small it might be and live life like there may not be a tomorrow.
You blog often about your work in progress what can people expect next?Well, I’m hoping what I’m working on now will be my next book. It’s tentatively titled Sad. It’s another realistic contemporary YA about a girl struggling with depression that eventually leads to cutting. Then her journey to solving the question of why and becoming whole again.
Thank you Cari, I LOVE you!! :)