Hey guys! Today, I have Kieran Scott, the author of She's So Dead to Us here on TUBL! I loved She's So Dead to Us! Check out my review here!
Who is your favorite character from She's so Dead to Us?
Jake is definitely my favorite character. I love trying to get into the minds of boys. What I especially love about Jake is that he has a pretty simple and somewhat self-centered view of the world at the beginning of the book, and through his interaction with Ally and his friends, he starts to mature and change. He’s still a work in progress, but he’s definitely learning about the world.
Why did you choose to incorporate a scandal in Ally's life? What do you think of scandals that affect not only yourself, but people around you as well?
I think that scandal may be a slightly strong word for what goes on in Ally’s life. To me, the things that happen to her are the result of bad choices made in emotional moments, whether by her or her father or her friends, and I think those bad choices happen every day. We’ve all done things that seemed right in the moment, but turned out to have negative consequences down the road. There are people who create scandal purposefully, and there’s one character like that in this book. I’ve never understood those types of people. I feel like life is complicated enough without trying to make it more complicated.
Personally, what do you think of that social 'barrier' between the rich and the not-so-rich?
I think it’s far more complicated than a lot of people realize. I grew up in a wealthy town as one of the not-so-wealthy people, and as a teenager, it’s hard to see everyone around you being gifted with cars on their seventeenth birthdays or whisked away to Europe for spring break, while you’re sitting there with your bike and vacationing in your back yard. Unless you’re an extremely enlightened kid, it’s not until you’re older that you realize that those wealthy kids didn’t actually have it all. Everyone’s families have problems. And European vacations, while nice, don’t guarantee happiness. That’s why I wanted to show that some of the wealthy families have serious issues in this book. No one’s life is perfect.
Did you include some of your experiences in She's so Dead to Us?
Definitely. I was a lot like Ally in that my friends had more money than I did and I had to deal with them getting to do things I could never afford to do. Also her relationship with her mom is similar to mine. They’re friends first, which I like.
Why did you choose to write in the YA genre?
I feel like I’m perpetually seventeen years old. I still remember vividly what it was like to have the stresses of being a teenager, and I think it’s important for teens to read about other kids their age going through similar experiences and having the same emotions.
Did you base any of your characters on real people?
Annie’s sense of humor and view on life is based on one of my friends, but I won’t say which one! J Robbie is based on a friend of mine from high school. Everyone else is a product of my imagination.
Did you have to do any research to write She's So Dead to Us?
Research wasn’t an issue. The story takes place in a fictional town in Bergen County, which is where I’ve lived all my life, so I definitely know what life is like around here!
Which character do you resonate most with, in She's so Dead to Us?
Definitely Ally. If there’s one character who’s a lot like me, it’s Ally. She doesn’t think material things should matter and she tries to tell it like it is. There are moments when her fears prevent her from being totally honest, and I’ve definitely been there. She tries to understand where other people are coming from, which I definitely try to do. Plus her relationship with her parents is similar to the ones I had with mine in high school. She’s friends with her mom and has a complex, confusing relationship with her dad.
What was the message that you tried to get across to your readers with She's so Dead to Us?
That a lot of high school is about appearances over reality, and it shouldn’t be. It’s really difficult to follow your heart and see inside a person to who they really are, but in a perfect world, that’s what we would all do. Also you don’t need money to be happy. Being true to yourself is far more important.
What would you have done if you were in Ally's place?
I hope I would have done what she did: try to reconnect with my old friends, but be realistic about it and make some new ones, too.
The cover is very well done yet simple. Did you have any input in it?
No input whatsoever, but I LOVE it!
What's the most interesting thing a reader has ever said to you?
A reader once told me that Geek Magnet basically was her life. She was the stage manager of her musical production at school, she had geeks following her around all the time, but wanted just to be friends with them. She had a volatile family life. She had a crush on an athlete. She even had a best friend named Stephanie, just like KJ’s best friend in the book. It was like I was psychic and wrote about her life. THAT was interesting to hear.
What’s up next for you book-wise?
I’m writing the sequel to She’s SO Dead to Us, tentatively titled She’s SO Over Him. After that, there will be a third book (it’s planned as a trilogy). Plus I’m working on a couple of new ideas which will hopefully become books one day!
Book you've faked reading:
I’m sure I’ve said I read War and Peace, but I haven’t.
Book you've bought for the cover:
Shiver. I didn’t know what it was when I bought it. Pretty cover. Addicting book. I can’t wait for the sequel.
Book you're an evangelist for:
Rebound by Bob Krech is an incredibly written, honest, fearless look at race relations in high school. Looks by Madeleine George is a book I wish I’d written. So Punk Rock by Micol Ostow with illustrations by David Ostow is HI-larious. Those are the three I always tell people they have to read. Oh and The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Go Devils! Sorry, I’ve got the New Jersey Devils playoff game on in the background right now.