This month's Twitterview guest is none other than Antony John, author of the forthcoming Thou Shalt Not Road Trip, as well as Five Flavors of Dumb, Busted, and the Fall 2012 title Elementals. He's here to talk about road trips, brother relationships, music, and more. I give Antony some huge props for tackling this Twitterview with his signature charm and humor -- this is his first time "tweeting," and I think he has the hang of 140-characters down pat!
As a bonus, there's a giveaway of Thou Shalt Not Road Trip at the end of the Twitterview.
Without further ado, here's Antony:
Pitch Thou Shalt Not Road Trip in 140 characters.
Luke’s on Route 66 to promote his book, Hallelujah. His ex-crush is hitching a ride. It’ll be life-changing. Just not in the way he expects.
What inspired Thou Shalt Not Road Trip?
A spiritual connection with Route 66 & vivid recollections of some weird theological discussions from my youth.
What should readers walk away with from Thou Shalt Not Road Trip?
Two lessons (it’s vital to communicate; you can’t please everyone, and you really shouldn’t try) and several laughs.
Faith and conviction are big themes in the story (not just spiritually, but in terms of relationships, too). Talk a bit about that.
It’s hard to keep faith in someone (or something) during rapid and unexpected change. I wanted to explore that from several angles.
This is a book set on the road -- did you have a favorite place to write about in Thou Shalt Not Road Trip?
Maybe Devil’s Elbow, an old Route 66 river crossing. It’s totally neglected now, but you can see why people used to stop for the view.
Why the choice to set this story on the road?
I love road trips—in which literal and metaphorical journeys collide—and Route 66 runs through Missouri, which is where I live!
Sibling stories are growing in the YA world. How would you describe Luke and brother Matt's relationship?
Complicated. They want to believe in each other and remain close, but circumstances make that difficult. True for a lot siblings, I guess.
Who or what do you write for?
I write for teen me: the quintessential reluctant reader. I needed drama, and flawed characters, and lots of plot twists. Still do actually!
What was your most influential read as a teenager?
THE OUTSIDERS, hands down. It was so far removed from my own experience growing up in England, and the voice was just electrifying.
Who are your top three writing influences?
For how they affect my writing, it’d be: my wife, Audrey; my agent, Ted; and my editor, Liz. They’re my A-Team.
Who do you believe is breaking ground in YA right now?
Too many authors to count. Meg Rosoff, Sara Zarr, John Green, Suzanne Collins, etc etc. This is a great time to be in YA.
What's the best writing advice you ever received?
Read your work out loud. It’s the true litmus test. If it sounds right when you read aloud, it’ll work when read silently.
What's your best writing advice to give?
Enjoy the process of writing. Whether you write for fun or as a career, you have to enjoy it. Otherwise, find something you like more.
What is your writing routine?
Drop the kids at school and get writing immediately. After lunch, attempt to deal with everything else. Fail. Make a cup of tea instead.
What gets you jazzed to write?
Everything. I never lack for motivation. I have so many books I want to write. I just need more time!
Music is your background. How does it influence your writing?
I tend to obsess over structure – making sure the sections of the book feel balanced—and pacing (even down to the rhythm of a sentence).
Do you have a writing soundtrack? Care to share a bit?
Depends on the project. Classical mixes for fantasy (very atmospheric) and rock for contemporary. But my tastes are very eclectic (i.e. weird).
What's next for you?
ELEMENTAL – a fantasy adventure set on the Outer Banks, featuring teens who control the elements . . . all except one. Coming fall 2012.
Favorite ice cream?
Haagen-Dazs Pralines and Cream, although I haven’t had it in ages. Too long, to be honest. Actually, I’m off to get some right now.