Hostile Questions: Stephanie Perkins

Likely StoriesHostile Questions is, of course, known for its questioning, which is of a hostile bent, but something strange happened when I met up with Stephanie Perkins, author of Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door, and Isla and the Happily Ever After.

There I was, bitter beyond my years, when we bumped into each another at a quirky locale and she apologized awkwardly and I flopped my hair in a sort of adorable way, and then when we met again later it was wistfully, as we remembered that magical first time, but then I, being hostile, said something rash and she ran off, streaming beautiful authorly tears, and we both wondered if this interview was never meant to be, but then I made a grand gesture of some sort, one that lifted the hearts of everyone around us, and, well, I don’t want to spoil the ending but THE INTERVIEW HAPPENED.

The author and fantastic new robot belly.

The author and her fantastic new robot belly.

Just who do you think you are?

I’m a novelist. I’m known for feel-good love stories, and I live in a cheerful house where every room is painted a different color of the rainbow. But—peer a little closer into those rooms—and you’ll also find artwork drawn by serial killers, antique gynecological tools, and tiny skeletal remains. I think it makes me balanced.

Where do you get off?

AVL. The Asheville Regional Airport. For an airport, it’s pretty nice. Stone walls. Rocking chairs. A decent restaurant. Flying is the pits, but at least my hometown airport is clean and quiet.

What’s the big idea?

The big idea is to be kind. Some days, it’s hard. But usually it’s easy. It’s always important.

What is your problem, man?

Depression. Undiagnosed sleep disorder. Obsessive-compulsive disorder. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Fear of water, fear of crowds, fear of being eaten alive by a wild animal with large teeth. An aggravated mind that simply won’t shut up.

Haven’t you done enough?

I don’t feel like I’ve done anything yet. I’m filled with overwhelming urges and surges of WANT WANT WANT, but I find DOING enormously difficult. My life feels like a battle between work and slumber. Slumber often wins.

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About the Author:

Dan Kraus is Booklist's Editor of Books for Youth. He is also the producer and director of numerous feature films, most notably the documentary Work Series, and the author of several YA novels, including Rotters and Scowler, both of which won the Odyssey Award. Follow him on Twitter at @DanielDKraus.

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