The Best of Hostile Questions

Likely StoriesIt’s been almost three years since Hostile Questions began its multi-Pulitzer run, and I, your not-so-humble host, find myself tired, run-down, and almost . . . affable. Well, that won’t do. So I’m off for a four-month “sabbatical” and will do what needs doing to recharge my hostility: ride rush-hour trains with a screaming infant (I’ll borrow one), making a daily trip to the DMV just for the bitter coffee, and buy the house next door just so I can insert a bunch of dogs that never stop barking. Come June, I’ll be fueled, furious, and fabulous.

In the meantime, I’ve curated my six favorite all-time HQs. Read ’em and weep.

Hostile logoLibba Bray, 3.26.12
“Before I know it, I’m waking up in a parking lot outside a WalMart, wearing a rabbit suit covered in active-culture yogurt and what I hope is a coffee stain, an “I Can’t Believe I Ate the Whole Thing” mug in one hand and two of my molars in the other, my left ankle shackled to the axle of a neon-yellow Up with People bus.”

Chelsea Cain, 5.7.12
“I have a vagina that seems to bother people. “How can your write what you write, as a woman?” they ask. They are always very nice, smart-seeming people, very friendly, a little tentative, a little concerned. The question floors me every single time. You’d think I’d be prepared by now, right? Maybe I’m thick, but I don’t get the question. Women can’t write about sex and violence? Women can’t be graphic? Women deal in bodily fluids all day long.”

Anne Elizabeth Moore, 7.30.12
“I’m reasonably sure I’m Anne Elizabeth Moore, three-time winner of the Anne Elizabeth Moore Award for Excellence in Awesomeness, not to be confused with Anne Moore, the other Chicago-based reporter who at some point covered the exciting world of women’s shoes for the local press.”

Joe Hill, 10.22.12
“I dunno if I have any big ideas myself. Maybe just that short things are awesome. Short stories. Short sentences. Short skirts. I’ve got a novel coming out, NOS4A2, that’s, like, 700 pages long. But even that is just made out of a lot of short little bits, kind of all Lego-ed together.”

Maggie Stiefvater, 1.14.13
“Half of my readers thought this was hilarious. A quarter were infuriated. And the remaining quarter believed me. Now, two years later, I still get e-mails about it. The hilarity has definitely worn off, and all that remains is the indignity and the anticipation. Or sadness.”

Michael Grant, 4.22.13
“I’ve written or co-authored 150 books, give or take, but it’s never enough. It’s not enough that I succeed, everyone else must fail. By this I mean that all other YA authors must be reduced to penury (which is not a way to get off, despite how it sounds) and I alone must rule the YA world. Ah hah hah hah! Say what? Mad? Did you use the word “Mad”? At least follow it with “Genius.””

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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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