Michael Grant. Interview. That’s all you need to know. Read on!
IceyBooks: Where did you find the inspiration for your epic GONE series?
Michael Grant: I usually credit the TV show, LOST, and Stephen King’s THE STAND. Oddly enough it was not LORD OF THE FLIES — I didn’t even make the connection until I was halfway through GONE. But most of all, I was working on a whole different series I was going to call GUNS and DRAGONS, and the idea just sort of slipped over to something completely different. Plus, of course, I do have to make a living.
IB: Is typing with two fingers hard? Why do you do that?
MG: Because I have giant sausage fingers, Hafsah. I can only fit two on the keys at a time. Actually, I just never learned to type. I’m pretty fast with just the two fingers, but I’m also really loud. I pound the keys and it drives my wife crazy.
IB: LOL, okayyyy. If you had a chance, would you change anything about any of your books?
MG: Yeah, I’d go back to book #1 and not toy with the idea of giving Astrid a power. I dropped it and hoped no one would notice. Oh: they noticed.
IB: Y’know, I was wondering about that! Out of all the 150 books you’ve written, which one is your favorite and why?
MG: I always like whatever I wrote most recently. I know that’s a weaselly answer, but it’s actually true. I have a tendency to forget books I wrote a long time ago. I have a terrible memory. I’ve outsourced all memory to Google and my iPhone.
IB: Yeah, I’ve pretty muched outsourced mine too… If you could choose any author to switch places with for a day, who would choose?
MG: Hmmm. I’d love be able to do the kind of lyrical, poetic writing my wife (Katherine Applegate) did in HOME OF THE BRAVE. And I’d like to have Stephen King’s deeper understanding of the craft. And I’d love to have the kind of depth and breadth of erudition that Patrick O’Brian brought to his Aubrey/Maturin series. But I love my life and would never trade places with anyone else, even for a day.
IB: If you could say anything to any person (even George Washington), what would you say?
MG: Dear Mr. Tolkien: thanks.
IB: That’s it? Write, and answer, a question you would like to be asked, but never have been asked?
MG: You keep the language in the series G rated, or at most PG. Why?
Because I succumbed to the pressure of the marketplace. The truth is I think the whole concept of “bad” words is nonsense and everyone should get over it. There are no bad words, there are words used in such a way as to injure or humiliate, and that’s bad. But it’s not the word. A cruel person can do a lot more damage with a word like “ugly” or “fat” than they can with a curse word. A writer — even a YA writer — should use the word that best conveys the thought, and not stick to some arbitrary list of approved words. And I’m sorry I didn’t take that stand when I started.
Thanks for taking the time to tell me and my readers a little about yourself, Mr. Grant! Michael Grant’s latest release, PLAGUE, was released on 4/5/11 from Katherine Tegen Books.