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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Author Interview: Adele Griffin (The Julian Game)


Adele Griffin’s critically acclaimed novels include The Other Shepards, Amandine and National Book Award Finalist Sons of Liberty. Her numerous awards and accolades include ALA Best Book for Young Adults, ALA Notable, CCBC Choice, IRA-CBC Children's Choice and Bank Street Book of the Year. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

For more info on Adele, visit her sites:

The Julian Game by Adele Griffin
Reading Level: Young Adult Fiction
Release Date: Available Now
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile

Summary: All new girl Raye Archer wants is a way into the in crowd, so when ice-queen Ella Parker picks her to get back at her ex, the gorgeous Julian Kilgarry, Raye is more than game. Even if it means creating a fake Facebook identity so she can learn enough about Julian to sabotage him. It's a fun and dangerous thrill at first, but Raye hadn't counted on falling for Julian herself and igniting Ella's rage. As Raye works to reconcile the temptress Elizabeth with her real-life self, Ella serves up her own revenge, creating an online smear campaign of nasty rumors and trashy photographs. Suddenly notorious, Raye has to find a way out of the web of deceit that she's helped to build, and back to the relationships that matter. Adele Griffin's riveting novel explores the issues of generation Facebook: the desire to be someone else, real versus online friends, and the pitfalls and fallouts of posting your personal life online for all the world to judge.

Author Interview:

1) When did you first consider yourself a writer?

AG: When I was eight, I wrote a story about an orphanage that burnt to the ground. I felt a real sense of accomplishment because I’d successfully blended two tragic plot points—orphans and arson—to create quite a devastating drama. “Write what you know” was not part of my rulebook in third grade.

2) What inspired you to write The Julian Game?

AG: I’ve been fascinated and alarmed with classroom bullying these days. Back when I was a kid, someone might spread a rumor or call you a bunch of nasty names and that was kind of it. Bullying was an emotional scar but it left no physical footprint. Today, a lot of smear campaigns are waged in printed words. This also gives a new power to the anonymous herd; the kids that used to stand around and laugh at the victim are now able to post comments, to really stick in the knife. It’s pretty scary. A raunchy photo is the inciting incident in Julian, but the ganging-up and the unrelenting cruelty of the hate blog—that’s all text. And as a writer, the power of words is an intriguing theme to me.

3) If you had to describe your book in one word, what would it be and why?

AG: Electric. Because I really needed that plot to be quick, fierce, wild, and risky. All those words stack up to electric.

4) Since The Julian Game is a story about cat-and-mouse revenge, did you ever experience a feeling of revenge?

AG: I used to, all the time. I feel like I’m so mellow now—but in high school, my emotions were pitched up to major extremes. I had huge opinions on everything—guys, teachers, friends, enemies, frenemies. As far as revenge, I was a kid in the 80s, and any prank in the 80s was all about crank calling—which is a totally obsolete form of entertainment today. But back then, nothing was better than calling up some hot guy and getting his mom on the phone and hanging up. That was really scaling the heights of fun.

5) Out of all the books you've written, which one is your favorite?

AG: This one I am working on now. My heart always belongs to the secret, untitled, unfinished, unpublished manuscript.

6) Besides being a loving mother and writer, what else do you like to do in your free time?

AG: Apparently, I love to burn food. Over the past week, I’ve crisped one batch of blueberry muffins, a lasagna, and this morning, the pancakes. But when I’m not turning off the smoke detector, I’m re-learning how to bike. Brooklyn is a biking town. They say you never forget, but to this I’d add that you do forget how to be good at it. My balance is awful.

7) What book are you currently reading?

AG: My friend Meredith Kaffel just gave me a copy of Marjorie Morningstar. This was a big book in its day, but it passed me by completely. So I’m deep in that. In YA, I am reading Broken Soup. And Before I Fall is next, on your recommendation. :)

8) Do you have anything to say to all your present and future readers?

AG: Oh, yes! I’d say, come find me on Goodreads because that’s where I am hanging out when I’m not falling off my bike. Reading everyone’s blogs and reviews. I am addicted to it.

9) What's the most craziest thing you've ever done that you wouldn't dare share with others (besides us of course hehe)?

AG: When I was a senior in high school, my boyfriend and I stole this seven-foot-tall, plastic lumberjack dude from a mini-golf rink. We took it for a party, and we even returned it—but I was so sure that I’d be arrested for my diabolical crime that I spent about a month jumping around in terror every time I heard a police siren.

New Release Coming Soon!

  • Tighter by Adele Griffin (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 5/10/11)


Ann Summerville said...

Colorful cover.

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