My Beautiful Struggle + [thriller]

Interview: Author Ned Vizzini

Today I have the very wonderful and extremely talented author Ned Vizzini here.

He was a contributor to the new book, The Girl Who Was on Fire and is the author of It's Kind of a Funny Story.

1. When you were first contacted to participate in The Girl Who Was On Fire, did you already know what topic you'd like to talk about, or did you re-read The Hunger Games first?

I had not read the Hunger Games when I was asked to participate in The Girl Who Was on Fire. I quickly read half of the first book and proposed the idea of writing about"media training" and reality TV because I had been through media training at the start of my writing career (when I was shown how to act on live TV). After my proposal was accepted, I read the books.

2. You have some experience with books being turned into movies. Your book It's Kind of a Funny Story was recently made into one. Can you tell us what that experience is like, and do you enjoy following other books that will soon be movies, as with The Hunger Games?

I'm sure the experience of getting a book turned into a movie is different for every author. What I felt more than anything else was lucky; it happens to very few authors and the movies can be terrible; in my case I really loved the Funny Story movie.

When it comes to following books that will soon be movies, I couldn't care less. The book needs to stand on its own.

3. What was it like seeing your movie for the first time? Did you have a lot of say in the production?

It felt great seeing Funny Story on the big screen. I caught an early screening with my wife in June 2010. Emma Roberts was in the audience too. The scene that I liked best was the one where young Craig draws maps and his mom gives him advice. The dialogue in that scene is taken directly from the Vizzini household circa 1986.

I did not have a lot of say in the production of It's Kind of a Funny Story. I wrote the book, provided a song for the soundtrack, and furnished the shirt that the musical exploration leader wears prior to the"Under Pressure" sequence. But I feel that the movie accurately reflects the tone and feel of the book.

4. What part of writing do you tend to enjoy the most? What part is the most difficult for you?

My favorite aspect of the writing process is the feeling I get when I know that it's going well, when the work is flowing. There's nothing like that feeling.

My least favorite aspect of writing is the way I'm dependent on my mind to make money for the rest of my life. I'm not dependent on an organization or an employer or even, to a certain degree, my effort. I'm dependent on my mind, which is a flighty thing. If the ideas dry up I'm done for.

5. You've already done so many amazing things at a young age. What are some of the most overwhelming experiences you've had?

The most overwhelming experience I've had in my career was seeing my name in print for the first time, in the newspaper New York Press in 1996. I went through all the emotions (pride, fear, shame) at that time; it was like an out-of-body experience. Then I had to go back to high school.

6. Do you ever get a chance to read many recent young adult novels? Do you have any favorites?

I loved The Unidentified, the debut novel from Rae Mariz. I think fans of the Hunger Games will like it. I read Will Grayson, Will Grayson last year and enjoyed that a lot. And I've liked most (but not all) of the books I've reviewed for the New York Times.

7. Can you tell us a little about what you are working on now?

My next book, a young adult novel called The Other Normals, will be published in fall 2012. I'm telling people that it's a very funny story about about a late bloomer who unexpectedly turns into an epic warrior at his summer camp. I'm beyond thrilled about it. It will be published in hardcover. I will reveal more about it as the release date approaches on my website and Facebook.

Upcoming Events
On Friday, April 29, 2011, I will lead the inaugural session of the Barnes & Noble Teen Writing Workshop in Glendale, CA. Students in the greater Los Angeles area are invited.

On Sunday, May 1, 2011, I will appear on the"Hard Truths: Writing Addiction for Teens" panel at the Los Angeles Times Book Festival. This event is also in Los Angeles (at the USC campus) but it's open to everyone of all ages.

Both of these events are free!

The Girl Who Was on Fire by Various Authors
Publisher: Smart Pop (April 5th, 2011)
Reading Level: Young Adult
Paperback: 224 pages

Praised by writers from Stephen King to Stephenie Meyer, Suzanne Collins’ New York Times bestselling Hunger Games trilogy is dark, captivating, and deeply thought-provoking. Part straight-up survivalist adventure, part rich allegory, and part political thriller, the series has become a new YA favorite.
The Girl Who Was On Fire offers even more to think about for teen readers already engrossed by the Hunger Games. From the trilogy's darker themes of violence and social control to reality television, fashion, and weaponry, the collection's exploration of the Hunger Games by other YA writers reveals exactly how rich, and how perilous, protagonist Katniss’ world really is.
The Girl Who Was On Fire covers all three books in the Hunger Games trilogy.

Contest News
If readers take a photo of themselves holding the It's Kind of a Funny Story DVD, they can win a Funny Story T-shirt from Focus Features! Enter here: http://bit.ly/eHkLRZ
Find Ned Vizzini
Website | Blog | Goodreads | Facebook | YouTube

Purchase The Girl Who Was on Fire
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

Purchase the movie or book- It's Kind of a Funny Story
Amazon DVD | Amazon Blu-ray | Paperback Copy

Movie Trailer